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"Real books"

(35 Posts)
nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:09:09

No, not the 1970s throw books at them and see what sticks idea.

My DC is well away with this reading gig, but it is really hard work to encourage the reading of anything other than reading scheme books. Which is fine, but we're running out, and there is only so much Magic Key I can take (he's only in reception!) If it doesn't have a book band, it can't be read, according to DC.

Tonight, he read (genuinely read, not one he knows very well at all to be a recitation) Room on the Broom, as our library has this in a format that matched the 'read it yourself' books, and therefore looks like a reading scheme. (Cunning!) So... how can I get hold of more 'real' books in this format? I'd love to branch out, but anything that doesn't look like it could have a bookband, is quickly given up on, although well within DC's ability.

Does anyone know of a publisher who does books in this format, that aren't reading scheme?

stargirl1701 Sat 03-May-14 20:11:17

The Oxford Reading Tree have a 'branch' called Snapdragons which look like the Magic Key books but aren't about Biff, Chip or Kipper. I think Julia Donaldson was involved in writing some of them.

stargirl1701 Sat 03-May-14 20:12:14


nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:14:39

I think I'm thinking Judith Kerr books, but smaller format, maybe? It's difficult to explain what they've done with this 'Room on the Broom', but it's definitely more 'reading scheme' looking than 'picture book' looking for its format.

stargirl1701 Sat 03-May-14 20:18:58

Well, these are part of the Reading scheme and have the level, colour band, etc on them exactly in the same place as the Magic Key stories.

addictedtosugar Sat 03-May-14 20:19:08

Could you put a little coloured sticker on the spine, to "show what level it is"?

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:26:26

Haha, I can see myself spending an evening 'bookbanding' all the books in the house! I was hoping a publisher had done a little series of these, we could work through, DC would realise that they're normal books, and we could move on.

Thank you for the suggestions.

Nyborg Sat 03-May-14 20:27:38

Would he accept Ladybird books?

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:32:23

Yes, if they appear 'banded' in any way, he'll read them.

But, as a sort of 'book band' patch (like a nicotine patch), I was hoping to wean him on to 'normal' books, by finding more in this format, and wondered if anyone knew of a published series of 'normal' picture books, in a similar size/layout to reading scheme books.

TheEnchantedForest Sat 03-May-14 20:49:14

In bought this ladybird set for my reception age daughter for similar reasons. It's a great set (IMO) with fairy tales, pirate adventures...something for everyone!

TheDayOfMyDoctor Sat 03-May-14 21:07:59

You could try the banana books or doctor Seuss books. DS got some flat Stanley banana books - there's three levels, red, blue and green. He also got a doctor Seuss box set which again has three colour levels which he enjoys reading.

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:12:29

Thanks, great ideas!

TheDayOfMyDoctor Sat 03-May-14 21:20:17

A few of Julia Donaldson's other books come in the same format too. It's called the 'let's read' series I think.

wolfofwestfieled Sat 03-May-14 21:22:54

What's his actual issue with books that aren't book banded?

The fact that they don't have stickers on them?

The size of the books?

Is the text too dense?

I can't picture what the refusal is about so can't think how to answer just yet.

TheEnchantedForest Sat 03-May-14 21:25:39

Itsfab Sat 03-May-14 21:29:05

Has the teacher said they can only read school books to be recorded in their reading records?

IME teachers can be very rigid in their what books can be read schedule and it can be a pita.

TheDayOfMyDoctor Sat 03-May-14 21:33:11

Is it a confidence thing OP? DS was initially quite daunted by books other than his reading books thinking he didn't know how to read them. We also have some songbirds book which are part of the ORT reading scheme and reading those (at the same level as his school books) has given him the confidence to try other books with a bit of gentle encouragement from me.

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:34:16

The refusal is down to personality, and a firm belief that books in the world are divided into ones children at his age read themselves (ie. scheme books), and books adults read to you. So, the refusal is down to format (size, the thickness of the cover, typeface- ORT books, ladybirds, songbirds etc, all have a sort of quality about them).

The teacher did say they wanted reading records updated. Until then I didn't list everything read, now there isn't space!

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 03-May-14 21:34:23

what level is he reading at? I am not sure what room on the broom translates as but you could try Usborne beginners series which are hardback non fiction ones that are chapter books sized if that makes sense, you know grown up book sized not big picture book sized. They are book band 8. then Usborne do their own sort of Early reader ones called Young Reading Series 1/2/3 and I think 4 now too. They are the same size but are fiction and are from book band 10-11+ I think if I remember right. He might like the fact they look like grown up books so may go along with it even though they don't look like banded ones (the bandings are on their website).

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:36:08

I think it probably is confidence, yes. If it is for kids to read themselves, he knows he can do it easily. He is daunted by the idea that he can potentially read anything he likes! (But does, if he forgets, if you see what I mean? As in, he can read everything and anything, but if he stops to think about it, he won't, as it's something 'grown ups read.')

wolfofwestfieled Sat 03-May-14 21:37:24


The DDs have a ladybird sized version of the tiger who came to tea, not sure who the publisher is, but there may be other classic books like that in that format. Will have a look/think..

wolfofwestfieled Sat 03-May-14 21:39:57

Do you keep his story books in his bedroom? I know I leave my 5 year old DD with a torch (it's a kind of bedside lamp/torch thing) and a box of books next to her bed and she just reads whatever she likes after I've said goodnight.

Perhaps he'll try that if there's no one watching him?

(I do read to her and listen to her read as well! It's just I know she reads a lot on her own too).

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:40:00

He is on yellow at school- yet can read anything at home. Turquoise books are a bit long, but he reads them in two sittings, and can remember the story. I have gone down the route of not telling the teacher their job, and I think as he's a 'good reader', he gets a bit ignored at school, so, following advice on here, we go 'off piste' at home.

TheDayOfMyDoctor Sat 03-May-14 21:41:43

Do you have a book shop with a decent size children's section? Ours has a couple of shelves of books for early readers, which is where I found the banana books (as well as others mentioned here). Worth having a look to see what they have or even taking him along to choose a book.

TheDayOfMyDoctor Sat 03-May-14 21:47:37

X-posted OP. He sounds quite similar to my DS. Choosing books himself at the bookshop definitely helped. With the Dr Seuss books, I started to read stories to him and pointed out really easy words for him and built it up until he read a page, I read a page etc. As they're very silly stories, we had some fun with it - I pretended the tongue twisters are too hard for grown ups and I needed his help so he would read some words to me.

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