I have a real soft spot for beautifully designed and illustrated games and puzzles. When my children were little we bought a lot of Djeco games in France for this reason, as they often used picturebook illustrators to illustrate their products (Benjamin Chaud and Marc Boutavant to mention a few) and I was really pleased to discover that Laurence King Publishers are now offering something similar, and producing some high-quality, beautifully designed and illustrated games.


Story puzzles

These story boxes are simply genius. Both sets include twenty large double-sided puzzles pieces which allow children to create endless possibilities of stories in a linear puzzle (up to 8 feet long). They can mix and interchange the pieces to their heart’s content to amend plots and introduce twists. The pieces are big enough that they can be used with young children and the stories can of course be really short, with enough visual clues (particularly in the colours and background) to match those that might ‘go together’. But that’s not necessarily where the fun is, and children of all ages will love letting the imaginations run wild and create zany storylines.
Both sets are designed by Inca Starzinsky; the ghost story box is illustrated by Ella Bailey and the fairy tale story box by Anne Laval.

The packaging is really attractive, making both great presents.


Storytelling dice

The great thing about storytelling dice is that they can be used with any age group, in any setting: homer, preschool, primary school, secondary school, book club, even university and creative writing lessons for adults. Whether it is for creative writing or oral storytelling, the possibilities are endless and considering their price, they really are a great investment! Again Laurence King excel in the design here: beautiful wooden dice, designed by  Inca Starzinsky and illustrated by Hannah Waldron. At the moment, the themes available are: pirate, space, magic & fairy-tale and ghost. Each set comes with a little leaflet explaining the simple pictograms and rules.

Needless to say, they make perfect stocking fillers!


Scary Bingo

All children love Bingo. The rules are easy enough for young children to understand, but this game also has an ‘expert player’ level as well, making it enjoyable for older children too.  This scary bingo, designed by Elsa Benoldi and illustrated by Rob Hodgson is great fun. Hodgson’s monsters are fun rather than ‘scary’ and they all have names, which might just stimulate a bit of storytelling on the side: what is Nigel the ghost’s back story, for example? It is fun, sturdy and the box is compact enough that it can be taken on family travels. Here again the overall design includes lovely packaging so another perfect gifting opportunity. Absolute wonderful spooky fun!



All games are available now and can be purchased here


Photographs © Laurence King Publishers


Source: review copies