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Early reader recommendations for Xmas

(19 Posts)
louisejxxx Fri 21-Nov-14 17:44:27

I was hoping to get a couple of books that my ds would be able to manage reading as an Xmas present so that he can keep practising his reading (currently only getting one book change a week so on the other days we are a little stumped). I was planning on getting a set of the Julia Donaldson's Songbirds as they come in a 12in1 book...however thought it'd be wise to make sure they don't already have these in class and it turns out they do.

I had a good hunt through W H Smiths earlier to try and find just normal story books that he would be able to do on his teacher's recommendation but they all seemed a bit too tricky. Has anyone got any suggestions?

He has just been moved up to Stage 1+ ORT books (but still pink book band, not red) and is currently doing "Patterned Stories" so really isn't very far along in his reading career at all yet...are there any books out there like this that aren't from a reading scheme?

merlehaggard Fri 21-Nov-14 18:23:45

I don't have any specific suggestions, although I did buy my nearly 4 year old the songbird ones, but I would say how good the book people are and they have several sets.

bakingtins Fri 21-Nov-14 18:31:01

Try Usborne. We liked the sticker stories farmyard tales which use stickers to replace words in the text. Some of the books have a very simple sentence at the top of the page then a bit for the parent to read to move the plot along. we had some Topsy and Tim ones too (also Usborne?)

CharlesRyder Fri 21-Nov-14 18:36:50

You could get a subscription to Reading Chest for a Christmas present then you could have extra books year round?

ThisOneAndThatOne Fri 21-Nov-14 18:53:41

Another big thumbs up for the book people.

They have loads of sets for early readers for about a pound each. Well worth it as I found we never read an early reader book more than once.

Momzilla82 Fri 21-Nov-14 19:34:33

Have heard good things about these books- unlikely that he school has them.

Another idea is a subscription to a magazine- such as storytime? My 4 year old who can't read enjoys it.

EmeraldIce Fri 21-Nov-14 19:46:43

Yes yes to The Book People! And they have a lot of sales/discounts at the moment too on top of their already extremely low prices on some items.

I know you've ruled out Songbirds but for anyone else reading, you can get a set of 36 books (including titles from higher levels) for not much more than the set of 12.

Practise Your Phonics with Traditional Tales is lovely too with a good mix of different book bands (a few from your DC's stage) from ORT Traditional Tales.

Sorry I don't have any non reading scheme recommendations.

EmeraldIce Fri 21-Nov-14 19:52:57

Also tend to read a lot of picture books with my child - eg Julia Donaldson's stories, Jill Murphy's books, Elmer the Elephant series etc And get DC to join in with rhymes/tricky words being learnt/sounding out words in know are currently decodable at DC's stage in learning/joining in reading with me for expression etc.

Again, The Book People often offer a range of different sets of picture books - usually about 10 books for £10 (sometimes down to around £8) when included in a flash sale.

louisejxxx Fri 21-Nov-14 20:02:57

Thanks for the suggestions all! It is so difficult trying to find books that aren't part of a reading scheme that are actually readable. I should have delved a bit deeper when speaking to the teacher really and ask if there's any schemes I haven't got so I could get those instead.

Kidsncats Fri 21-Nov-14 20:52:01

DD liked Spot the Dog books and Maisy Mouse...big print, nice easy story and simple text.

EmeraldIce Fri 21-Nov-14 21:30:02

I don't think this is part of a reading scheme... Seem to remember there were a few non decodable words/abbreviations eg 'don't'. It comes with a CD of the stories being read too. Haven't yet listened but on first glance the illustrations were fun and the text fairly basic.

louisejxxx Sat 22-Nov-14 08:19:54

After doing a bit of research I think whoever posted about the ORT Traditional Tales collection may be onto a winner - they aren't on the copy of the school's standard reading record they use for each child so that looks promising smile but I'm definitely going to order a few bits from the book people too.

PastSellByDate Sat 22-Nov-14 09:09:24


Try looking at a BookPeople catalogue (usually given out through schools but also available on-line) - they often have reading selections based on age/ reading stage - and you can get a number of books at that level fairly economically.

If you don't already own it - we're going on a bear hunt is great fun and lovely to read out loud together.

Aliens love underpants/ dinosaurs love underpants - great fun.

Also consider whether there is a book you can buy which you can read to your son (a childhood favourite of your own for example) - as listening to you read and following the words you're reading is also helpful.

Audiobooks are also great - again useful to hear English as a spoken language and rhythm of words.

PastSellByDate Sat 22-Nov-14 09:10:45

Oh forgot to mention - Stick Man by Julia Donaldson is a lovely book - and very seasonal.

bakingtins Sat 22-Nov-14 09:29:21

The book people have the ORT traditional tales at the moment, 20 graded books for £10.

WomanScorned Sat 22-Nov-14 09:30:54

We love the ORT Traditional Tales here, too. I have the Ladybird Collection, also from the Book People, stashed for Xmas. I'm gutted that the Marvel readers were out of stock when I tried to order them yesterday. DS's school def. don't have them, so will keep looking and, hopefully, get them for his 5th b-day in Feb.

noramum Sat 22-Nov-14 09:50:21

I wouldn't buy books which are matching his current level, they normally progress quite fast and these books they memorise easily.

Try to get some at charity shops or from the library instead.

We bought books we read together, we loved Usborne First readers and DD just read words she could. We had the problem that she fast announced picture books like Julia Donaldson were for pre schoolers and while she still loved them she never really read them herself. She wanted "proper" books.

Hooliesmoolies Sat 22-Nov-14 20:12:24

I got a lot of the early reader book sets from the book people, but often my DD would read some, but the only set she ever wanted to read all of were the Biff & Chip ones. In the end, I went with Reading Chest. For the early stages, I think Reading Chest is great. The books are at the right level and there is variety within the levels. Although you pay per month, and it may be overall more expensive, for us I think it has been considerably more cost effective.

MinimalistMommi Sun 23-Nov-14 11:57:54

We just go to the library lots here and grab ones which look slightly harder then she is reading at school. DD gets through books so quickly! DD has gone up over a year in her reading age using this method! Or as someone said above subscribe to Reading Chest.

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