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Leaping Into Literature: A Less Intense Week

In some respects our Leaping into Literature focus was a little less intense this week, we read far fewer picture books than last week. Although our focus remained on reading, it was more in the nature of our budding readers reading to me rather than me reading to them.

I’m finding the most effective method of ensuring reading progress is to make it a ‘family affair’, our emerging readers and new reader all reading at the same time. Imagine children snuggled up in various cosy spots at the same time, that’s what’s working, the togetherness factor.


leap lit wk 4 1


Individual Reads:


The Tournament at Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice – John Flanagan

Princess (14)

Began a few books but focused intently on her maths and Spanish this week, so not a lot of time for reading.

Jelly Bean (11)

Sisters of the Last Straw – Karen Kelly Boyce

Read and Learn with Dr Seuss

Jack Jack (9, later reader)

Wacky Wednesday – Theo LeSieg

Pile of 12 easy ‘Dr Seuss’ books

Jem (7)

Put Me in the Zoo

Go Dog, Go!

C is for Clown

The Foot Book

Old Hat, New Hat

The Spooky Old Tree

Hand, Fingers, Thumb

Inside, Outside, Upside, Down

Family Read Alouds (to the 11-7 year olds)

John and Nanbaree – Doris Chadwick


Saint Pius X, the Farm Boy Who Became Pope – Walter Diethelm


The Way of the Cross: A Story of Padre Pio – Claire Jordan Mohan

Nearly finished.

leap lit wk 4 3


Picture Books (read to the 11 – 4 year olds)

We read a smaller pile this week than last, found a few treasures and others. Once again the children have faithfully given them a rating to help you, as always they remain tough critics.


Fox Tale – Michael Foreman 4 Star

Father Fox takes his family to meet a kind man at a railway station who feeds them. One night the man is hurt by a gang of boys. One of the boys comes back with food.

Insect Detective – Steve Voake 5 Star

Conversational information about various insects, encouraging children to observe insects outside.


On a Small Island – Kyle Hughes – Odgers 4 Star

Ari who lives in a small island in a gigantic sea uses flotsam and jetsam to beautify his island. Soon ships are stopping there.

The Museum – Susan Verde 4 Star

As a little girl moves through an art museum she finds each piece evokes a different response from her. Many pictures and artists were familiar, though I realised that perhaps my younger children’s art knowledge has been neglected.


Crimson Feathers for Ty – Andrew Coram 5 Star

Ty is a crimson rosella chick, she has green feathers when she hatches but longs for crimson and blue feathers. She decides to solve this problem, only to learn that it is best at this stage she has green to blend into the foliage

Good Enough for a Sheep Station – David Cox 5 Star

As a boy the author lives on a sheep station in the Outback, he learns via Correspondence school and out of doors his father teaches him to ride horses and muster sheep and cattle.

David, Jack & The Rescue of Grace – Heather Miller 1 Star

Grace the cow is left in a tree after the floods, the farm animals set about rescuing her.  Frankly I found the plot silly and the text awkward.

teens read 2


One Earth – G Brian Karas 4 Star

An understandable explanation of earth’s seasons, rotation and revolutions for even young children to comprehend.


Our Precious World – Claire Freedman 3.5 Star

Stunning pictures with lyrical text about a variety of animals who live in the Arctic

Mama, Do You Love Me? – Barbara M Joosse 4 Star

Mama reassures her child that her love is unconditional. A universal story set in the Arctic, with animals such as whales, wolves and puffins. A lovely way to introduce a different culture.


Chengdu – Barney Saltzberg 3 Star

Chengdu the Panda could not, would not, fall asleep. Cute, for the very young


Rickie & Henri – Alan Marks 5 Star

Rickie a baby chimpanzee was lived with her mother in a rain forest in Central Africa. One day a hunter shot her mother and took her to a market to sell. She was rescued by a kind man and bonded with his dog as her adoptive mother. Eventually Rickie went to live in a sanctuary. A true story.


Katie’s London Christmas – James Mayhew 5 Star

Katie and her brother set off helping Father Christmas deliver presents across London.

Beautiful illustrations of London’s famous landmarks; Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Cute detail was the portrait of Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince George on the sitting room wall of the Palace.

Macquarie Island (between Australia and Antarctica)

Go Jojo Go! – Tessa Bickford 4 Star

Photographs and information about Gentoo penguins woven into this story

leap lit wk 4 2


Queen Victoria’s Christmas – Jackie French 4 Star

The first ‘traditional’ Christmas wherein a family (Albert and Victoria’s) gather under a Christmas tree with presents. Many of our Christmas traditions we celebrate now were introduced in Queen Victoria’s reign.

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Yet More – 4 Star

Catherine’s Story – Genevieve Moore 4 Star

Catherine is profoundly and multiple learning disabled; she can’t talk or walk like her cousin, but she can listen closely and walk in her special shoes. Beautiful.

Brave Charlotte – Anu Stohner 4 Star

Charlotte is not like other sheep, she is bold and daring, exploring the world around her. One night she bravely ‘saves the day’.

3 Star

The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus – Quentin Blake 3 Star

The multi-talented Foskett family perform circus acts.

2.5 Star

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures – Ben Hatke 2.5 Star

Julia opens her house to lost creatures; trolls, goblins, mermaids, ghosts and dragons.

leap lit wk 4 4

2 Star

On the Night You Were Born – Nancy Tillman 2 Star

“On the night you were born, the moon smiled with wonder..”

Lyrical words, lovely pictures.

1 Star

It’s Time to Sleep, My Love – Nancy Tillman 1 Star

“It’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep.”

Poetical words, soothing pictures.

0.5 Star

Recycling is Fun – Charles Ghigna 0.5 Star

Books on recycling always seem so obvious and contrived.

For the very young, attractive pictures.

The Heaven of Animals – Nancy Tillman 0.5 Star

Obviously about ‘animal heaven’ really didn’t grab us.


*Linking up at Read Aloud Thursday over at Hope is the Word

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