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Christmas Puzzles: Minkie Monster Saves Christmas (Preschool Puzzlers) (Volume 4) Paperback – October 12, 2016
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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Christmas Puzzles: Minkie Monster Saves Christmas is a puzzle and game book for pre-school children, written and illustrated by Ceri Clark. Minkie Monster has special plans for his holiday trip. He's going to meet Santa Claus, but when Minkie arrives at the North Pole, he's surprised to find that there's nobody around. Even Santa's workshop is deserted, and the only sound he can hear in there is a clock ticking. But then, he hears a sigh and finds an exhausted elf who explains the problem. Santa's gone. He left a note explaining how tired he is and that he needs a rest -- but the presents must be delivered on time. The elf asks Minkie to put on Santa's suit, get the reindeer ready, and save the day. Each page of Minkie's holiday story includes a puzzle, game or educational challenge geared towards kids aged 3-5 years.
Ceri Clark's puzzle and game book for pre-school children, Christmas Puzzles: Minkie Monster Saves Christmas, is guaranteed to keep children happy and entertained as they wait for Santa (or maybe, Minkie) to drop by their house with their presents. Clark's illustrations are bright, cheerful and loads of fun, and her puzzles and games are irresistible, no matter what your age. I especially appreciated the author's offer to allow parents to download extra copies of the PDF of the book from her site so children can redo the coloring pages and try the puzzles over again. Clark, a former school librarian, includes puzzles and games with varying degrees of difficulty that become more challenging as the reader progresses through the book; there's even some counting and letter tracing for more advanced readers. Christmas Puzzles: Minkie Monster Saves Christmas is most highly recommended.
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She loves colouring and spent quite a bit of time on the pages involving that, but was less interested in the puzzles – where they were straightforward she was fine, but some, such as the word search, defeated her because her letter recognition is not well enough advanced.
Personally I had a quibble with some of the story-line as certain things did not seem to quite hang together – references to the wall did not seem to fit in to me, and the use of words such as “moot” that are not everyday words that a child would come across.
That having been said, it is a very acceptable effort to engage the child in a variety of activities, including dot to dot, number recognition, tracing letters (though I think these should be larger as gross motor skills are still developing) and shapes, and I hope that the writer will continue to develop her skills in the future.
With the help of a young reader Minkie fills in for Santa and saves Christmas for everyone! Puzzles in this book become increasingly harder and include tracing, coloring, and dot-to-dot. The author cleverly provides a link in the book so the text may be downloaded and the puzzles may be completed again and again by your favorite little reader.
Want a sneak peak of the Minkie? Visit the author's website MinkieMonster.com to get a free children's ebook.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this text from the author in exchange for my unbiased review.