Belle the young corgi escapes Buckingham Palace to enjoy the buzz and twinkling lights of London at Christmas. She soon befriends a stray streetwise dog Pip.... who willingly acts as her guide... and she's sad to leave him behind when she returns to the Palace. Wouldn't seeing him again be the best Christmas present? A well illustrated simple tale that would make a nice addition to a younger readers' Christmas library. Sophie found it a bit predictable and lacking in story, given she's so familiar with Donaldson's Tabby McTat which has such a similar premise.
Oliver Moon is a younger kids' Harry Potter. He is from a wizarding background although his parents embrace "non-magical ways" - driving a car, cooking slugs in microwaves (instead of the traditional couldron), failing to wear capes and pointy hats etc.. When Oliver's school teachers inform him he has been short-listed for "Young Wizard of the Year" - he quickly goes to work at upping the magic at home so his family interview with the competition judges goes well.... but is it at the expense of the potion test, the spells test and the broomstick flying test? Funny and interesting - with lots of unusual names and words to practise decoding. Much better received than the shorter school scheme-reading books provided each night! Definitely helped re-motivate Sophie that its worth pressing on and reading as books can be fun !
Usborne state this as GOLD level; but certainly compared to scheme Gold-books, it feels harder than that but certainly very accessible. (7 chapters / 91-pages / illustrations but some full pages of text (albeit fairly large text)). There are 12 books in the series.
Non-fiction book exploring fairy folk lore for different cultures. Listed as an ORT 9 / Gold level book.... but the vocab / content was much more challenging that Treetops Fiction books of equivalent level. That said Sophie made a really good stab at reading this book, and told me all about how a glossary works. It wouldnt be my first choice of book but was the right moment for her given she's interested in the Rainbow Magic series.
Laugh-out-loud story about a next door neighbour whose TV watching while his wife does the weekly shop, leads to some strange behaviour ! In chapter one - after watching a western, leads to him running around the backyard - using the washing line as a lasso - without skill thus missing the tree and attaching the other end to the bumper of a van. His poor wife has to suffer the indignity of her washing (inc pants!) being driven around town. Sophie really enjoyed this engaging and witty book. Highly recommend