What makes a great children’s book?

With so many wonderful children’s books available, it can be difficult to choose which ones to read to your children, or ask them to read to you, but what makes a great children’s book?

Reading is one of those fantastic hobbies which brings people both joy, and education, and encouraging children to read for pleasure from an early age is a great way to give them a love of books which can last a lifetime, so choosing the right books to start their journey with is important.

Strong characters

When the characters in a children’s book are strong, easy to identify with, and able to evoke emotions, the story itself will be wonderfully engaging and will give the child plenty to think about too.

If a child cares about the characters in the book, they will be more likely to ask questions, and will have a greater interest in what is going to happen to them throughout the story.

Characters can take many forms, including people, animals, or aliens, but as long as they have personalities and traits that children understand, they will find their way into their hearts.

Teaches lessons

There’s a whole variety of lessons that can be taught via books, and a lot of the time it is not even obvious to children that they are learning as they read.

Although books which teach children how to identify letters, numbers, and colours, are easy to recognise as educational books, there are others which subtly teach children about life skills, such as manners, diversity, and acceptance, which are extremely valuable.

Engaging illustrations

Eye-catching illustrations are a great way to keep young children engaged when they are reading, and they really help them to use their imagination and understand the story and characters.

Children’s books with bold pictures are often popular, but fussy illustrations can be a bit overwhelming and might distract from the text, so choosing a book with more simple drawings may be the best option.

Structured plot

The best children’s books are those which have a solid structure to the plot, and include characters moving towards an end goal.

Selecting books for your children which have a strong beginning, middle, and end, including an obstacle that the characters need to overcome, a problem to solve, or something that they need to achieve, are sure to keep them entertained!

This will also help them to understand how books are structured, and how stories are formed.

As you can see, there are a variety of factors which can make a great children’s book, but the most important thing is that your child enjoys them, as everyone has different preferences when it comes to their favourite reading material!

The BuZZy Friends children’s books tick off each point on this list as the include a ‘BuZZy Code’ which teaches children how to be lovely people, includes bold illustrations but the talented Nick Owen, and they each see the friends going on an adventure, and learning along the way!



Five reasons why playing an instrument is great for children

A fabulous hobby for any child, playing a musical instrument is a creative and educational way to spend time, and kids have such a fun time learning how to make music.

There are loads of advantages associated with learning how to play an instrument, and the earlier that children start, the more they will benefit!

Improves memory

Playing an instrument gives the brain an amazing cognitive workout, and this helps to improve the way that memories are created, stored, and retrieved.

This is ideal for children who are often busy learning new information, especially during the school day, as it means that they will find it easier to retain and process the lessons that they are being taught.

Teaches them patience

Learning how to play a musical instrument takes a lot of time and perseverance, which will help children to understand how to be patient in order to achieve both long and short term goals.

It will also help them to appreciate the importance of practicing and working hard to reach their targets, whether this is a song that they want to play, or if they want to earn their place in a school band.

Gives them the opportunity to get creative

When children pick up a musical instrument, they have the opportunity to express themselves and have fun creating new sounds in a learning environment.

This is ideal for children who may otherwise have difficulty in expressing their feelings, as it allows them to grow their confidence and find enjoyment in being creative.

Creates an understanding of culture

Through learning how to play a musical instrument, children can find out information about the history of music, and a variety of music genres, which will begin to give them an understanding of different cultures and how music plays an important part in so many of them.

It’s a great social activity

Hobbies offer children plenty of opportunities to meet those with similar interests, and learning to play a musical instrument is no different.

By taking group lessons, joining the school orchestra, or starting their own band, children can make lots of new friends who share their creativity and love of music.

If these benefits have encouraged you to get your children playing a musical instrument, our BuZZy Band in Fairyland Gift Set is a great way to get them started.

Including a tutorial book, colouring pens, and an original Clarke tin whistle, this set provides everything they need to learn how to play this classic instrument.

The Amazing Benefits of Rhyming Books

It is a well-known fact that children can build and improve their reading, writing and communication skills through being read books, but did you know that listening to rhyming books could make children even more successful in these areas?

Rhyme, rhythm and repetition all help to boost children’s language skills, which is why reading them rhyming books is such a fantastic way to get them prepared for the world of literacy and communication.

The steady beat that runs through rhyming books is one of the key elements for helping children to understand the flow of a book and, in time, become strong readers.

And, being a strong reader gives children plenty of benefits, including being better at expressing themselves, increasing their confidence, and helping them to become more creative.

Helping children to become familiar with rhyming words is a great way to encourage them to detect the sounds that make up each word, which gives them an understanding of phonetics.

As children begin to learn that rhyming words end with the same sound, they will be able to break down words into sections, and this will help them to create longer words in time.

This also works well when children are learning to write, as once they know how to spell a certain sound they will be able to apply this to all rhyming words which use the same sound, and gain an understanding of spelling sequences.

Children also enjoy listening to, and reading, rhyming books as they involve a lot of voice inflection which really helps them to develop an understanding of different sounds.

To get your children involved when you are reading them a rhyming book, point out the rhyming words as they occur and then ask them to suggest more words that rhyme with them. It is also fun to create rhyming songs or games around the words found in the story.

By reading rhyming books to children, not only are you helping them to understand how different words and sounds are linked, but it also gives them enjoyment which will promote an important love of books and language.

Our collection of BuZZy Friends books are written in rhyme, and accompanied by bright, engaging pictures, which are sure to keep your children entertained. If you have questions about any of our books, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Why Author School Visits are Great

BuZZy Friends author Michael Walter loves visiting schools to read his books to the children, and particularly likes to answer their questions and hear what they think about the books and characters.

There are many ways that schools and children can benefit from having an author visit, aside from having a fun time listening to a story.

Reading and writing are two very important skills to learn, but encouraging children to do so can be difficult, so anything that can help to motivate them to take part in these activities for pleasure is invaluable.

Through reading books, children can improve their cognitive development, increase their breadth of vocabulary, and grow their comprehension and grammar skills, all of which are particularly important as they start their school education.

Following an author visit to a school, it has been found that children feel more inspired to read for pleasure and visit the library more often. In fact, author visits have been responsible for raising the profile of school libraries and increasing their use, even by children who wouldn’t normally choose to borrow books.

Authors can bring their books to life like no one else can, and this really helps children to engage with the story and the characters. Giving the book this added dimension means that children will feel creative and imaginative following the reading, and will be more likely to want to write or read a story themselves.

Having to opportunity to ask an author questions gives children a better understanding of the book writing process, how a book is put together, and how long everything takes. This is an insight that they may not get otherwise, and it really helps to give children a better appreciation of books and the work that goes into them.

Having someone new and exciting in the school telling the children how important it is to read lots of books and work on their writing is a great way to reinforce what their teachers tell them during their lessons. There can also be activities or workshops linked to the story which fit well with the school curriculum.

For any children who aspire to be an author or illustrator, meeting one in person is a fantastic way to give them the belief that they can reach that dream, and it might encourage other children to feel the same way too.

Children love the opportunity to sit and listen to a story, and with all of these benefits available, author visits are a great idea for any school to get involved with.

If you’d like Michael to arrange a visit to your child’s school, or if you are a teacher yourself, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would love to hear from you.

3 Benefits of Reading to Children

We love books here at BuZZy Friends, not only are they fun and engaging but they also help us to broaden our minds and become more creative ourselves.

Sharing books with others, especially children, is beneficial to everyone involved and creates a really great experience.

These are our three favourite benefits of reading books to your children:

Reading prepares them for school

Reading to children is the perfect way to prepare them for school as it teaches them lots of the skills required to learn new information effectively.

Sitting and listening to you reading a book will improve your child’s ability to concentrate and focus, and will also get them used to absorbing new information.

Try encouraging your child to ask questions about the story once you have finished reading the book. Not only will this help to develop their vocabulary skills, but it will also help them to get used to seeking answers and explanations.

In addition to this, try reading books on the topic of starting school so that your child will begin to form an idea of what to expect.

Reading feeds their imagination

Books are full of fantastic adventures and exciting characters, and stories are quite often accompanied by wonderful illustrations, all of which are fantastic for fuelling a child’s imagination.

To engage their imagination even further, try asking your child to draw their own book character, or make up their own story based on the characters in the book you have read to them. As they get older you can ask them to write these down too!

You can also try using props to tell the story and encourage them to do the same. This adds another imaginative dimension to the story and gives children the opportunity to be even more creative.

Reading creates quality time

Taking the time to sit with your child and read a book can really help to strengthen the bond between you, and it is a great activity for when you both need a bit of time to relax.

Linking reading to spending quality time with you will also help your child to develop a positive attitude towards reading for pleasure, meaning that it could be a hobby they carry through to adulthood.

Keep in mind that your child is likely to want to copy the things that you do, so if they see you enjoying a book or magazine, they will be encouraged to pick one up themselves.

There are plenty more reasons why reading to children is beneficial, so take some time to get lost in a great story together today.

If you’re looking for a new book series to enjoy, why not take an adventure with Harty Hedgehog and his BuZZy Friends. The first book in the series introduces the characters in charming rhymes, and takes a look at our wonderful ‘BuZZy Code’.

Celebrating World Book Day

On Thursday 2nd March, children around the world will taking part in the 20th World Book Day, where authors, illustrators, books and reading will be celebrated for the day across 100 countries.

Reading is such an important part of a child’s education, and this day gives them the chance to share their favourite books, discuss their favourite authors, and dress up as their favourite characters, all while raising money for charity.

Children are given the opportunity to buy a new book with a voucher provided by World Book Day from many independent book shops, supermarkets and larger book stores, to get them even more excited about reading.

To further encourage people to take part in this day, schools are provided with resource packs including several fun, book-related activities, and display materials for their classrooms. There are also plenty of tips and some great inspiration available on the World Book Day website.

If you’re looking for a simple, book related activity to try out at home, we have provided some colouring-in pages on our website which you can download. We would love to see your children’s BuZZy creations!

The BuZZy Friends would be delighted to be part of your World Book Day celebrations, and our colourful and engaging books are written in rhyme which we have found to be really popular with our young readers.

We are currently offering free UK delivery for orders over £10 across our book range, so you can start your BuZZy collection, or add to your existing one, and enjoy this special offer.