Whole School Reading Newsletter, Autumn 2022
Welcome to the second edition of ‘Reading Matters’, a whole school newsletter dedicated to our love of reading! We are very excited to share all the wonderful and exciting activities that have been happening in school.
We have a special spotlight feature on author and illustrator Lydia Monks, with an exciting competition for all children. Teachers continue to share their love of reading and have recommended some wonderful reads for half term.
These newsletters are for the whole family. Please enjoy and share them with your children.
Author and Illustrator Spotlight – Lydia Monks
To inspire future authors and illustrators, we are delighted to share the journey of author and illustrator Lydia Monks. You will probably know her best as the illustrator of many Julia Donaldson books including, Sharing a Shell and the What the Ladybird Heard series. Lydia also writes and illustrates her own books. These include Aaaarrgghh Spider and more recently, Adoette. Lydia attended art college for five years to study illustration. She began by drawing illustrations for poems by Robert McGough. Here are some quotes from Lydia.
Which is your favourite book?
It’s really hard for me to choose a favourite book out of all the books I have made. I think if I had to choose one to show people, it would be What the Ladybird Heard, as that’s the one people seem to like the most, and has had the biggest response. I remember, when I first read the text, I got goose-pimples as I knew it was a bit special!
Which is your favourite character?
I really like working with Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len. They are funny, and I like making them look silly! Will they ever learn do you think?! I hope not!
What’s it like working with Julia Donaldson?
Julia and I don’t actually work together. I think lots of people imagine us sitting together, discussing ideas, but we both work completely separately.
When Julia has written a new story, it’s sent to me by my editor. I then send it rough drawings of how I think the book should look back to the publisher. Julia gets to see everything I draw, and sends her comments in to the publisher, who then pass them on to me. We never meet during the process.
Very occasionally, Julia asks me if there is anything in particular that I would like to illustrate, but usually I never know what story is coming next.
How long does a book take to make?
It can take a long time! If I’m just illustrating the book, I am usually given around four months, but often there are delays, so books can take longer. If I’m writing and illustrating, it can take up to a year or more. Sometimes I am working on different projects at the same time.
More information can be found on Lydia’s website.
NEW - What the Ladybird Heard at Christmas
A new edition to the What the Ladybird Heard series was published this week! What the Ladybird Heard at Christmas is a fantastically lively rhyming adventure from the best selling picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.
In a big old house, the ladybird is visiting her friend the spider for the festive season. But those two bad men, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len, are up to no good again. They have a devious plan - to steal the children's Christmas presents from their stockings! It's a good thing that the clever little ladybird has overheard their awful plotting, and she has a cunning plan to make sure they don't get away with it.
We are giving all children at Preston Primary the opportunity to win a copy of a book from the series ‘What the Ladybird Heard’, personally signed by Lydia Monks, there are two copies up for grabs. All you need to do is think of a new adventure in the ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ series and design a front cover for your idea. For example, you might have the idea for a new adventure called ‘What the ladybird heard in Supermarket’. All entries will be entered into a prize draw and two winners will be randomly selected. The closing date is Thursday 10th November 2022. Please give your final artwork to your class teacher. You have the half term holiday to work on your ideas. We look forward to receiving your entries. Good Luck.
Unit 1 (Foundation)
The children in Foundation have been settling into school routines. They have enjoyed sharing their love of books with their new friends. As part of their routine, the children visit the school library every week to independently choose a book. These are not books that the children are expected to read themselves. The books from the school library are to be shared with a grown up and support language and vocabulary development. Choosing a new book is a very social occasion and children are encouraged to talk about the books and recommend books to their friends. Adults in school also share their passion for books and talk about their favourites. It is wonderful to hear children talking so passionately about books.
In class Puffins and Penguins have been enjoying stories to help them learn and talk about their feelings. Some of their favourite stories include ‘Colour Monster’ by Anna Llenas and ‘Ruby’s Worry’ by Tom Percival. In the book ‘How do you feel?’ by Patrick George, the children looked at some of the images and had to identify the different feelings using symbolism of a balloon.
We are looking forward to further developing our reading for pleasure journey in Foundation.
Unit 2 (Years 1 & 2)
The children in unit 2 have thoroughly enjoyed having a ‘mystery reader’ appear in their classrooms every Tuesday afternoon this term. We have listened to some entertaining books chosen and read to us by some of the other adults from around the school. What a great opportunity to meet other grown ups from further up the school in a fun, informal way. The Owls are all using the library every week, independently choosing a library book to take home and share with a grown up. The children enjoy having the time to browse and select a book that takes their interest to read at home.
Unit 3 (Years 3 & 4)
Unit 3 have loved having a mystery reader visit their classes this half term. They enjoyed having the opportunity to listen to new adults sharing a range of books. Children have had quality time every day to read a book of their choice as well as weekly visits to the library to choose one or two new books. They are then encouraged to quiz on these books on Accelerated Reader with us all celebrating when children have met their target. Children have also been bringing books in to share with each other and staff. Many children have enjoyed non-fiction books about Africa, linking to our Long Enquiry. We have been able to purchase some new books for our classrooms linked to the children’s interests and we look forward to these arriving.
Unit 4 (Years 5 & 6)
In Unit 4 the children have enjoyed their ‘Reading for Pleasure’ time where they have had the opportunity to choose from a rich variety of texts and explore these independently or with their peers. It has been wonderful to see the children so immersed in book talk and developing their love of reading.
Unit 4 have taken great pleasure in guessing who our mystery reader is each session. They have enjoyed listening to a variety of members of staff read their favourite book to them. A selection of children have also helped to develop reading for pleasure across the school and have continued to read to children on the KS1 playground during lunchtimes; they are fantastic role models who have encouraged the younger children to pick up a book and read. Additionally, some children have been supporting Miss Treleaven with book club on Friday by sharing books with children from younger years.
At the end of the day, Unit 4 have enjoyed their ‘Read Aloud’ time where their teacher reads a high-quality fiction, non-fiction or poetry book with them, exposing the children to a variety of outstanding authors, and giving them a choice on what book they would like to read as a class – creating autonomous readers. We are very proud of the whole of Unit 4 and their continued determination with achieving their AR targets in this first half term - we hope to see this continue for the rest of the year! It is clear that their love of reading and pleasure for reading has helped them to reach this significant achievement.
Every half term we provide children with opportunities to enrich their reading experiences and interests through different themes.
This half term the whole school participated in Mystery Reader. Members of staff across the school went into different classes to share their favourite books. The children were excited by the mystery of who would be reading to them and what book they would share. Some of the popular books that were shared included; Miss Rushworth read ‘Oh, Little Jack’ by Inga Moore, Mr Ord read ‘The Runaway Pea’ by Kjartan Poskitt, Mrs Bastin read ‘The day I fell into a Fairytale’ by Ben Miller and Mrs Stevenson read ‘Danny Dreadnaught saves the world’ by Jonathan Emmett. Reading books aloud to children is important for all ages. We encourage you to read aloud to your child at home regardless of their age.
Every Friday Lunchtime, children from across the school come together to take part in Book Club, all the way from EYFS to Year 6.
Each week they vote on a high-quality book from a range of wonderful authors that they would like to share together for Miss Treleaven to read aloud. They then spend some time sharing books, magazines and e-books with their peers and they talk about their chosen texts together in groups, pairs or sometimes they read independently. Book Club is a marvellous place for children to become immersed in range of books and to develop their love of reading. Some of their favourite books in Book Club this half term include; ‘Alone’ by Barry Falls, ‘Poems Aloud’ by Joseph Coelho and ‘October October’ by Katya Balen. If your child would like to attend Book Club please talk to the class teacher.
The teachers would like to share their passion for reading by recommending some great books to read. After you have read one of these book recommendations please come and talk to us about it. We would love to hear your thoughts and if you enjoyed it we can recommend further reading.
Aimed at 4 – 7 years
Why would you recommend this book?
I recommend this book because it has beautiful images that go with a delightful story about growing up and overcoming your fears. I love the way the author shows how Plop is growing up and improving his flying skills by the words she chooses to describe his landings next to all the people he chats to.
I have enjoyed sharing this book with my own children and now still enjoy sharing it with my class.
Book Title: The Firework Maker's Daughter, by Phillip Pullman
Aimed at… KS2
Why would I recommend this book?
I love this book because it is an adventure story about a young girl called Lila, the heroine. She has an ambition to become a qualified firework maker, despite being told it is an impossible dream for a girl. She is determined to follow her dream, despite it becoming a dangerous and life-threatening journey. Along the way, she encounters many funny, brave, and silly characters, that allow Lila’s qualities to shine through. She makes a series of good friends, who work as a team to overcome all their challenges. This is a book if you love magic, friendship and danger (and a good giggle along the way!).
Book Title: Silly Verse for Kids, by Spike Milligan
Aimed at…5-11 years
Why would I recommend this book?
This book is a hilarious collection of silly poems for all ages. I like this book because I can just pick it up and read it from any page. I do not have to remember which page I was reading. My children and I used to enjoy reading this book, it always made us smile, (it still does now). So, if you like to read nonsense books, this is the book for you! It’s a brilliant read.
You must never bath in an Irish Stew It’s a most illogical thing to do….
Book Title: The Lorax, by Dr Seuss
This is a book about the once-ler who finds some very special trees, called truffula trees. He soon realises that these trees are very good at making things and starts to chop them down one by one.
I really like this book because it has lots of pictures and is very colourful. I love how the words rhyme and flow. It also has a very important message about looking after the environment we live in and taking care of nature all around us.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Community Library Summer Reading Challenge
Congratulations to the children who completed the Summer reading Challenge with their local library. You have shown dedication and determination to complete the challenge and you read lots of fantastic books. Thank you for bringing your certificates and medals to school to share with others during class assembly. We enjoyed hearing your recommendations, thank you for inspiring others to join the community library.
If your child is not a member of the community library you can register for free at your local library or online using this link Join the library - torbay (torbaylibraries.org.uk). Children can borrow up to 20 books and 5 audio books free of charge. It would be wonderful if every child in the school was a member of the community library. We urge you to make time during the half term holidays to visit the library.