Karen over at The Letterpress Project has read and reviewed two of our latest Chapter Readers;
Our brand new range of Chapter Readers are designed to follow straight on from level 10, or the White band of Early Readers. With increased pagination and a more complex language style, these longer texts build children’s reading stamina and help them to prepare for junior fiction titles.
I was so pleased to see that this excellent publishing company have expanded their range of books to include ones for more established and confident readers. I have already reviewed many of those aimed at beginner readers and know that they are very well received by children, parents and teachers.
Here are two examples from Lime Band/ Level 11:
Back in the Game by Jenny Jinks, illustrated by Zeynep Ozatalay
Leo loves playing computer games, especially ones with plenty of jeopardy like Danny Dangerous who has to capture Crazy Critters. A flash of lightening in the real world seems to interfere with the computer so that the game spills out into his house! He needs to sort out the resulting chaos as quickly as possible but by Chapter Three the action has moved outside into the streets.
Thank goodness for the appearance of Danny Dangerous himself because surely together they can complete the capture of the Critters. As they embark on their challenging mission – Leo realises that his hero doesn’t know everything. In fact he needs a lot of explanations about the real world. He is particularly distracted by the sweet stall at the fair and then more big problems crop up.
Will they ever be able to capture all the Critters? Will they be able to get the Gobbling Goblin and all the other scary characters safely back into to Game World where they belong?
I won’t spoil the plot but it will keep you enthralled and engaged with sparky illustrations along the way to help fire the imagination.
Caterpillar Catastrophe by Jenny Moore, illustrated by Jenny Moore
Everybody knows how important it is to sing to plants to help them to grow big and healthy. So when Leroy finds out that his gardener Grandad needs help to ensure that he wins a Gardening Competition – he is happy to add his voice. The grumpy neighbour isn’t so keen on ‘that terrible racket’ but it might be that he is just anxious about winning a prize himself. Grandad has even more devious plans up his sleeve and prepares some special potion to the watering can to help the vegetables to grow faster. It seems that he is not just a keen gardener but is also a yoga teacher and so leaves Leroy in charge of the watering while he attends to one of his students.
You can probably guess some of the resulting mayhem when he accidently pours in the whole bottle by mistake! The colourful illustrations add to this comical tale as Leroy and Grandad have to work out how to minimise the damage – especially when it seems that some caterpillars have also been watered and have been transformed into ‘ giant wriggling beasts chomping their way through the vegetable patch’. Despite their efforts they have to eventually call for help from The Big Bug Squad who arrive rather too late as the caterpillars have already reached the chrysalis stage. And what happens next attracts the attention of the local media who are keen to watch the emergence of some truly stunning butterflies.
Moving onto books with chapters is a significant stage for readers as it signals the ability to concentrate on a story that develops more slowly with an evolving plot. Sometimes this can mean that less space is given to illustrations but Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd. know how important these are and so still include plenty throughout. As ever, each story includes some discussion points to encourage readers to think a bit more about what the story covers, as well as encouraging them to think beyond the story.