Reading Gems Fact Finders: Sloths (Level 1)

Reading Gems Fact Finders: Sloths (Level 1)

Reading Gems Fact Finders: Sloths (Level 1)
Katie Woolley

QED Publishing

ISBN 9780711243750

Reading Gems is a series designed to spark a love of reading. It is a supplementary reading programme that is graded into four levels to perfectly suit a child's reading ability from an emerging reader to a confident, independent reader. 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.

Librarian's Book choice

Reading Gems has introduced six new non-fiction books to the series, which are great! As with all the other books in the Reading Gems collection they are bright, bold and colourful. The books in the series so far are all yellow book band (comparable to the Oxford reading scheme levelling) and based on fact finding about animals.

Non-fiction texts are precious in the world of young readers. Non-fiction is the starting block for children beginning to read to learn. As Dr Seuss wrote, 'The more that you read, the more things you know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go'. When children discover facts their curiosity is heightened, they are reading for purpose, and even the most reluctant reader is tempted and enticed to read and enjoy their new found knowledge. So why not start young!

More and more reading schemes are recognising this need for effective non-fiction books in the classroom although not all of them are getting it quite right. Reading Gems have made a fantastic start with this. I like that the books are based around animals to begin with as I'm sure you will find all key stage 1 classes will produce a non-fiction report (as per national curriculum requirements) and more often than not, these are based around an animal of some description. Animals are relatable for young children, enjoyable and the facts are easy to digest.

The factual information in these books is short and based on the types of information young readers would want to know at this young age. On each page there is a heading in bold kept short to just two or three words; a very basic outline of the information on the page. I would have liked to see these stand out a little more.

Each page is made up of beautiful, brightly-coloured, clear photographs with some small labels included. I love that no drawings have been included in these books. When we teach non-fiction texts to children, we explore the features of these being real life photos and then all too often pick up a non-fiction text from the book corner which contradicts this and has added their own illustrations to 'look nice'. The photos are also directly related to the information on the page thus providing the much-needed reassurance for young readers as they flitter their focus whilst reading between picture and text for conviction that what they have just read/learnt about is correct.

My favourite of the activities and questions included at the end of the book are the picture glossary and quiz pages. The children are able to cement vocabulary learning using the extra content and repetition on key words met through the text and discuss the story further with fun, interactive comprehension games.

These are a great addition to the collection, they look good, the animals covered are interesting and could be used both in class and at home.

32 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher