During our Friday assembly last week, Mrs Simon announced our new Year 2 Junior Librarians: Zachary, Aaron and Lily from 2JB, Amirah, Amee and Angel from 2AM and finally Shaynen, Stella and Sofia from 2HD. They have already been trained on using the scanner to issue books to their peers and dealt with returning books. Over the coming weeks in the weekly Grimsdell newsletter, please look out for their weekly book recommendations and discover their favourite authors …
Books of the week
We have two books of the week, chosen by our newest librarians: Shaynen and Zachary.
Firstly, Zachary recommends a non-fiction book, My Little Big Book of Big Trucks by Honor Head.
Zachary’s reason for his choice: “I love all types of vehicles and am fascinated by trucks. This book has lots of information and some really great pictures!”
Mrs Harvey also endorses Zachary’s choice. Non-fiction books are a popular choice by many of our Grimsdell borrowers. I have written previously about the importance of non-fiction in the development a child’s literacy skills. Non-fiction underpins all other learning: comprehending non-fiction is a life skill. The reading and sharing of non-fiction literature develops reading comprehension, builds background knowledge and develops analytical skills.
How do you encourage your child to read non-fiction if they are a reluctant non-fiction reader?
I often encourage children to pair their fiction book with a non-fiction text, as this can make their enjoyment and understanding of the fiction text much richer. Competent readers make meaning from a text not only by knowing what the words mean, but by bringing what they know of the world to the text. It’s worth noting that children are more likely to engage with a non-fiction text related to a story that they are emotionally invested in. Alternatively, go with your child’s interests. Whether it is dogs or princesses, find non-fiction books to match your child’s passions. Include ‘how to’ books such as Junk Modelling that teach them how create new and exciting items or try a science experiment book for all the budding scientists out there! We have a wide range of non-fiction books – I am sure there is something to tempt everyone!
Shaynen recommends a very popular fiction book, Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty.
Shaynen shares his reason for this choice: “I love science and this is my favourite fiction book about the magic of science.”
Mrs Harvey also supports Shaynen’s choice. The main protagonist is Ada Twist, a young girl with a passion for science. Although she doesn’t speak a word until she’s three (shades of Albert Einstein, who first spoke at aged four), she’s always investigating the world around her and when she does start to talk, a torrent of questions spill forth. Her family tries to support and accommodate her insatiable desire to find answers to all her questions – sometimes with amusing consequences! The story encourages children’s curiosity and highlights the importance of perseverance to reach any goal. It’s an engaging story that encourages children (and parents) to think, question, apply scientific reason and follow their dreams
Author of the Week
The Junior Librarians have been challenged with the task of selecting an Author of the Week, which they think will appeal to our wide Grimsdell community. This week, Angel, Zachary, Lily and Stella were unanimous in their choice of Julia Donaldson!
Julia Donaldson has written some of the most popular and best-loved children’s stories including The Gruffalo, and Stick Man. She wrote her first book, A Squash and a Squeeze, more than 25 years ago! Julia Donaldson has a big fan club at Grimsdell! Her stories are engaging and the rhyming nature of her tales are essential to the development of early literacy skills.
The repetitive and rhyming style of the text has many benefits to literacy development. The repetition of a phrase/phrases encourages participation and engages children’s minds. It also encourages them to make predictions by successfully anticipating the next word or sentence. In addition, repetition is a powerful force in fiction – it encourages us to explore the author’s intent: repetition can emphasise setting, highlight a character trait or draw attention to a seemingly minor detail.
I have already written in previous newsletters about the importance of rhyme in early literacy development and its crucial role in helping children to read. Rhyming teaches children how language works; helping them notice and work with the sounds within words and to experience the rhythm of language. As they recite rhymes, they learn to speak with animated voices – this is the precursor to reading with expression. When children are familiar with a rhyming book or nursery rhyme, they learn to anticipate the rhyming word. This prepares them to make predictions when they read, another important reading skill.
We have a plethora of Julia Donaldson books in our Grimsdell library which our librarians have put on special display. We are quite sure that you will find a book you have not yet read!
The focus of our library display this term is: 7 Books to Read Before You are 7!
Mrs Simon shares with us some of her favourite all time reads, which she thinks every child should explore. Her choices have ignited the interest of many of our Grimsdell children and copies of the books have been flying off our book shelves. Trying to limit the choice to 7 books was very tricky but from a literary perspective, Mrs Simon has captured the essence of early reading with her focus on rhyme, repetition and harnessing a child’s interest.
Mrs Simon explains the reasons for her choices:
Mr Grumpy’s Outing by John Burningham: “The simple magic of a day outside in the natural world and the ways in which all participants come together really shows the power of team work.”
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty: “A brilliant and beautifully rhyming book about supporting your child’s boundless curiosity – a wonderfully positive and uplifting story.”
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: “The illustrations gradually immerse the reader into Max’s imagination. The story demonstrates the endless nature of parental love.”
Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole: “Urges all readers to be true to themselves!”
Favourite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose, illustrated by Alex Scheffler: “Where all language begins and where many early tales and lessons are narrated.”
The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl: “A gruesome but wickedly clever story where a crocodile continually changes shape in an attempt to catch a child for his supper!”
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen: “A classic story. Michael Rosen’s repetitive text has a musical charm that lends itself perfectly to reading aloud, whether to a group or to an individual – children enjoy joining in with actions and words.”