Book review: Bobo and Co Opposites and Shapes by Nicola Killen.

First concept books are a great at introducing young readers to themes, ideas and relationships. These type of books help children learn about concepts which are age appropriate but aim to do so in a fun and creative way.

Two brilliant books perfect for younger readers were recently published. Bobo and Co Shapes and Bobo and Co Opposites both by Nicola Killen. It was lovely to be introduced to a different author and illustrator who creates such adorable books.


I don’t think I will ever tire from looking at first concept books. Thankfully for me my youngest daughter, who is 1, is at the stage now where I can really see her respond to books differently.  Developmentally she is more mature, she is able to communicate more, including some spoken words and she recognises things in books and shows us her latest discoveries. Baby is a big animal lover and she was so excited when I shared these books with her. I think she was quite taken with the Panda, Bobo.


Bobo and Co Shapes is a colourful read which explores shapes through Bobo’s birthday party. I love how the introduction of shapes is connected to such a fun theme. Shapes can be found everywhere and the book highlights this. With the use of a familiar context I’m sure many children will get very excited about this read and perhaps even request shapey food post read, a brilliant way of continuing shape talk with your young one.


The book follows a very cute story and there is humour too for young ones to chuckle at. Shape words are written boldly in capitals and the sturdy life the flaps are sure to get little hands even more excited about the book. We certainly love them.

img_1292Bobo and Co Opposites uses the same familiar characters but this time the book is centered around play. Children are able to observe the animals using different toys and resources, many of which will be familiar and witness the animals interacting with each other. To discover the opposite word children need to lift the large flap.


As the story continues you see the animals get really excited and loud about all their play. The many onomatopoeic words such as “Beep” and “Bang” add another sensory element to the read and on the final page things suddenly change as its “QUIET time now. Sssssshhhhhhhhhh.” Its at this point my daughter puts her finger to her lips and says “Shh” to me.

The stories used for each of the books are great for their target audience with an introduction to new vocabulary completed in a fun and engaging way. There is no denying how sweet the illustrations are and the gentle palette of colours makes this such an inviting read against the clean, simple backgrounds.

We look forward to seeing more of Nicola Killen’s work.


Thank you to Bloomsbury publishers for sending us these reads. All opinions and words shared are entirely my own.

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