The Orion Early Reader series is brilliant for early and emerging readers. We have reviewed some other titles from this series before, both the blue and red levels (listed at the end of the post), and I’m always very happy with them.
The Little Nut Tree is an early reader version of the picture book by Carnegie award winning author Sally Gardner, based on the well known traditional nursery rhyme. I remember the rhyme from my own childhood and it translated over into a reading book format very well here.More
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
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
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.
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:
Any regular readers might remember that I recently reviewed a couple of early reader books from Orion. These are for age 5+ and although they were more on the challenging side for Mr Z he did enjoy them and I am keen to have slightly trickier books available for him to help him to push himself and progress more with his reading.
As another month has passed and Mr Z has now turned 5, I decided to give it another go with another new Early reader – This time “Shumba’s Big Adventure”
This is of a similar length and level to the Early Readers we previously reviewed. I felt like it was slightly easier for him to read from the first chapter and a little more complex as it went on, both in words and content. It starts off telling you about a naughty cheeky like lion cub, then suddenly he ends up kidnapped and heading for a zoo far away from his family. It does have mild peril in it due to these happenings, and I would say a child of a really sensitive nature could be quite upset – although it does have a happy ending with Shumba being reunited back with his family!
Mr Z enjoyed the story. He was still not able to read the full book independently but he has had a good try, both at reading aloud for me, and sitting himself with the book and trying his best to read through. I’m really happy with this so I want to keep encouraging him to try these kind of books as I can’t wait til I can see him able to sit and read a full book like this by himself – I will be so proud! I know how much enjoyment he could get from all the stories out there, and I feel that these books are a great step on his journey towards independent reading. I hope to try more of these as time goes on so I can see how Mr Z is progressing with them.
I would recommend any of the Orion Early Readers to children of around 5years+ as the guidelines state. There is a lot of variety available so you can easily find one that will appeal to your children’s interests. Mr Z liked the idea of this book as he felt the name Shumba reminds him of Simba from the Lion King. I must say I found the name Shumba so cute myself! If we happen to get any new Lion cuddly toys any time soon it will definitely be called Shumba! 😀 Mr Z also recognised the message from the story that Shumba should have listened to his parents and not kept wandering off, then he would have avoided getting into such a difficult situation!
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