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I always think that one of the hardest things for a parent to do is teach their child to read. Faced with phonemes, various schemes, countless books and endless choices. Which is the right one? 

As a Primary teacher the best you can hope for is that reading is supplemented at home. Read with Oxford have made this so easy! I’ve always loved the Oxford reading schemes. Especially those of late. They always include helpful hints for parents, as well as recommending key words and letter sounds (phonemes), which the children should learn at each stage. But now they’ve made it even easier! With their simple stages they have created a range of reading material suitable for every level. 

I love how easy they’ve made it to support your child with their reading. To help them enjoy books together and progress their skills. 

Read with Oxford – Bob Bug and Other stories by Julia Donaldson.

On first look at these books they are filled with bright colours and lovely illustrations. Some of the series have been updated since their last release, such as Julia Dondaldson’s Songbirds, which now have a more mature look to them. 

On the left: Original version of Julia Donaldson’s Songbird’s  
On the right: The all new updated version.

The books are lovely to handle with a silky matt finish making them as enjoyable to hold as they are to read! Oxford have cleverly brought together some of our most well known and loved characters, such as Biff, Chip and Kipper and effortlessly combined them with their newest characters like Top Cat and Bob Bug. The result is a gorgeous collection of stories both old and new presented together in clear stages giving you plenty of reading material to share with your child so neither of you get bored! 

Picnic Fun and other stories. Read with Oxford Stage 1.

My favourite of the collection was a new addition which I haven’t seen presented in this way before. A collection of well known Traditional Tales such as; The Gingerbread Man and Goldilocks. These are written in such a way that your child is able to read the story along with you. 

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and other tales. A collection of Traditional Tales.

The story is presented on the first page for you to read to your child. I loved reading these to my son. They promote listening skills as well as allowing your child’s imagination to develop. I allowed my son to flick through the pages and look at the pictures whilst I read to him. 

The story of the Gingerbread Man for the adult to read to the child. 

Once finished, the following pages are written for your child to read along with you. For example ‘mum ran’ and then “run run” in a speech bubble. There are some words they will be able to sound out by themselves and others they will remember from what you read to them and be able to join in with. I like to teach my son by saying the sounds and blending the words and then reading the sentence pointing to each word and encouraging him to join in. I sometimes pick one or two words on each page for him to try and sound out by himself and then I help him with the rest. The read aloud story on the first page enables the child to help predict what is going to happen. 

A page from the Gingerbread Man as featured in The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and other tales. 

Allowing you to pose questions throughout the text such as ‘who did the gingerbread man meet next?’ and ‘what did the fox do?’ This promotes comprehension and listening skills. I absolutely love this selection of traditional tales. They are familiar and enjoyable. My son loved them too and asked for them again and again. 

Read with Oxford Story Game cards Sage 1 & 2.

We were also given a pack of story games cards. I was slightly skeptical about these – how would they work and would my son really be interested in engaging with a pack of cards?! The cards took a bit of getting used to. I read through the instructions when I was on my own so I could understand what the different cards were and how to use them. But once I had worked out what each of the different cards were used for I realised they were really quite simple!!

Instructions from the Story Games pack.

The cards we have are for stages 1 & 2 so will most certainly grow with my son as he is learns more stories and increases his reading ability. In fact we have used them quite a few times now and I can see a difference each time we come back to them. There are so many different ways to use these cards that your child will get plenty out of them. There are further card packs available for Stages 3 & 4. 

Caption and picture cards from The Gingerbread man as featured in the Story Game pac

My 4 year old loves the cards and his older sister (8) enjoyed playing with us both and helping my son use them to retell the some of the stories.

Picutre Cards which retell the story of the Gingerbread Man using images from the book.

At one point I walked out of the room and returned to hear my son retelling the story of the Goldilocks. It was fabulous to hear what he remembered from the story. He used the cards to recall the sequence of events. He certainly hasn’t had the opportunity to do that at home before and I was surprised at how well he was able to retell it.

I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that he knew the story of the Little Red Hen, a story he must have been read at school as we don’t have the book at home. When he saw the cards he told me he knew the story. He then used the sequence cards to retell the story, I was so impressed!

So if you are looking to support your child with their first steps to reading then these are undoubtedly 3 of the best books out there! Have look at the Read with Oxford Stage 1 materials . Their site is packed with free ebooks, advice and learning resources to support your child’s reading development.

But if  you’re thinking my child is an early reader, a growing reader, gaining in confidence or becoming independent then Read with Oxford is still for you! So if you’re looking for some great books to help support your child’s reading at home at any of these levels Read With Oxford has it covered. From first steps to independent readers they have the best books available and what’s more their site covers everything from Stage 1 – 6 with free ebooks, advice, and learning resources.  

If you’re not sure what stage your child is at visit their site and with their helpful information you will easily be able to decide which stage is right for your child. 

Please note these books were gifted to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Want more reading tips? Read how to teach your child to read in 5 easy steps.

Want to purchase any of the items mentioned in this review? Click the titles below to go to Amazon.co.uk.