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Children's books

I need some new ideas for books to read to dd (nearly 6)

106 replies

imaginaryfriend · 28/05/2008 23:10

She's only just moved from me reading her picture books to reading her chapter books. I've found it quite hard to come up with things that appeal to her, but thanks to some great suggestions on here I've had huge success with:

Princess Mirror-Belle stories
Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf
George's Marvellous Medicine (Roald Dahl although she doesn't like any of his other books)
Arabel's Raven
All the Amelia Jane stories

She generally seems to favour books which are quite funny and a little bit surreal / magical. She hasn't liked any of the Animal Ark type stories, nor the Magic Unicorn / fairy type books.

I'd love some new suggestions. I've just started an Ottoline book by Chris Riddell but she's not too impressed so far!

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Hulababy · 29/05/2008 22:19

Story thee for the Molly Moon one seeed a bit more grown up compared to Oliver Moon. I am tempted to get some Oliver Moon ones to share ith DD; they look a bit different to what we already have.

imaginaryfriend · 29/05/2008 22:20

Does she read them herself Hula? What kind of age would one reasonably expect them to handle that much text?

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Hulababy · 30/05/2008 10:36

She reads Horrid Henry herself. I do sit with her and hear her read the odd passage or so and check understanding and that she knows longer words. She tends to use a Horrid Henry story each week at the moment for her weekend reading journal - which helps with making sure the comprehension is there when she is tackling longer books.

There are a couple of others she can manage alone too now.

Not sure wat the norm is. Certainly there are children on MN that appear to be agead of Dd in terms of tacklig longer books, but there are also many not doing so. In her class DD is one of a couple tackling longer books by themselves (still have normal school reading books though; these are for fun) and most are no where near.So huge variation at this age.

A lot fo children are capable of reading the words but the thought of tackling such a big book alone puts them off.

littlelapin · 30/05/2008 10:41

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Hulababy · 30/05/2008 10:43


But have to say that reading the books haven't ade DD want to do any of the stuff, honest. Thing she just loves reading about what naughty things he gets up to, like with My Naughty Little Sister and Naughty Amela Jane.

Bit different when your ouwn name I guess though

littlelapin · 30/05/2008 10:44

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Shitemum · 30/05/2008 10:47

There are more books about Arabel's raven - we have one called 'The spiral stair'.

imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 11:00

Dd is very daunted by the amount of words on a page! She's a good reader I think but her stamina is not great yet and I'm not pushing her, happy with where she is. dp and I love reading and I want it to be the same for her. She did read an Usborne first reader book last weekend which was like a very minimal kind of novel but she does struggle with difficult unfamiliar words and tends to guess them then move on so I would imagine her comprehension isn't that great in that instance.

Dd also loves books about 'naughty' children. She's quite into being 'good' (even though she's not always that good) so I think it's a surreptitious venting of her naughty desires.

Dd's already put in a request for more Arabel's Raven books but I can't find any anywhere.

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Hulababy · 30/05/2008 11:04

if - I think that is why DD likes the HH books; gets her to live the naughty experiences through him.

She has only recently started tackling the longer books. It is purely a confidence thing when they see the number of wrds to a page.

But I agree with you - no pushing. The enjoyment of books is way more important. We still read to DD lots too, for this very reason.

dreamygirl · 30/05/2008 12:19

I've been enjoying reading this thread picking up ideas as my DD is the same age as imaginaryfriend's and loves books. Thought I'd make a contribution too - for her last birthday she got all 4 Milly-Molly-Mandy books which she loved. They are very old (written in the 30s I think) so some of the concepts needed explaining but lovely stories all the same. We're big fans of Faraway Tree (been through all 3 books 3 times in 18 months!) and Wishing Chair too. And she has Malory Towers on cassette which she thinks is great although I don't know how much she understands !

dreamygirl · 30/05/2008 12:29

Also DD does the same with the guessing unfamiliar words and moving on. My sister is a teacher and she says it's because they are used to being read to and understand that they are not just reading a group of words on a page but something which has a meaning, which is an important skill. So apparently it's a good thing, even if it means they don't completely understand everything they read!

littlelapin · 30/05/2008 12:33

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imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 12:48

Oh, thanks LL! I'm on my way over there now

Hula, I am so frequently left speechless that any child manages to learn to read this darned language that I don't like to push beyond natural capabilities. And dd can get very upset when she encounters a word she just can't get - she tried to read the word 'machine' last night and was so frustrated.

In terms of comprehension I find that dd often reads a page of one of her home readers perfectly then turns to me and says 'what did that actually mean, mum?' which leads me to wonder ...

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imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 12:50

LL, that's so bizarre that I didn't find them on Amazon when I looked. You must have magic finding fingers. Thanks!

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SummatAndNowt · 30/05/2008 13:19

I never understood things I read out loud as a child. I was too worried about reading everything right to be able to think about what it all meant.

slayerette · 30/05/2008 13:28

How about the story of Nim's Island (by Wendy Orr, I think)? We took ds(5) to see the film and he loved it so we've just bought the book it was based on. Feisty girl heroine, not magical as such but definitely unusual. DS has also devoured the Spiderwick books (DH has read him FOUR this half term alone!)

slayerette · 30/05/2008 13:29

And ds loved Horrid Henry - all the books and some cds, and no adverse effects on his behaviour!

imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 13:48

SAN, dd is definitely like that, she concentrates on the words and forgets the meaning!

slayerette, dd loved the film too. So that's an idea!

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Hulababy · 30/05/2008 13:52

Dh, when reading to DD, has regularly commented that he never takes things in properly when reading out aloud. So he reads stories to ehr and haf the time doesn't seem to remember what they were about.

imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 13:54

Might that be to do with slightly switching off and reading on 'automatic'? I remember when I was still reading dd picture books, some of which I'd read so often I was really bored of them, I'd do it on auto-pilot. Her current books I'm rather enjoying and I do remember them.

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Hulababy · 30/05/2008 14:09

Yes, probably but he says it is strange. He kind of reads ahead of himself to get the jist, and then reads it out loud to DD at the ame time.

DD has started to read to herself (without saying it out lud0 a lot more now, and I think when they get to that stage the comprehension may get easier.

But the comprehension thing is really important, and many early readers (and esp for soe reason those who started reading at a younger thn average age and are ahead of the game so to speak) can really struggle with this. When I help out in school and go into the older year (Y3) I do hear the girls read, but spend more time asking them what has happened so far, why do you like it, what do you hope might happen, etc. than listening to them read words.

imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 14:27

Yes I ask dd lots of questions to see if she understands the story. She uses picture cues a lot still though. I also think comprehension is vital, otherwise it's just an exercise isn't it? My dd's a bit of a drifty daydreamer though and even when I'm reading to her she'll suddenly ask me something which means she's definitely been mentally elsewhere when I've been reading.

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Hulababy · 30/05/2008 14:55

Hey, at least she is asking. That is good and means she is taking things in and listening.

Picture cues def the norm here too.

imaginaryfriend · 30/05/2008 15:00

She loves stories and always wants me to read more and more and more chapters!

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mymblemummy · 31/05/2008 01:18

My daughter loved all of these at about the same age:

Gobbolino, the Witch's Cat, The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse, both by Ursula Moray Williams,
The Dolls' House, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, both by Rumer Godden,
Poor Cecco, by Margery Williams Bianco
Green Smoke, Dragon in Danger, The Dragon's Quest, all by Rosemary Manning,
the Ramona series, by Beverley Cleary,
the Sophie series, by Dick King-Smith,
the My Naughty Little Sister series, by Dorothy Edwards,
Teddy Robinson, by Joan G Robinson,
Paddington, and Olga da Polga, both by Michael Bond,
the Wombles series, by Elizabeth Beresford,
the Mr Majeika series, by Humphrey Carpenter,
The Animals of Farthing Wood, by Colin Dann,
The Voyage of QV66, by Penelope Lively (amazing book, great adventure story for kids and clever satire for adults),
the Mrs Pepperpot series, by Alf Proysen,
the Worst Witch series, by Jill Murphy,
Wild Robert, Chair Person, Who Got Rid of Angus Flint, all by Diana Wynne Jones,
the Horrid Henry series, by Francesca Simon,
the Mystery (Five Find-Outers and Dog) series, by Enid Blyton,
the Little Grey Rabbit series, by Alison Uttley

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