Favourite read-alouds from the staffroom

28th April 2006 at 01:00
Recommended by Jayne Gould, library assistant, Broke Hall community primary school, Ipswich:

Muddlewitch Does Magic Tricks by Nick Sharratt (Egmont) for nursery and reception: lots of opportunity for discussion and participation.

Trust Me, Mum by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Ross Collins, Bloomsbury and Baby Brains Superstar by Simon James (Walker) for Year 2.

Jack Slater Monster Investigator by John Dougherty (Corgi) and The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer (Puffin) for Year 3 and above.

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (Orion) and Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick (Usborne Fiction) for older primary children.

Recommended by Huw Thomas, head of Emmaus primary school, Sheffield: The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi (Simon and Schuster). Read these five spooky adventures in succession; children love the idea of reading a whole series.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (The Chicken House). Characters step out of the stories in which they were safely written away. A longer read, that will take some staying power, but children grow into it.

Krindlekrax by Philip Ridley (Puffin). Intense suspense and a street of well crafted and diversely voiced characters.

Recommended by Michael Thorn, deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex: Enchantment: Fairy Tales, Ghost Stories and Tales of Wonder by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark (Orion pound;6.99).

For key stage 1, an indispensable collection of age-old stories, quality of retellings guaranteed.

Bad Bad Cats by Roger McGough (Puffin pound;4.99). One of McGough's best collections: I keep it to hand in case I get called to a Year 3 or Year 4 class at short notice.

101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (Puffin). Perfect read-aloud class novel for lower key stage 2, so well structured that it lends itself superbly to serial reading.

Recommended by Rosanne Bartlett, assistant head with responsibility for learning and curriculum support, the Earls high school, Halesowen, West Midlands: Down the Back of the Chair, a poem by Margaret Mahy, has been turned into a picture book, illustrated by Polly Dunbar and published by Frances Lincoln.

It has what is needed for reading aloud: rhythm, rhyme and repetition and in my delivery to primary children, actions.

Cool! by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins) can be read in an hour with a bit of editing. For the past two years I've read it in one session to Year 6 in my school's feeder primaries.

Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan works well in our literacy summer school with reluctant boy readers leaving Year 6.

Great Books to Read Aloud, with an introduction by Jacqueline Wilson is published by Random House, pound;1.Jacqueline Wilson and Malorie Blackman are launching National Share-a-Story Month on May 13 in Reading. This is an annual programme organised by the Federation of Children's Book Groups.

Jayne Gould has just compiled the FCBG's own reading-aloud booklist. Order from 2 Bridge Wood View, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS18 5PE, visit www.fcbg.org.uk, and check branches of OttakarsMore suggestions and tips on www.tes.co.ukreadaloud

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