Please tell me I am not the only person with primary school-aged children who abhors the characters in the Oxford early reading books, not to mention the ridiculous names they have?
I mean, honestly, have you ever come across a Kipper (aside from breakfast), or a Chip (without fish) or even a Biff (unless you were throwing a punch)? No, I didn't think so.
And let's not even talk about the political correctness that pervades the pages. Or Floppy the most idiotic dog that ever existed.
Maybe it's just me. Although even OH (who does the bulk of the reading with the kids as his tolerance level is far higher) can be caught on many occasions rolling his eyes skywards.
However, I was sent some fabulous books recently by Jo at Bayard Press - what a revelation!
Bayard produce three monthly books for school-aged children: StoryBox (3-6 year olds), AdventureBox (6-9 year olds) and DiscoveryBox (9-12 year olds). They are jam-packed with exciting stories, characters, games and activities and can be enjoyed on their own and as a teaching aid. And in the July edition of DiscoveryBox, there is a great competition to win a WWF tiger adoption pack!
Stick that in your pipe Biff and smoke it.
Suffice to say my three pounced on the books, the eldest is sleeping with 'his' ones (so his siblings do not nick them), the younger two are democratically 'taking turns' reading theirs, and I have lent some to our neighbours as well to get their input. If that does not make for a positive review, then I don't know what does.
Now I just need to convince the school to diversify and invest in books with characters that do not sound like members of a dance troupe on Britain's Got Talent.
Who said I don't relish a challenge?