Zebnys & Zonkey: A Children’s Book Review


We love books, they play an important part of Pumpkin’s daily routine and they have done since the day he came home from the hospital at two days old. This week, Pumpkin and I have been busy reviewing “Zonkey Go Hide”, one of the books in the Zebnys & Zonkey series by Michelle Hargreaves, whose mission is “to teach children how to enjoy reading rather than teach children how to read”.

Pumpkin has an ever increasing basket of books available to him at all times during the day, he will pick out a book and bring it to either myself or his Daddy to read with him, or he will sit down and read it by himself. I love it when he does this, just hearing the conversational tones of his babbling with the occasional words thrown in for good measure as he flicks through the pages, makes my heart melt!

Usually, when Pumpkin is given a new book, it takes him a few days to “warm up” to it, and be able to listen to it all the way through. This was not the case when we opened up our delivery of Zonkey go Hide; Pumpkin was enthralled from page one! Which is a first for us and we have had lots of fun reading the book (repeatedly!) since; such as trying to find Zonkey, counting out loud, looking at the colourful pictures, and finding lots of Pumpkin’s blue toys, as well as the blue things in the book. What has been really lovely, especially for me, is hearing him repeat some of the words back to me – always a proud parent moment!

Zonkey-Find the blue things in the book and play room

Admittedly, this is not the type of book that I would usually choose for Pumpkin; however, I am pleasantly surprised by his response to it. Pumpkin enjoyed pointing things out in the story (car, cakes, door and birds), and what I found was he particularly enjoyed was being read the story, and me pointing to and vocalising the speech bubbles, to emphasise what was happening in the game of hide and seek. To get such engagement from a new book, is a real bonus from a parenting point of view and its a real pleasure to see.

Even though Pumpkin is only 15 months old, the Zebnys & Zonkey series of books, will grow with him throughout his childhood. Already, his vocabulary is building on a daily basis and the Zebnys & Zonkey book is with us at the beginning of his adventures into stories and reading.

What I like about this series of books, is that there is something for all ages and abilities; the Zebnys & Zonkey website has a fun downloads page with activities to accompany the books, that will appeal to all age ranges (and great for nursery/school holidays!). As a parent with Dyslexia, sometimes when I read Pumpkin’s stories out loud; I read them, but not quite how they are written in the book. It’s just that I don’t always read all the words that are printed, I don’t know why I miss them out, I just do and of course it doesn’t make any sense to me as the reader and to Pumpkin as the listener! Zonkey go Hide, is written clearly, and printed in Comic Sans Font, which if you have Dyslexia, you will know is a dream to read, especially when you are as sleepy as your little one at bedtime!

The books are also available to download as ebooks, I did try to read one with Pumpkin this way, however trying to show Pumpkin a book on my iPad, was just too much for this little 15 month old who immediately told me “no mummy no”, I guess, like his Mummy, he prefers a physical book!

Pumpkin and I have been reviewing Zonkey go Hide, to find out more and to be able to purchase your own book in the range please visit their website for more details – Zebnys & Zonkey.


Disclosure: I sent this book for the purpose of this review, all views and opinions are my own.