Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The B on Your Thumb: 60 Poems to Boost Reading and Spelling by Colette Hillier (writer) Tor Freeman (illustrator)


As the title suggests this book contains sixty poems. They are spread over eighty pages.  The text is highly illustrated. The illustrations entertain as does the text which is also informative and designed to aid with spelling and reading.

Many of the poems are about how letters and combinations of letters produce sounds.  
So we have:
·         S and H as in SHOUT
·         EE as inn SEES and TEETH
·         OU as in OUT
·         OI as in POINT
·         QU as in QUEUE and QUESTION
·         AI as in PAIR and RAIN
·         CH as in CHOCOLATE
·         A as in HEAD
·         OA as in GOAT
·         OO as in MOON
·         OW as in BROWN
·         AR as in CAR
·         IOUS as in FURIOUS
·         OUGH as in COUGH (Ah – do we need a little care with that one?)
·         ION as in STATION
·         ING as in THING
·         EAR as in WEAR (but also in EAR)
·         OUL as in SHOULD
·         Ea as in EAT
·         AY as in WAY

It also contains several pages about silent letters. It makes a secret number of “TEN” (OFTEN) and finds several secret animals e.g. HEN as in WHEN. It discusses the magic “e”. It also tackles some words that are often difficult to spell such as NECESSARY. There is a demonstration of to the “I before E except after C” rule.  There are some pages about homophones.

At the end of the book are details of further activities that could reinforce the knowledge and understanding of our quite demand English spelling system. There are suggestions at the beginning of how to use the book. Both sets of ideas are presented in a child-friendly way but may be actually dressed to a supportive adult.

Is this an educational book or a book to entertain children? It manages to be both in fact.   

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