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'Up You Go' is a short story aimed at young children who are just learning to read. Written by Roderick Hunt, illustrated by Alex Brychta, and featuring the familiar characters from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, Biff, Chip and Kipper, this is another firm favourite in our house.
The story is about a sunny day spent in the garden at home. The kids have rigged up the slide to go straight into the paddling pool, which is a great game till Dad gets involved. Poor Dad can't seem to get it right in these level one stories.
My son aged 5 is the perfect age for this book. He is just learning to read at school. The short story is only 8 pages long. Each page is predominantly covered with a large and colourful illustration. Underneath is a sentence of between 1 and 4 words that encourages confidence in a new reader.
This particular story always makes us chuckle when we read it together. The expressions on the faces of the characters are brilliant, from distraught Kipper, to Mum who wants to tear her hair out, and a slightly remorseful Dad, to Biff thinking it is hilarious. I find there is a lot to talk about with my kids as we go through it.
The words featured in this book are go, no, I, Dad, and up. These are all words very relevant to any child I feel. As an added interest, there is a bee hidden in each picture to find. I find it is quite tricky in this book as they are well camouflaged against the background.
At the end of the book there are 4 questions related to the plot of the story for reading with your children, varying from a quick recall such as 'who went down the slide first?' to more open ended questions such as 'why is Biff laughing at Dad? and 'Which games do you like to play in the garden?' I think this is a lovely touch, and I have had some lovely answers from my kids. Surprisingly, the answers can change depending on what we have recently been doing ourselves, such as a specific ball game, or writing in chalks.
The book ends with a spot the difference puzzle. There are two pictures of Kipper sat in the paddling pool. The child needs to spot five differences between the 2 images. We practise our counting as we tick off on our fingers what they have found. I hold up fingers as they tell me. I find they get quite competitive over which of my boys is first to find the next difference. Quite motivating for them.
I love the Biff, Chip and Kipper books. They are really colourful and amusing, and very motivating to my boys to keep reading. It is lovely to see them both growing in confidence as we read them together, and the progress has been quite quick with so much repetition of the same simple words they see elsewhere. Highly recommended by us.