Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 1+: Songbirds: Top Cat - Julia Donaldson

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Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 1+: Songbirds: Top Cat - Julia Donaldson

Non-Fiction - English - ISBN: 0198466595

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Review of "Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 1+: Songbirds: Top Cat - Julia Donaldson"

published 08/08/2017 | daylehall
Member since : 02/07/2004
Reviews : 514
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Happy New Year everyone :-)
Pro Can really see an improvement in your childs reading
Cons Books are more expensive when bought individually.
very helpful
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"Top Cat!"

My little girl Molly has now completed her first year at school (which just doesn't seem possible!). From the beginning of her school life she has been sent home with a new book to read every day. Luckily, both my children love books and getting her to read these books every night certainly isn’t a chore and she regularly asks me if we can sit down and read her book which I love. Many of the books she comes home with are from the Oxford Reading Tree collection.

Oxford Reading Tree
Oxford Reading Tree books are part of a reading programme which is used in over 80% of primary schools and the programme has helped to inspire a love of reading in over 30 million children. There are several stages to the reading programme, starting at stage 1 and finishing at stage 11.

Songbirds Phonics
The Songbirds Phonics range of books are written by Julia Donaldson (same author as the Gruffalo) and they are used to support children who are learning to read. They are used in schools to teach phonics to children. The level 1+ Songbirds collection contains 12 phonics stories. The Songbirds series offers a clear phonics development with gradual progression to help children gain reading confidence. One of the books from the level 1+ collection is Top Cat.

Top Cat was bought home from Molly’s school so didn’t actually cost us anything. I have had a quick look online and you can buy the book on its own for £3.40 from Waterstones. As I mentioned above, this book comes from a set and it is much better value to buy the entire set which contains 12 books. The whole set costs £22.50 from the book depository website.

Top Cat
Top Cat focuses on words that begin with the same letter as cat, as well as encouraging your child to look through the book and find the words that end with the letter p. Your child is then encouraged to think of other words that rhyme with top and pop.

The story is about a Cat called Top Cat. He begins to question whether he really is top cat when he sees another car sat in a tree much higher than he is. Top Cat decides to hold onto a balloon to get him up higher than the other cat but disaster strikes when his balloon pops.

The book is only 8 pages long which may seem quite short but actually I have found that this is plenty long enough to read with your child as it can take quite a lot of time for your child to sound out each letter they see before they can form the entire word. Each page only contains a few words, for example, the first page simply says ‘I am top cat’. Each page comes with a brightly coloured illustration to accompany what the words are saying. Molly enjoys sounding out the letters and words and then has a break from this by telling me what is happening in the picture. I have found that this works really well for us as it takes a fair amount of concentration for her to sound out all the letters as it is all still very new to her and I feel that taking a break from this to look at the pictures helps her to concentrate better on the next page.

On the inside cover of the book there is a ‘section for parents’ which gives you guidelines on how to encourage your child to read. It suggests that you point to each letter and encourage your child to remember the sound it makes. The very back page of the book also has a section for parents and explains how you can check your child’s comprehension of the story and check their understanding of the phonetic sound of each letter. Personally I find these sections really useful as learning phonics is actually pretty new to me too and it helps me to make sure that I am going about things in the correct manner to help Molly on her reading journey.

I would highly recommend this book and the songbirds phonics set as a whole. I feel that the books are just the right length to keep your child interested before they get to the stage where they lose the ability to concentrate. The illustrations are bright, colourful and certainly help to engage your child in the reading process. We are a family of animal lovers and the fact that this book features a cat certainly seems to help in holding Molly’s attention. I am amazed at just how quickly Molly’s reading has started to develop and I love the fact that she actually asks to sit down and do her homework. She has gone from just noticing the odd letter here and there, to knowing every letter, being able to sound it out and now she can form whole words. She is incredibly keen to learn and these books offer her a great tool in helping her to develop her knowledge of the letters and the sounds they make. I like these books so much that I actually went out and bought a set for us to use at home.

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Comments on this review

  • danielclark691 published 18/08/2017
    very well reviewed
  • euphie published 11/08/2017
    vh :o)
  • BrutalHonesty91 published 09/08/2017
    These sound lovely and very helpful... Great review
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Product Information : Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 1+: Songbirds: Top Cat - Julia Donaldson

Manufacturer's product description

Non-Fiction - English - ISBN: 0198466595

Product Details

Publisher: OUP Oxford

Author: Julia Donaldson

Genre: English

Type: Non-Fiction

EAN: 9780198466598

ISBN: 0198466595


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