And while my eight-year-old son will get some screen time during the ride, I feel the journey is just as important as the destination and it’s hard to see what is great about Canada when your nose is stuck to the screen and your mind is in your game.
So I always pack a box of toys and books including some of these new ones.
Pierre The Maze Detective, The Sticker Book
Pierre The Maze Detective, The Sticker Book ($13.99, Raincoast Books, Laurence King) is like Where’s Waldo? but instead of searching for a guy with glasses and a white and red shirt, you are looking for a list of five things for each double page spread including a model ship and a red trophy in a sea of toys, books and tools. Each page is full of stickers with several pages of more stickers – 800 in total – which you are encouraged to stick anywhere. Each maze also offers you two starred objects, which you are encouraged to stick on Pierre’s Sticker Wall.
My Nature Sticker Activity Book, In the Vegetable Garden
My Nature Sticker Activity Book, In the Vegetable Garden by Olivia Cosneau ($9.98, Raincoast Books, Princeton Architectural Press) encourages you to plant a garden of stickers or add more pears while also suggesting you colour the potato flowers or get rid of scrawny carrots by colouring over them. While I think this book is better for younger children, we did read the information from cover to cover and I learned a number of things including it’s the flowers of the artichoke you eat and they belong to the thistle family. I liked the quiz at the end to see if you were paying attention.
From Here to There A Book of Mazes To Wander and Explore
From Here to There A Book of Mazes To Wander and Explore by Sean C. Jackson ($20.95, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Books) is one of the best maze books I have seen in a while. My son used to love mazes, but they became too easy. I think these ones will be a bit harder as it the roads (maze) leads you through various towns and cities including around churches and cathedrals, houses and barns and sets of stairs. There are one- and two-page mazes as well as mazes that go in a bumpy circle. I am looking forward to trying a maze, too, but not in the car. I get carsick and the mazes make me rather dizzy when I am not moving.
Make and Move Bugs
Make and Move Bugs by Sato Hisao ($18.99, Raincoast Books, Laurence King) allows you to make 12 bugs from the grasshopper to the earwig (I hate those bugs). According to the book, the bugs are arranged in order of the technical skills to make them, from the easiest (grasshopper) to the hardest (stag beetle). I attempted to make the grasshopper and failed miserably. I am not good at following directions, particularly written ones, so I found it frustrating. My son, who is good at math and science and has much more patience then I do when it comes to directions, will have fun making and moving these creepy buys in the car.
As a note, when punching out the bugs do so on the coloured side, not the white side.
D.I.Y Dollhouse by Alexia Henrion ($34.95, Raincoast Books, Princeton Architectural Press) is a pretty cool book and offers some really great ideas to build dollhouse pieces using every day objects such as a shower with a cream cheese container and a straw. Matchboxes are used a lot in these pieces, which is unfortunate as you don’t see them around all that much any longer. However, I plan to stick a bunch of crafty things in the car – yes, including glue, beads and scissors – and I think he may enjoy making a ladder, bunk beds and a TV.
The book is pretty fantastic to look at as well. Each section is divided into the room of the house with real pictures of the items made as well as step-by-step instructions and a detailed list of the items you need.
It’s Great to Create
It’s Great to Create, 101 Fun Creative Exercises for Everyone by Jon Burgerman (Raincoast Books, Chronicle Books) appeals to me, but my son wasn’t interested in doing the activities offered in this book. I thought it would be fun to make a giant lemon, complete with a face, and put it on random items such as a construction barrier or a garbage can. I also like the Just Add Eyes section and thought it would be hilarious to include google eyes on construction cones or someone’s coffee. I suspect if he is in the car, he will find the idea of banding together a bunch of markers and colouring a picture fun to do or drawing on the rocks I will include in his box of toys. I also know he will love the front cover idea, particularly if I tell him his own spaceship creation can be posted to Twitter using the hashtag #itsgreattocreate .
A copy of each of these books were provided by Raincoast for honest review.