Busy Cafe; Busy Vet

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Louise Forshaw,  Busy Café,  Campbell Books/Pan Macmillan Australia, 25 July 2017,  10pp., $6.99 (board book), ISBN 9781509828739
Louise Forshaw,  Busy Vet,  Campbell Books/Pan Macmillan Australia, 25 July 2017,  10pp., $6.99 (board book), ISBN 9781509828746

Practically indestructible, these charming new board books in the Busy series tick all the boxes for hard-wearing toddlers. Interactive wheels and sliders instantly engage readers and double thick card stock ensures that engineered elements (five for each book) cannot come adrift. Sliding tabs make a reassuring clunk and especially effective is the rattling ‘smoothie mixer’ in Busy Café.  The digital illustrations fit perfectly with the movements and manage to be both bright and colourful whilst introducing readers to a more sophisticated palette. Each scene carries character and narrative in a delightfully simplified perspective. My favourite aspect of this series are the clever inclusions of modern aspects of everyday life – the card swipe producing a cash register bill in Busy Café and the technical equipment in Busy Vet. Even adults will be returning to pages to find more details. These books will exercise curiosity and motor skills with pre-schoolers as they push, pull and spin their way through lovely little stories.

Reviewed by Liz Anelli

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