Tag Archives: board book

Brady Plays the Fiddle by Melissa Auell


Brady Plays the Fiddle by Melissa Auell, 16 pages, picture e-book, published by Jade River Publishing in 2017.

Brady the Badger is interested in learning to play an instrument. His parents take him to a bluegrass festival where he hears some instruments being played and gets to meet the musicians.

Brady Plays the Fiddle is a sweet and lyrical story which introduces a range of string musical instruments to young children. Each instrument is played by a different animal.

The story is told through rhyme, which is best read aloud. My kids immediately asked me what bluegrass was. If I was reading this to a class, I think it would be useful to have some samples of bluegrass music for the children to listen to. And of course, if possible, the actual instruments from the story. It would make an awesome music lesson to read the book, and then try out a mandolin or a dobro!

The illustrations were very bright and reasonably simple. I think that they would appeal to young children. However, I felt that the illustrations of Brady lacked continuity between the first couple of pages and the rest of the book. This may have just been my perception as he went from being drawn from the front, to being seen side-on. His nose was also a darker shade of pink and his fur a darker grey in the later pages. I know it seems pedantic, but initially I didn’t realise that both badgers were Brady.

My favourite illustration was on the front cover; there Brady is feeling the music and obviously enjoying himself. The background to this page is expertly coloured too. It really was an excellent choice for the cover.

Brady Plays the Fiddle is a nice book most suitable for toddlers, preschoolers and lower primary school children. It is a great way to introduce these instruments to children and would make an useful addition to preschool music programs.


*I received this book as a digital edition from the author in exchangeĀ for an honest review. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.



Dino Shapes by Suse MacDonald


IMG_5268Dino Shapes by Suse MacDonald, board book, published by First Little Simon in 2014, previously published as Shape by Shape in 2009.

My toddlers are obsessed with dinosaurs at the moment. As soon as they saw this cute little board book, they wanted it. It has been read over and over and over… They love it. I also like it, it has been helpful in teaching them some shapes.

Each page is a bold colour, the text is easy to read and simple. It starts with two black circles for eyes, and each page uses a new shape in the story, adding detail to the dinosaur. There are cut-outs on the pages for each shape the story uses. These accumulate to provide the final picture. It is quite clever really, though as far as I know, Brachiosaurus didn’t have big pointy triangular teeth!

Inside the front cover there are also different shapes printed in bright colours with the name of the shape beneath each one. I often ask my toddlers to point out certain shapes before we read the story. They like to repeat the names of the shapes after I read them out too.

Dino Shapes comes in a sturdy board book format and is perfect for babies and toddlers.