Here’s our round up of some books that we think will help to keep them entertained when it’s too wet/windy/rainy/haily/snowy to go outside!
3-D Bubble Writer: A Crazy Craft Book by Linda Scott (£9.95) (published 20 April)
Tom Gates fans will love the look of the ideas in this book, which basically takes the art of writing and makes it fun! Learn how to make your writing look like wood, cake icing, patchwork and more.
Handy for days out or in the car, you can do some drawing/writing in the book itself – or take it off the page and create more elaborate creations when you’re at home. There are even some pop-out activities, which include everything you need.
On the back, the book says it is for ages six+ but unless your six-year-old is very good at writing/drawing we think they’d find it a tad tricky. More suited to ages eight and above in our opinion – and also plenty for grown-ups to try if they are ‘helping’!
Minecraft for Dummies £17.99
Minecraft Redstone for Dummies/ Minecraft Construction for Dummies/ Minecraft Recipes for Dummies £8.99 each
No doubt you’re all familiar with the ‘For Dummies’ series of books that can explain everything from car mechanics to raising a child! These ones focus on something far more complicated – Minecraft!
The big book is an introduction to the whole kaboodle and is perhaps especially useful for parents wanting to work out what it is their child has been doing for the past eight hours – and to younger kids who want to find out what all the fuss is about.
More useful to the more seasoned player are the Construction, Redstone and Recipes books – which are also easier to hold in their Portable Edition formats than the rather wieldy large book.
Discover how to build a sphere, find out how fluids work in your Minecraft world and even how to make a garden in the Construction book.
Using Redstone the player can power machines, create a custom world and generally do all kinds of fab stuff, while the Recipes book lists what you need to create all kinds of useful stuff such as weapons and armour and how to enchant, repair and farm.
For anyone who likes their kids’ screen time to be ‘educational’, the fact that these books offer up commands that need to be typed in to allow all this cool stuff to happen definitely opens up the world of coding and programming to kids and lets them see the workings behind all this computer wizardry, rather than just pressing ‘turn’ and ‘fire’ buttons!
We have three copies of Minecraft for Dummies to give away! Enter our competition - closing date 15 April
Beast Quest: Early Reader Vedra & Krimon Twin Beasts of Avantia
By Adam Blade £4.99
If your son enjoys the Beast Quest books but is not quite ready to read them himself, this early reader book could be just the answer. Aimed at those learning to read, it’s a welcome antidote to some of the school readers, which don’t always appeal!
In this edition, New Beasts have been created in Avantia - twin dragons Vedra and Krimon. But the Wizard Malvel plans to capture them, so Tom has to take the dragons into hiding. Can he save the twin Beasts from the evil spell?
Shadow of the Zeppelin: A Story of World War One
By Bernard Ashley £6.99 Orchard Books
For our older readers this one. For anyone who has been studying the First World War at school, this book brings it to life, offering a better idea of how it was for the people back home in England, as well as taking the reader on an adventure across Europe.
The story is conveyed from three perspectives – Freddie Castle who lives in Woolwich, his brother Will, a soldier on the frontline in France, and Ernst, a Zeppelin crew member who has orders to bomb London.
As well as the adventure, there’s plenty to get the reader thinking – conscientious objectors, a Jewish German who doesn’t want to bomb innocent people in London – there’s lots that can be discussed around the whole issue of war and the people involved in it.
What books would you recommend for the 4-11 age group?