3D Animal Puzzles

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3D Animal Puzzles
Author: Kōji Ishikawa
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591150917
10 pages
17.5 x 19.5 cm / 7.0 x 7.8 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 2+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2016
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


Kōji Ishikawa is the author of the hugely popular Katanuki ehon (What Am I? Cutout Picture Books) series in which turning a page with one or more special cutouts completes the picture and answers the riddle. In this new book he offers young readers embedded polyurethane puzzle pieces that they can take out and slide together to form cute three-dimensional animals: a dog, a cat, a lion, an elephant, and a gorilla.

For each of the five, the left-hand page shows a picture of the animal with its name (in both Japanese and English), the sound it makes, and a simple sentence describing a distinctive characteristic. The puzzle pieces that go together to form the animal are embedded in the right-hand page, which also states the color of the animal in both Japanese and English. Since each animal is made of just four pieces, even small children can quickly learn how to fit them together.

Besides learning the names, sounds, and characteristics of the animals as well as color names, the child develops new cognitive skills from the process of looking at the pieces and thinking about how they go together. The finished animals are not only sturdy enough for small hands to move around and play with, but attractive enough to be set on a shelf for decoration. After play, figuring out where and how each piece fits back into the book offers another mental exercise, as well as good practice in putting things back in their proper place when finished with them. As a bonus the book is compact and easy to take along on trips or daily outings.