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DIY Story Props for Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King

For Reading Hour last year, my children and I dressed up and re-enacted a new book we had recently purchased, Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King along with other fantastic read-alouds. After an adventurous and fun-filled night of stories, I tucked my children into bed and realised Australia had its very own [...]

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Book Review: Pig Dude- He Can Do Anything by Michael Wagner and Adam Nickel

Pig Dude by Michael Wagner

Meet Pig Dude.

He is the flavour of the month here and Ike’s new favourite book character. He really does idolise Pig Dude. In fact, it’s become common at home for Ike to call out, “Look Mum!” as he sidles down his nappy ever so slightly to show me the top of his bottom, “Just like Pig Dude,” laughing with pure joy and mischief.

In all honesty, I was mortified when Ike first pulled down his nappy. We were in The Little Bookroom just after a special school holiday storytime.  But I take no responsibility for Ike’s latest shenanigans. I completely and utterly blame author, Michael Wagner,  who inadvertently pointed out Pig Dude’s bottom on every page while he read to the kids!!!!!!!!

Michael Wagner at The Little Bookroom

Sounds dreadful doesn’t it? Quite the contrary actually. Michael is a consummate author and entertainer. He had the children, and their parents, absolutely enthralled. Children were eating out of the palm of his hand, laughing at every page turn as Michael read from his newest release, Pig Dude- He can Do Anything. And, as for Ike, if my kids are thinking about books and talking about characters, then I call that a WIN!

Pig Dude – loose pants aside- is far from an undesirable character. He is completely lovable. The endpapers tell us that Pig Dude had been abandoned as a baby and adopted by a loving mother who encourages Pig Dude to do anything. Filled with encouragement, Pig Dude sets out to fly, and actually achieves some degree of success.

Pig Dude-He Can Do Anything by Michael Wagner

The reaction of the children as Michael read the story proves that Michael is onto a good thing. He seems to genuinely understand what makes kids tick and what makes them laugh… boys in particular (without meaning to be stereotypical). But I must point out that girls enjoyed the book as much as the boys. Pig Dude is full of silliness and nonsense and unbelievable acts. They’re the kind of acts that have kids turning the pages of the book so quickly, searching for MORE.  In fact, if it was possible to capture slapstick comedy in a book, I’d say Michael has done just that.

Silliness aside; despite foiled plans, a careless flock of birds and a wayward arrow, Pig Dude forges on and demonstrates to our beautiful youngsters the values of creativity, self-belief and persistence.

This is essentially a book for early-independent readers. Short paragraphs, large font and coloured illustrations help it bridge the gap perfectly between picture books and chapter books.

Ike simply loves his signed copy.

Signed copy of Pig Dude

Book Details:

Author: Michael Wagner

Illustrator: Adam Nickel

ISBN: 9780994251718

Publisher: Billy Goat Books, 2015

Age recommendation: 4-8

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE KIDS’ BOOKSHOP

Other (coloured) illustrated early-reader books we love:

The Boris series by Andrew Joyner

The Cleo Stories by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood

The Little Rockets series (New Frontier Books)

Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp

The Figaro and Rumba series by Anna Fienberg and Stephen Michael King

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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase


10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

Whatever age or stage your child is at, there are many wonderful ways to make the most of your alphabet beads, especially when it comes to developing ingredients for reading.

10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads_ My Little Bookcase

This post is sponsored by Child.com.au. It may contain links to the online store.

FREE PLAY

1. Teamed with a batch of string and some playdough, allow your child the opportunity to play freely with the alphabet beads. Let them find a way to touch, look and explore the letters in their own way. This will help them develop letter identification and recognition.

playdough letter impressions_My Little Bookcase shares 10 ways to use alphabet beads

ALPHABET/LETTER RECOGNITION

2. Match alphabet beads to the letters displayed on an alphabet chart.

Letter Matching_ 10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

3. Practise ordering and sequencing letters on a string.

letter sequencing_My Little Bookcase shares 10 ways to use alphabet beads

4. Identify where (and what) letter is missing in a sequence.

missing letter_10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

5. Play I Spy or sort and group letters that share similar features (e.g. ‘I spy a letter with a long tail’ or ‘I spy a short letter’).

Letter Grouping_10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS

6. Take a lucky dip from the alphabet bead container and use the chosen letter to initiate an alphabet hunt.

Alphabet Hunt_ 10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

7. Use coloured alphabet beads to highlight specific sounds in a word (e.g. first sound, last sound etc.).

Identifying First Sounds_ 10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

8. Use beads, charms or pasta to separate parts of words (e.g. phonemes, syllables, base words).

Separating Parts of Words_ MLB shares 10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

APPLYING PHONICS, WORD BUILDING & READING STRATEGIES

9. Thread letters to build familiar words (e.g. sight words, theme words, favourite words, spelling words) or names of family and friends.

Beading Familiar Words_ 10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

10. Build your own words (VC, CVC, CCVC, CVCC words or even nonsense words etc.)

Building Words_ 10 Ways to Use Alphabet Beads

Alphabet Beads at Child.com.au

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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase