Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Queen, the Mice and the Cheese

Learning to read must be one of the most daunting things a youngster has to take on. So much to learn, so much to remember and the increasing pressure on youngsters to learn to read at earlier and earlier ages makes the whole thing 100% harder. Doubly so if you're a parent who wants to give their child the right start with reading on their own. 

There are so many early reader books out there, and this week we went back to basics with our Library choices, selecting 4 books that are designated early reader books, and 4 books I can read to Charlotte. 

First in the pile of early reader books was "The Queen, The Mice and the Cheese" by Carrie Weston. Described as a "Blue Level 2 Reading Corner" book (with an extremely complex stage diagram to explain exactly what that means), it's actually a fairly humorous and comic take on a classic fable. 

The cheese loving queen of the land has a mouse problem. Her love of cheese has brought the nation's mice to her door and in a desperate bid to get rid of the mice, the queen consults her trusted aides to help her. They suggest cats, lots of cats which succeed in getting rid of the mice. But who will get rid of the cats? Hilarity ensues as the whole book describes the houseproud queen and her attempts to remove her unwanted animal guests with a neat little circular twist in the tale at the end. 

For early readers, text is well laid out, repetition is used to reinforce the words used in the book, and the clear comic illustrations help to give children something to help them memorise the words, the characters and the plot. 

If your child is truly right at the beginning of their reading life then it's best to start off with something far simpler than this, but if they're advanced enough to recognise letters and words, this is a short and sweet little book that is interesting enough for them to want to visit and revisit. 

Charlotte's best bit - The lazy cats

Daddy's favourite bit - Trying to imagine the pong in the queen's cheese-infested palace

Rating - 4 out of 5 stars