Last Friday my youngest son, T, aged 4 and a half, proudly came home from pre-school brandishing a new reading book. He was very excited as he had gone up a reading level, to the pink book band. Even more exciting was the book itself. Entitled “Look At Me“, it’s one of the number of reading books in the Oxford Reading Tree series that feature children riding bikes.
Today we settled down to read the story, which T read really well, coping admirably with the double ‘o’ in Look, and the ‘i’ and ‘e’ in “bike”. The book repeats the sentence “Look at me, Mum” a number of times, and then adds in extra words towards the end of the book. This meant T was confidently reading the majority of the words without having to sound them out each time, which helps increase his confidence.
What was particularly interesting for me was his reactions to each of the pictures, which show the main character, Chip, performing a series of stunts on his bike.
“That’s very dangerous, he’s not got his hands on the handle bars” T said at the first picture. When asked why is was dangerous, he responded “because he won’t be able to brake. And if he comes to a corner, and someone is coming the other way he’ll go BANG and someone will get hurt.” He then added “but at least he’s wearing a helmet”.
His reaction to the part where Chip rides through the mud was more relaxed, and he laughed a lot when both Mum and Chip got covered in mud. I’m wondering if that means he’s going to more of a mountain biker than BMXer as he grows up!
Books about children riding bikes are so important
T really enjoyed the book, and was happy to read it twice. This shows just how important it is for books to engage with young children as they start to learn to read. His comments about the book, also show how kids take in the details of what they read and see in books from an early age.
We’ve had a large number of books in this range as our elder son N has been through the book bands, and we’ve been impressed with the number of books that feature the children riding bikes. All the books in the Oxford Reading Tree series are enjoyable reads.
Hopefully there are young children in schools, preschools and homes up and down the country seeing that cycling can be great fun, and learning to read at the same time.
Once he’d finished the book he suddenly exclaimed “I know Mummy, lets take some photos of the book”. When I asked why, he looked surprised and answered “to put on Cycle Sprog!” – the “of course” being implied in his expression and tone of his voice. We then spent a lovely 20 minutes or so taking photos, loading them up onto the website, and T very patiently typing out a few words, before he got bored!
So, here you have it, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – the very first Sprog Blog Book Review, by 4 year old T.
Look at Me by Roderick Hunt
This book is really good. It’s called Look at me. It’s brilliant cos you can see Chip’s tricks.
These are Chip’s tyre tracks: tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
You need a helmet on when you are on a bike.
So, there you have it -I think that counts as a positive review! If you’re looking for a EYFS level book to capture the imagination of a young cyclist as they’re taking their first steps on their literary journey, this is well worth a go.
“Look at me” is published by Oxford University Press, and is available individually, or as part of a set of 6 books all at the same reading level – Stage 1+.