Browsing "Books"
May 5, 2011 - Books, Learning, School    No Comments

The Drama of Reading Books

Now I’ve gone and done it!

Over the Easter holidays, Georgia was given two new reading books, again from the Oxford Reading Tree series. One was OK, thankfully, but the other, Gosh! ‘The children were fed up. “Yuk!,” said the children’

So while we are working to instil a positive mindset and to encourage Georgia not to say Yuck to food – how can it be right to the encounter all of these in reading books?

Time for a change. Thankfully, her class teacher Miss Jones was really understanding and recommended that we try books from another scheme, which she called Ginn books.

Apparently these books are quite ‘old’ but hey…as long as they’re not so depressing! I promise I’ll come back and provide a verdict after we’ve read them.

Apr 9, 2011 - Books, Learning, Parenting, School    6 Comments

You are what you read…

If the saying ‘You are what you read’ is true, and a large part of me firmly believes so, I am seriously worried about the reading books that are being sent home from school; Georgia’s school and I imagine hundreds of other schools around the country.

If I digress a bit, and generalise an awful lot, and very much through an immigrant’s eyes, Britain and the British are well known as a country of ‘moaners’. They admit it themselves, everything and anything is always ‘dark and gloom’.

In fact, I have a lovely lovely sweet neighbour who is a lovely chap except everytime I’ve ever spoken to him, he complains about something, or other, usually the weather, which he has absolutely no control over! Nothing is ever right.

Anyway, back to those dreaded reading books. Georgia’s reading books from school are from the Oxford Reading Tree series. They’ve been around a while, I gather and I suppose in itself, from an educational perspective, they are fairly well written with step-wise developments on words with progressively more words per page.

What I just can’t get over are the stories and how depressingly negative they are! Bif, Chip and Kipper along with Wilf and Wilma, are on the whole pretty interesting characters (well, as interesting as pen-drawn characters can get). But the things they get up to and the conversations they have though are enough to make me want to slit my wrists! (No kidding!)

At The SeasideTake for example, the latest story Georgia brought home. It’s called At the Seaside.

The words of the story go like this:
The family went on holiday. Wilf and Wilma went, too.
The hotel had burned down. ‘Sorry’ said the man.
They looked at a new hotel. ‘Too expensive,’ said Mum.
They looked at an old hotel. ‘No, thank you,’ said Dad.
Every hotel was full. ‘Sorry!’ said everyone.
They had to go home. But the car broke down.
A farmer stopped his tractor. ‘Can I help?’ he said.
The farmer had a bus. ‘You can stay here,’ he said.
‘What a good holiday!’ said Wilf.

Copyrights OUP 1989

At least this book ends in a slightly more positive note, but really, surely it’s not necessary for children to have such a depressingly negative start. I must add, though, even in the books with slightly perkier or funnier stories, they typically end with ‘Oh no!’

Do you think these (infant and primary school) 5-year old’s reading books could have been a significant contributing factor to how ‘negative’ (again, gross generalisation here!) British society has become?

I’m sorry but give me Dr Seuss any day!

Roald Dahl’s Matilda

From our last visit to the local library, I picked up a couple of audio books that I thought we might all enjoy especially during our car journeys.

We are really audio book virgins, never have we ever had anything other than music in the car (OK even the times tables CD  was in tunes!).

Roald Dahl's Matilda

Roald Dahl’s Matilda, read by Miriam Margolyes, was simply fascinating. We actually sat in the car after arriving home, just to listen to a bit more of the story. Read more »

May 20, 2009 - Books, Parenting    No Comments

Jack and the Beanstalk: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum

Over the past week, Undy Nursery had been working on a ‘Jack and the beanstalk’ theme.

They read the story, planted beans, watch a show on TV. Georgia is already familiar with the story from an activity sticker book she got about a year or two ago.

This morning, she sang the Fee-fi-fo-fum song and completely had me in stitches. Why, you’d wonder would this song –

I smell the blood of an Englishman
Be he alive or be he dead
I’ll have his bones to grind my bread

 be so funny?

only because – we live in Wales and Undy Nursery School is a ‘Welsh’ School.

I did think they were taking the Welsh-English discontent to extreme until I found out that the words were the original!

Aug 12, 2008 - Books, Parenting    No Comments

Caldicot Library Books

Books borrowed and read from Caldicot Library

The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
Fast Fox Goes Crazy – Allan Ahlberg
Animal babies in ponds and rivers – Kingfisher Press
Yum Yum Poppy Cat – Lara Jones **
Ridiculous – Michael Coleman
Lemono P – Sam McBratney; Catharine O’Neill – enjoyed by now purposely says LemonoP Instead of LMNOP
Little Lucie’s DIary – Louise Pfanner
Off to the Fair – Christopher Wormell

Jul 23, 2008 - Books, Parenting    No Comments

Books Read

Books  from Caldicot Library that Georgia has read these past two weeks from 8 July – 22 July.

Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson
A Cuddle for Claude by David Wojtowycz ***favourite!
Carlo Likes Reading by Jessica Spanyol
That’s Why? by Babette Cole
Please be Quiet by Mary Murphy ***another favourite
One to Ten and Back Again by Nick Sharratt and Sue Heap ***another favourite
The Busy Busy Day by Claire Freedman and Daniel Howarth
What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd

Jul 7, 2008 - Books    No Comments

Books Read

Books Georgia has read these past two weeks.

What Shall We Do, Blue Kangaroo? by Emma Chichester Clark
Monkey Tricks by Camilla Ashforth
Big Bears Can! by David Bedford & Gaby Hansen
Little Pig Figwort by Herietta Branford
Little Rabbit Lost by Harry Horse ** favourite
The Scallywags by David Melling
Seven Ways to Catch the Moon by M.P. Robertson
You’ll Soon Grow Alex by Andrea Shavick & Russell Ayto