Corina Fletcher (author, paper engineer) & Britta Teckentrup (illustrator)
Ever since their launch nearly two years ago, we have got used to Nosy Crow always going the extra mile when it comes to making children’s experience of stories interactive. Whether it is their award-winning apps, their creative doodling series (Mega Mash-Ups and Magical Mix-Ups) or their new audio book initiative, Stories Aloud, launching in January, Nosy Crow has proved over and over again that they are leaders rather than followers.
This new series, Playbooks, is just as inventive and quite frankly makes me quite jealous; jealous that my two children are now far too old to enjoy this wonderful innovation fully (though they have been quite fascinated by its paper engineering). If you thought you had seen it all with pop-up books, be prepared to be amazed with this totally new concept. Playbook Farm can be enjoyed as a regular pop-up book, but the format also enables the book to be unfolded accordion-style, allowing the book turns into a playmat, with the narrative following the unfolding process: each new cardboard uncovered brings a new element to the story, and a new element of a farming life. There is so much to discover on the pages, and that is even before you turn it into a playmat. Inside the box, young readers will also find a pouch with an assortment of cardboard farmyard animals to play with (although undoubtedly, Playmobil and other plastic figurines will eventually make their way onto the mat, which is exactly what would have happened in the Library Mice household).
Overleaf from the playmat side, young readers will find questions and snippets of information about farm animals and farm life, allowing inquisitive minds and farm fans to lean a little bit more.
It is hard to explain in words how Playbook Farm work, so here is a video produced by Nosy Crow:
Be aware that there are very small pieces in this book, and that Playbook Farm is suitable only for 3+ for this reason.
With such beautiful (and sturdy!) packaging and the endless storytelling and playing possibilities, Playbook Farm is such a wonderful gift idea, which is sure to keep young readers occupied far beyond Christmas.
Source: review copy from the publisher