Pen Mill's Reading Spine
The books that have been chosen are almost all very repetitive and rather like songs! This makes them easier for children to join in with so that the experience of reading becomes interactive and the children begin to learn the story as they are read to. In each book there will be much to discuss so that the children understand the vocabulary as well as what is happening.
|The books for the 4–5 age group build on the Nursery selection. They still mainly use patterned language, but begin to have a stronger emotional connection with the reader. There is also plenty to discuss and to wonder about. Many of them lend themselves to retelling and creating new versions or further adventures featuring the same characters.
|The picture books in Year 1 offer deeper exploration of emotions and wonder. They are mainly rooted in the everyday crises of life. Again, most of these books lend themselves to setting up a variety of play situations – using toys, costumes and puppets – but the children also need to be involved in careful reading of the books, paying close attention to the detail and entering imagined worlds to experience the stories deeply – then talking it all through.
|In Year 2, it is important to start to move from sharing picture books into sharing chapter books. These will not only provide a meaty read, but also demand that the children use their imagination. Of course, there are also many Reception and Year 1 children who will sit and enjoy a chapter book and this should form part of their reading experience. Many of the chosen books operate on different levels - from the satisfaction of good stories to the exploration of deeper themes.
We all need to find ourselves in books, but also need to know each other through literature. We may look different, our families may come from different places, but in the end we are all citizens of one world. Through reading, our experience of the world broadens. Here are some of the diverse books that we use at Pen Mill: