In this issue
'Our world' - new theme on website | Book of the month | Make a story box | Freddie's story continued 

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To celebrate we're launching a new theme - 'Our World'.

In the 'Our World' section are stories about the weather, seasons and other places. There are also books about caring for our world. We hope you’ll enjoy sharing our selection with your children and that the books and activities will give you the chance to talk together about our world and important topics such as recycling, endangered animals and sustainability. As always, we have included ideas for talking together about the books, things to make and do and suggestions for how to find out more.

Our March book of the month is Farmer Duck  by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
- a tried and tested favourite.

This version is published as a dual language book in Polish and English, perfect for Leah, aged 4, whose mum is Polish. Farmer Duck is full of talking points and repeated phrases. A lazy farmer spends all day in bed eating chocolates, while poor duck does all the work. All day long, duck feeds the animals, collects eggs, saws firewood and does all the cooking and ironing while the farmer shouts ‘How goes the work?’ One day, the animals get together and decide enough is enough.

Kasia, Leah's mum, says `
‘Leah’s dad Paulo is Brazilian, so Leah speaks Portuguese as well as English and Polish. We read stories every night before bedtime in Polish and English but I think Leah prefers when I read in Polish, as she has story time at school every day when she can listen in English. Leah brings books home from school every week so we enjoy lots of different stories. She is a big lover of animals so she really enjoys Farmer Duck and playing with her story box. We visit a local London farm which is great. Leah loves to feed the goats - this is always the best part of the trip!’

See our activity page
See all our books about Animals
Buy Farmer Duck in Polish and English here, and in English here

Helping children to enjoy playing with stories
Making a story box is a way of encouraging your child to play with stories or with a particular story. You can use a shoe box – simply cut down one of the sides so it opens out flat – leaving 3 sides to provide a ‘theatre’ as in the picture above. You can use coloured paper, fabric or card – anything that will make an interesting background. You might like to decorate the box with paint or crayons or stick on shapes. Inside the box you can place small toys and other objects to create a small world. Your box might represent a particular story such as Leah’s farmyard in Farmer Duck, our book of the month above. Older children may like to create the barn from Charlotte’s Web.   Alternatively your story box might suggest a dinosaur, space or fairytale theme. This can give children lots of scope to invent their own stories. See here

Sarah Baker tells us more about her son Freddie’s development as a reader  
‘Freddie is 2 years old and his love of books grows with him. We have story time every day, usually after breakfast, and always before bed. Reading is something we do together. Freddie’s clear about which stories he likes and now refers to them by their title. He’s also started reciting bits of his favourites back to me during the day, so we both seem to be learning them off by heart.'

'Two of his current favourites are: Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle Freddie turns the pages so he’s in charge of how fast or slow we read. We’ve begun to pause a little, taking time to talk about ‘what’s going to happen next,’ using the space to discuss the fox following Rosie. We count the items the very hungry caterpillar eats, and Freddie names them. As these are favourite books, we read them over and over, and I often suggest to Freddie that he read them to me and he really enjoys telling me his version of what’s going on. He’s also become very interested in the words themselves, asking me what a particular word ‘says’ and then repeating it.'

'It’s astonishing and magical to watch.'

Read more about Freddie’s story

Sarah Baker is a children’s author.
Her novel for 8-12 year olds, Through the Mirror Door, is available now.
Twitter: @bysarahbaker
Instagram: @bysarahbaker
Lovemybooks is all about young children enjoying books with their parents, family and friends. 

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