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When my son started school I wanted to do all I could to help him develop and so I began to buy him some of the read at home books which linked to the books he was reading at school. The book I shall review today is called The Hairy-Scary monster.
The Hairy-Scary monster is written by Cynthia Rider and Alex Brychta and it is published by Oxford University Press. The book links to the Oxford reading tree scheme which is used by 80% of primary schools. This particular book is a level 5a book which means that it is suitable for children who:
-can read 75+ words by sight
-can read ahead to check meaning
-can read silently to themselves.
This book is obviously intended for children who have begun to read with confidence but it is important to note that the books do start at a beginners level one and work gradually up to level five.
The Hairy-Scary monster tells the story of Kipper who doesn't want to go to sleep one night because his brother and sister are sleeping at Grans and he is feeling a bit left out. Feeling a little mischievous he plays a trick on his parents and tells firstly Dad and then Mum that there is a Hairy-Scary monster in his bedroom. Eventually though he begins to fall asleep but then he hears a noise which is coming from under his bed. Yelling for his parents Kipper is convinced that it must be a Hairy-Scary monster under his bed and is very scared. However, after investigation they all realise it is only Floppy their dog!
My son really enjoyed reading this book because it was familiar to him as the characters also featured in the books he read at school. My son has done really well with his reading since being at school and so he was able to read the book from quite early on in year one. What I like about the book is that the language used is similar to that which was used in his school reading books and so whilst it wasn't too easy for him to read it wasn't overwhelming either.
The illustrations in the book are well drawn and colourful and it seems there is always something to look at. In this particular book there is a note at the front encouraging you to find all of the mini monsters within the pictures. My son used to like going back after he had read the story and look for all of them. There is also a little section at the back of the book with some questions about the story. I like this section as I think it is a useful tool to check whether your child can remember and understand the story. Of course you can always devise your own questions but I find that it is a useful guide.
There are twenty eight pages in the book but there is just a sentence or two of text per page so it is just about the right length in my opinion. The book is a hardback with a recommended retail price of £3.50 but I personally bought my sons copy from the works on a four for five pounds offer. I am pretty sure that the book people sometimes offer the full set at a greatly discounted price too should you be interested.
I really recommend The Hairy-Scary monster if your child is becoming a confident reader at school and you are looking to support that learning at home.
Thank you for reading my review!