The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner

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The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner

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Buy The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A novelization of the popular nursery rhyme, this is a simple short story that won't overwhelm new readers.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: January 2014
Publisher: Orion Childrens
ISBN: 978-1444010275

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A little girl receives a nut tree. She plants it and nurtures it and soon magical things happen. News spreads, and famous visitors come to admire it, including the King of Spain’s daughter. The spoilt little thing wants the tree for herself and it is dutifully given, but can there be a happy ending for our little girl? Will she be rewarded for her generosity, even if she had little choice?

This is a blue Early Reader book which means it is 'perfect for sharing and reading together'. The book is very simple with many pages only having 2 or 3 words across the double page spread. While it should therefore be easy to read, I was surprised by how many sentence fragments there were, for example:

Summer came and went.
Autumn too.
Winter followed.
Then spring.

The use of full stops and capital letters in this way felt strange, especially this early on in a child’s literacy learning. That said, there was a good mix of familiar and new vocabulary (phrases such as to tend with care) and the book is far from daunting for new readers. The story wasn’t that exciting and seemed a little illogical to adult readers, but it had a happy ending and sometimes that’s all that matters.

The illustrations take up a great deal of this book, even though it is shaped more like a story book than a picture book. They are quite intricate and more mature than those aimed a pre-schoolers, I felt, but they also seemed very old fashioned in places.

This is just one book in the large Early Reader series and while this one didn’t seem that special, it didn’t put me off trying other ones as I think the approach makes sense and they can help bridge the gap to chapter books. I’d just look for a slightly more exciting (or sweet or thrilling) story next time.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Going back to basics, we would recommend Favourite Nursery Rhymes by Brian Wildsmith and The Faber Book of Nursery Stories by Barbara Ireson and Shirley Hughes. In the early readers series we have enjoyed Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross.

Buy The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Nut Tree Early Reader by Sally Gardner at Amazon.com.

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