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Pearson's Book Panel - Ages 7-11 (KS2/P4-P7) - Review thread

(50 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Nov-11 13:14:47

You may know Mumsnet have been working with Pearson to provide some special learning-related content for you. Linked to the site is a Pearson shop where you can buy educational books for children. We invited MNers with a child aged between 7 and 11 (ie in KS2/P4-P7) to review the books available for this age group and this thread is for the reviews. We have also got some children who need a bit more support with their reading reviewing the "Rapid" range of books designed for KS2 children struggling with their reading and who are behind their 'expected' level.

Panellists will be sent up to 3 packs of books and reviews will continue to be added until the the new year. Pearson will link to this thread from the shop and may use quotes (with MN names) on MN adverts.

As a thank you for taking part there will be a prize draw for reviewers for all those who have received books and submitted their review. The prize each wave will be £50 of John Lewis vouchers.

Below are the questions Pearson would like you to answer - when posting your review please add in the age of your child and please include the question as well as your response.

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?
Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?
Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?
Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?
Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent

Many thanks
MNHQ

QueenOfFlamingEverything Wed 30-Nov-11 15:42:20

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review? Not sure what the pack was called blush but it was the one aimed at Yr 4 children - DD is 8.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any? DD didn't start school until she was 7 (home ed prior to that) and was a fluent reader by then so has never used a reading scheme. She occasionally brings a book home of her own choosing but not very often so its hard to say how they compare.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not? I'm afraid to say DD did not enjoy them and it took a lot of coaxing to get her to read beyond the first few pages of the first book. They were well below her reading ability, in fact I had to take a closer look to make sure we'd been sent the right pack. She didn't like the large type, the language, or the amount of pictures.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack? To be honest I was not very impressed. I assume they are designed for use as a school reading scheme and from what I've seen of similar things these just seemed like more of the same, when from the way they were described initially it sounded like they would be something more, well, exciting? I guess reading schemes have their uses and I know lots of people like them, but I don't. I do realise that DD is quite a good reader for her age, but these did seem to be extremely over-simplified if they are aimed at Yr 4 children.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack? Apologies in advance, but she said they were 'babyish and boring'. She did read them all but under duress. She also said they were 'a bit thin' and that 'the writing is too big'.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not? No. I think there are much better books for children at the reading level these books were aimed at. As an ex-autonomous-home-edder, I personally don't feel that such structured teaching materials are necessary and to be honest I feel like they take the joy out of reading a bit.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not? I doubt it. She did suggest we kept them for her younger brother when he learns to read though.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent I'm going to say 2.5. We didn't enjoy them, but thats not to say nobody else would. Also, I can see that for someone who needs to know exactly what level a child's reading and comprehension is at, they could be useful.

Sorry not to have been more complimentary!

SandStorm Wed 30-Nov-11 18:48:24

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review? - We got the grey pack (Rocket Ronnie and the Vortex of Doom, Stage Fright, How to be an explorer and 101 ways to save the planet).

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any? - I'm afraid I have to agree that these books were far too easy for DD (she's in year 4 and will be 9 in a couple of weeks time). The pack says it's aimed at a 3a but it seemed so easy I actually went in and checked what level dd is at with her teacher. She is steady 3a so I would say these books are not aimed at the right level. Just for reference, she's currently reading Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. School doesn't seem to use a specific reading school once the children reach KS2.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not? - Again, the books didn't really hold her interest although she did like the bright colourful covers. She enjoyed the non-fiction books more than the fiction which were too quick a read for her and the stories were a bit simplistic for her.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack? - I thought the books are well written and the illustrations would certainly capture the imagination of some children, just not mine. I think the ratings need to be reviewed as I'm not convinced these books really are 3a or 4c.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack? - As above, they were too easy and she wasn't really interested. She looked at them when they first arrived and then put them to one side until prompted to read them.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not? - I wouldn't recommend them to parents of my dd's friends simply because they are too easy. I think they would be enjoyed by some of the younger year 3 children but not able readers.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not? - No, because she didn't enjoy them enough.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent - I'd give them a 2.5 for content but for quality I'd give them a 4 - they're the sort of books you'd pick up and think 'ooh, that's a nice book'.

Sorry it's been such a negative review. I like the books but not for this age group.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Dec-11 10:19:11

Thanks for the 1st two reviews....the best thing if the books aren't the right level for your child is to get in touch asap with me or with Pearson. They have a special email address - mumsnetlearning@pearson.com - if anyone else has the 'wrong' books for their child please do get in touch and they will send some more - as you can appreciate there is an element of guess work involved in ascertaining level as we only have the information on the form to go on.

Pearson want to ensure you have the right books for your child.

fruitshootsandheaves Thu 01-Dec-11 22:24:29

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?

not sure, but the set included Code Breakers, Final Score, Zoooom, Fun With Food, Jungle Quest and Romans Rule

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?

I have been really bad at read with DS until these books. We both found his school books boring and to get him to read anything more than once is an achievement!

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?

DS LOVES these books, he says they are very similar to books they have at school but different stories.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?

This sort of book are ideal for children like my DS. He has a very short attention span and doesn't really enjoy reading. Because of the short sections DS doesn't have to read for too long and they are all different. They are also not too difficult so he can keep reading without losing confidence. They are fairly easy for him to read but this keeps his reading flowing and helps him remember the few words that he doesn't know.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?

He likes them because they are interesting. He doesn't have to read large amounts to understand what it is about. He loves the fact that they are 'real life' facts in them.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?

Yes because they are good at encouraging children to read by starting them with small amounts and they seem to be about subjects which children would find interesting.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
Yes, he has been keen to read every night.He was very excited by the Zoom book as he loves aeroplanes and there was a picture of a Blackbird Jet in there!

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent

We are only half way through the pack as I am letting him read at his own pace rather than pushing him and maybe put him off. He has sorted them into the order he wants to read them and is saving Romans Rule till last as he has just done Romans at school and really enjoyed it.
So far I would give them 4 stars. The only reason they don't get 5 is that there aren't enough to keep him going for longer than a couple of weeks. Although I can see him reading them again. Maybe higher level books in a similar style would be longer.
The product test stated that these books are designed for KS2 children struggling with their reading and who are behind their 'expected' level so I think the DC's in the two reviews above were obviously more able readers than these sets are designed for!

Will add to this later when we finish the last 3 books!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 02-Dec-11 11:44:51

Thanks fruitshootsandheaves - there are 2 groups within this review group - the "strugglers" and "non strugglers". Glad your DS is enjoying them!

ASuitableGirl Sat 03-Dec-11 12:13:15

Just posting here to remind me to answer fully later on - am away from hime at the moment abd can't remember exactly what books DS got blush

ellaballoo Sun 04-Dec-11 16:21:17

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?

We read the pack that included Romans Rule and Fun with Food.DS is 8,dyslexic and a very relunctant reader.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?

These books are a lower level than DS reads at school ,but he was able to access these on a reading for pleasure basis ,rather that struggling with new tricky words.He mainly reads ORT at school.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?

DS really enjoyed the books,he loved the subjets and the fact they included
fiction and non-fiction within one book.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack .

I thought the books were wonderful for reluctant readers and the content really appeal to boys.The text is nicely spaced and not overfacing.The quizzes were great for asssessing understanding and the list of tricky vocab to tackle before reading on are a great idea.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?

" I like some of them but didn't like the jungle story because it's a bit weird.I really liked Fun with Food because it was gross and the story was funny.I like the mix of information and stories."

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?

I would and will be recommending them to parents.They are fun, visually appealing and if they can encourage my DS to read for pleasure then the are certainly dong something right!

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
DS thinks these books would be too easy for his friends but would recommend them to younger children or people who find reading tricky.
We went away for the weekend and DS asked to take the books with him,this is the first time he has wanted to take books on holiday-a great endorsement!

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent

DS gives them 4/5 because he didn't like a couple of the stories and would have prefered more information.

norriscoleforpm Mon 05-Dec-11 11:54:40

Is this for a third set of books? I've had two lots and left reviews for those a while ago confused

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Dec-11 14:16:55

norriscoleforpm - no this is the KS2 group (you're KS1) smile

Merrylegs Mon 05-Dec-11 14:27:36

I think we must have had bug club red pack - 2 NFiction - 'How to be a Detective', '101 things to do before Secondary School' and 2 Fiction - a Cosmo B Henderson one and another title I'm afraid I can't recall atm!

DD is in Yr 6 so has no reading scheme. She'll read anything - easy, hard, back of a cereal packet.

That said, there does seem to be a bias, especially with girls, for fiction, both in the books on offer in the classroom and the books teachers/parents (ie me!) suggests she reads. So I was surprised to see how much pleasure DD got out of the non-fiction books. She really enjoyed both of them - they were pacy and accessible and she kept reading out interesting bits to me (did you know....?)

OTOH, after a cursory read, I'm afraid the fiction titles were very quickly dismissed. 'Boring', 'silly' 'perhaps younger boys would like them'.

I guess we would give the pack 3 out of 5 stars - the fiction was disappointing, but it made us both look again at trying non-fiction titles. DD was definitely keen to share them with her friends - there were quizzes in them too, which appealed. Thank you!

norriscoleforpm Mon 05-Dec-11 14:33:10

oh yes! derr grin

TheThingUpstairs Tue 06-Dec-11 19:27:07

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review? The pack we had contained'The Quigley's wildlife', '101 ways to beat boredom', 'The Malice Family/The Wicked Ice Cream Sundae', 'How to be a Sports Star'.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?
I would say they are on a lower level than the school reading books, I am not sure what scheme they use blush, but it has different colours as levels.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
Yes, she definately enjoyed reading them, especially 'How to be a sports star' and 'how to beat boredom'. She has read these more than once and carried out activities from them.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack? They seemed like nice books, I liked the mix of fiction and non fiction and the subjects seemed good for both genders.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack? dd said ''How to be a sports star' was my favourite. I enjoyed these books.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not? Yes, they were good books, some of the books from school are very old fashioned and the non fiction ones are particularly un-interesting! It was a nice mix of fiction and non books. The suggested activities in the beating boredom book sounded fun.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not? 'Yes, because they are very good and my friends would like reading them'.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent
4!

MiddleOfTheStreet Sat 10-Dec-11 18:06:30

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
Ds1 (8yo next week) got the bug club brown pack with the following books: 'The Quigley's wildlife', '101 ways to beat boredom', 'The Malice Family/Or How not to be Evil Geniuses', 'How to be a Sports Star'.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?
DS1 says:"we don't normally get fact books". This is true, he brings home mostly fiction, which he gets to choose himself (most of the time). His school does ORT, but he is no longer reading books on the tree. The books he brings home usually have smaller font and no/few pictures. I would say that his school books are probably a bit more challenging than the books we got sent by Pearsons. I would say that the Pearsons books are probably aimed at the right level though: Ds1 is reading at NC3A/4C and the brown bug pack is labelled as 3B/3C. In our case it was nice to receive books that were a little easy for ds1, as he really enjoyed reading them together with his younger brother. Ds2 is almost 6 and probably reading at slightly below the level of the brown pack (he just finished ORT10 and is now on white book band), so for him the books would be too challenging, but with his brother's help he could just about manage.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoyed reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
Yes, ds1 enjoyed reading the books. Ds1 said:"It was especially nice to read the fact books. I really liked '101 ways to beat boredom', especially the spy writing with lemon/apple juice."

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?
I got the feeling that they were possibly a little too easy for ds1, but he enjoyed reading them with his younger brother (almost 6). It was great to receive the mix of fiction and non-fiction, particularly because ds's school does not tend to give out non-fiction for home-reading.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?
The clear favourite was 'The Malice Family/Or How not to be Evil Geniuses', which also got picked by ds2 as bed time story, and was "almost as good as Horrid Henry". Ds1 said: "The other three were also quite good, and it was really difficult to choose which i liked most"

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?
Yes, I think it was really nice to get some non-fiction. I also thought it was lovely to see ds1 and ds2 giggling together whilst reading the 'Malice family'.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
Ds1 said:"Yes, I would, because my friends would like reading them, especially 'The Malice Family/Or How not to be Evil Geniuses', because it is really funny. And the '101 ways to beat boredom', because then we'd be able to write secret messages to each other." He was also really glad that we are getting to keep the books, and wants to share them with his friends.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent
Ds1 said:"I'd give 4 points", and I agree. Thanks for letting us be part of this MN and Pearsons!

Sorry, I lost the thread there, when I went to find out which book set it wasblush.
We got "pocket tales" and "pocket chillers", 3 of each. They were on a par with the books my 7yo DD gets from school, a little below what my 10yo DD gets. The chillers are really quite scary (but perhaps I am a wussblush), especially "Yallery Brown", where a child ends up trapped under a rock in the middle of the spooky forest for hundreds of years for saying thank you!
The DCs really enjoyed reading the books though, they agree (for once) that "cyclops and the greenbeans" was the best (it's about a possessed bike), as it is about football and friends at the same time.

AncientsOfMuMu Mon 12-Dec-11 12:41:12

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
Bug Club red pack which had two fiction books - The Dangerous World of Joe McGinty, and What Are You Doing? and two non-fiction books - 101 Things To Do Before Secondary School, and How to be a Detective.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?
Ds is in year 6 (aged 10) and no longer uses a reading scheme. He is able to choose his own books from the school library. He has just finished the Alex Rider series of books, and for nonfiction he is reading Frozen Planet. These books do not compare in any shape or form.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
No, I don’t think he really enjoyed reading them; in fact it was quite a struggle to get him going with them. When he eventually started, he read one each evening. I think he found the fiction books too babyish, with large writing and ‘silly’ illustrations. The nonfiction book were a little more popular, in particular ‘ How to be a Detective’ but even these were very young in their presentation and I doubt he will look at them again.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?
I was surprised they didn’t have more substance to them. They were very brief and looked like something he would have read in year 3 or 4. It is obvious they are part of a reading scheme and I don’t think that helps make them appealing. I’m sure they would be good for less able readers or anyone who struggles to remain interested in a longer book.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?
I had told him he was going to receive the books to review and I think he was quite disappointed when he opened the pack. He said they didn’t look like proper books because they were so short.
The Dangerous World of Joe McGinty: he thought this was too short and more like something he would have read in year 3 or 4. The writing was large and seemed a bit babyish. He said the story itself was ok, just too brief.
How to be a Detective: The best book in the pack. Interesting to read with lots of facts. This was the book most likely to be read again.
What Are You Doing? Was funny at first but then became boring and he thought the illustrations were weird.
101 Things to Do Before Secondary School: Initially he thought the idea of this book was good but after reading it he decided most of the ideas were things you would be unable to do, or want to do and he couldn’t see the point of it.
Ds said these were the sort of books he would see in the school library but never bother looking at. He said he would never buy them with his pocket money.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?
I would only recommend these to a parent if I knew their child struggled with their reading. They are far too easy for the more able reader.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
No, because in his words,’ they would make fun of him for reading such easy books’.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent
Despite all my negative comments I will give them 3 out of 5. I’m sure they would be great for some children and, having worked through other reading schemes in the past ,these are modern and fresh in comparison to many of the books I’ve read with Ds.

1. We had 2 books from blue b and 2 from blue a: How to be a popstar, Hunting for trolls, 101 things to do in the UK and Saving a sea monster.

2. Dd (year 5) doesn't work from a scheme any more- all their books have been banded by colour and she is on the 'top' colour which is a level 5. The books were much 'lighter' than the books she brings home(she is reading The Secret Garden' at the moment) but she doesn't bring home much non-fiction.

3. She certainly enjoyed the books but read them very quickly. She says that, " although they are shorter than my normal books, they had very good storylines, which is why I read them so quickly!"
She thought they were aimed slightly younger than her, or for less confident readers.
The non-fiction books caught her eye with the pictures and the layout.

4. I was surprised by their lack of substance, especially as they seemed to be aimed at level 4 readers. The fiction was very short and the non-fiction didn't have much text ( I am judging as a parent and a KS2 teacher). I thought the non-fiction looked less 'schemey' than the fiction. I can see that the shorter fiction could be useful for children with a higher reading level but less confidence or stamina, but I would be disappointed if dd came home with such short books on a regular basis.

5. Dd was very excited about free books and keen to read the fiction, but has taken much longer to get round to the non-fiction. She says," the fiction books have fantastic storylines but would have preferred them to be longer. The non-fiction books are set out well so you can find what you want to look at. In 101 things to do in the UK, there is not enough information about each place, especially when annotating the pictures."

6. Yes, if they had a child who was underconfident, lacking in enthusiasm or struggling with reading stamina. Not if they had a very fluent, keen reader who needed extending.

7. Yes, to a friend who is an enthusiastic reader but 'in the middle with reading'. She means someone who is not bad but not really good, but enjoys reading.

8. 4 out of 5 for high standards in publishing, colour, layout and appealing covers, but 3 out of 5 for text content. (from me) DD gives them 4 1/2! I agree that they are better than a lot of schemes that I have seen over the years.

Was I the only one to get the scary books? I feel a bit envy that others got adventure books, my DCs would have loved those!

Bohica Thu 15-Dec-11 12:42:07

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?

Bug Club red pack which had two fiction books - The Dangerous World of Joe McGinty, and What Are You Doing? and two non-fiction books - 101 Things To Do Before Secondary School, and How to be a Detective.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?

Ds is in yr 5 (aged 9) and she is able to choose his own books from the school library. These are not the type of books she would normally pick.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
No, DD didn't like these books at all and said they were very boring, she is having a hard time with reading atm though.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?

I thought they were nice little books but DD didn't like them and neither did my other DD (7y)

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?

DD said she thought these were pocket books and not something she would choose to read again, the stories didn't grab her attention quickly enough and she said they look dull. really sorry, she is going through one of theose phases atm

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?

I would recommend them for a quick read but I wouldn't say they were anything more than ok.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?

No, Reasons above

silverfrog Thu 15-Dec-11 17:05:12

first of all, sorry, sorry for late review - all a bit hectic in the silverfrog household atm. I have been reading the books with dd1, who is 7 (but August birthday, so in YR3, supposedly - she is at SN school, so not actually in YR3 as such) and has severe ASD. She is very interested in reading, and we sometimes struggle to find new material for her, as she has been through the relevant levels in other reading schemes, and has a phenomenal memory, so once she has read somehting a couple of times, and been given support with words she finds hard, she can remember the lot, so difficult to tell whether she is reading or reciting, iyswim.

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?

We had the Rapid pack - 6 books (Get Wet!, I Dare You!, Catch It!, Perfect Pets, Ice Surprise and Going Up!)

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?

dd1 has had access to a couple of reading schemes - mainly ORT though - she loves Biff, Kipper et al. She also insists on reading dd2's reading books (dd2 is in Reception, and usually brings home Ginn level 2 books). THe rapid books are very different. They are split into 2 sections, with a different story in each half, and some suggesitons for exercises and games/puzzles in between.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?

dd1 has enjoyed them a lot. she was very excited by the ones with photos in, as opposed to drawn pictures - she has always loved photos, and we have made good use of an app on her iPad where we can use photos and input text to make up picture books. She was happy to read the stories with drawn pictures too, but the photos really do spark her off - she asked far more questions, and commented a lot more on the stories with photos than on the non-photo ones.

I didn't do all the exercises/phonemic awareness/quizzes with dd1, as she is not really able to comprehend the quiz questions/comprehension questions. the jokes, especially were beyond her (she has a severe language disorder). I also found that the suggesitons for questions/hints on teasing the story out were a bit patrnising, tbh - they are just the questions I would ask anyway (and have been asking since dd1 was 2 or so!) - the teasers of 'what do you think happens next?' are a little over the top imo. When dd1 was reading the books by herself, it confused her a little, as she reads all the words on the page, and found herself in the middle of a sentence that did not, to her mind, carry the story on or have any relevance, iyswim?

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?

the books are good, imo. a nice good range of topics, and well put together stories, with a nice level of repetition of words and phrases. nice to have some books that are not the typical early reader subjects, and they do seem to be a lot more 'grown up', even though the text is still nice and clear and basic.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?

dd1 really likes them (although as said before, she does get a little confused by the extra bits of text - the cues and hints, and facts) and cannot (yet!) manage the extension questions or further language and discussion work.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?

yes, if I knew someone who needed the same things dd1 does - essentially early/first readers with content aimed at slightly older children.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?

erm, dd1 doesn't really have friends, and I can't envisage her even conceiving of recommending something to someone! but yes, if she were capable of that level of conversation, I think she would recommned them, she has enjoyed them a lot.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent

probably a 4. I like the books a lot, but the annoying hints and cues did irritate me, and confuse dd1. but I accept that that is an issue possible only relevant to our household!

honeylamb Thu 15-Dec-11 19:14:05

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
The 'Rapid' Series, Creepy Castles, Ice Age, Sports Mad, Space Junk, Pets and Pests and Savage Beasts

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?
Up until recently my son (aged 8) found the school reading books generally very 'dry'. He has dyslexia so his reading level is low and the books he was bringing home were a bit "babyish". The school this term have invested in the pearson books 'bugs' range and he has enjoyed these more. The Rapid series books he LOVES normally when it comes to reading my son turns into Kevin the Teenager with lots of moaning, groaning and procrastinating! These books he wanted to read and read enthusiastically. I even caught him reading them in bed unprompted, which is a first!

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
He loved them! They were easier for him to read, with interesting topics and in a more grown up format then other books at his reading level. Even his brother, who is 6 and a reluctant readers enjoyed them. Definitely a hit!

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?
The books were good, great format, topics and content for reluctant reader boys. Certainly kept him engaged and wanting to read, which as a parent who loves reading is important to me. I want my son to be able to enjoy books and gain pleasure from them rather then seeing reading as a 'chore'.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?
Quote "I think they are absolutely perfect for 7 to 10 year olds and I would recommend them 100%"

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?
Definitely, I have already passed them to the schools head teacher and SEN to look at and recommended them to a friend whose daughter struggles to read and lacks interest in reading.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
He already has, he loves them.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent
4.5 great format, colourful, interesting and fun topics.

babybaabaa Thu 15-Dec-11 20:06:25

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?

Code Breakers, Final Score, Zoooom, Fun With Food, Jungle Quest and Romans Rule

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?

My son chooses any book he likes from the school library so can come home with all types of books. He doesn't follow a reading scheme. Sometimes he brings home books similar to these but often prefers to chose encyclopedia-type books instead eg books about motorbikes.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?

Yes he certainly enjoyed both reading and looking at the books. He says it is because they had both a story and also proper information about eg "how he became a football player". He also says he really likes the front covers because "they really spoke to me" and the titles were big and bold.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?

I liked the pack a lot but mainly because I could see how they grabbed my son's attention and gave us something we could really enjoy together rather than the usual coercion on my part and reluctance on his. I didn't personally find the front covers that appealing but my son certainly did and recognised the designs from books that his school has.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?

Brilliant, Very good. Words not so small, they were big so I could read it. It's got words I understand and exciting stories.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?

Yes especially if they like me have a child who is a reluctant or struggling reader.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?

Yes because they are really good.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent

My son says probably four because it's good and sort of good too. He would give it a five if the pictures were more proper pictures and less cartoons.

QED Fri 16-Dec-11 12:37:40

Sorry have been a bit distracted blush and also name changed.

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
There were 6 small books - one of them was about risky record breakers; they were all non-fiction ones. Looking at the back they were levelled from 2a to 3a I think. DS is in Year 3 and is a pretty competent reader.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?

DS is a free reader at school so reads a variety of books there. Mostly reads fiction at school although that is not his preferred genre.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?

DS enjoyed reading them as he loves finding out new facts about anything.

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?

They were books that DS enjoyed but I'm not sure how often he has read them. They seemed quite short books although they were interesting.

Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?
I liked them (he had seemingly little to say - I did try)

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?

I probably would although not as general books but I suppose if they were given the chance to choose books for a school I might suggest them.

Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?

He might do although I suspect would be unlikely to actively recommend "school books"

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent

I'd give them a 3.5 - good seeing non fiction school books but they were quite short.

nogoodusernamesleft Fri 16-Dec-11 13:02:26

Apologies for lateness – Christmas preparations just seemed to get in the way! smile

Q1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
We had the Pocket Facts pack which consisted of Prehistoric Predators, Unexplained, War Secrets, Space Race, High and Mighty, and Animals on the Edge.

Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any?
DS very rarely brings book back from school nowadays (he is 11 and in year 6). He occasionally brings home a library book but doesn’t tend to read them as he says there’s nothing interesting in the library at school.

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?
I’d say he enjoyed reading them – he is a fact geek and so this pack was ideal for him!

Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?
They’re not something I would necessarily buy myself for DS, but as books for a school reading scheme I think they’re great. They’re not too lengthy and contain interesting facts which should hold the attention of even a reluctant reader. I liked the puzzle at the end of each book. The pack as a whole covers a fairly wide range of subjects. I would say that children from 8-12 years in age would enjoy reading these books themselves.


Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack?
He enjoyed them a lot and says that he particularly enjoyed the Prehistoric Predators one. He commented that the facts in each book were interesting and that he learnt from them. He liked the look and presentation of each book but did say that they were very short in length – it only really took him 5 minutes or so to get through each book.

Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not?
I don’t think I would specifically recommend them. If asked I would certainly give a good opinion of them, but to my mind they seem like the sort of thing that would be available at school for children to read, rather than something you would buy in a book store.
Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not?
Not sure really – he generally reads fiction (Michael Morpurgo etc) although am sure if his friends asked what he thought of them he would say they were well worth a read.

Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent.
I would give them a 4 – they were entertaining and educational, and the wide subject range meant that there was something to please everyone!

corinewmoon Sat 17-Dec-11 09:54:39

1 Which pack or books did you and your child review?
Book pack aimed at 9-10 year old s including 'Hunting for trolls' and 'Saving a sea monstoer'
Q2 How do the books compare with the reading practice books your child brings home from school? Which reading scheme does your child use at school if any? I think the scheme is called 'tree tops' and he is on stage 15. My son found the books in the book pack easier than his school reading material

Q3 Would you say your child enjoy reading or looking at the books? Why/why not?- my son liked the stories but found the story line a bit confusing
Q4 What's your overall review of the book pack?- he enjoyed the book pack
Q5 And what is your child's review of the book pack? Good.
Q6 Would you recommend these books to another parent? Why/why not? not overly recommend them
Q7 Do you think your child would recommend these books to their friends? Why/why not? .no not interesting enough,
Q8 What star rating would you give this pack of books overall? Please use a rating system out of 5 where 1 star is poor and 5 stars are excellent -3 stars

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