Product: Olly the Little White Van Books
Price: £3.99 each, except the Press-Out & Sticker Fun book which is £4.99
Age Range: 1+ for the board books, 3+ for the story books and the Sticker & Colouring Fun book, 4+ for Press-Out & Sticker Fun book
Manufacturer’s Description: Chunky Storybooks: Each of the chunky board books of Olly and his friends has painted edges and is perfect for little hands 1+. Olly the Little White Van is a favourite children’s TV show and currently airs on Milkshake.
Story Books: These wonderful story books have fabulous story lines, big pictures and are fantastic quality
Sticker & Colouring Fun: There are lots of pictures of Olly and his friends for you to colour, and you can use your stickers to decorate the pages, too!
Press-out Sticker & Activity Fun: Children will have hours of fun colouring Olly and his friends, playing with the press-out pieces, board games, stickers and finishing all the super-cool activities. All activities are designed to help your child practise skills such as logic and problem solving.
Rating: (4/5 stars)
Review: We were sent a selection of books based on the new Olly the Little White Van tv show that is currently aired on Milkshake, Channel 5’s kids tv offering. Georgie and Lydia don’t really watch Milkshake but I showed them the show on the 5 on Demand player and they really enjoyed it. We’d already looked at the books before I showed them the show, and Georgie was able to name the four main characters, and Olly’s driver Stan too.
The four chunky board books are suitable for babies around one. Lydia just turned one last week so she’s the perfect age for these books. She has really enjoyed looking through them, enjoying the various illustrations of the vehicles from the show.
Each book introduces a different character from the show; Olly the Little White Van, Bazza the Van, Jethro the Tractor, and Royston the Fire Engine. Each double page has a rhyming couplet about the character on the left, and a picture of the character on the right. The pictures illustrate the rhymes nicely, and the words flow nicely off the tongue.
These board books are bright and colourful. The spines are bound with fabric that matches the main colour of the book, and the edges of the pages are painted to match too. They are solid little books and feel nice & chunky in the hand. Lydia handles them easily enough, and can just about to turn the pages herself – she’s just learning to do this herself and these books are among the easiest she has to separate the pages.
Two of the books sent are picture books recommended for ages 3+ and very much enjoyed by Georgie, who will be three in a few months. The Bumpton Rally tells the tale of a rally race, with Olly and all of his friends entering to try and win. Olly The Chauffeur is a story about Sir Ronald Grump (the Alan Sugar of the show) who needs to get to an important meeting and asks Olly to help.
These story books have illustrations from the animated series on each page, usually within various shapes. The text is clear in a black, bold rounded font on a patterned background. Although the stories are enjoyable some of the language was a bit stilted, and perhaps a touch difficult for a young child. For example, “Tasha can’t see anything through the dust cloud. It causes her to veer off the road, straight into a bush.”
All of the characters in these books are likeable and they are attractive, fun books. Georgie has enjoyed them both and has asked to read them both several times. She does prefer to have these read to her rather than sitting and “reading” them aloud herself, as she does with some of her picture books. I think is because it isn’t always easy to tell what is happening in the story just from the pictures.
Georgie really liked the Olly Sticker & Colouring Fun book, and has been happily sticking the stickers in random places and doing a spot of colouring in. She likes to match stickers to the page, so quite a few of the colouring pages have the matching sticker to the character stuck on now.
There is nowhere in particular for the stickers to go in this book, it is just a slim A4 colouring book with a double page sheet of stickers to put wherever you like. I think this book may be slightly over priced for what it is, but Georgie has enjoyed it, and will continue to do so.
Lastly, we come to the Olly Press-Out and Sticker Fun activity book, which is £1 more expensive than the other books in the range. Although a little too young still for some of the activities, Georgie adored this book. There are lots of fun things to do, including matching, spot the odd one out, counting, etc. This was the first time Georgie had come across a few of the included puzzles and it was fun to teach her how to do them, now that she is that little bit more capable of problem solving.
Georgie adores stickers and so the fact that most of the puzzles in the activity book ended with a reward of sticking down an answer really encouraged her to do them, rather than just going through and sticking everything in sight and then abandoning the book. It was definitely a book for her to do whilst sat with an adult at this age, although I think in a few years she could have possibly managed most of it on her own.
The activity book comes with a free door hanger and board game. Georgie had never played a board game before and I think she did remarkably well! You cut out characters to play with, and a spinner to stick a pencil through to use for a dice. The board has the usual “go back three spaces” because something happened type of places. Georgie is still a little young for board games and did get a bit bored towards the end, but generally really enjoyed herself.
Overall I think this is a lovely set of children’s books which are very good for tv show companions. I would definitely recommend buying them for young fans of the show.
I give the Olly series of books 4 stars.