We’ve not done any book reviews for a while.  We’re still both reading – I completed my 2015 52 book challenge back in October, and N’s still loving his books.  Now phonics teaching has started, I’m expecting him to be reading simple words after, if not by Christmas.  Exciting times.

Recently we were sent a couple of new books from the shine-a-light books range.  I’ve not come across these before, but they’re definitely a new and unique concept.

shine-a-light books

In the books, there’s obviously the story, but some of the images are hidden from normal view.  Instead you need to hold the pages up to the light, or with a torch behind to see the full pictures.   It’s a fun way to get children interacting more with books, and wanting to read on to see the next pictures.

inside shine-a-light books
What’s in the drinks trolley?

The 2 new books, launching in January, are On the plane, and On the Space Station.  N’s been really interested in these books from their arrival, even though usually he’s not into planes or astronauts.

shine a light books to see the pictures
With the light

The books really simply explain what goes on in a plane and airport – from air traffic control, to the hold, pilots, air stewards and safety, and from a rocket launch to living on a space station.  N liked trying to guess and then spot the hidden items once the pages were held up to the light.  It’s certainly a novelty factor that works for a 4 year old.

We simply held the pages up the light rather than getting out a torch.  It worked well, although it did need holding carefully to keep the other pages from blocking the view.

The books prompted other conversations about flying and space, relating to other story books N has about the same topics.  They’re reference books, so we prefer to read them during the day rather than bedtime.

N doesn’t seem to mind, but for me the illustrations seem quite dated.  It’s probably due to the muted colours and simplicity needed for the shine-a-light component of them.  We usually like brightly coloured books, and these don’t jump out as being so.  I’d say then, that they’re better for older pre-schoolers and up who do still have staying power while ‘reading’.

If you want to try out the books, do enter my compeitiion to win one of 3 pairs of these books.  Just answer the question in the comments, and complete the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

  1. UK entry only, over 18s
  2. Giveaway closes 11.59pm 28th December 2015
  3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
  4. There are 3 prizes of 2 shine-a-sight books.
  5. The data of anyone that enters won’t be passed on to any third parties or used for any unsolicited marketing communications.
  6. Winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post, and may be shared on social media.
  7. Winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond within 2 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn.
  8. Prize will be sent out directly from the publishers in January.
  9. This giveaway may be featured on Loquax, Prizefinder and Superlucky


Disclosure: We were sent 2 books for the purpose of review. All words and opinions are my own.


  1. Leanne Perrett

    my two like all kinds of books but one of the faves is the fairy tales book they have and enjoy the three pigs most

  2. jackie curran

    My favourite book is ballet shoes , love the characters in that .

  3. Victoria Thurgood

    I look my sons new book The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home he loves seeing his name and finding our house in the book

  4. Karen Scott

    I love the Gruffalo…its fun and so cleverly written…I’m not sure if myself or my children love it more 🙂

  5. catherine devonport

    The gruffalo is my little ones favourite x

  6. Karen Howden

    I loved the enid blyton famous five books as a child I would imagine I was having their adventures

  7. Emma McCluskey

    The current favourite right now and for the last few weeks is Night Before Christmas; little one’s on a santa kick. Usually it’s Mr Men books

  8. Patricia Fraser

    We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is our favourite

  9. Sharon Freemantle

    The magic faraway Tree. It was one of the first books I ever read through choice. Up till then I hated reading, I found it hard work, something I had to do at school. I got it for Christmas & it changed everything. It opened up a whole new world for me. I love to read anything & everything.

  10. Hannah Igoe

    I love the secret garden because its a lovely story

  11. Val Pownall

    We read so many with our little ones it’s hard to choose a favourite but the Gruffalo is always in the mix. Fabulous! These books look amazing! Personally I’ve just read The Martian. Really enjoyed it! Need to watch the film now!

  12. Pauline Black

    The gruffalo is a firm fav in our house

  13. lorraine Evemy

    I love the book Marley and Me . I read it before the film came out,there were parts that were so so funny…i was reading it oo a train and looked mad laughing away to myself. But it was also so very sad. A real insight into the amazing bond and love these dogs bring to our world xx

  14. kelly holden

    Ghee tiger who came to tea – its a classic

  15. Wendy Becker

    Wind in the willows loved it since childhood

  16. Hayley Todd

    My all-time favourite book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This wonderful book introduced me to and developed in me, a huge love a literature, which led on to my degree and career now!

  17. My favourite kids book is Dogger and has been since I was small! I can’t read it to my daughter though with requiring tissues!

  18. Meena has

    We love the Gruffalo in our house. Great story and fun to read!

  19. Gill Mitchell

    I love Little Women. I love the family values that are in it, and it’s such a lovely story. I look forward to introducing my children to it as they get older.

  20. sharon martin

    i’ve always liked the velveteen rabbit, it was my favourite childhood book and has become my childrens favourite, its a sweet beautiful story

  21. Kayleigh-Anne Watkins

    My 3 year old daughter absolutely loves reading, we enjoy lots of different books, but she absolutely loves the Gruffalo books, she loves doing the actions as we read xXx

  22. Rebecca Powell

    I love The Lovely Bones – a brilliant story

  23. Averil Lea

    My granddaughters love the Magic Rainbow Fairies

  24. David Crabb

    My favourite book is Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky for the way it examines the human condition.

  25. Jade Hewlett

    Monkey puzzle because it has great pictures

  26. Pam Francis Gregory

    Winnie the Pooh as its a classic

  27. betony bennett

    Richard Scarry books are so fun 😀

  28. christine westlake

    grandaughter love apple tree farm books

  29. Brenda Wilkes

    Love the Puddle Lane series – reminds me of my son’s childhood.

  30. Sheri Darby

    We love Winnie The Pooh, because he is a bear of very little brain

  31. Vickie Jackson

    The Gruffalo. It’s been my favourite for a long time (since I was a nursery nurse) and I read it to my kids when I was pregnant too. I make sure we do lots of voices too!!

  32. amy rennocks

    The wrong way around world.. It always raises a few laughs! <3

  33. Rich Hill

    From The Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple – quite simply the best travel book I’ve ever read!

  34. donna l jones

    The Hungry Caterpillar my son loves it

  35. sarah clegg

    The Hungry Caterpillar loved it as a kid-classic!!

  36. Tarbs Gill

    Paper dolls by Julia Donaldson… only became known to me as my children keep asking me to read it.. it’s beautifully written and leaves a large emotional lump in my throat 🙂

  37. The Hungry Caterpillar. Love the holes in the board book.


    The Owl who was afraid of the dark by Jill Thomlinson. It reminds me of school and sitting round litening to stories by my favourite teacher, Mrs Peaker. She used to do fab voices for it. I’ve just bought it for Eli too.

  39. Monica Gilbert

    I have fond memories of reading the Little House on the Prairie series.

  40. Robyn Logan Clarke

    Anything by Richard Scarry, I love him as a child and my son and daughter both love him, brilliant stories and lovely illustrations.

  41. Julie Ward

    Grandsons is Horrid Henry, mine are any by Josephine Cox

  42. Keith Hunt

    famous five go off in a caravan as i got it in devon on holiday in 1970s.

  43. Harry Potter, liked it when I was younger, still like it now and so do the kids!

  44. lynn HEATH

    My favourite book to read to the kids is called the mummy shop as we can do lots of silly voices for the different characters!!!

  45. Becca Staples

    We love Stickman as we love the pictures and know it off by heart nearly x

  46. Rebecca Taylor

    The Hungry Caterpillar, just love the story

  47. Rachel Butterworth

    The Jolly Postman. I used to love reading all the little letters.

  48. Lara Latchem

    Love the faraway tree due to the magical story’s it contains

  49. Rachel Craig

    From the books in the prize :- On the Plane, useful for interacting with child in preparation for a flight on a plane. I like the Very Hungry Caterpillar.


    The Tiger Who Came To Tea has been a favourite of mine ever since I first read it x

  51. nicola clarkson

    Were going on a bear hunt, the kids love it

  52. Sam Goodwin

    We really love ‘Room on a Broom’ 🙂

  53. aaron broad

    I liked reading the diary of adrian mole

  54. Tracy Newton

    I love anything by Julia Donaldson. The illustrations and language used brings the story to life and engages my little one

  55. Kay Panayi

    When reading with my children I still love the jolly postman

  56. melanie stirling

    The Famous Five were my favourite as a child,I don’t have a favourite adult book but I love reading psychological thrillers.

  57. Leanne V Mckenna

    I loved anything Enid Blyton as a child, now as a adult its Harry Potter!

  58. laura stewart

    i like Stephen king books great writer x

  59. Katie Skeoch

    Our favourite book to read is the little red hen & the 3 little pigs

  60. Laura Pritchard

    My favourite book is Perdido Street Station, and my son’s is The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson

  61. sarah rees

    dear zoo, first book my little dude ‘read’ to me

  62. Jo Hutchinson

    I loved I’Houdini the great escape artist hamster because it was very funny and I love hamsters.

  63. Samantha loughlin

    Tiger who came to tea as reminds me of my childhood xx

  64. Michaela Hannah

    I love the tiger who came to tea because it’s such a random story but the kids love it!

  65. Ruth Harwood

    We do love a bit of Dr Seuss Green Eggs and Ham its fun and easy to read

  66. ashleigh allan

    the tiger who came to tea- i loved it as a child and my kids love it too! Its a funny story!

  67. Tracy Nixon

    I love the Gruffalo – lovely plot and gorgeous illustrations!

  68. Nicki Evans

    I love the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton because it is so imaginative and magical.

  69. Kim Neville

    I liked all the Enid blyton books and my favourites were secret seven

  70. Susan Lloyd

    I still love Malory towers, and luckily my daughter does too! X

  71. laura banks

    i always liked a book called mervyn the mouse my mum used to read it and did loads of voices

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