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Find out what Mumsnetters thought of Bear Grylls Adventure series for children

(106 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 14-Mar-17 12:32:04

To celebrate the release of Bear Grylls' new adventure series for kids, we gave away a whopping 250 books.

Each story in the 12-book series follows a different child on camp as they receive a magical compass, allowing them to travel to an amazing place where they meet Bear himself, and learn new skills and facts that they can take back with them to real life. The books are suitable for children aged 5-7.

We ask all winners to share their child's thoughts about either The Blizzard Challenge or The Desert Challenge on this discussion thread. Everyone who gives detailed feedback on either book by 5pm, Friday 9 June will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher:

This giveaway is sponsored by Piccadilly Press

Book giveaways T&Cs apply

Mick15 Sat 01-Apr-17 10:23:51

I was excited to give the Bear Grylls book to my 7 year old daughter this morning when it arrived- she was delighted as she'd seen it advertised and began reading immediately. I'm awaiting feedback eagerly!

cornflakegirl Sun 02-Apr-17 21:00:12

Thank you for the copy of The Desert Challenge that we received yesterday. DS2 (7) and I read the first couple of chapters together. He wasn't that keen initially - he said the cover didn't look very exciting and he would have preferred some brighter colours (the cover is in desert yellows and browns). However, after an hour or so, he had picked the book up to read by himself, and he'd finished it by lunchtime. He said that he wanted to keep it to read again rather than pass it on to someone else, so I think it's a hit.

This is his review:

This story is about a young girl called Sophie, who has two kind and helpful friends. Sophie is petrified of all insects, even though she is about a thousand times bigger than them. Magically, after falling into a sandpit, Sophie finds herself in a desert. She meets someone called Bear, who helps her to try and be calm even though things can be really frightening.

I like that in the end Sophie finally isn't scared of bugs any more. I think that Bear is very kind to Sophie and helps her get used to the desert.

I would recommend this book for children my age (7).

MrWriter Mon 03-Apr-17 13:41:30

Thank you for our copy of the desert adventures, I have read it to my son and he loved it, though it is a bit long for bedtime reading! We've been pacing it out over a few nights.

As op had said the cover isn't very enticing and I'm not sure he would have picked it up off a shelf in a bookstore or library.

Megansmumsie Mon 03-Apr-17 23:40:21

Thank you for Megan's copy of Bear Grylls Adventures- The Blizzard Challenge. It arrived Saturday and she read it within half an hour! She's already asked me for some more!

What Megan has said:

I found this quite a surprising read. I opted to give this book and Bear Grylls a go because my Uncle is a big fan of his television programme and after attending some bush craft sessions myself i thought i'd quite like to see what his writing is like.

It turns out, it's actually quite good! I like facts mingled in with my story telling and i have to say the Bear put in the right amount of facts, in the right places- where most kids would forget that they're learning at the same time! I kept reading them out to my mummy and thought that they were very interesting and of course good to know!

I've read some other things said about this book and i would like to say that this book is most definitely not just for boys! I really enjoyed it and read it in one go. It is recommended for children aged between 5-7 but i would say that can go either way as i'm sure younger and older kids would enjoy it too.

The Reader:

Megan is a 9 year old bookaholic, she's well known at her local library (and a few more around the city) and is a big advocate for literacy, books and authors. Megan attends a regular Chatterbooks group where she borrows and reviews books for the library.

My Thoughts:

I was surprised that Megan was so keen to read the book, while she has attended some bush craft events she's never really watched Bear of tv- having only seen the one with Barrack Obama. I think it had more to do with the challenge aspect of the book and the series than who had written the book.

Megan follows a lot of authors online and her interest has always stemmed from what she likes to read and not any 'celebrity' status. So while it may be Bear's fame that sells his books, Megan has enjoyed them for what they are- an adventure filled with survival tips.

I hope this review was informative and if you have any follow up questions please feel free to ask.

Leeds2 Tue 04-Apr-17 13:58:55

I received a copy of The Desert Challenge. Understand (from Amazon!) that it is the second in a series of twelve books, but I think only the first two are available so far. I didn't think it mattered that I hadn't read the first in the series when reading this one.

As others have said, the book is about Sophie, who is at a summer camp and terrified by any insects she comes across. A boy gives her a magic compass which transports her to the desert where she meets Bear, and goes on an adventure with him. Along the way, she learns all sorts of things about desert life, and how to survive, and does eventually overcome her fear of the wildlife.

I would say the book is aimed at the 6 - 9 years age range, and would be excellent for those children who don't particularly enjoy reading stories, but like non fiction, because whilst this is obviously a story there are lots of facts and survival tips which would make it appealing.

Overall, a good read.

Jojo1223 Tue 04-Apr-17 22:56:03

Thanks so much for our copy of Bear Grylls Adventures - The Blizzard Challenge. My son (5 years old) was really excited on receiving it and said "Wow, that looks really cool", so the cover obviously appealed to him. He's not at the stage of being able to read a book of this length and complexity independently, but he was keen to listen to me read it to him. There are illustrations throughout the book, which he also enjoyed and added to his comprehension (he often commented on how the characters looked - serious, worried etc).
We finished the book over the course of three nights, mostly because he kept on insisting on one more chapter before bed, so clearly he was caught up in the story and very much engaged with it. When we finished, he asked if we could get the next one too! All in all, a complete hit with him.
My 8 year old daughter, who is a real bookaholic, was quite upset the book wasn't for her and listened in at bedtime too. I was quite surprised, as I had thought that she would find this book a little too 'babyish' for her tastes (she loves Harry Potter and any Jaqueline Wilson books, to give some idea of her usual tastes). She really enjoyed the story and seemed equally caught up in the plot. She is familiar with Bear Grylls and enjoys nature and the great outdoors, so the subject matter appealed to her.
Personally, I hadn't expected much from this book - another 'celebrity' turning their hand to children's fiction, seems to be par for the course these days - but I was pleasantly surprised. The plot is enticing, even thrilling at times, especially for my 5 year old who was really in suspense when Olly fell through the ice. It's fun and somewhat educational, with a good moral. I would definitely recommend it and would say it's suitable for quite a wide age range - 5-9 years if my children are anything to go by and definitely suitable for both boys and girls. Well done Bear Grylls!

JoGregory Wed 05-Apr-17 13:17:39

The book looks great and both my boys (5 and 6) are super excited about being read the story. The 6 year old has started reading it himself and seems very keen to know what happens.....which is unheard of. Love that story books are being focused on rather than just more and more TV!

clairebybear Wed 05-Apr-17 13:34:40

Thank you for the chance to read Bear Grills Blizzard challenge to my 5 year old nephew.
He was excited by the cover, which is always a good start. He enjoyed the story. Though I think the pictured did help keep him interested .
By the end he remained interested and was excited by the story of the whole. He now wants to read more Bear books and also go on his own adventures.

ozgirl74 Wed 05-Apr-17 13:40:04

Im loving this book. So glad that someone other than Frank Lampard has done of one easy chapter series for boys. This is great for those boys who love non fiction as a way of getting them into fiction reading and once they are hooked there are more stories. My daughter loved the Rainbow Fairies when she started reading and she thinks that the boys will love it for the same reason. Definitely for buys ages 5-7.

Joanne2010 Wed 05-Apr-17 13:48:40

My daughter's been learning about survival as a topic at school so she was familiar with Bear Grylls from that and was very excited to receive this book. It has a fun cover and looks like an achievable book for a 7 year old in terms of content and length.

Jenni2legs Wed 05-Apr-17 14:12:52

My seven year old was delighted to receive something in the post for her! She read the book in bed that very night, then asked the next day if she could pack it for an upcoming flight. Really pleased 😁

RuthCart Wed 05-Apr-17 14:28:15

My eldest who is 8 is already a big fan on bear so he couldnt wait to get his hands on the book. He's tearing through it and loving every minute.

dewdneyk Wed 05-Apr-17 16:20:53

We received the Blizzard Challenge and it looked fun from the cover. The story is easy to follow, has a good combination of narrative to take the story forward and also facts about survival skills. It is so refreshing to find a book that is meant to appeal to boys - I'm sure girls will read and enjoy it also but it's more of a challenge to get a book that will interest boys. I enjoyed reading it out loud but it's also one that could be read alone by any newly competent and confident reader. Well done and good that there is a series to keep up the interest.

Scorpiostar Wed 05-Apr-17 16:44:54

My daughter was very excited to receive her copy. She is taking it with her on the Easter holiday and is very much looking forward to reading it.

J3nnifer Wed 05-Apr-17 18:22:52

Thank you for our copy of The Desert Challenge. As other reviewers have said, if it didn't have Bear's name on the cover, I'm not sure it would have attracted us to it, however my children have seen the books advertised in several places so were very excited when it arrived in the post. My 7 year old read it in two sittings and enjoyed the combination of story and facts. I think most children (and adults!) can understand the fear of insects. The fast-paced story kept him interested and I could imagine it appealing to boys and girls. When I asked for his review, he said that he'd like to read other books in the series - always a good sign! He was worried at first that it wouldn't be interesting to him because the main character is a girl, but didn't think about it after the first couple of pages. Thanks again for the chance to read it and send in our feedback.

sabretiggr Wed 05-Apr-17 20:10:41

Thank you for our copy of The Blizzard Challenge. Our boys are big BIG Bear Grylls fans, and their little sister (5) has been learning from them. I read the book to her over a few evenings (a chapter or two each night worked well for her).

She (and I) loved this book. I could hear Bear's voice as he led Olly through the mountains (although I doubt my daughter would recognise his voice from my impersonation!) She and I learned a lot about the dangers of the cold as Olly went on his adventure, and she commented on how he had learned his lesson from his time with Bear, becoming a different person by the end of the story.

The quick pace of the book kept her interested, and the friendly and helpful voice of Bear helped explain everything along the way.

We particularly liked the way this book links to the next in the series - and she is already asking for the next story!

Certainly suitable for boys and girls (my daughter's big brother has borrowed it, and loved it too), and surely this book will be joined by others by Bear in the series on our bookshelves!

Reastie Wed 05-Apr-17 21:00:57

Thanks mumsnet, we got the blizzard book and I've been reading it to dd for bedtime story. She's really enjoying it and I like the morals behind it (perseverance and teamwork).

Dd isn't overly aware of who Bear is so his name didn't overly sell the book to her and she wasn't overly keen on the front cover, but is enjoying the story and it's easy for her to get in to. She particularly likes the magical element of the compass and you never know, she may well have picked up some survival skills about freezing temperatures. It's nice to read a book to her that is a story but that is useful in imparting things, ahem, unlike those pesky rainbow fairies!

skippink Wed 05-Apr-17 22:24:13

My daughter who is 6 years old received the copy of bear grylls the blizzard challenge she immediately started to read it and is currently about half way through. The cover appealed to her straight away and the book has plenty of pictures too. She is enjoying reading the book and thinks it's an exciting story.
Thank you for the book!

Larnipoo Wed 05-Apr-17 22:55:20

My 9 year old son was very excited to receive this book in the post. He is a cub scout and very aware of Bear Grylls and thinks he's very cool. The book is well written and well laid out. I think 9 is the perfect age to read it too!

LPLPLP Thu 06-Apr-17 09:32:11

Sorry but I'm not a fan so far (3 chapters in). I was reading it as bedtime story. There seemed to be a lot of stretched out detail in parts that could have been tightened up so the story moved very, very slowly. I was getting bored myself reading it but my 5 yr old did ask for one more chapter when I was ready to finish. We'll see how it goes for the rest of the book and report back.

midi1975 Thu 06-Apr-17 14:09:59

When the book first arrived I read the first 2 chapters to C(9) and L (6). C was hooked and continued to read the rest of the book herself. She enjoyed the tips about surviving in the desert, although having now tried to hold onto a mouthful of water while breathing through her nose and moving around , she realises how difficult this is. She enjoyed the ending which implies that another child will be helped to get over their fears.

I think the book is well written, in a style which is appropriate to young readers. Well done Bear.

I have now have been asked to buy the Blizzard Challenge.

Schumann Fri 07-Apr-17 15:46:56

My 8 yr old son received Blizzard Challenge. He was very excited to receive it (he LOVES Bear grylls) and dived straight in. He'd finished it in less than an hour though so he wishes it could have been longer .
He thoroughly enjoyed it though and would like to read the others . He said he loved the characters and the format.

shelaghh Fri 07-Apr-17 17:59:24

BEAR GRYLLS- Is their no end to this person's talent. From Adventurer, Chief Scout etc-etc. " WHAT NEXT" -- His books are not bad either ?

Words spoken by my son after reading the book.

StickChildNumberTwo Sun 09-Apr-17 20:01:17

My five year old daughter and I enjoyed The Desert Challenge - we read it over three nights as a bedtime story. Her verdict was that it was good, and the best bit was the trick about holding water it your mouth - she was practising it the other day. I asked whether she'd want to read other stories like that one and she said yes as long as they were about girls, stories about boys have no appeal at all at the moment! At least this one wasn't about princesses....

I wasn't blown away by it but didn't object either. I liked the survival skills woven through the story so we were both learning new things, but it seemed a bit of a cop out that Sophie was just magically back where she started without having to actually escape the desert. I liked the empathy of seeing another child who needed an adventure and passing the compass on, and I'd happily read the next one to find out what happens to Omar, but as he's a boy I suspect I won't get to!

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