Our Junior Librarians for this second half of the Spring term are: Lynn and Annabelle from 2AM, Tobi and Zarah from 2JB and finally, Gabriella and Kai from 2NS. They have the responsibility for the library environment and choose our Book of the Week. Watch this space for their forthcoming suggestions!
Book of the Week
This week, two of our new Junior Librarians have selected early chapter books as their ‘Book of the Week’.
Annabelle has chosen the Claude series of books by Alex T Smith. Her particular favourite is Claude in the Spotlight
Annabelle’s reason for her choice:
“I have read the whole of this series! The stories are so funny and l love the all the adventures Claude experiences.”
We hope you agree! We have the complete series of the Claude collection in our library. The Claude books are excellent for some of our Year 2 children who are moving towards reading chapter books – they have great illustration, not too much print on each page, fast moving story line and lot of humour, which makes them fun for any adult reading aloud. For our younger Grimsdell readers, we also have some of the Claude stories in a picture book version.
Lynn recommends one of the very popular Rainbow Magic series of books by Daisy Meadows: Rainbow Magic: Olympia, the Games Fairy
Lynn tells us: “I love these stories about fairies and the magic of fairyland. I enjoy reading about all the different fairies!”
Mrs Harvey would also support Lynn’s choice. The Rainbow Magic books are a huge hit with many of our Grimsdell readers. Readers enjoy their themes of friendship, problem-solving and – of course – magic! The first point in encouraging children to read and to foster a love of reading, is to give them choice and ownership over their reading materials. Freedom to choose is the stimulus for creating lifelong readers. The repetitive story lines of the books are often exasperating for adults but this repetition is an important learning tool for children – it teaches them skill of prediction, which they can then apply to other texts they read.
Mrs Harvey also recommends incorporating early chapter books into your child’s reading repertoire. Early chapter books are simple, short, illustrated fiction. They are written and designed to help newly independent readers build their reading stamina, strengthen their confidence in book selection and develop a sense of themselves as readers.
As a child transitions from a beginning reader who needs to sound out each word to a more advanced reader who is starting to decode faster and follow longer, more complicated stories, early chapter books often tend to become the reading material of choice when a child is around the ages of 7 or 8. These stories can be read independently but they should also be shared, so that your child is encouraged to think about the plot/character and to make predictions about what might occur in the following chapters. This helps to build a sense of anticipation.
Variety is key in establishing a lifelong reader and Picture Books still have a vital role to play in the development of Key Stage 1 readers. Research shows that Picture Books has a direct and positive impact on children’s literacy. Children who are given opportunities to read and respond to Picture Books throughout their primary years learn about sophisticated narrative structure, plot and character development in an accessible way. A focus on reading illustration helps to develop children’s deeper comprehension skills, allowing them additional opportunities to infer, deduce, think critically and empathise.
The simple structure of a Picture Book provides children with a good writing model: beginning – middle – end. They offer a relatable main character (eg Little Red Riding Hood), providing a simple problem and solution. The sentence structure in Picture Books models the grammatical concepts children are expected to use in their own writing. By the end of Key Stage 1, the National Curriculum expectation is that children are able to construct a short narrative and Picture Books provide the best models for this process.
Add early chapter books to your child’s reading repertoire but still leave a place for Picture Books.