Wednesday, June 06, 2007

That's not my...

Publisher: Usborne
Recommended for: 0-3

If you have ever wondered what books you could possibly read to your infant, wonder no more! Your search ends in this series of touchy-feely books by Usborne Publications.


picture courtesy:

I stumbled upon them by accident, when I was browsing through the board book collection at our local library. My son was around 8 months old at that time and he was just starting to show an interest in different textures. During our reading sessions, he seemed to prefer interactive books, which invited him to participate, over regular ones, which required him to sit tight and listen.

That's not my... series fueled both those interests. All the books in this series are titled similar - the subject changes each time. Eg: That's not my lion; That's not my truck and so on. Each book has 7-8 'board pages', which are hardy enough for tiny explorers. Two things are consistent throughout the book. First, the title line which repeats itself on every page, except the last one. Second, a tiny mouse that peeks from around some corner, which we presume is the one talking.
Take the That's not my bunny as an example. The bunny on each page looks different, and something is 'wrong' with it - either its tail is too fluffy, or its ears are too hairy.To emphasize the fluffy tail, the place where the tail should be, is covered in a fluffy material. On the last page, the mouse finds its perfect bunny, whose [some feature] is so [right].

The heart of these books is neither in the text nor in the illustration, but in the different materials used to exemplify what the text claims. Sandpaper for "rough", velvet for "soft", sponge for "squashy" are just some of the creative inserts that make this series of books shine from the rest.

At 8 months, my son couldn't get enough of these, because:

  • Two short lines per page, so before he got impatient, it was time to turn the page
  • Repetitive text which he found comforting at that age.
  • Different texture, color and picture on each page.
  • Most imporantly, this was a book that encouraged him to touch, rather than not.

Last word: I am yet to come across a more interactive and engrossing set of books than this series for infants.

Rating: 5 bindis (I would rate it 6 bindis if I could! )


Praba Ram said...

Hi KM -

Great pointer! Would be very appropriate for S. I totally agree on the importance of interactive element, repetitive text and textures in board books for infants.

S and I have read Brown Bear,Brown Bear, What do you see?, and Pat the Bunny a zillion times, and we still don't seem to get bored. She is learning how to point, and loves experimenting with her forefinger/touch - an very important milestone at her stage when asked "where is the fish/cat/dog?" etc. while reading. As you can tell I am truly impressed with her pointing milestone and that's why all the bragging..

What I love about all the reviewss is the analysis of key issues( in bullet points! I am going to have to start doing that as well! :-) )Thanks!

Anusha said...

Praba - haven't tried Pat the Bunny, but Brown bear didn't make it to the hit list in ours...somehow the standard set for infants (hungry caterpillar, goodnight moon, dr seuss) were never in K's fav list...after 1y he liked some of them, but they were never near #1...dunno why!!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

One of the first books that roused interest in my 7 months old then daughter ... still one of her favourites.

Praba Ram said...

Meant to write this a while ago, KM!

Nice to see CA's comment...
We got one titled, That's not my dinosaur when S was one...thanks to your review! Wouldnt have known about this series of touchy-textury books. K got her "That's not my Puppy" from school bookfair last year.

One more textury kind we enjoyed reading when S was a baby - Animal Kisses.

Another durable cloth-based, lift-flap books called Lamaze books for babies are fun as on farm animals was in fact was our very first children's book purchase - when my 7 yr old was an infant.sigh.

Anusha said...

Praba & CA: guys, it is so nice to get feedback on a review done over 2 years ago. thanks for taking the time to write!!

Sheela said...

KM: I just went through a bunch of these Usborne touch-and-feel books with Og ...That's Not My Dinosaur seems to be the top favorite, closely followed by That's not my Truck! I never thought there could be a touch-and-feel book about trucks and back-hoes :) Thanks for posting this here... ST is all about being The Repository for children's books and we are well on our way there with such a wide spectrum of age and genres we cover :)

Arundhati said...

Got to this review quite by chance, makes me nostalgic. This used to be my now 5 yo's fav series when he was a baby. I still remember the bunny and penguin ones!

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