Art, Arts and Crafts, Book Reviews

Book Review: Usborne Children’s Books

I am such a fan of the Usborne Books.  I first found one in the library and then another, and then another and began to notice that I kept checking out books by the same company.  They are beautiful books, full of pictures and  colors and yet they are very simple.

The Usborne Publishing company was founded in the UK in 1973 and they publish all sorts of books for children –  fiction, non-fiction, etc. on a broad range of topics.  Their website can be found here.  While I am not intending to sell their books, I do recommend taking a look at them.  I think that they are very user friendly for families.

Recently I asked for two of the drawing paperbacks for Christmas (I know,  a geeky gift and I’m sure that my sis-in-law thought that I was a nut-case!)  I am such a wretched artist, but I want to learn at least more than stick-figures.  I’ve purchased some drawings for idiots type of books, but they were so complicated that I wasn’t up to the task.  I was impressed with these books and how easily the steps were outlined.

How to Draw Princesses and Ballerinas (Usborne Activities) by Fiona Watt, 2005


My daughters are as fond of them as I am.  My six-year-old loves drawing and doing the activities and my three-year-old “reads” them to herself, sitting and making up stories.


How to Draw Fairies and Mermaids (Usborne Activities) by Fiona Watt, 2005

I believe that it is VERY important that as parents, we provide non-electronic (i.e. movies, video games, music, etc)  activities for our children whenever possible.  They need to learn how to be unplugged as much as they need to learn how to be plugged in!

  • What non-electronic activities do your children do?
  • Any similar art book suggestions, especially “boy” books ?

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Usborne Children’s Books”

  1. James just likes to scribble on paper with colored pencils and crayons, so I am always buying the blank tablets of paper for him. I usually have that in my purse or bag. We also have the train sets from IKEA (they are made in Bulgaria, you know). Those are really fun, to see how many ways you can put the tracks together and then how long you can make the train. These are all non-electric as well. James also has a bunch of hot wheels cars that we race on the tile all the time. And I made him a play rug for Christmas. Which is a 3×3 square of felt with a town sewn on it. We had play rugs growing up and it was a good imagaination toy for sure. And naturally, we play FORT a lot. You know, just throw a blanket up on whatever, and you have a fort. James is a big fan of the fort. As for books, we have some Thomas the Tank Engine books that were hand me downs which are a big hit. But, James still likes to tear books a part, so I have to be very careful with what I let him play with. He doesn’t quite get being gentle with things yet.

  2. I love Usborne as well! I have several of their books…my kids have loved the geography and science HUGE encyclopedia type books, these reference websites and have been very fun and informative. I have expecially found their books “Whats happening to me” for both boys and girls to be fabulous! (the best I have found) We have used these prior to the “maturation” class at the school. Fun to sit with the kids and read it together, in bits and pieces…very comprehensive. Certinaly a few topics that are viewed differently than I believe, nonetheless, gave us a good platform for discussion! I am excited you love Usborne as much as I do!

  3. Excellent ideas, Joyce. Go Bulgarian exports! 🙂 I think anytime we can encourage play – it’s important for the kids. Development of the Imagination is key to innovation and if we want to continue to be a powerful country, we cannot afford to stifle innovation, but more on that in a future post.

    Not currently being a mother to boys, all input is appreciated!

  4. Amy, Amy, Amy!!!! LOVE YOU!!! Thanks for your thoughts. Let’s get together and talk soon. Do you distribute or know who does? (I don’t want to sell them, I just want to pick brains for their ideas.)

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