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Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Junior > Big Little Blue 1: Sandypants review

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Score: 10.0/10  [2 reviews]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 9156 - Big Little Blue 1: Sandypants
Written by Raymond McGrath

Big Little Blue 1: Sandypants
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Scholastic (NZ)

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Scholastic (NZ) or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
August 2023

Big Little Blue 1: Sandypants product reviews

Proud to promote NZ productsBecome BEST-BEST-BESTIES with Big and Little Blue, two lovable and lively little penguins! There are three stories in this book, featuring two friends Big Blue ("Bigsies") and Little Blue ("Littles"). The stories are connected by a wellbeing theme, designed to offer children coping strategies for navigating friendships, understanding emotional responses, and acknowledging the importance of mindfulness and being yourself.

The graphic novel format with its simple illustrations and humorous approach makes the messages accessible even to very young children. This is the first book in a series.

Check out Scholastic (NZ) onlineClick here to see all the listings for Scholastic (NZ) Visit their website They do not have a Twitter account Check them out on Facebook They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel They do not have a TikTok channel

besties   big blue   big little blue   bigsies   friendship raymond mcgrath   graphic novel   humour   little blue   littles   nzmade   sandypants   scholastic   wellbeing
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Click here to read the profile of sassy121

Review by: sassy121 (Amelia)
Dated: 4th of March, 2024

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 10/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

The thing that first grabbed my attention was the cute little blue penguins on the front cover of the book, and I thought that my youngest in particular would like to read this. With a lot of the books, we receive from KIWIreviews I donate them to our small rural primary school to have in their library, I think this book would be a perfect addition for the children as they quite often have visiting penguins at the local beach.

When I opened the book, I was surprised to find that there wasn't just one story, in fact there were three in this book, which meant that each story was short. I started reading and it was soon apparent that this book is well suited for someone that has started to read confidently but may still need an extra help with a few words.
Upon reading the first story which was about best friends, it became apparent that young children will love this book! The author has made the stories fun, and on a primary school aged child level, I loved the way that the penguins worked out that in fact they don't just have to have one best friend, they can have many!

The second story was focusing on the big penguin wanting to have some alone time, and the little penguin asking continuously when they would be able to be together again, and also the little penguin feeling sad and lonely that they wanted to be alone, eventually after waiting the penguins caught up again and all was well.
The final story focuses on making friends and being happy for them even if you are sad, in this case the little penguin made a friend with a rock, but the rock ended up in the water, and the little penguin left it there as it seemed very happy there,

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, the soft colours and the detail really add to the overall story, this graphic novel was right up Mr. 7's alley and he has added it to his favourite series list. I like that the author has made learning about friendships and the need for space in the friendship in a way that is easy for children to process without feeling hurt or rejected. I am eagerly awaiting our next Big Little Blue book to read from the series.

Click here to read the profile of savta

Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 29th of October, 2023

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 10/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

Since she has started to read, Miss Five has gone from strength to strength. It was perfect timing for her to receive a book like Big Little Blue Sandypants! because it is a real "big kid's book". She loves being able to put a bookmark between the pages, and keeping it next to her bed. Having three separate stories in the one volume means that she does not forget where she is up to - each is short enough to be finished in one reading. After she had listened to the stories a couple of times and looked at the illustrations, she was more than ready to tackle it on her own.

The language is simple and there is plenty of repetition, another technique that helps word recognition and memory skills. The graphic novel style is especially accessible for children, with the text and graphics working together to bridge the gap between words and pictures. For some time, the book went everywhere with Miss Five and was brought out whenever she was travelling in the car or waiting for something to happen. On one occasion, when the family had a long wait for an appointment, she used the time effectively to read the story to her little brother so that neither of them had the opportunity to get bored.

We felt that Raymond McGrath has done an excellent job in representing the way younger children will often converse with each other. The children and their mother especially enjoyed the "Besties" story; they kept having to stop to laugh. Trying to read every best-best-bestie-bestest instance on one page led to everyone stumbling over the tongue-twisters and having to start over. Another hilarious moment occurred in the last story, "Fred", where Little tries to encourage the pet rock to eat a chip.

Each story is followed by a Fun Friend Fact page, a section that unpacks the message to be learned. This was affirming for a five-year-old starting to learn about interactions with other children. It is a time in a child's life where friends become more and more important, but the give-and-take elements of friendship are often difficult to negotiate. Through these stories, young readers learn about the importance of giving friends space when they need it, and accepting that dynamics sometimes change as children mature at different rates and interests change.

This is the first book in a series so the children and their parents are eagerly anticipating the second book. It will be interesting to see if it follows the friendship theme which this book has incorporated so successfully.

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