Books are 3D. I don’t meant that they are 3D in the physical sense that you can turn the pages, I mean 3D in the down the rabbit hole you go, off on an adventure of boundless possibilities 3D. Characters and places can seem so real when you read a book because they ARE real; the world they describe and create is built in your imagination and the wonderful thing about your imagination is that is has the capability to go anywhere. Up, down, in, out, there are no limits on where a book can take you or the type of 3D world it can design. Aiden has the whole ‘getting stuck into a good book’ thing totally down even at his young age. He takes books with him whenever we leave the house and he will spend hours at home happily ‘reading’ to himself, engrossed in all the world’s they conjure up.

The books Aiden absolutely loves seem to fall into two camps. The first are the ones with pretty linear plots like the Apple Tree Farm books or Maisey books. He likes reading these books with someone else and repeating the story over and over to lend weight to the world it describes. These books teach Aiden about the real world and he is always fascinated by the order things happen in and the ‘right’ way these world’s exist. The second type of book he absolutely adores are extremely complicated and highly detailed books. Books aimed at children much older than he is (often for 10+ or actually adult reference books) He enjoys sitting and exploring these world’s on his own, examining every single tiny piece of information that a book on say the Solar System, might have to offer. These books prompt questions after much time spent studying them and they allow for his imagination to fill in the gaps as well as Mum and Dad. I think both these types of books have an important role to play in Aiden’s love of reading in very different wonderful ways. I was intriqued then when Laurence King publishers sent us some other types of books that I didn’t think fell into either of these camps. I was excited to see what Aiden would make of them and how they would compare to his favourite style of books as the these books take the 3D to a whole new level!

Make and Move: Minibeasts by Sato Hisao (£8.99)

From the very sight of this book Aiden was intriqued and he told me straight away that this is a book Mum would have to read with him. So after putting his sister down for a nap we decided to take a look. This is the type of activity you do not want to do in a rush! Unfortunately life got in the way of our excellent plans and Faye woke after only a tiny nap so we didn’t get to complete a Minibeast in full but here is what we did discover.

The illustrations were extremely appealing to Aiden and I felt it was because they have struck the perfect balance between being bright and colourful whilst still being a good and relatively true representation of the creatures in real life. There are twelve Minibeasts to make in total; nine come complete in design and three you get the chance to colour in. Straight away Aiden understood that with the instructions we would be making one of them and he desperately wanted to make a grasshopper that jumped.

We have never made anything like this before but Aiden has done activities that have involved pressing the cardboard out so before I could even have a look at the instructions he was away getting the pieces ready. They pop out easily enough with a little care although this is where our problems began as Aiden ripped a piece pretty early on simply due to eagerness. I took over popping the pieces out to avoid any more insect limbs being lost to over-excitement. Now I never put much trust in age recommendations on books but in this case I think Laurence King are spot on with their suggestion of 6+. Don’t get me wrong, Aiden at not yet three completely understood the purpose of the book and desperately wanted to make a Minibeast. However as he can’t understand that level of instructions, I was having to read and make it whilst Aiden twiddled his thumbs and made it pretty hard for me to concentrate. He was sad when I said we would have to leave it for another time (perhaps a few years!) but I know when we do return to our grasshopper we are going to be as impressed and more so with this book and we will complete it!Tattoo Time: Monster Activities by Rob Hodgson (£9.95)

Keith has two relatively large tattoos, I have five, and Aiden’s Aunty (my daring wee sister) has about a bizillion of them, so to my kids tattoos are very normal. I remember absolutely adoring transfer tattoos when I was a kid so imagined Aiden would be the same. He can be a very cautious chap sometimes though and initially he did have his reservations here. Once I had explained they weren’t real like Mummy’s tattoos and they would come off,  he was a lot happier with getting one on his arm, and once it was actually on? Well he loved it so much he cried when it started to fade.

I loved this book for many reasons, not least because the 3D nature of a monsters jumping right out of the pages of the book and sticking to Aiden’s arm, was one that filled him with delight for almost a whole week afterwards. There are 64 brightly coloured charming monster tattoos for you to choose from, none of which are remotely scary which helped! Aiden picked this orange little fellow whom he named ‘Bat Boy’ and he picked ‘Pyjama Man’ for me.

There are doubles of each tattoo and thank heavens for that as Aiden really got upset at the thought of his one vanishing. Telling him we could put the same chap on again next week cheered him no end. Not sure what we will do the week after next though! The double tattoos would be extremely useful with siblings too I imagine although we didn’t give Faye one this time.

The transfer itself could not have been easier. You cut out the monster you want, remove the clear plastic and place face down on skin. Then just dab a damp cloth over it for less than a minute and peel the paper off. Aiden was thrilled to see the tattoo so quickly and I was hugely impressed with the quality of transfer and how vibrant the colours were.

The thing that makes this book so much more than just high quality transfer tattoos is that the book also contains 32 pages of fun monster activities. These range from simple drawing propts such as adding arms and legs onto a monster body through to more complex puzzles to solve. As Aiden loves looking through books, even though he couldn’t complete some activities how there were intended (The book is recommended 5+) He had a lot of fun looking at the playful illustrations and asking me about all the games. This will definitely be a book we return to as he grows  (and definitely next week again to pick a new tattoo!)

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze by Hiro Kamigaki and IC4 DESIGN (£14.95)

When I was a child I absolutely loved Where’s Wally. I loved trying to find tiny microscopic details and Aiden is just like me. He has a crazy good memory and is exceptionally observant, often spotting tiny details in books that I am sure only he and the illustrator know about. I was certain then that Aiden was going to enjoy this book and I was not wrong. As you can see from the snaps I took, he didn’t even have time to look up from this book and give me a smile, such concentrating was going on!

The attention to detail in the drawings is astounding. Aiden has spent hour upon hour looking at a tiny section on one page and finding so many great details. This book isn’t just a search and find book, each double page is a giant maze! And as if that wasn’t cool enough, throughout the book there is a continuing detective mystery to follow. The many levels to this book are seemingly limitless as there are characters to chase through the mazes, items to find, puzzles to solve with clues, and so many additional stories going on in the illustrations that I foresee Aiden returning to this book time and time again for many many years. And when the kids are sleeping, I’ll be on the hunt for that pesky Mr X myself!

All three of the above books are available from the Laurence King website along with a huge range of other amazing children’s and grown-ups literature.

A few weeks ago I started a new linky and hashtag for you all to get involved with. The idea behind #PaperParadise is twofold. A hardback and a paperback version if you will.

Firstly with the hardback linky, folks with have a central place to come and read a (hopefully) large range of fantastic blog posts on books, theatre, and art. I couldn’t live without any of these three and am always looking to be inspired by exposure to new pieces of art. What better why to do that then through those fantastic reviews, accounts, and musings that bloggers are so good at.

Secondly with the paperback hashtag #Paperparadise I would love it is people regardless of having a blog post (or ever without a blog!) would us the #Paperparadise across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest whenever they want to share some paper love however big or small. Reading your favourite book for the 30th time and put a pic on IG? Tag the community. Equally if your kid has drawn a squiggle that us not dissimilar to a Picasso,  we want to see it and hear about it.

This is a very relaxed linky. A linky for anything that started it’s life on paper. Books (a firm favourite here). Theatre (think scripts). Art (think sketch book). Music (think sheet music). Heck even film and cinema as they would have once been ideas in a note book. If you have written a review or a post about any of these things and they joy (or pain!) they bring, we would love to have you link up so we can read all about it.

Here’s the ins and outs of the linky…

Please encourage all to join in!

        • #paperparadise will run whenever I have something to share with you or when I need some inspiration. It can be found right here with me at One of Each)
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      • Use the tag #paperparadise in your comments so the recipients know how you found them
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