Book review: Easter fun with Usborne Children’s Books

Easter fun with Usborne Children's Books

Easter fun with Usborne Children's Books

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Easter is bursting out all over so keep holiday boredom at bay with Usborne’s bright and beautiful books.

Usborne is the biggest and most successful independent children’s book publisher in the UK and its new collection of springtime sparklers includes fun-packed activity books, a special touchy-feely board book, the adventures of a madcap schoolgirl and a fantastic new teen series.

Age 6 plus:

50 Easter Things to Do & Make by Sarah Khan

There won’t be a dull moment this Easter with a brilliant activity book which offers so many super craft ideas that you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Published in a small, handy form, 50 Easter Things to Do & Make is brimming with the cleverest but easy-to-make craft activities from making decorative Easter garlands and conjuring up fingerprint bunnies to creating a hatching chick card and enjoying the traditional art of painting eggs.

Each project comes with fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions along with hints and tips on how to get the very best results. And all you need then is paper, scissors, string, paints, crayons, glue, a willing adult helper, a good sense of fun and oodles of imagination.

So whether you fancy making marzipan chicks, cutting out an Easter crown, designing bunny napkin rings, creating hanging eggs, painting sparkly rosettes or getting stuck into some fingerprint flowers, this is the perfect companion for rainy days and holidays.

(Usborne, paperback, £5.99)

Age 3 plus:

Easter Sticker Book Written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Stella Baggott

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a burrow full of bunnies so keep little hands busy with this sticker book spectacular.

Packed to the bar’s rafters with Easter-themed scenes – from an Easter picnic to an Easter hat parade – the Easter Sticker Book has over 400 bright and colourful stickers to choose from.

Help the Easter bunnies hide their eggs, fill the trees with nesting birds, dress up the little bears for some April showers and fill the chicken run with hungry hens and fluffy chicks.

Making your own Easter pictures is always fun when Usborne give a happy helping hand…

(Usborne, paperback, £5.99)

Age 6 months plus:

That’s Not My Bunny Written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells

Usborne’s special Easter time touchy-feely board book allows the youngest family members to have a hand in all the fun.

There are lots of baby bunnies to enjoy and the simple, repetitive text, intriguing tactile patches and bold illustrations are guaranteed to catch the eye of inquisitive babies and toddlers. And look out for the little white mouse which appears on every page.

Designed to develop sensory and language awareness, Usborne’s distinctive board books offer a vividly visual and hands-on treat for every growing child.

(Usborne, board book, £5.99)

Age 9 plus:

Completely Cassidy: Accidental Genius by Tamsyn Murray

Meet Cassidy Bond… she’s eleven years old, starting secondary school and she speaks volumes for every girl who faced a cringeworthy hug and kiss from mum at the gates on that first big day.

Hapless heroine Cassidy is the creation of Tamsyn Murray, a children’s author with her finger firmly on the pulse of young minds and hearts. Her supernatural young adult romance series, My So-Called Afterlife, was a huge hit and now she is touching the funny bone of youngsters from the ‘in-betweeny’ 10-14 age group.

Accidental Genius is the first in a new Completely Cassidy series and it’s laughter all the way… with our disaster-prone star’s laugh-out-loud doodles, letters and emails, hilarious mishaps and wicked observations, the fun is only just starting.

Cassidy’s embarrassing dad, pregnant mum, loser brother and knicker-chewing dog mean that she is almost invisible in her family. So she’s desperately hoping Year 7 is her time to shine, especially since a test proved she is Gifted & Talented. The only problem is that she picked her answers at random. But surely the school wouldn’t make a mistake about her genius?

Murray writes with flair, imagination and, one would imagine, with a big smile on her face as Cassidy’s laughter-filled life spring into glorious action. Perfect reading for any youngster suffering from big-school nerves.

(Usborne, paperback, £5.99)

Teen:

The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

Blend together mystery, realism, fantasy and adventure, and what do you have? An exciting new teen series with voodoo at its fast-beating heart.

Boys want them. Girls want to be them. Someone wants them dead. Peregrine Marceau and Chloe St. Pierre are the Dolls. Impossibly beautiful and dangerously powerful, they hold the tiny Louisiana town of Carrefour under their spell. When 17-year-old Eveny Cheval returns to Carrefour, the town where she was born, she is not so easily swayed by their glamour… until she discovers she is a Doll too, the powerful missing link in a trio of voodoo queens who have everyone under their spell. But darkness is descending on Carrefour and when a killer sneaks past the locked gates of the town, only the Dolls’ combined powers can stop the murderer in their midst.

Sultry, seductive and tingling with chills, thrills and plenty of surprises, The Dolls is a wonderful piece of atmospheric writing bristling with menace but leavened by some dark humour and an irresistible hint of romance.

(Usborne, paperback, £7.99)