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T Is For TARDIS Book Review

It’s no secret that Doctor Who has always appealed to multiple generations. Adults appreciate the storylines and kids love the monsters – and vice versa. However, now the BBC is aiming for an even younger audience as they release a new book aimed at teaching children the alphabet through Doctor Who references.

L is for Letters
The book contains examples of Doctor Who related characters, objects and places beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Some letters have more than others – S is for Sontaran, Slitheen, Scarecrow, Sonic Screwdriver, Snowman and Silence, while L is just for London – and some choices make more sense than others. Why P is for the traumatic ‘parting’ (with a touching depiction of the wall scene from Doomsday) and not for Pyroviles, Psychic Paper or Pandorica I do not know.

As an educational tool, the book falls down a little towards the end. Y highlights ‘allons-y’, despite there being Yeti (which actually begin with a Y) on the page and the only thing they could come up with for X was ‘exterminate’. Admittedly there’s not much that starts with the letter X in Doctor Who – Xeraphin and Xylok were all I could think of – but they shouldn’t have accepted the challenge if they couldn’t deliver.

However, for the most part, the choices are fairly satisfying. Fan favourites such as fezzes, TARDIS and Cybermen are complimented with the more classic Zygons, celery and jelly babies. The book is also very up to date, with the latest companion, Bill, making an appearance here before she’d even debuted in Series 10.

D is for Design
Whilst the letters may not be perfect, the design is definitely on point. Adam Howling’s illustrations offer a good likeness of our favourite characters and objects in a simple, friendly style. The Doctors in particular look very affable, with their rosy cheeks and charming expressions.

We are treated to depictions of every Doctor and Master, as well as stunning recreations of Gallifrey and New New York. The simple style, clean typography and use of bold, primary colours makes this perfect for a younger audience, but the slightly saturated colours and grainy texture make it a aesthetically interesting.

T is for Taste Test
Although I enjoyed the book and can appreciate the design, I am not exactly the target market for this kind of book, so I thought it only fair to ask someone a little younger to give his opinion on the book – my 11 month old nephew, Max.

When I presented the book to him, it was met with an excited ‘ooh!’ and he flipped through the pages, pointing out the Cyberman and fish fingers as his clear favourites. As most things generally do with 11 month year old children, the book soon ended up in his mouth and he seemed to enjoy the taste!

S is for Summary
People don’t tend to expect much from children’s books, but T is for TARDIS proves that you can have a book that is educational, interesting and well designed. Whilst it’s unlikely your child’s first words will be Adipose or Racnoss, the book is a fun way to introduce children to the Doctor Who universe. I would definitely recommend it for any Whovians with children… or without.

T is for TARDIS is available for £7.99 on Amazon here.