Reading Gems Phonics: Pem's Little Brother (Book 5)

Reading Gems Phonics: Pem's Little Brother (Book 5)

By Author / Illustrator

QED Publishing


Young fiction

Age range(s)



QED Publishing




Paperback / softback




Reading Gems Phonics is for children who are learning their letters and sounds. Simple, engaging stories provide gentle phonics practice.

This fun and engaging story also includes comprehension activities and extra discussion topics, making it perfect for supporting learning at school. Featuring original stories, delightful characters and humorous illustrations, Reading Gems is a series designed to spark a love of reading. Parents and teachers can be reassured that children are reading books that support their ability, challenge their reading skills and encourage reading confidence with every word on the page.



So exciting to see new additions to the Reading Gems first readers series! The new additions include two phoneme-specific books including Pem's Little Brother and Mr Wimple's Potion. These are something new that we did not see in the first collection of books released. These are decodable books which consolidate phonics taught in the classroom, focusing on a small number of phonemes at a time. For example, Pem's Little Brother focuses on each of the split diagraphs. As a year 1 teacher I know that books like these are vital in developing children's phonics knowledge in order to practise the sounds they have been taught independently, providing opportunities for lots of repetition. What stood out for me with these phonics books was that the stories were actually enjoyable and funny! The phoneme-specific sentences have skilfully been strung together to create a text you can actually get your teeth into and more importantly discuss and delve deeper into for comprehension practice. I have often found whilst listening to children read these types of phonics books I am stuck in silence and unable to engage with the children in their reading. There is not enough complexity in the text for me to be able to form valuable questions to discuss and participate in with the children. The illustrations in these books are fantastic! The facial expressions of each of the characters and amount of detail included provides young readers with lots to explore and enjoy. It is important to allow time for children to comprehend all of the information on the page provided in these images as they give a lot to the text in the way of inference and deduction as a starting block for 4 and 5 year olds. The books include a range of comprehension and phonic activity pages at the back, including phoneme spotters, complete the word adding the missing phoneme, unjumble tricky words and comprehension questions in order to recall and retrieve key information. These pages could be used as great time savers for teachers planning follow up comprehension activities based on the text as they could be photocopied to use out of the book. The last two pages of the books are made up of top tips to support reading with your child at home and a phonics glossary. I was honestly made up to see these included in these types of early readers books. The information is light-hearted although informative enough to provide correct terminology and a comprehensive understanding of the teaching of phonics to a parent. I would recommend these books to teachers and for use in school although feel they would prove even more valuable to families or as books to go home as they provide a fantastic guide to parents reading with their child at home. 32 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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