The Step after Phonics
We all feel so proud when our child begins to read. The journey of phonics is well marked through various well graded readers, like Ladybird, Usborne and various other popular publications which are easily available.
It is the stage after this that requires some careful navigation. The entry into the world of confident reading has to be timed correctly and once we are assured that they have mastered all the various levels of phonics and are totally comfortable with it.
I found the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne to be the perfect first step into `Chapter’ books. This endearing series about a brother and sister being transported to various parts of the world through a Tree House is both engaging and informative.
The books are around 6 pages long each, making it just the right length for a reader at that level. Their trips are made exciting destinations such as the jungles of India, the North Pole, Spain, America and even to the moon. Just the right amount of information is conveyed through the story and Jack takes notes in his journal, highlighting the main facts emerging from the story and being a role model for note making too. Snippets of his journal entries, just a few words long are shared from time to time.
All in all a double thumbs up to the Magic Tree House Series.
Another enjoyable series, though not `chapter books’ per se would be The Little Miss & Mr. Men Series by Roger Hargreaves.
These books are amusing and will have your little one grinning from ear to ear at the antics of the various characters.
What was interesting to note, was that, amidst all this fun and laughter, actual leaning was taking place. Little Miss Sunshine and her everlasting sunny disposition, Mr. Strong with his sheer muscle and good eating habits, Mr. Cool, Mr. Bumpy Mr. Messy , all of them a complete riot .
All these characters explained `big words’ by their behaviour in unassuming ways.
Another series worth exploring for a confident reader would be Nate the Great by Marjorie Shermat. Nate is a boy detective and solves mysteries with his dog Sludge.
An unusual and attractive feature of this book is the number of words per line, which is not more than five or six, making the books very easy on the eye. Frequent and simple illustrations keep the reader engaged and intrigued.
Also the authors tendency to spell out Nate’s every thought gives us a peep into his world of logical reasoning and the satisfaction of arriving at conclusions based on those. These books are a great first step into the world of mystery solving with frequent comic relief which our little ones thrive on.
This dear friends is my take on the next few steps for a confident reader.