Wee Gallery series aimed at preschoolers


WEE_PetSlider-300x269Wee Gallery and QEB Publishing recently launched a new series of books geared toward preschoolers. It features a range of board, cloth and activity books that combine bold illustrations with educational content. I received boardbooks and activity books for review.

“PETS: A Slide and Play book,” and “SAFARI: A Slide and Play book,” by Surya Sajnani, Wee Gallery Board Books, QEB Publishing, March 1, 2016, Boardbook, $9.95 (ages 2-4)

Each of these books features four sets of characters that are revealed as little readers slide panels into place. The illustrations are paired with a clue: “I am very big. I have a long nose. I have large ears. Who am I?”

WEE_SafariSlider_UKCvr_alt1-300x269My daughter turned 2 in February, but we’ve been reading interactive books for a year now, so she took to these slide and play books quite quickly. She likes to make things move, so that’s a plus, but she figured out the characters before we even moved the panels. I suggest starting these books at 12 months. I can’t imagine my daughter being interested in these much more than a few months — they’re too simple for where she is. That said, I found the construction to be high quality, and the illustrations charming. If we had received these a year ago, I’m sure we would have worn them out.

WEEBRAND_DOGjacket_14.9.15-high_Page_11-229x300“DOG’S DAY OUT ACTIVITY BOOK: A Drawing and coloring book,” and “CAT’S PLAYGROUP ACTIVITY BOOK: A Drawing and coloring book,” by Surya Sajnani, Wee Gallery Board Books, QEB Publishing, March 1, 2016, Boardbook, $12.95 (ages 2-5)

Both of these activity books start out much the same way and follow a similar pattern — they feature storylines throughout, and corresponding activities make these truly interactive. In the case of the books I received, Dexter dog has an exciting day at the park and Cecelia cat enjoys a busy day at playgroup.

Again, the publisher’s suggested age range starts at 2. And again, I disagree. There’s no way on the planet I would hand my 2-year-old a $13 activity book for three reasons: 1) the concepts are too complicated 2) because it’s a story, the pages don’t come out 3) the rule in our house is “we don’t write in books.”

Pages-from-WEEBRAND_CATjacket_14.9.15-highOf course, every child is different, but in general, my age recommendation is 3, maybe late 2 if your child is advanced. Waiting that extra year allows for an understanding of concepts like connect the dots and mazes; the ability to handle working in a bound book; and learning the difference between these and “book books.”

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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