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Those whose children read early

(70 Posts)
capcom3 Thu 14-May-15 13:01:01

My 4 year old is an advanced reader, his head teacher tested his reading age a few months back which came back as 8.1 years.
He seems to be progressing fast and although that's great, I am finding it hard to find books with appropriate content.

He brings home a Read Write Inc and an Oxford Reading Tree book twice a week and at home loves his fact books on space, dinosaurs, human body etc but he is wanting to start reading chapter books.

Are there any you can recommend which will be suitable for a sensitive 4 year old but also be at a challenging level?
At the moment his school books aren't challenging him at all.


Longtalljosie Thu 14-May-15 13:02:18

What's read write inc? Following with interest as we've basically been told as DD can read she's just being parked on purple hmm

Justusemyname Thu 14-May-15 13:04:10

I let school get on with it but they soon saw her ability. She read from two and I bought her books and she read what she wanted. I bought Mr Men, Famous Five, Roald Dahl, Secret Seven, Paddington etc.

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 14-May-15 13:06:03

DS was an early reader (although not quite that early!) He's now nearly 9 and has just read Lord of the Rings, rather him than me...

He started out with quite a bit of Dick King Smith, lots of 'animal' stories, things like The Sheep Pig etc. Flat Stanley was one of the first chapter books he read by himself, and there is now a whole series of these. He also loves fact books, we have several Usborne 'flap' books which have lots of interesting facts, we have one on the body, one on space.

moogalicious Thu 14-May-15 13:06:30

Dino FC, which is a series
Captain Underpants

Have a look here

Heels99 Thu 14-May-15 13:06:54

Do you have Access to a library?
It is tricky finding books that are not too 'grown up' for younger readers or that they can fully comprehend the inferences etc as well as being able to read the words. Libraries have hundreds of books and librarians can be very helpful.

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 14-May-15 13:09:02

Our library has a really handy reference book which gives suggestions for different age groups, plus 'if you liked x author, you may like y author' recommendations.

KittiesInsane Thu 14-May-15 13:09:08

Se if you can get some of the old-fashioned animal-based children's books -- Paddington comes to mind, or Olga da Polga, or May Plain.

Gentler Roald Dahl, such as George's Marvellous Medicine or The Twits.

Enid Blyton, if you can stand it! Plenty of easy repetitive vocabulary.

Mr Gum and Asterix the Gaul went down well with mine, though I suspect they were a bit older.

DD at that age read about 50 of those revolting Rainbow Fairy books before deciding it would be just as good to write her own.

heymammy Thu 14-May-15 13:15:00

Take the wee fella to the library as often as you can and just let him choose whatever books he fancies, they don't need to be challenging and you might find that he self regulates I.e. He might start reading a book that's too 'old' for him but chances are he'll stop reading it if it's not too his liking or if he's just not getting it.

dd1 had a reading age of 10.2 when she started school and I used to get in a pickle about making sure her books were stretching her, after a while I didn't bother any more and she just chooses what she likes. I didn't want to put her off. She's still one of the best readers and spellers in her year at age 11

RedKite5004 Thu 14-May-15 15:05:37

I would definitely echo what others have said about taking your DS to the library. He will find his own level I'm sure although there may well be a few books started and then discarded after a couple of pages on the way! The librarians are a brilliant font of information on what might suit as well. My DS also loved the more gentle Roald Dahl and Secret Seven at that age as someone else suggested although at that age he had a definite preference for non fiction (probably as a result of the horrific dullness of the Oxford Reading Tree books!) so we had a lot of the lift the flap type books for science, Space Dinosaurs etc...
It's difficult to find things they find stimulating but aren't too long that they lose their enthusiasm for them as regardless of reading ability the stamina to get through a longer chapter book is unlikely to be there just yet.
It's only really now at 7.5 that my DS really enjoys the longer, plain text fiction books. He found a couple of novels written by a Minecraft fan the other day (in Tesco if anyone else has Minecraft obsessed DCs) and has loved them because he can relate to the characters in a way that he hasn't been able to with fiction previously because he was already so familiar with them through playing the game.

fattymcfatfat Thu 14-May-15 15:13:13

myself and my DS were both early readers. I was allowed to pick my own books and I have done the same for DS. the library is definitely your friend. my DS is now 6 and he is halfway through the fourth Harry feckin potter book. he also has lots of "younger" books because he still likes a squidge and a story from time to time.
let the child Lead. you don't want him to feel pressured or just be put off reading. because he doesn't like a book. (which is why libraries are fab, you can give an unwanted book back and pick a new one)

Mistigri Thu 14-May-15 15:30:22

What type of literature does he enjoy?

DD was always drawn towards fantasy and myth, even at an early age, so her early reading was very much in this vein. Her first chapter books at age 3 were some of the longer modern retellings of fairy stories (Usborne has some good versions that are very attractive and age appropriate) and the "younger" Enid Blyton books like the Faraway Tree At your son's age she also read the first two or three Narnia books and she also absolutely loved a fantasy series called Lily Quench, and a bit later (but not much) a series by the American writer Patricia Wrede. Greek myths (usborne has a good version) were a big hit also. She did read some of the Enid Blyton adventure books but they weren't such a big hit.

She is not especially sensitive though and she is good at self-censoring if books take her out of her comfort zone.

Mistigri Thu 14-May-15 16:00:26

Just to add ... DS was not such an early reader (he read early but it took quite a while to him to wind up to "proper" chapter books) but at 5-ish he enjoyed a lot of the non-fiction Usborne first chapter books, the Magic Treehouse series, Beast Quest and there is a lovely little series by Alexander MacCall Smith about a boy growing up in Africa which he really enjoyed. He also liked some of Michael Morpurgo's books for very young children, but I can't rememver the name of the series. He liked books with animals and facts in them.

Captain Underpants was a big hit too but I suspect the humour might be easier to grasp for a slightly older child.

MMmomKK Fri 15-May-15 00:56:10

My Reception DD2 is similar. She could read books for 8yos but would neither understand, nor enjoy them.

For her reading by herself - I quite like the early chapter books, that still have some pictures (some in colour, other b/w). I find that the stories are interesting enough and not too mature. These are the kind of books she brings from school as well.

In addition, we started reading Roald Dahl together. So far, she read Fantastic Mr.Fox, and just finished The Magic Finger. Really enjoying those. But I want to make sure the comprehension is there, so don't yet let her read those by herself.

You can find a lot of these books at a library. I also buy them used on Amazon - majority are in a great condition and are half price. Also, our neighbourhood Oxfam has a great book selection, so we often pick a couple 59p books there for her to read.

The series we read a lot are:
- Early readers

- Colour Young Puffins

- Corgi Pups

Mistigri Fri 15-May-15 07:14:02

I don't think insisting on perfect comprehension is that helpful actually. Very young children will not take away the same things from a book as an older child or adult will, but as long as they enjoy the books there is no single "right" way of enjoying them.

DD while still in preschool read some 19th century French children's literature that I'd struggle with as a bilingual adult (she had seen the related cartoon series). Lord knows what she made of it - the language and syntax is very old fashioned - but she seemed to enjoy it!

samsonagonistes Fri 15-May-15 09:39:15

Agree with Magic Treehouse if he likes facts.

Also Jeremy Strong and Horrid Henry, and both of these do early reader series that are a good starting point if other chapter books look a bit daunting - the Jeremy Strong ones are called Pirate School and are chapter books but with fully illustrated pages.

balletgirlmum Fri 15-May-15 09:44:52

I had the same problem with ds & dd, it was worse around the age of 6 when they were bring given more advanced books but with inappropriate content for their age.

The original Thomas the Tank books were a hit with ds, dd liked a series of ballet stories books that were a bit more challenging than rainbow fairies.

However they both loved rainbow fairies/captain underpants etc so I always let them read them for enjoyment.

CalpolOnToast Fri 15-May-15 09:50:52

If you've got a DC who read early, how did they learn? I think DS who is 26 months could probably learn to read in the the next year or so (likes books has learned letters and numbers just from being read to) but I'm not sure whether to just keep reading to him lots or to teach him formally. All the age 3-5 workbooks seem to rely on writing a lot which I can understand the logic of but he doesn't really have the fine motor skills yet.

nailsathome Fri 15-May-15 09:54:59

I was an early reader. I was reading classic literature like Little Women when I was very young and, although I could read the words, much of the content escaped me so the inappropriate bits didn't matter iyswim?

balletgirlmum Fri 15-May-15 10:03:51

Dd did jolly phonics at nursery from when she was 3, she loved it so I bought the books for home, she was 4.5 when she started to blend sounds & just flew from there.

I never intended to teach ds to read but between the ages of 2 & 3 he used to listen & join in with Dds phonic work. At first I thought he just enjoyed the jolly phonics silly sounds & actions but I've day I realised that he was actually starting to read words so I bought some books from the Internet that were completely decidable. Can't remember the name of the series but they featured two cats.

TessDurbeyfield Fri 15-May-15 10:07:53

My DS is 5 and loves reading Dinosaur Cove

meditrina Fri 15-May-15 10:18:15

Try The Book People.

They do a big range of heavily discounted sets (and it's a catalogue not a club, so you never get anything you haven't ordered).

This set of silly fairy stories?

capcom3 Fri 15-May-15 12:40:34

A great selection of suggestions here, thank you!
There is a library across town so I will be sure to pop there with him too, I have no idea why I didn't think of that.

longtalljosie Read write inc is just another (I think newer) system of learning to read at school. They do those books in reception at his school and then move onto the biff and chip books by Oxford Reading Tree after. I prefer the read write inc stories!

CalpolOnToast He always loved books and at a very young age used to point to pictures/words for me to say what they were. It then progressed to him starting to remember letters, then words and when he started reception and they showed him how to blend, he just got it.
I have never had to teach him, it seems to come naturally to him

BrianButterfield Fri 15-May-15 12:57:42

DS was reading before 3. He knew all his letter sounds at 18months (foam bath letters!) and I used to sound words out to him when we were reading together. I modelled blending from early on, he did it ok but hesitantly for a while then one day it just clicked! Now at 3.5 he can read pretty much anything.

He's been enjoying comics - we have a Beano annual and he likes the silliness of it. A lot do the jokes go over his head but there's enough toilet humour to keep him amused.

var123 Fri 15-May-15 13:13:50

I remember this exact, same problem!

(My current problem is age-appropriate books that will interest an 11 year old boy who easily and frequently reads 150 pages in one evening!).

We went through all the ladybird books (much loved), a few biff and chip books (the children liked them even if I did not!), horrid henry and all the copy cats - dirty bertie etc, the Happy Families series, gazillions of bedtime story books (Guess How Much i love you etc), all the Mr Men, Charlie and Lola and every dinosaur book in the bookshop.

I know there were more but I can't remember them now. i'll post any others that come back to me.

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