There are some books that absolutely jump off the shelves at you. And in my case, as far as Daddy BookBairn needs to know, they literally ju...

Touch Think Learn

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 BookBairn 6 Comments

There are some books that absolutely jump off the shelves at you. And in my case, as far as Daddy BookBairn needs to know, they literally jump off the shelves, pay for themselves and magically land in my shopping bag.

When browsing in our favourite bookshop, (see our blog post here, but, in short, they have a great collection and they give you free tea or coffee - what's not to love, right?) I discovered a beautiful series of books and couldn't help but get my hands on them*.

There are many different versions of touch and feel books out there: the Usbourne 'That's Not My...' series being incredibly popular (and seriously good fun) as well as books with die-cuts like the My Little World series, as well as many other variations of books with holes, flaps, fluff, glitter and all other manner of sensory stimuli. But these books from Xavier Deneux are a format unlike any of the others, and therefore are incredibly special, amongst their peers.

Featuring spreads that have one page with raised shaped objects that neatly fit into the scooped cutouts on the opposite page, they are such a wonderful multi-sensory books with key vocabulary of essential concepts. BookBairn loves looking at the bold, bright illustrations and tracing her fingers over the raised and cutout shapes as well as beginning to say the names of the pictures (the farm animals and vehicles are her favourites). We have the 'farm', 'homes' and 'vehicles' books and BookBairn adores turning their pages. The books are super-sturdy but this also makes it much easier for her to turn the pages by herself.

Not only do the pages feature a fantastic multi-dimension illustration that is incredibly dynamic for little readers, each page is focuses on a key piece of vocabulary depending on the primer. This format allows little ones to discover the connections between the words and objects by exploring them with their little fingers. If you think I'm overstating these books' potential for language learning, watch BookBairn in the video below. Here she is reading the 'Vehicles' book and is looking for her favourite page with the hot air balloons on it (she can also say 'car' and 'boat' but I didn't capture that unfortunately).

A video posted by BookBairn (@bookbairn) on

What a great way for little ones to explore vocabulary! Each page also has a small cluster of other words related to the picture that allow parents, and consequently children, to explore related vocabulary and encourage further language learning and enabling children to connect appropriate vocabulary.

BookBairn is, unsurprisingly, more interested in the animal and vehicles book because she can already say some of these words and has had lots of exposure to books, as well as real life experiences, about them. The 'Homes' book is one she will most likely grow into, but for the moment, I would recommend the other two books higher. There is also a fourth book in the series 'Baby Animals' which I lusted after in the bookshop but alas it has not launched itself into my shopping bag.

These books really put the world as the tip of a tiny finger!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*  For the first time, I decided to try requesting books directly from the publisher and was delighted that Chronicle Books agreed! *DISCLAIMER* I was given our books for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.


  1. Primer and concept books can be so much fun! I often get frustrated at how unoriginal they can be, so I'm so glad you discovered Xavier Deneux! The work in his books is beautiful and informative (which is such a rare combo)!


    1. They are lovely Mel! And have trickier vocabulary for readers as they get older - I love it when books grow with the children. Makes the investment all the more worthwhile and with so many good books to choose from it's important for me that I know we will get value for money from our books! x

  2. I'm sure 'Baby Animals' will make it into one of BookBairn's family's shopping bag.

  3. I can see these going on Poppy's 1st birthday list. Fantastic review and what brilliant looking books. Primers with a difference :)

    1. They would make a great gift for a first birthday! Happy birthday soon Poppy! x