When we were offered the chance to review the Train Convertible Book I jumped at it, as we already have the Spaceship, Boat and Fire Engine. Monkey received them as gifts for Christmas last year and we both love them. Anything which increases his imaginative play gets a big thumbs up in my book and the fact that they are compact is even better. We even took our copy on holiday with us!
The idea behind the book is simple, made from several pieces of sturdy thick cardboard and joined with fabric tape it can be assembled into the vehicle that the book is all about.
First of all we read the book. The train one talks about the running of a station, what trains get up to day to day, how signals work, the train depot, broken track and fallen trees. I did have to chuckle (commuters will probably join me) when the book mentions fallen leaves on the line! It sparked a lot of discussion around what trains are used for and expanded his vocabulary with words such as depot, signals and turntable. There are two simple sentences on each page, with the big enough words for Monkey to follow as I read.
He really enjoyed pointing out what the sentences were talking about as well, such as the bridges above. After we had read the book he was very eager to try out the train, to be a driver! Assembling it is easy, clear plastic straps attach one end of the book to another with velcro fastenings. The same straps hold up the front of the train. His face says it all, as he suddenly become a train driver chuffing around the tracks:
Once we got home from our holiday Monkey fetched a toy train and used the book as a play mat as well. Great for when there isn’t time to get the train track out!
Things we love
- Bright and colourful pictures that bring the subject matter alive
- That its not fiction, we have so many picture books it’s great for Monkey to learn more about trains before he pretends to be a train driver for the day
- It’s so versatile – a book, a play mat and a role play toy
- They are big enough to fit two 3 year old children in
- Helps to expand his vocabulary further
Things we are not so keen on
There isn’t anything we don’t like about the convertible book series, we now have four of these books and they have stood the test of time including two little boys fighting over who was going to drive the fire engine first!
They make fantastic Christmas presents for children aged 3-6 years old and there are ten different vehicles to choose from:
- Fire Engine
- Pirate Boat
- Princess Carriage
- Pink Car
- Four-Wheel Drive
- School Bus
They retail at £17.99 but at the moment there is 20% off on the Miles Kelly Website here, making them £13.49 each.
What will be on your kiddies Christmas wish list this year?