Happy Wednesday! So as well as book reviews and just for fun challenges I thought it might be useful to post info and tips on encouraging children to read and story-write etc. This is entirely based on my personal opinion and  trials and errors with my own kids. I can by no means claim to be an educational expert or a genius science boffin who’s studied the minds of kids since time began. I just think it’s important to learn to read and encourage using their imagination. Who knows where it can take our children? Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies, magical lands…it’s all there for the taking! My husband through his work met with someone (I think it was the dean) of one of the top universities and after telling him we’d just had our first born the dean told him that the single most important thing parents can do is read to babies from birth. One of my 7 month old’s favourite (I mentioned it in a previous book review) is Toddle Waddle by Julia Donaldson. My 2 year old loves it, my niece enjoyed it and now baby George loves it too. Wonderful pictures and simple sound words which you can have lots of fun with. So below are a couple of links which I found helpful for tips:

Here’s a useful article about reading to babies:

and below (slightly different topic and off track but handy none the less) is another one for helping children who may need encouragement with reading. As a diagnosed dyslexic (mild but attended the Dyslexia Institute once a week as a child for tuition) I can identify with some of the methods suggested. Particularly the phonics and shapes. I learned to read out loud and recognise words from an early age (I struggle making sense of context rather than specific words) and one of the methods I remember naturally using was picturing the words in my head. It’s a bit weird to explain but essentially  I saw the shape of words as pictures in my head to help me remember them and reproduce them in spelling tests (my handwriting is shocking though!)

And after a bit of random rambling here’s today’s book review:


Another favourite of ours (particularly mine!) This is the first in the Hairy Maclary series. A dog and his friends on an adventure where they encounter Scarface Claw “the toughest Tom in town.” (Product warning: be careful when making the cat noise…during one reading I was a little overzealous and scared the living daylights out of Oliver…oops!) It’s wonderfully written in rhyme with a fab rhythm and seems to be easy for children to remember. Oliver knows exactly when to say “Hairy Maclary” on each page. Brilliant vocabulary too. Could read it over and over. There are others in the series I’d love to get too. Don’t know who loves this more – the kids or me!









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