The B on Your Thumb: 60 Poems to Boost Reading and Spelling

The B on Your Thumb: 60 Poems to Boost Reading and Spelling

By Author / Illustrator

Colette Hiller, Tor Freeman



Age range(s)



Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd




Paperback / softback




The B on Your Thumb is a book of 60 hilariously illustrated rhymes and delightful ditties to boost early reading - each poem teaches a specific sound, spelling or rule. Using rhythm and wordplay, they promote phonics awareness, thinking skills and literacy. But most of all, this book delights young readers with the fun and silliness of the English language.

This is a book where words like to play,
where letters get cross when they don't get their way.
There are sounds to make and jokes to uncover.
An owl in your bowl, for you to discover.
Meet the K on your knee, who's ready for fun,
and don't be alarmed by the B on your thumb!

An introduction instructs grown-ups how to use the book and extensive activities at the end allow children to build on their learning. Grouped into four categories - sounds, silent letters and secrets, spellings and words that sound the same - the poems include:

  • See with Two Ees

  • The Story of Q and U

  • The Rain in the Train

  • Ridiculous Ph

  • Enough of Uff

  • Certainly a C

  • The Most ImportANT

  • Which Witch

Learning to read has never been so much fun!  The B on Your Thumb is a must for every young family's bookshelf.



The B on your thumb is an absolute masterpiece. It is an assortment of superbly written, humorous poems that address spelling patterns, phonics, homophones, silent letters and more. It is aimed at children between 3 and 7 years old and will almost certainly be conducive in boosting a child's reading ability. Furthermore, it introduces children to the fun nature of poems and because of how amazingly funny they are, it undoubtedly will instill a love of reading in all children.

Colette Hiller is a genius: she has crafted these poems with such finesse. The wordplay is on another level and brings a joyfulness to learning to read. That, coupled with Tor Freeman's playful illustrations that bring the poems to life, make this book an absolute pleasure to read. I am almost certain that this book will become a 'teacher must have' before long. My only wish is that this book could have been around when I was younger.

My daughter's (4yrs old) favourite poem is 'The Story of Q and U' and how they met each other, fell in love and are now inseparable. My son's (6yrs old) favourite poems are the ones that tell the reader about homophones. In particular, he found great delight in the line that says 'She went and ate, eight ice-cream cones'. Now his favourite joke is, why does 9 hate 7? Because 7 ate 9. He tells it constantly.

This book is going to be invaluable in my classroom. It will almost certainly feature in my lesson planning every week for our spelling focus, but also as a reference book for children to look at so they can remind themselves of a spelling rule. Furthermore, this book will see its share of handwriting lessons as well.

It is most effective to use real extracts for children to copy out that contains a repeating use of a specific combination of letters for handwriting practice. Not only will they be improving their handwriting, but also their recognition of word formations and spelling patterns.

If I could give this book a higher review rating, I would. A must-have in all classrooms and homes of children aged between 3yrs-7yrs, or for older children who might still be struggling with some spelling formations.

80 pages / Ages 3-7 years / Reviewed by James Hewish, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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