Thursday, 27 June 2013

Letterland - My First Dictionary by Lisa Holt (Letterland)

Back when Charlotte was still learning her ABCs, we picked up a brilliant Letterland ABC book - which we still read with her today (even though she's pretty hot on her alphabet).

So it was great to be able to revisit the idea of using letter-shaped characters to introduce early reading and literacy concepts to children, this time in the form of "Letterland - My First Dictionary".

As a visual guide through our language, what words mean, how to say them and how to spell them, this is a colourful and immersive book that (like most Letterland titles) doesn't feel like a 'school' book even though schools do indeed make good use of the series themselves.

One thing Charlotte really does get stuck on still is the difference between 'd' and 'b' - and this book gets around that neatly by having a duck-shaped character to represent 'd' (as you can see on the cover in our header above). Having letter characters designed this way helps immensely if children get stuck on particular letters, or have problems with tricky words.

Included in this dictionary are example sentences and stories using the words children begin to learn as they take their first literacy steps. What's good also is that this isn't strictly a phonics / decoding thing, though it does support those programs in the way it's laid out and structured.

Though the book says "Ages 3 +" it was still enjoyable for Charlotte (who is 5) and not too 'babyish' which was my first thought when I saw the cover. Actually it's a great little starter book for children who are learning to write sentences, and start putting together their own stories, as reference or just purely for the fun of taking letters and characters and using them in various ways (for instance, a great activity making pictures or scenes purely using letters and even numbers).

Charlotte's best bit: Lots of fun drawing and writing activities, with clear layouts and engaging illustrations

Daddy's favourite bit: Good for a range of ages and abilities.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Letterland)