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5 Exciting Themes for Young Readers

November 11, 2014 by Nóra Wünsch-Nagy

One of the most magical things about children's stories is that you can tell them, time and time again and your  little listeners enjoy them more and more each time. When stories are used with young learners of English, the retelling process has special benefits.

Our five new readers offer five different contexts for language learning and storytelling fun. Three of the new titles take you and your students on special journeys: The Big Wave takes you to the sea, Moony Goes on Holiday puts life on Earth in a different perspective, and Lola in the Land of Fire takes you to South America while teaching you about culture and history. Dad for Sale introduces the difficult topic of loss in the family, and reading stories which deal with death and loss can be theraputical for many children. Freddy the Frog Prince is a fun story which reverses a classic fairytale retelling it from the perspective of the frog.

The Big Wave (level a) by Stefanella Ebhardt | Illustrated by Anna Crema

The story Pat’s best friend is a little fish called Ermy. One day they go to the beach. They are happy, they like the sea. Then a big wave comes and takes Ermy away. Away from the beach, and away from her best friend Pat. What happens? Can Pat and Ermy find each other once more?

Language focus and project In this story about friendship and discovery you will be given the context to introduce colours, shapes, the beach and the sea. Recycle the new words in a creative project at the end of the book by making shape pictures. And use the new words in maths lessons to create links and further consolidate the new vocabulary.

Dad for Sale (level b ) by Andrés Pi Andreu  | Illustrated by Enrique Martinez

The story “Dad, I don’t love you anymore.” “You don’t love me?” asks Dad. “You don’t let me put jam in the fish tank. And you don’t let me sleep in the dog bed.” Poor Dad. No one loves him anymore. Does he have to go to the Dad shop? Find out in this charming story about love.

Language focus and projects In this story about coming to terms with loss and accepting love readers will be given the context to talk about their everyday activities. Follow up by making badges for friends and family.

Freddy the Frog Prince  (level c) by Maria Cleary |Illustrated by Agilulfo Russo

The story Freddy the frog is very happy. He likes his life and the pond and he likes Francesca, the prettiest frog in the woods. One Friday evening Freddy is waiting for Francesca when he hears a strange sound. It’s Princess Priscilla and she is not very happy. But then Princess Priscilla has an idea and Freddy’s life changes forever... or does it?

Language focus and project This story teaches us to look at things from outside the box and allows children to explore well-known tales in an ironic way. They will learn about animals and the sounds they make, and discover places to live. In the project you can make a colourful party invitation card.

Moony Goes on Holiday (level d) by Dilys Ross|Illustrated by Mario Onnis

The story Moony lives on the moon. Every day is the same: he cleans his home, he waters his garden, then he goes for a walk. Moony is bored. He wants to hear noise and see people. He wants to go to Earth. One day, Alex the astronaut arrives and agrees to take Moony home with him. What happens when Moony arrives on Earth? What surprises does he find? And what does Moony decide to do: stay on Earth or go back to the moon?

Language focus and project This story introduces young learners to the language of outer space, city and space travel, and teaches them adjectives to describe their feelings and places. Readers are also encouraged to observe and think about where they live. In the project you can make a model of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon to use in science class.

Lola in the Land of Fire  (level e) by Rick Sampedro |Illustrated by Catia Girolametti

The story A long time ago there was a girl called Lola. Lola lived with her family in the Selk’nam tribe, in a beautiful land near the end of the world. One day when Lola is with the Yamana tribe in the south of the land, a big ship arrives. Who is on the ship? And how will they change Lola’s land forever?

Language focus and project This story introduces themes of otherness and diversity and the importance of tolerance and respect. Learn about the language of adventure and explorers, and then learn how to make a telescope in the project at the end of the book.

If you are looking for themes in young readers, visit these blog posts:

For more information about teaching with young readers, visit these posts:

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