Middle childhood is an exciting time. At this age, children are starting to be more independent, forming friendships and becoming more aware of other people’s feelings. They are also starting to understand more complex grammar and according to scholastic.com, this is the age where a lot of children become true readers. A lot of basic skills necessary for reading are developed here. With the early morning rush trying to get everyone out of the house on time and an evening consumed by making sure homework is done, it can become a challenge trying to fit some reading time in. No fears, however, as research shows as little as 20 minutes reading every day can make a marked difference in children’s reading abilities and overall literacy skills. In today’s post, we review 5 books that have caught the heart of children all over the world and are sure to get your child fired up about reading!
- The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
This is a story I believe both boys and girls will enjoy. It is also a good book for slightly older reluctant readers. In this hysterically funny tale, we learn the wolf’s side of the famous story of The Three Little Pigs and to hear the wolf tell it, he’s been framed! The whole thing is apparently just a big misunderstanding. While this is a good book on its own, I believe it is even better when you already know the story of The Three Little Pigs. The illustrations could be more colourful but what is lacking in colour is more than made up for by the story. This is a great book to read with your child not only because there is a huge range of activities you can do together based on this book (check these sites for ideas Scholastic Teaching Heart ), but also because it is a great way to introduce or reinforce the concept of looking at things from another person’s point of view.
2. Clarice Bean, That’s Me! by Lauren Child
Clarice Bean is your average little girl…if your average little girl is feisty, funny and in search of a little peace and quiet. Having to share a room with her annoying little brother in a house that is always full of people (including an uncle, a grandad, a cousin and somehow the plumber), it’s no wonder Clarice must resort to somewhat extreme measures in order to get a little peace and quiet. Full of colourful illustrations and very vivid descriptions, Lauren Child paints a bright picture of what life is like when you have a huge family. Full disclaimer, though, some parents were not too impressed by some of the behaviours described in the book and Clarice’s final tactic in her bid for a little peace. Personally, I believe that these scenes could pave the way for discussions with your child on the best way to behave when you’re upset. This book might work better for readers 7+ years old as the text is a little scattered and relatively small compared to the images. There is a range of delightful activities you can do together, see these sites for ideas Teaching English mylearning.org)
3. The Dinosaur Who Lost His Roar by Russel Punter
This is a great book for both reluctant readers and for children who already love to read. I fell in love with the vibrant colours used for the illustrations. The repeated roars were an added bonus because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good roar every now and then. Sid likes to have a bit of fun scaring his friends until one day, he loses his roar. He wakes up the next day to find his friends in terrible danger. He might just be able to save them, if only his roar is back. This book is great for readers who love dinosaurs and is a great favourite among both boys and girls. For fun activity ideas, check out Preschool Express.
4. Anansi and the Bag of Wisdom by Lesley Sims and Alida Massari
If you are African or Caribbean, then you might well be familiar with Anansi’s shenanigans. In this retelling of the traditional African tale, Anansi gets a gift from god and in very Anansi fashion, decides to do the exact opposite of what he is meant to do with his gift. This book is part of Usborne books’ first reading level one. It is designed for reading with very light support and contains lots of colourful illustrations and minimal text. This makes it perfect for readers who are still mastering the art of independent reading. As an added bonus, the kindle edition (and possibly the hardcover edition) come with reading-related puzzles which means you can do a fun activity right after reading without having to search!
5. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Russell Punter
We finish today’s post with a classic. This retelling by Russell Punter gives a bit more of a back story to Goldilocks, and there is quite a lesson learned at the end of the book! Goldilocks is a naughty little girl that lives with her mother and father near a forest. While on an errand for her mother, she forgets her promise to be good and goes exploring. She discovers an empty cottage with bowls of porridge and helps herself, little knowing the cottage belongs to a family of three bears. This book is part of Usborne’s First Reading Series and being a level 4 book, it is perfect for readers that are ready for a bit more of a challenge. There is more text on each page but the text is a good size and is accompanied by a beautiful illustration, striking a good balance. For some wonderful activity ideas, check this site out scholastic.com.
(Sytris Books has other versions of the Goldilocks story by different authors.)
This is where we leave today’s edition of creating enthusiastic bookworms. Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you live in Ghana and would like help with purchasing any of these books.
(Header image by JuhFernandes)