These are the easiest books in the Banana series and would suit children reading at NC level 1.
Reading challenges and support offered by the books:
- These books are for children who are beginning to read longer stories. To support them in this, each book is divided into three simple stories which are linked by character, setting and often by theme. Parents can support children by encouraging them to read each story separately and to sustain the reading over a number of sessions. This helps children to begin to learn about re-capping what happened previously and using this to support their reading and understanding. They will begin to learn the satisfaction of sustaining reading over a longer period.
- These books have a small amount of text on each page. The stories are written in simple sentences. This means that there is only one clause in each sentence, which makes reading easier for the beginning reader, who can use full stops to support reading for meaning and can work on small units of meaning at a time.
- There is quite a lot of dialogue in most of the stories, which will encourage children to read aloud with expression, thinking about the personalities and feelings of different characters.
- The stories may have unfamiliar characters but the situations within the stories will be familiar to the children. It is important to talk about the experiences of the characters within the story and to help children to begin to relate them to their own experiences.
- The brightly coloured illustrations support the children's understanding of the text but also allow some opportunity for children to go beyond the text. Previous experience of reading picture books should help children to do this, but children may need support to make this connection. Taking time to talk around the pictures is important in order to extend children's understanding of the details of the settings and to begin to interpret characters' feelings.
- There are some elements of patterned language and use of repetition which will support children, but this is more limited than in some more regularly patterned stories and picture books.
- The speech bubbles generally echo dialogue from the text and could be used as prompts before reading the text. Children might need to talk about when and how they read the speech bubbles.