Ten in a Bed [Audiobook]


One night Dinah goes upstairs and finds three grumbly bears in her bed. They refuse to budge until she’s told them a story. Dinah’s bed is full of surprises and her story is full of stories; fantastic ones and ones that are just a bit frightening.

Ten in a Bed
This is a brilliant story! Get it on CD or tape if you can – read by Andy Crane – and all car journeys will be a doddle. My children have loved this story and read it again and again. It is funny and quirky and just one of the best books I have ever read! Any child from about 6 onwards would enjoy this.

The Idea of Perfection



Harley Savage is a large, rawboned, plain person with a ragged haircut and a white t-shirt coming unstitched along the shoulder. Douglas Cheeseman is a big-eared man who avoids his own reflection, and has bored his wife into leaving him. They are not the usual suspects for a burgeoning romance.

I loved this book. It’s about some sad losers in a sad small town in the middle of nowhere and not much happens, but there was something delicious and so very, very funny about it. It has some touching parts and it’s quite sweet and at times rather forlorn and hopeless, but oh my, it made me smile. I have read it three times and still laugh at the ridiculous ‘love’ scenes between the wife and the butcher. Don’t take it too seriously, just enjoy it!

Tom’s Midnight Garden

A timeless classic about Tom’s adventures in his secret, midnight garden



When Tom is sent to his aunt’s house for the summer he resigns himself to weeks of boredom. Lying awake one night he listens to the grandfather clock in the hall strike every hour. Eleven . . . Twelve . . . Thirteen. Thirteen! Tom rushes down the stairs and opens the back door. There, awaiting him, is a beautiful garden. A garden that shouldn’t exist. And there are children in the garden too – are they ghosts? Or is it Tom who is really the ghost . . .

A wonderful story; rich, full, challenging, poignant and exciting. I read this to my children and they loved every minute of it. It was one of those ‘please read some more’ books and I think I got just as much pleasure out of it as they did.

The Green Ship

a moving story for children and grown-ups

This story gets me weeping inside just thinking about it. Whenever I read it to my two little children I choke up.

This simple tale is about childhood adventure but also about growing up and having to leave behind a part of our childhood. Perhaps the story touches the piece of us that remembers that sense of loss. It’s victorious also, as it deals with the resolution of loss in adulthood.

This is a children’s book but I think Wise Mr Blake wrote it as much for the grown-ups.

Buy the book for your children. Keep it for you.

The City of Ember



Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked… but now the storerooms are almost out of food, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all – the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness.

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone?

I confess that I do not read much fiction these days. But every so often a great story comes around and grabs my attention.

Some months ago I rented out the movie of The City of Ember, to watch with my teenage children. It looked like an exciting movie, featuring a few famous actors – Tim Robbins and Bill Murray, for example. Besides I have a thing for post-apocalyptic stories.

We really enjoyed the film. It holds its own as an engaging and well-paced story and the production values are pretty high. I found it quirky in an endearing way.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name, by Jeanne DuPrau. On the back of enjoying the movie, we got hold of a copy of the book and after the children read it, I ended up taking it with us on our summer holiday. I think the book is squarely aimed at the youngsters but I was unashamedly hooked, despite the fact that I knew the story from watcing the movie. DuPrau has a simple yet captivating writing style and it had me reeled in good and proper.

I recommend the book. It’s an easy read and has lots of material to talk about with your family members, young and older.

- Book recommendation by James.




And here is the movie of the story (below). This is one of those few occasions (I think) when you can enjoy either the book or the movie, or both – and in either order.


Reading without tears

learning to read with Dyslexia

learning to read with Dyslexia

For some children, learning to read and write is made more challenging because of Dyslexia. (Yes, I did have to check how to spell that.  ;) ) Here is a useful resource for helping children to read through playing games. I don’t think you have to have Dyslexia to find these products useful, but it might help!

Click Here!

Help Your Child Read and Write Better

Helping Your Child Read and Write Better
Step by Step
By Marilyn Martyn

Help Your Child Read and Write Better

Help Your Child Read and Write Better

Find this book here:-
http://www.bluenilebooks.com/ebooks/rewr/

The book provides the reader simple step-by-step strategies and techniques to assist your children in enhancing their reading skills.  The author’s basic teaching philosophy is to phonics as a base to re-enforce the lessons your child gets at school.  The book is written straight-forwardly and especially for you, the parent.   The book addresses the four important parts to improving your child’s reading skills: phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension.  The learning lessons are: the sounds of letters and the combinations letters that represent them; how to blend sounds into words; how to spell the words; how to recognize words; spelling patterns; how to read sentences; the importance of practice passages; and the use of practice passages to aid fluency.  Included in the introduction is the phonic checklist and an outline of the lessons presented in the book.  This section focuses on the phonics.  There is a phonics check list provided which contains, 18 vowel sounds, and15 consonant sounds.  The author breaks down the basics of the English language and provides definitions for each component.

Lesson number 1 focuses on identifying the 26 letters of the English alphabet; what each letter looks like in Upper Case and lower Case; and lists both the vowels and consonant letters.  There are three exercises provided in this lesson.

Lesson two focuses on the sounds each letter makes, first by looking at the vowel sounds and then looking at the consonant sounds; the importance of blending sounds and the role syllables play in words. 

The next lesson, three, provides a chart listing each of the 43 sounds for the English language. Included in this lesson are instructions for four exercises.

Lesson four is dedicated to how sounds are spelled in words; lists the rules of English; examples of short and long vowel sounds; how to recognize a dipthong and its importance; the importance of vowel digraphs; consonant sounds and digraphs.

Lesson five is strictly pays attention to short vowel sounds.  There is a graph listing the short vowel and the sound it makes.  The author again provides exercises, suggests games such as the memory game to enhance the learning process.

Lesson six focuses on the sounds consonants make.  The author includes in this section activities and picture representing the sounds.

The next lesson, number seven, focuses on making words with vowel and consonant sounds.  There are 7 steps provided with a list of how to blend sounds.

Lesson number eight is dedicated to words with short vowel sounds.  Again the author provides lists of words and how to pronounce them; points out the need to learn sight words; two exercises; and four activities you can use.

Lesson nine looks at words with the CVC pattern.  The author defines what a CVC pattern is, how to recognize it and its importance.  There is a list of words and sentences to review and practice with along with two exercises. 

The next lesson, ten, looks at the sounds of “c” and “k” which often combined together make the sound of  “k”; what is the rule; how to recognize and read this combination.  There is a list of contractions in this lesson with examples and an activity for you to use to demonstrate the contractions.

Lesson eleven strictly focuses on consonant blends also know as cluster.  There is a list of beginning consonant blends; final consonant blends; two exercises and two activities.

The twelfth lesson  is dedicated to reading and write these words with consonant blends.  There is a large list and two exercises for you to use.

Lesson 13, focuses on long vowel sounds.  There is a pictorial list for each sound provided in this chapter; an important rule regarding when a word has the vowel-consonant-final “e” pattern. 

Lesson fourteen looks at the different spellings for long vowel sounds; provides a list of examples; looks at digraphs; and lists one exercise and one activity.
Lesson fifteen  is dedicated to vowel sounds spelled with two letters better known as digraphs.  There is a list of examples, exercises and activities. included in this lesson. 

Lesson sixteen is about when two vowels come together in the same word; what is the rule; examples of words with this pattern; and three exercises.

Lesson seventeen  looks at other eight vowel sounds not yet covered in the text.  There is a example list and three exercises.

Next lesson, eighteen, is dedicated to  consonant sounds spelled with two letters, better known as digraphs.  Again, there is a pictorial list of examples, exercises and activities included. 

Lesson nineteen looks at the different spellings for each long vowel sound; provides a list of examples.  Lesson twenty looks at common spellings of consonant digraphs and provides a detailed list of examples.  Lesson twenty-one is a reading practice activity. 

Lesson twenty-two focuses on syllables; how to recognize them; pronounce them; the rules of spelling and pronunciation; and an exercise.  Lesson twenty-three is a reading and writing practice activity with several reading lessons.

Find this book here:-
http://www.help-your-child-read-and-write-better.com/