Picture Book and Play – Builders

Picture Book And Play is a weekly post in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.

Last week, I wrote about a lot of our construction themed books and play, and this week follows on from that as we look at a few more of our building themed stories and activities.

Peapod has got two versions of The Three Little Pigs that he really enjoys – the Campbell First Stories board book and one by Nick Sharratt and Stephen Tucker. We love both and have others in both these series that I’d really recommend!

Both have bouncy, rhythmic, rhyming text and interactive parts (the first with moving parts and the second has flaps), with plenty to look at and tall about. And of course both end with wolf burning his bottom in the cooking pot which he finds hilarious! (though his favourite part in the Sharratt/Tucker version is the spider in wolf’s empty cupboard!)

I adlib a bit to flesh out the Campbell version and to add in the traditional phrases from the story and its lovely hearing Peapod joining in with these now too as we read and act it out using some of his animals and construction blocks.

Obviously I helped build the houses, but that was sort of the point as Peapod has a lot of blocks but doesn’t often choose to play with them. So I hoped to get him a bit more into them by using them for this.

It didn’t really get him building, but he liked telling the story and definitely enjoyed being the wolf and blowing the houses down!!

Likewise, this classic from Allan Ahlberg and Colin McNaughton‘s Happy Families range, in which Mr and Mrs Brick worry that their new baby is not a builder like them and all the Bricks that have gone before.

He loves seeing Baby Brick knock all the houses down, immediately chose to play it after we’d finished reading it for the first time and going back to it often this week.

Again the joy was very much in us building and him (sorry, Baby Brick!) knocking it all down, but that was great fun and it’s helped us get playing with the bricks which meant that once they were out and a over the floor he started coming up with his own game.

I had to walk the people through them and they get stuck as their paths are blocked. I then extended this to us building towers in all the directions they were trying to go and he was soon throwing up towers like there’s no tomorrow!

He’s slowly starting to venture into walls, buildings and steps too, and while it’s still mostly us building any kind of recognisable structure, he is starting to have a go.

Peapod’s “house – there’s the door!”

We’ve also been building and playing with bridges, thanks to one of Peapod’s current favourite snack time reads – Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

We’ve read it repeatedly and thoroughly enjoy it with its zippy rhyming text and wonderfully detailed, funny and stylish illustrations.

Peapod’s favourite bit is, of course the tower of dirty nappies which he thinks is hilarious! But he’s also fascinated by the bridge Iggy and his classmates build at the end of the book too and really pores over it!

We’ve also done some building block printing this week.

This was one of those ‘bite-your-tongue-and-step-back’ activities, as he soon decided block printing was all well and good, but actually painting his builders and printing with them and getting handfuls of paint to make mud/cover them in it was much more fun!

He had a ball, was so involved and then spent a good deal of time in the water washing them too so win-win!

Do your little ones like to build?

Which picture books have you read this week?

Peapod’s Picks – witches, skeletons, pumpkins and soup!

Can you guess I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago?! It’s been a few weeks since I managed to get a Peapod’s Picks up, and I don’t really know why, but that’s life sometimes!

Anyway, we’re back today with some books that you might have expected to see in a Halloween themed post. They’ve certainly found spots there before.

We’re still reading lots of these repeatedly at bedtime though, so I don’t feel too bad about posting them now.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The popular tale of the “witch, cat, hat ginger plait” who gains several passengers on her broom until it “snap two!” as a dragon appears hungry for witch and chips – will her new friends come to the rescue?

I love this and read it EVERY year at Halloween for storytime at work and it’s always great fun. Obviously this year was a bit different, but I read it online instead and hopefully it was still enjoyed!

Peapod, for his part, is still doing his Room on the Broom jigsaw several times a day and has spent a good deal of time running round dropping his wand/hat and making us tie the ribbon back in his hair so it could fall out again – “down!!”

Funnybones books by Janet Alan Ahlberg and Andre Amstutz

The classic trip down a dark, dark staircase to a dark, dark cellar and the skeletons who live there who set off on a mission to frighten someone… and all the other adventures they have.

Peapod has loved these – he thinks it’s great when we sing the songs to put dog back together and loves seeing the animal skeletons too.

He loves skeleton crew because he’s been taken with pirates ever since we read Jeremy Worried About the Wind, and Mystery Tour because he is obsessed with cars!

And if we’re not reading them, he’s crawling behind our pillows pretending he’s going into the cellar!!

Winnie the Witch/Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

We do have some other Winnie books too, but I haven’t got them down yet…i will be though!

Peapod has taken to loveable witch Winnie and her long-suffering, oft tripped over cat Wilbur, in no small part because of Korky Paul’s animated and humorous illustrations and Winnie’s propensity for tripping over Wilbur falling down the stairs which he thinks is very funny indeed.

In Winnie’a first adventure she gets fed up of falling over Wilbur and tries some colour changing spells. Peapod has started joining in with “Abracadabra!” though it’s more like “Abadaba!” It’s lovely listening to him trying to get his tongue round it though!

Peapod loves Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin because of all the veg in it (“I like carrots, I like peas…”) and seeing it all toppling off Winnie’s broom.

The Pumpkin Soup books by Helen Cooper

We’ve saved the best for last. Peapod absolutely LOVES, LOVES, LOVES these!

If you don’t know them, Cat, Duck and Squirrel live in the old white cabin and make pumpkin soup, each with their own part to play in making it “the best you’ve ever tasted”, until one day Duck decides he should stir…

Delicious sees them run out of pumpkins and having to find a new soup to cook, much to Duck’s chagrin. Peapod likes seeing Duck’s reactions to all the soups the best!

But his absolute, unquestionable favourite of the favourites is A Pipkin of Pepper.

He especially loves the police dogs (and the Hippo phoning them), the list of peppers at the pepper shop, and Duck “not hold[ing] on tight!”

We are reading this multiple times each evening and he has it down to act out pretty much all day on a loop too.

Our days now sound something like this, repeated from wake up to bedtime:

“No salt!”

“Lost! Lost my friends!”

“Pepper shop.”

“Ring ring. Hello police. Lost Duck situation (‘sedation!’)”

“There they are! Cat! Squirrel!”

Often with extra bits and always with actions.

We spent today calling for Cat and Squirrel as we walked round Dunham Massey, which did at least draw slightly fewer odd looks, than when we had to act it out on our way round tesco earlier in the week…

And that’s brought us pretty much up to date!

Did you read any picture books over Halloween? Are any of these, favourites in your house too?