Tuesday 8 January 2013

Stories for 5 Year Olds

Stories for 5 Year Olds edited by Linsay Knight, illustrated by Tom Jellett (Random House Australia)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9781742756660
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

It’s a perennial question asked by parents, relatives and friends. What book can I buy for a 5 year old to read?

Editor, Linsay Knight, has responded to the question with the first in a series of anthologies for young readers.

At 5, some children are reading independently, some are reading with help and others are being read to. This selection of 10 stories has something for everyone.

Most are short stories, but three are written in chapters. The font is friendly to new readers, the sentences are short and simple and there are small twists in the plots to keep the readers guessing. That doesn’t mean that the stories are simple. On the contrary, there are many quirky stories.

There’s Dianne Bates’ inventive adventure story set in the middle of the post-Christmas sales and Sophie Masson’s layered plot that builds and builds the suspense and then cleverly unwinds it.

Humour paves the way with Bill Condon’s descriptions of Jasper, the bottom-biting dog and in Victor Kelleher’s story, The Gorilla Suit.

There are challenging words, lots of alliteration, onomatopoeia and vibrant verbs. These stories come from a variety of sources including Aussie Nibbles and The School Magazine.

Tom Jellett’s cute sketches break up the prose on every second or third page so that the reader doesn’t get too word-weary.

You can even find out about the award-winning authors by reading their biographies at the back of the book.

With writers like Mark Macleod, Janeen Brian, Phil Cummings and more, the 5 year old in your life will be well catered for.

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