Oh! to be a child of 4-8 years again, when life is simple and reading is fun. New readers want to read. Many labels are attached to this enthusiastic group of children, like beginner readers, emerging, easy and younger readers. There are countless titles in the book stores and Big W, where I happened to be shopping last week for mundane household items, like a toilet brush and new pillow cases.
Series books are everywhere, Kids want them like lollies. Except books and stories do not contain sugar. They are healthier and better for them in every sense. Dull stories won’t fulfil the very vital fundamentals of an emergent reader. They want action, simple words, repetition and funny characters.
The Billie B Brown series by Sally Rippin has been very successful. Box sets sell at $13.95 approx. up to $50. The Birthday Mix up and other titles capture the interests of young girls and boys. Billie’s party is going to be the best ever. She has lots of fun things planned. Now she just has to wait for her friends to show up. With titles like The Midnight Feast, Stolen Stash and The Soccer Star, author Sally Rippin knows what kids like.
Must have series include Clementine, the cheeky sparky heroine of author Jacqueline Harvey. Horse Crazy by Alison Lester, The Cleo Stories by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood, Old Tom by Leigh Hobbs, I Spy Fly Guy where words are repeated, there’s hide and seek and lots of laughs. Kensy and Max too shine through.
The Ella and Olivia series have won many hearts too. A whole rainbow collection with quirky characters, fast plots and witty dialogue to engage readers. I am presently reading Hula Hoopla where Ella and Olivia’s school is having a hula-hooping challenge! But Olivia can’t do the hole hoop. How will she join in? Scholastic have branded these books in bright greens and purples covers with large text, simple illustrations and enlarged key words to attract and teach the children vocabulary.
Hey Jack series by Sally Rippin look sensational in their gift box sets. Look at the above titles. Once a child starts to read these, they are hooked. Roald Dahl sets are popular too, perhaps for the mid primary age group. Always a winner for their amazing story lines and contrast in characters, the plots thicken and each book can also stand alone.
While I encourage parents to buy a boxed set for Christmas or birthday, children also need to read above their age level and find deeper meaning in stand alone books. I encourage reading practice, discussion and after reflection. Most children simply want entertainment at this age but parents who know their children’s interest can enhance their understanding by keeping abreast of what’s out there.
Early readers are books that sharpen skills, develop fluency and progress the child’s journey into a rewarding and stimulating experience of reading.
Picture book author and illustrator Zanni Louise has written Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush has about 6 titles. Adorable Felix, Poh and Tiggy have their first sleepover. But when Tiggy realises that she has forgotten her special toy, she starts to feel nervous. Can Siggy’s magic paintbrush help her to get to sleep? The cover of this book is vivid with metallic letters for the title. Every page is filled with sketches, large lettering and bite sized story line.
Finally, Lemonade Jones has 2 stories in this delightful book, by Davina Bell and Karen Blair. As a hard cover, it shows a fiesta girl with a lot of fizz. Allen and Unwin have published this clever book with gorgeous illustrations in bright colours. I think it’s an imaginative book with contemporary, every day ideas.
Whether it’s read aloud Dr Seuss books or Nate the Great, about a boy detective George Brown, Class Clown, even some Lego Star Wars series, be sure to connect your children to engaging, fun filled stories that sparkle.