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Children’s Book to Puzzle

Paul Adshead is an author and illustrator who weaves magical tales (with an environmental conservation message) about wildlife and adventure in his intricately illustrated books.

Puzzle Island is one of Adshead’s most popular titles (it has sold over one million copies) and is about Ambrose Fogarty, who is doing research on the island. He stumbles upon two animals, a male and a female, of a species that is thought to have been extinct for hundreds of years. Fogarty wants to return the animals to their original habitat. However, he travels on and off the island in a hot air balloon and can only take one of the animals with him. He writes the reader a letter asking for help to relocate the female animal. He is concerned that someone may exploit the animal and has therefore hidden it somewhere on Puzzle Island, leaving clues. In the book are eleven paintings of different locations around the island and in them are hidden the word and picture clues which will lead you to the identity and location of the animal.
Puzzle Island is an engaging way for youngsters to learn the alphabet and he text is rich with information and descriptive imagery that will power along your child’s vocabulary.
Around the World with Phineas Frog is a book and geographical puzzle in one. Travelling frogs Phineas Phineas and his daughter visit different countries of the world and the reader is challenged to identify each place by clues like landmarks, cities and costumes. (Phineas’ daughter likes spending his money on souvenirs at each place they visit.) This story is told in rhyme that makes it accessible and entertaining for all abilities. Suitable for ages eight to 16.
A Peacock on the Roof is the true story of a peacock family that lived in Adshead’s garden. Prince is the peacock of the title. A strange cat frightens Prince’s peachicks up a tree but Prince is too busy trying to get attention to help guard his family. There are extra fun activities to have with this book by exploring the illustrations to find cats and words cleverly hidden in the artwork. There are many educational benefits to this title for ages three to 10 including vocabulary development, visual imagery, discussion on care of animals and birds and extended thinking skills. The story is divided into six chapters and each chapter introduces a new character (a great way to introduce children to the use of chapters).
Similarly, The Chicken Who Could Swim is another tale of birds that live in Adshead’s garden. (He is known as “the man who loved birds’’.) When a ducking is hatched by a chicken, it thinks she is its mother. What will happen when it joins its brothers and sisters in the pond? There are also puzzles of hidden mice and words on every page.
One Odd Old Owl is a charming story about the owl whose snoring keeps a slow, sleepy snail awake. The snail attempts to rally all the birds who come by her tree to help her wake the owl so she can sleep. They clitter-clatter, shout, shriek, screech, squawk, whirr, sing, quack, knock, hammer, chirp, chirrup and cheep… “But One Odd Old Owl continues to sleep”.  Can Princely Peacock wake up that owl?  This book is lots of fun and has puzzles to be solved, including one where the snail (who still can’t sleep!) hides the names of 56 birds and her name too. If you find all the names, you can use them to discover the snail’s secret message.
The Red Herring Mystery introduces children to problem solving in a creative and colourful way (the illustrations are stunning). Adshead gives the reader the role of assistant detective who must gather clues from the text and illustrations to help solve the mystery of a disappearing fish-shaped ruby. Suitable for ages five to adults.
Adshead is world-renowned and loved for his complex and intricately illustrated books and puzzles contained within them.
Any of these titles would make a great gift or Christmas stocking-stuffer.


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