I love discovering interesting new reading books. But I must admit upfront that we have often found the different reading series a bit boring, as a result we normally pick library books based on what looks interesting and we often use normal story books as readers. So I am honestly not an expert when it comes to reading series.
We recently tried our first BIG CAT book and both kids loved it. It was this one – What’s that Building?: Band 07/Turquoise (Collins Big Cat)
According to the Collins website it is part of their Turquoise series – band 7 – which is aimed at Year 2 ages. (They do have a breakdown of their readers per age on their website and their readers do go up to Year 6).
What’s that Building ? It covers unusual, interesting building structures. It includes an aircraft hangar, a lighthouse, palm house, water towers, oil rigs, windmills, Khufu’s pyramid, nuclear bunker and Timbuktu mosque. Not your typical buildings, a perfect topic for my son.
The pictures are simple but really well down, with little sections cut-out so the kids can see inside the structures.
Each building has a short paragraph which explains a bit about that particular building. Not too much so it isn’t overwhelming, but enough information to keep it interesting.
My son loved this reader. He is a bit young for it but he was desperate to try so he read sections and his older sister filled in the words and phrases that he could not managed. And even though it was a challenging read for him he did not give up, he was determined and the two sat together and went through each page. This has always been key for me. If you give the kids books that they find interesting they naturally challenge themselves. No nagging needed.
After reading this book we went on to THE GARGLING GORILLA (Roaring Good Reads) (fiction), it is part of the Ruby series so aimed at Year 4. My daughter easily managed to read it (if my daughter was attending school she would be year 4) and her brother really enjoyed the funny story. And we have My Journey across the Indian Ocean: Band 17/Diamond (Collins Big Cat). I think this is going to be a very interesting story. It is aimed at Years 5/6 but having paged through it I think my daughter will manage. So far three books from the BIG CAT series and we are impressed. We will definitely be looking for more in this reading range.
And if you are a home-educator looking for Free resources, Collins do have some FREE resources linked to a couple of books in each of the reading band.