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Hardback with ribbon marker

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An appealing story to inspire very beginner readers. Based on the principles of synthetic phonics, supports the "Letters and Sounds" programme used in thousands of UK primary schools. Adult and child take turns to read, and the child’s text uses only the letters s a t p i n m d plus new letters g o c k ck e u r. Fun puzzles test understanding, and provide opportunities for discussion and further reading practice.

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Book information

Key Stage
Book Band
ISBN: 9781409507048
Extent: 32 pages
Dimensions: 196 x 130mm
Kate Sheppard

Author information

Mairi Mackinnon

Mairi Mackinnon has lived in England, Scotland, France, Italy and Spain, and worked as an English teacher, translator and tour manager before joining Usborne. Over the years, she has edited Usborne books in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Welsh. She has worked extensively on books for beginner readers, such as Usborne Very First Reading, and developed the Usborne English Readers series for young English language learners. She has also worked on the Usborne Foundation’s popular phonics game, Teach your Monster to Read.


US Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family 2011

Awarded to the Usborne Very First Reading series. For the Teachers' Choice Award, teachers who are also parents evaluate books, games, websites, electronics, and more — to choose the best tools for at-home learning.

Bronze Award in the 5-7 Educator Awards 2010

Awarded to the Usborne Very First Reading series. The award's aim is to identify and reward excellence in educational products that have been designed for children in Key Stage 1.

Reader reviews

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“We got ourselves a reader!”
I was a little stunned to find that my daughter was 'reading' out loud from this book as soon as she picked it up. Okay, so she is no reading prodigy it turns out, they just have a set at her nursery, so she is quite familiar with the story and was 'reading the pictures'. Great that it captured her imagination so fast though. According to her nursery they have been a big hit. We both appreciated the artwork, me for the modern quirky pictures and she for the way they show children imagining different dressing up adventures. I like the way the book swaps between a page for parent to read and a page for the child to read so that reading together is really emphasised. The themes of the whole series look varied and appealing (space, zoo, pirates, animals, circus). The system is based on learning to read with synthetic phonics. As always with Usborne books, eyecatching and enticing. If you are trying to teach a child to read I would recommend.

Press reviews

“Thank you, Usborne, for producing a series of books that really work, that see story and content as important as skill level, and are genuinely engaging for children (and adults- I’m having a great time too!) Thank you for teaching my daughter to read.”


For links to specially selected websites with video clips and activities or a pronunciation guide for this book, visit the Usborne Quicklinks website.

Resources for this book