Biff, Chip and Kipper will be very familiar names to any child learning to read and to any adult who has struggled through the highs and lows of phonics with them.
The Oxford Reading Tree books featuring the three siblings along with their Mum, Dad and Floppy the dog are used in 80% of primary schools to help children learn to read, primarily in Reception and Years 1 and 2.
Written by Roderick Hunt and illustrated by Alex Brychta, the Biff, Chip and Kipper books were designed by educational experts at Oxford University Press to help children to learn to read using the phonics framework adopted by primary schools. First published thirty years ago, there are now hundreds of books in the series, each one categorised by reading level making the three children by far the most popular Oxford Reading Tree characters.
The stories all focus on the Robinson family - Biff, Chip and Kipper, and their friends Wilma, Wilf, Nadim and Anneena. Books for younger readers follow the children in everyday scenarios: at school, at home or on holiday. As readers develop, the stories get more exciting when the children discover a magic key that acts as a portal into different worlds. The Magic Key books take the children on adventures all around the world, into space and even back in time on thrilling adventures. From the everyday to the magical, all the books have a funny element that young children enjoy and colourful illustrations that help tell the story too.
The clear levels in the Oxford Reading Tree make sure that children are reading the right books for them, taking into account vocabulary, comprehension, language, sentence structure and pace. The simple plots and familiar characters help build confidence and the wide range of stories to choose from will hold young readers’ interest.
There are six stages in the Oxford Reading Tree (see more below) and within each one the books are categorised into coloured book bands. Most children will be given a book band colour (such as red) at school and will read within that until they are ready to move on.
Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy have helped millions of children to read, making them some of the best-known kids book characters’ out there. Whatever level your child is at, we can guarantee you will meet the Robinson family again and again!