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Having grief with local library - your views please.

(7 Posts)
swedishmum Sun 17-Aug-08 00:44:19

We live in a rapidly growing town in SE England. Our library is positively seedy.
I thought that in adition to story books, I might find some books my 4yo could decode - anything from Ruth Miskin to Dr Zeuss would do. Apparently it goes against county policy to buy reading schemes (not that I ever requested the dreaded things). Simple question: am I being unreasonable? Oh, and are there any early readers you'd recommend for 4-5 year olds? Ideally quite phonically based? Thank you. Would love to know what your library has for this age group.

AvenaLife Sun 17-Aug-08 01:00:47

I can say, after having a intensive knowledge thanks to ds the bookworm of our local library, that they do not do reading schemes either. However, if we are lucky, we can find several different books by the same author which constitutes a reading scheme IMO, depending on what you are looking for.

ds's first reading book was Mr Tickle. We then moved on to Mr Topsy Turvey, then Mr Happy and Mr Silly. He's never read a reading scheme. He moved on to joke books, then Horrid Henry and Roald Dahl. He was given a ORT at nursery but he could already read it and it was as dull as shit. My local library has a mixture of books for this age, there's no set author. I'd give the Mr Men books a try, they are very interesting for children. I taught him phonics.

mrsgboring Tue 19-Aug-08 11:43:46

Take him to the library. Let him open the books he fancies and try to read them. Any he can, get them. It doesn't cost anything, so try to be completely chill about it and give him the freedom of the children's section (and if he wants to get something way of his league then just let him take it home and either pretend to read it or have you read to him. If he wants some baby book that's "beneath" his level, that's his business too.)

Mick Inkpen's Blue Nose Island books have slightly more text than the average picture book and are great. Also there are some Meg and Mog with longer stories. DS is only 2.10 at the moment, so don't have a huge knowledge.

I agree with the Mr Men suggestion - people here are snobby and disdainful about them but they are fab for young readers and DH and I both have vivid memories of reading them as kids.

Fairy tales are good too as they have a head start on the story - library should have lots of different versions (ours does) so you should be able to find one at the right level of language.

Check out the children's nonfiction section too - you may well find some good books about trains / Romans etc. etc. which he would enjoy even if he can't read all of it.

Ask how you can specifically recommend books and do so liberally.

LadyMuck Tue 19-Aug-08 11:58:19

Our libraries do have a "learning to read" section, though it is a fairly mixed bag - you wouldn't get to treat it as a scheme really. But there would be a selection of books for early readers.

But if you have a children's librarian who knows her stuff then whether or not the library is seedy, you will be very blessed. It is wonderful to be be able to show her a selectio of books and say "ds liked these 2 but didn't get into this at all" and for her to be able to steer you towards books that your dcs will enjoy.

Campaspe Tue 19-Aug-08 12:08:43

I can understand why a library might not stock purely educational "readers", but I'd be surprised and disappointed if I couldn't find books to support children in learning to read. I also thought that Dr Seuss was popular as a read aloud choice as well as helping children to learn to read.

Does your library not have any sort of feedback or request facility that would enable you to raise this issue?

Miaou Tue 19-Aug-08 12:15:16

A lot of libraries here have a good selection of books by Rose Impey (amongst others; that's just one name that springs to mind) - two series called Animal Crackers and Colour Crackers. Can you request books from another library if you can't find what you want? Up here in the highlands this is a free service you can access via the internet but I realise this isn't the case throughout Britain.

PortAndLemon Tue 19-Aug-08 12:22:29

I wouldn't expect libraries to buy reading scheme books -- their budgets re stretched enough and I think they should prioritise books that are fun to read/have read above books specifically designed for decoding. But I'd have classed Dr Seuss in the former category (although I find that they are much less fun on the twentieth reading... grin.

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