Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Turning listeners into readers

NEW 'early reader' coming soon…

I’m delighted that Hocus Pocus Diplodocus has been chosen among five books being converted into an ‘early reader’ format by Maverick Books. ‘Early readers’ are the books used by primary schools to help children who are just starting to read.

These are essential books in a child’s transition from a listener to a reader of stories. They have a clear layout, with the text separated from the pictures so it's easier to read. 

To convert the original picture book text into an early reader, it had to be edited and shortened slightly, cutting out any words that would be too difficult for beginner readers to decode. In the case of Hocus Pocus Diplodocus, that meant stripping out some of the trickier dinosaur names, like “pterodactyl” and “triceratops”!

Maverick employed an early years consultant to assess the books and make recommendations for adapting the text, and also to allocate the books to the appropriate ‘book bands’. Children progress through these coloured bands as their reading skills develop, so it was vital that each Maverick book was correctly graded in line with education industry standards.

Hocus Pocus Diplodocus was placed in the ‘turquoise band’ which is one of the higher levels, aimed at more confident Key Stage 1 readers. You can see all five of the first Maverick early reader books here:

As well as adapting the text, Maverick added some questions about the story at the back of the book. These are an important feature of early readers, designed to test a child’s understanding of what they have just read.

To make the new early readers an even more valuable asset to teachers, Maverick has developed a fantastic resource pack for each book. These feature lesson ideas, learning objectives and activities associated with the book. They are available for anyone to download from the Maverick website. Here’s the resource pack for Hocus Pocus Diplodocus:   

The Maverick early readers will be released in August, just in time for the new school year. They will be marketed direct to schools and libraries, but will also be available to buy online from all the usual online booksellers. They will be available to buy individually, and also as a fabulous box set of five books.

Here’s hoping this exciting new version of Hocus Pocus Diplodocus helps to inspire a love of reading – as well as dinosaurs – among lots of eager new readers.