Early Reader Books from Orion Books

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By In The Playroom

Regular readers may remember that for the past couple of months I have been reviewing some Early Reader books from Orion Books. I have been really impressed with this series as a lovely transition from picture books onto more advanced style books, which are still suitable for young readers.

The latest books we have tried out from this series are:

Miranda the Explorer

miranda the explorer early reader
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This is a really lovely book, written by James Mayhew – author of the Katie series. It is all about a little girl who wins a prize to go up in a hot air balloon, but something goes a bit wrong and she ends up floating off by herself in the balloon with no adults to supervise her trip! She ends up having a fantastic adventure and meeting so many different people. The balloon lands in different countries and I found this really good for teaching Mr Z about different lands. He found that quite interesting to see. The style of illustrations is also really nice and really appealing, it has a kind of water colour or sketchy kind of style which is quite whimsical and lovely and really fits in with the atmosphere of the book.

Mr Z (5 years old) still wouldn’t be able to read the whole of this book by himself, although as with the other books in the series he is able to have a good go and I do like to have these kind of books available for him just to see if he can push himself a bit. He did really enjoy me reading it to him though, and if I ask him to read me a few pages, then he can manage it although reading the whole book unsupported would be quite daunting for him still at this stage.

I would definitely recommend this book. It was my favourite of all the red band early reader books we have tried so far, although Mr Z has enjoyed all of them!

Mondays at Monster School

mondays at monster school early reader
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This book is at a slightly easier level than all of the other early reader books we have tried from Orion, as it is blue band – “perfect for sharing and reading together” whereas the red band are labelled “the next step on your child’s reading journey.”

I had been really interested to try out a blue band to see if this would be more at Mr Z’s current level, so more manageable and less challenging for him. I would say it was. The language is quite a bit more simple and much more approachable for a very new reader.

For example:

Fred wanted to go too.

“When can I go?” Said Fred

“Soon, Fred, very soon,”

Fred’s mum said.


This is something that Mr Z is able to manage so really gives him a sense of satisfaction to be able to read the majority of a book like this with only a little bit of support from me. I would still need to sit with him and encourage him on each page as he is not at the level where he could confidently grab a book, go and snuggle in a chair and read the whole thing to himself but these books are definitely helping him towards that goal.

The story of Mondays at monster school is all about Fred a little monster who is excited to start school, but suddenly starts to get nervous. It is something I’m sure many children can relate to, but has been made funny with the monster theme. It was quite entertaining for all my children. I actually read it to Mr R (2 years) one day, as we were waiting in the car and Mr Z had brought the book with him – so although I wouldn’t normally have thought to read this type of early reader book to Mr R, I gave it a try and he really enjoyed the story! He loved looking at the pictures too.

I always find the books in this Orion Early Reader series great and would recommend starting on the blue band for those who are less confident.

Some other titles we have tried out from the Early Reader series are:

Algy’s Amazing Adventures in the Arctic and Poppy the Pirate Dog’s New Shipmate

Shumba’s Big Adventure

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

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