This week, the Junior Librarian Tara (from Eagle class) shares with us a favourite read. Tara is currently enjoying books from the Isadora Moon series.
Tara recommends Isadora Moon and the Shooting Star written and illustrated by Harriet Muncaster.
Isadora Moon is a series of books by Harriet Muncaster for children aged 5–8. Each book is a stand-alone story about Isadora Moon, who is “half fairy, half vampire, totally unique!” The stories celebrate her mixed family heritage, and the various adventures she has from camping to putting on a show.
Mrs Harvey would also recommend incorporating early chapter books into your child’s reading repertoire. Reading one chapter each evening to your child really helps them to develop the skill of prediction – anticipating what may happen in the next chapter, based on the evidence provided in the preceding chapter. It helps to build intrigue and anticipation within a story.
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 have 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. Often, the vocabulary used in Picture Books is more sophisticated and diverse – exposing your child to more complex language.
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.