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ROISIN-help please!

(27 Posts)
marialuisa Mon 14-Mar-05 10:18:19

Sorry, my hotmail's playing up so I've had to post instead of emailing!


Can you think of any books that DD might enjoy reading by herself? We're at an odd stage as she wants things she can read but she doesn't quite have the will to persevere through longer books and refuses point blank to read chapters in stories she enjoys having read to her like "Horrid Henry" and the sickly "Rainbow Fairies" because the pictures are "too boring".

This was probably a long time ago for you, but we spent an hour in Waterstones and ended up buying a kiddy Atlas!

FrenchGirl Mon 14-Mar-05 10:27:48

Hi Marialuisa, have you tried Alan Ahlberg's The Man who wore all his clothes, The cat who got carried away, The woman who won things? They're brilliant and very nicely illustrated too.

Janh Mon 14-Mar-05 10:37:22

Would these be any good, ml?

marialuisa Mon 14-Mar-05 10:43:43

Thanks for the tips so far! She likes The Skeleton series and Burglar Bill so Ahlberg probably good. The "Happy Families" series tend to be a bit long for her, she likes the illustrations but doesn't think much of the stories.

marialuisa Mon 14-Mar-05 14:09:58

quick bump

roisin Mon 14-Mar-05 14:27:05

Hiya! How exciting a thread with my name on it

Firstly I would say it is a poorly-served area, so any budding children's authors out there ...?!

Dr Seuss books are great.

Dick King-Smith has some good ones for this sort of level - Happy Mouse Day, The Finer-eater and The Jenius [sic.] went down particularly well here.

Anne Fine: Care of Henry

Jeff Brown: Flat Stanley (and sequels)

These books are all 'particularly exciting plots' (and the Stanley ones have great pictures) so are great for motivating children to persevere with the reading.

Are these the sort of things you are looking for?

Does she/will she get reading scheme books from school? I have got 4 ORT stage 7/8 books, which might got down well, which you are welcome to if you want.

PS I'm very impressed that you read HH to her. I point blank refuse to read them out loud, but haven't yet banned them!

roisin Mon 14-Mar-05 14:27:56

Oops .. typo .. the 'finger' eater ... this is about a troll who eats children's fingers. How is your dd on scary stories? It does have a happy ending btw.

roisin Mon 14-Mar-05 14:35:43

Or how about non-fiction? My mum got a set of books called 'Stepping Stones' (ridiculously cheaply) from a book club (Bfc I think) ... Why do plants grow in spring, why does the moon change shape, What are rainbows made of. Lovely colourful books with simple text, plus questions with answers at the back, and questions leading on to the next page each time.

School have some National Geographic nf books at this level too, which are fab too, but I suspect prohibitively expensive.

On the Book People website I have noticed a set of Oxford First Encylopaedias - 5 x 32pp books for £6.99. I haven't seen these, so am not sure what level they are at exactly, but they may be good now or in a year or so's time.

marialuisa Mon 14-Mar-05 14:38:25

Thanks Roisin! They sound great, we're getting better with scary stories and she's definitely got a taste for anything with a "yuck" factor.

She's not keen on anything that looks like a school book but thanks for the offer. TBH I've no idea where she'd be on the ORT scale either.

I'm quite surprised she's so taken with HH, I think it must be the "yuck" factor and the way it feeds into her own smug self-image ("mummy, he's so naughty, are you very pleased you've got a lovely good girl and not a naughty boy?"). DD is weirdly against boys in theory (she's made a sign for her room saying "private, no boys in here") but in fact she plays with boys as much as girls at school.

roisin Mon 14-Mar-05 14:45:53

IME children at 'this sort of stage' (I don't know what it is either!) tend to be very sensitive (subconsciously) to the font size of the text, as well as the number, size and attractiveness of illustrations, the number of pages in a chapter, and the number of pages in a book. Also little things like when sentences start to run onto a new line, or across a page turn.

Sometimes if they become consciously aware of these things, they can become a big stumbling block ... "I'm not reading a book that long" and so on.

So it may be worth keeping a close eye on what she does and doesn't cope well with on all these factors, and providing books at the right level. But try not to mention these things to her.

marialuisa Mon 14-Mar-05 14:51:59

You're spot on there Roisin. School tried to give her an old ladybird "Peter and Jane" type book. I could see at first glance that the vocab was easy enough but she balked at a page of unrelieved, close-typed font.

She definitely judges a book by its illustrations at the moment, and prefers bold, bright pictures. There are a few picture books she loves to have read to her (e.g. Rosie's Babies, A Kitten Called Moonlight) but won't even contemplate looking at/reading by herself because she doesn't like the pictures that much. DH on the other hand, isn't over keen on the stories!

roisin Mon 14-Mar-05 15:46:08

Flash of inspiration on the way to school! Usborne Puzzle books. There are 'mysteries to solve' within a vague story/plot, plus 'Where's Wally' style things to look for on every page as well. I think your dd could probably tackle these on her own, and I expect they'll be right up her street.

(There are loads of them btw, but two different sorts. The smaller format books are more complex.)

miggy Mon 14-Mar-05 15:57:52

dd like the "little animal ark" books-much easier than normal animal arks.
Also if she likes horrid henry for the smugness-try "my naughty little sister"
Magic unicorn is popular with dd but she says harder than little animal arks (agree with roisin though-its the size of the font and words per page)
Mog books are designed to use small number words and nice pictures too.

tarantula Mon 14-Mar-05 16:06:53

Was in a charity shop on saturday and picked up a couple of Milly-Molly-Mandy books. Id forgotten about them but I used to love them when I was liitle 9not sure why now reading them back). Might be the kind of thing to appeal to your dd.

tarantula Mon 14-Mar-05 16:08:43

Also second the Usbourne puzzle books. there are fantastic.

marialuisa Tue 15-Mar-05 08:39:57

Thanks everyone, I'm going to have a hunt through bookshops today.

We have Milly-Molly-Mandy for reading together but she's unwilling to read them by herself as they are too text-dense and no colour pictures. I've never heard of "Animal Ark", do they have illustrations? Don't want to sound as if I'm showing off but she's only just turned 4 so we need things with instant eye-catching appeal. She's not really able to get to grips with reading a chapter or so at a time for her own enjoyment, she wants to read the book in one go IYSWIM.

singersgirl Tue 15-Mar-05 10:31:31

Sorry, haven't had time to read the thread fully, but have you tried the Blue/Yellow/Red Bananas series? They can be read in one go and have lots of colour illustrations - they do vary quite a lot in reading difficulty even within the levels (blue is the easiest), but my son enjoyed them. Also, though this is more of a boy thing, we've had lots of success with Tintin - lots of pictures, but quite challenging text. Don't know if there's a girl equivalent!
We still have the correlation between print size and ease of reading here at 6 - he says a book is easy if the type is big or if there are pictures, regardless of the difficulty of the text.

roisin Tue 15-Mar-05 15:44:27

Have you had fun at the bookshops today? Any joy?

I spent a fortune in Ottakars on Saturday, then had a shock the next day when I accidently found the section on the Book People website which told me how much I'd spent with them in the past year ...!

marialuisa Tue 15-Mar-05 15:49:53

No, book shopping got sidelined as i took too long buying nasty clothes for my new job! I can't get away with cheap suits, need "smart casual" and spent ages trying to find ordinary clothes (i.e. not something that makes me look like a Romanaian peasant on her way to a judo lesson)...

oh well, probably best to wait until after the move on Saturday! We might find a nice independent bookshop somewhere.

miggy Tue 15-Mar-05 22:05:42

roisin-book people books are always a "bargain" so doesnt count as money-silly you

roisin Tue 15-Mar-05 22:16:40

roisin Thu 17-Mar-05 13:19:42

Marialuisa - have you got these? Usborne phonic-based readers They are probaby on the easy side for your dd, but they're good fun, and will certainly build confidence.
and at £7.99 for all 6 they're a bargain too

roisin Thu 17-Mar-05 13:25:16

I don't know these particular titles but Green Bananas are generally pretty good, and I think are the 'sort of thing' you're looking for.

HTH

marialuisa Thu 17-Mar-05 14:46:28

Thanks Roisin-moving house tomorrow so won't be on MN for a bit, but will "speak" soon!

roisin Thu 17-Mar-05 14:52:03

Hope the move goes well!

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