Ladybird Editor Ellen remembers the thrill of starting to read chapter books as a child and looks at the Ladybird chapter book series Puddle the Naughtiest Puppy.
When you're a child it's a big deal to start reading 'proper' books. I can clearly remember getting hooked on Enid Blyton when the teacher read aloud from 'The Folk of the Faraway Tree' at storytime, and before long I was racing through Famous Five books by myself. It’s wonderful to be read to, but it’s a really great feeling when you achieve the independence of being able to read for yourself. I was obsessed with seeing the chunk of pages I'd read, on the left, get gradually bigger than the pages I still had left to read, on the right. Even as an adult, I find it satisfying to finish a particularly huge book. I was really pleased with myself when I got to the end of 'Wolf Hall' last year. There's a sense of achievement to putting down a real tome and thinking: I've read that.
Chapters are important – you could read to the end of chapter one and feel you'd made a good start, and count up how many more chapters there were left to read. Even as a book-lover, I really enjoyed stories that had large print and plenty of illustrations, which helped me get to the end of a page a bit more quickly! Roald Dahl's easier stories were always great for this, and are of course still hugely popular today.
At Ladybird we wanted to publish a series that would be ideal for children around age 5 to 7, who need an exciting plot to capture their interest, fairly large text which doesn’t look too daunting, and heaps of illustrations. So in 2010 we started to publish a gorgeous new series called Puddle the Naughtiest Puppy.
Each book tells of an adventure a pair of young cousins, Ruby and Harry, have with a magical puppy called Puddle. The story always starts on a rainy day (inspired by the English summer…) with the naughty puppy appearing and splashing in the puddles. The children join in and find themselves disappearing into a puddle and transported to another place! This might be a magical toyshop, a ballet school, a safari park, or the wild west, among many others. I love the fact that the children start to look forward to rainy days, as they know they might get to have an adventure.
We've had plenty of feedback on the stories from young readers, and we've actually printed some of their quotes in the books – after all, there's nothing like a real recommendation. One of my favourites was from Ava, age 6: “I was so excited my tummy was tingly and I couldn’t sit still in bed!” To me, this says it all. If a book can make you feel like that at age 6, hopefully you’ll be enjoying reading for many years to come.
Ellen, Ladybird Editor.
Read on to WIN a Puddle the Naughtiest Puppy book
Do you think your child would enjoy the Puddle the Naughtiest Puppy series? Let us know as a comment to this post – just giving the age of your child – and the first six picked out of the hat will receive one copy of either Holiday Musical or Star of the School.
To enter the prize draw, please leave your comment on this post by midnight 1st March 2011, winners will picked at random and notified by March 8th 2011. Click here for Terms and Conditions