Book Central – Possum Magic

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them.  Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how – that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced.  And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves.  So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

Possum Magic by Mem Fox

What’s it about?possum magic book

Set in the Australian bush, this iconic story follows the adventures of two possums, Hush and Grandma Poss. The story begins with magic, as all good books do. Grandma Poss sprinkles some bush magic on Hush and turns him invisible! Hush enjoys bush life mischief as an invisible possum, but problems arise when Grandma Poss can’t make Hush visible again. The story continues as Grandma Poss figures out that the key to reversing the spell is human food!

Thus begins Hush’s and Grandma Poss’ adventure to eat human food. They travel far and wide across Australia to nibble on the country’s delicacies including Vegemite sandwiches, pavlova, and lamingtons. With each nibble on these Aussie treats, Hush returns to her visible self.

The book is aimed for children from the age of four years, which is when they start to enjoy actively partaking in story-telling. This book explores all the elements of a great narrative while using a pattern of rhythm and rhyme that children enjoy.

Our top 3 tips

  1. Make the most of the story’s rhyme and rhythm

Books with rhymes, rhythm, and repeated words are helpful for getting your child to join in and get familiar with the words in the story. Read the books with animation as it shows your child that you are engaged with reading to them. This helps make reading time a positive experience for your child and encourages them to become engaged with reading themselves. In the year before school start getting your child to tell you which words rhyme. It’s a skill which they’ll need for later literacy development.

  1. Let your child hold the book and turn the pages

Awareness of how to hold a book upright and when to turn pages is a useful skill for early-reading. In addition, you can expand on your child’s print awareness by getting them to show you where the title is, where the author’s and illustrator’s names are and where the words of the story are written. Use your finger to follow along with the text in the story as you read it out loud.

  1. Reread the books that your child loves

Rereading books helps children to recall details of the story and practise using the different parts of a story. You can start off by describing the beginning of the story, then ask them to tell you the next part of the story while following along with the pages. You can then expand on their version of the story with other details.

If you found this article helpful click the share button.  One of your friends may just find it useful too!