Did we have to wait till number 25 to start talking about books?
True to the title there are 101 suggested ways and they’re all OK. Done with the right tone, children will find them enjoyable. But they betray a skewed attitude to the whole business of reading, with a hint of desperation that almost assumes children are going to struggle with the skill. The first steps are mired in letters and phonics such that by Way number 11 we’re getting the feeling it’s going to be a bit of an uphill struggle, though as our phonics throw up words like ‘din’ and ‘sin’ (number 12) we’re reminded of the need to discuss their meaning. That’s very much the sort of tortuous direction this book takes in approaching reading, via a lot of special needs and a mangled misrepresentation of multiple intelligences. Even when introducing children to a bookshop (number 98) it’s done through an anecdote about a dyslexic kid getting lost in the gardening section, followed by an injunction to try a smaller establishment!
There are some great tips, such as the use of environmental print and the jam sandwich idea, but as we go through the World Book Days that lie ahead of us I won’t be recommending this one to parents – they’d be better off just getting their hands on a good book.