Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Busy Builders Kits

Airport Author: Timothy Knapman
Fire Station Author: Chris Oxlade
Construction Site Author: Katherine Sully
Illustrator: Carles Ballesteros
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Review copies: Full kits provided by publisher
Availability: On shelves now

Airport Summary:  Pack your bags and get ready for an exciting flight to a faraway destination in Busy Builders: Airport. This three-dimensional interactive kit takes young children behind the scenes at a busy airport, allowing them to see how all the flights and passengers move smoothly through the terminal. The fact book introduces kids to the various procedures at an airport—from check-in to arrival—using cute illustrations and simple text. The box folds out to form an airport terminal, and the included model pieces for the runway, air-control tower, airplane, and baggage carts provide hours of interactive entertainment.

32-page fact book
3-D airport terminal
48 model pieces

Review: The book is highly visual and includes brief blurbs to explain most things in the pictures. Children will likely bounce through the book reading the parts that interest them most. It follows the chronological procedures passengers experience. The book isn't telling a story exactly, but lays out information in a logical way.  It also includes the instructions for putting together the model pieces. The kit makes it interactive and a ton of fun. I'm looking forward to having all three kits available in a table in my library. Students will definitely enjoy putting things together. 

I tried all three kits and found all three books to be chock full of information. They are bright, colorful, and engaging. The kits are really fun to put together, but may be challenging for tiny fingers. Some guidance may be required for the very young, but the pictures are pretty easy to understand even if children can't read all of the instructions. One of the kits did give me some difficulty because the cuts in the cardboard were not lined up with the pictures, but the other two were fine. A couple of the pieces tore as I tried to fit them together so these aren't meant to be put together and taken apart hundreds of times. The cardboard will stand up to gentle play, but I am not expecting these to last a long time since I have over 500 students.

Recommendation: These are great kits for the little builders in your life. The kits are engaging and are challenging enough to keep anyone occupied for quite some time. The books add some interesting information and will likely last longer than the rest of the kit. I'm excited to share them with students this fall. They will be great to use during our community and transportation units.

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