How to Hatch a Reader takes an amusing look at learning to read with an unusual cast of characters – chickens!
The Story: Down on the farm a little girl’s chickens are begging for books so she helps them learn to read. Her method involves pointing out common words, labelling things and giving the chickens interesting books. But while they’re learning to read Fox is on the prowl…
Chickens as main characters add an original twist to the process of learning to read. The puns in the text made us laugh (FOWL language, EGG-cellent) and we love the way that they learn to read with words written in seeds on the farmyard. There’s a dance party and a play to celebrate and cement their learning and also a sub story involving Fox.
Rachel Suzanne’s fabulous illustrations give us a wonderful sense of life on the farm. We love picture books in which the main characters aren’t aware of other events unfolding in the background and it’s fun for the reader to spot where Fox is hiding in each picture and watch what s/he is doing while the unsuspecting chickens have their beaks in books. Fox’s antics aren’t mentioned in the text, his/her story is told through the illustrations and resolved in a brilliant twist at the end.
How to Hatch a Reader is a fabulous book to read in an Early Years classroom. The story helps to show children that the process of learning to read is similar whether you are a child or a chicken and can stimulate discussion about an individual child’s reading progress.
Age range: 3 +
Thank you to Netgalley and Gnome Road Publishing for the review copy of this fun story which will be published on August 15th. You can find learning resources and How to Hatch a Reader activities on the Gnome Road Publishing website.