Choose Your Own Adventure middle grade books were my absolute favourite as a child and I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover similar-style picture books when I had my daughters. Quarto have launched a brand new series of choose books called Let’s Tell a Story. The first two are Fairy Tale Adventure and Space Adventure, written by Lily Murray and illustrated by Wesley Robins and Grace Boruch, respectively.
Both books follow the same structure, encouraging children to create their own adventure story. At the start is a useful “how to read this book” page, that highlights all the key features that appear on each spread. They all have a question and pictures to choose from to inspire their answer ranging from the expected to the wackiest, silliest options you can think of! How a child creates the story is up to them – they could say it out loud or write it down/ draw it as they go along. My daughter’s favourite feature was actually the little penguin who appears somewhere on each spread.
The questions are designed to help build a story from scratch, starting with the main character – who is the story about, what will they wear and where will they go and who will go with them. Then we reach the adventure itself: who will they meet and what happens when they meet the villain of the story? I particularly liked the final question: What happens next? The spread has lots of suggestions but it also leaves it open for children to continue their story and turn it into a full-on adventure saga!
Our favourite page in the fairy tale book was deciding which character would greet us on our adventure. My daughter liked spotting some familiar fairy tale characters and I was delighted to see diverse representation, such as a brown-skin Goldilocks.
In the Space book, our favourite spread was definitely deciding what planet to visit – the options were so much fun and made us want to read the book over and over again to make up new stories, visiting all the different planets. From sweet planet to eyeball planet!
The Let’s Tell a Story series is a fun and engaging way for children to enjoy storytelling. For pre-school children, it is a great way to introduce storytelling skills before they are able to read and write independently. Equally, the combination of questions and story drawings would be excellent for early years school children who are just starting their reading and writing journey as well as reluctant readers. Both fairy tale and space books would be appealing to boys and girls and I very much hope there will be more in the series!
Let’s Tell a Story: Fairy Tale Adventure was published by Wide Eyed Editions, 2 March 2021
Let’s Tell a Story: Space Adventure was published by Wide Eyed Editions, 2 March 2021
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Which Food Will You Choose? by Claire Potter & Ailie Busby
You Choose meets The Hungry Caterpillar in this fabulous interactive picture book. A grumpy mummy teaches her children the supermarket game as they choose foods of all different colours.
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copies of these books. This voluntary feature contains my honest opinion.