Everyone's favourite accident-prone dragon is back - and now you can join in the fun too! This fantastic new activity book is based on the bestselling book ZOG, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Packed with colouring-in, dot-to-dots, puzzles, spot the difference, mazes, simple word searches, there's plenty to keep Zog fans busy for hours.
We haven't read The Gruffalo or Zog books in my house, but the kids are always keen on an activity book and sometimes one can inspire reaching out for the other. The kids were eager to get jumping straight into the book, so I quickly nabbed it so that I could peruse its pages and get an idea on the feel of the book. I had a moment of confusion, thinking that they had already gotten their hands on the book and stuck stickers all over the cover, but no, just some very convincing artwork (which did cause some delight for the kids).
I let each of my kids have a turn with the book, so pencil was a must, and while it fainter, it did work out well. My five year old struggled with the puzzles, as I expected to be the case but she loved doing the sticker scene and we all agreed that she should get to do the colouring in pages. My seven year old had a go at this and found that some things were harder to do than others but she could complete it all with a bit of hard work, and she loved that she could manoeuvre the stickers around to create a new scene. My nine year old breezed through the book in no time at all, he is loving word puzzles at the moment and was thrilled with the activities.
This is a well set out book, though at that price I would expect a few more pages of puzzles or a lower price.
We already love the story of Zog and it has been read many times over in our house. As soon as the kids saw this activity book, they were very excited. Although this sort of book is generally designed for an individual child, my two children enjoyed working together on it. There were some parts more obviously suited to Mr Six, like dot to dot and the wordsearch and Miss Four enjoyed the patterns and tracing Zog's name.
Miss Four was able to learn about completing patterns. She really enjoyed it and it was great for me to be able to explain to her how patterns work. There are some lovely maths concepts for children to practise and learn while having fun with characters and a story they already love. Mr Six figured out the patterns and kept his answer secret while Miss Four was able to work it out. When Miss Four placed one of the stickers upside down, we found that the surface of the book allowed for the sticker to be lifted again and replaced in the correct way. This was great as it would have been very upsetting for her if it hadn't been easy to take the sticker off!
We worked out that the colouring pages were the main part of the book that they both wanted to do independently. Mr Six got a bit frustrated as he thought that Miss Four wasn't working to his expected standard! Luckily there are two colouring pages, so this was easily sorted. Of course this wouldn't be an issue if a single child owned the book.
There is a range of activities for children to work on and there are lots of skills for children to develop e.g. dot to dot (including counting and number recognition), spot the difference, word search, patterning and drawing in a grid. There is a little bit of fun for all sorts of interests and my children both really enjoyed the whole book.
One thing that I would really like to see in activity books like this is the use of lower case letters for activities such as the word search. This is not a criticism of this particular book as it is very common for all such books. Words written in upper case are much harder for younger readers to recognise and it isn't how they learn to read words either.
This was a great book for the children to enjoy during the school holidays while it has been raining! The kids have had a lot of fun with the book and it has reignited their love of Zog. I think that Zog will make an appearance quite a bit over the upcoming days and weeks.
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