* Prices may differ from that shown
The read at home series of books are by Oxford Reading Tree which is used in 80% of primary schools and as it is used in my sons school I decided to pick up a few of these for home as his strongest subject is literacy and he really is loving reading. The read at home books follow the family of mum, dad and their children Biff, Chip and Kipper ( I know, I know...who calls their children that?!) and Floppy the dog. They are written by Roderick Hunt and illustrated by Alex Brychta. The Spaceship is from the level 3c series of books which are for children who can recognise 10-20 words by sight, can read simple sentences and know all the initial letter sounds. The book is a hard back and has a price of £3.50 on the back of it but I managed to pick these books up in The Works for just a pound each which I think is a great price. Inside the front cover of the book are some tips on reading together with your child such as talking about the illustrations, talking about what you think the story might be about and giving your child praise. I think most of these things we do quite naturally though whilst reading with our children. The Spaceship story is basically about a dream that Floppy the dog has in which himself and Kipper go into space with aliens named Zig and Zog. They come into some danger and Floppy must save the day! It is a really sweet little story with usually just one sentence per page so it is manageable for a child who is in the early stages of learning to read. The illustrations in the story are lovely and there is always a lot to look for in the pictures. I think this is so you can chat about them with your child and encourage them to think and talk about the story. It also helps a child who is just learning to read to look at the pictures and see what is going on there be able to predict what words may be coming if they are struggling. At the end of the book there are little questions that you can ask your child if you want to encourage more discussion about the story. There is also a small section with the key words from this story and the others in the series which you can use to help your child practice them. I have never done this with my son as he tends to be able to read the books himself now as he is approaching the end of the reception year at school. My son really enjoys these books. I think the fact that the characters are familiar to him because of his school books really enhances this. He likes to read the stories just before he goes to bed at night. I would thoroughly recommend these books, especially if you can get them at a decent price like I did!
The popular Oxford Reading Tree character Floppy the Dog has been doing a lot of dreaming lately in the books we've been reading! This is another story that stars Floppy having one of his dreams, and this time he's off into outer space accompanied by his friend Kipper. They get on board a spaceship with the aliens Zig and Zog, and Floppy saves the day when he steers the spaceship away from oncoming danger. He's a clever mutt that Floppy. This story is a level 3c book in the Read at Home series, so it's intended for children who have learned the basics of reading and are just about ready to try little stories. This book is well designed to meet that claim, as it's like an entertaining bedtime story that's been packed into an early reader book for youngsters to manage themselves. The words are largely either very simple key words, or words that are easy to work out phonetically (such as the alien's names 'zig' and 'zog'). The text flows smoothly, and there's a little bit of repetition and lots of simple sentences, without the book being too boring or predictable. There is around a sentence per page, with the use of a little bit of punctuation included. The sentences are kept simple though there are around ten words per page which is a fair bit more over all than kids will be used to from levels 1 and 2. I like the illustrations in here because they're both bright and friendly whilst being interesting and a little bit different. The space backgrounds are all very vivid and attractive, which appealed greatly to the grandson when he read this. He was very interested to both read the story, and examine all the little details in the pictures as well on ever page. The recommended retail price for this book is £3.50, which I think is quite reasonable for a well written little story book like this is. Better still is if you get it as part of a special offer though. We got ours for £1.25 from The Works, and it's also often available as part of a set from The Book People or Red House. I'd definitely recommend this for little ones who are ready to start reading a sentence on every page.