Talkabout home was published by Ladybird in 1973, compiled by W Murrray and illustrated by Eric Winter and Harry Wingfield. It is one of Ladybird's series 735, books designed with the help of nursery school advisers from The British Association for Early Childhood Education. Other's in the series are; Talkabout animals, Talkabout the beach, Talkabout shopping and Talkabout starting school which I have already blogged about.
"Education begins long before a child goes to Infant School... All the books in this talkabout series are designed to stimulate conversation between child and adult, encourage the early growth of vocabulary, assist mental development and provide a sound basis for future progress in reading and general awareness."
This book has very little text and is designed to to be enjoyed by pre-school children in conversation with their parents. I love the Talkabout books as they really are perfect for sharing with pre-school children, and while this one is a little battered, I do read it with Little Louis Fox, who is 4. Full of illustrations of familiar objects and tasks about the home, the book aims to encourage conversation about subjects that are a well established part of the child's world. Most of the pictures are in Ladybird's typical realistic style. I love the old hoover and radio below, although Louis doesn't recognise the radio as that thing in the corner that we call a radio that plays CDs and MP3s all day.
There are pages with simple games or tasks, to help the conversation flow, developing the child's attention and vocabulary as you read:
There is a section at the back of the book with advice for parents on how to "read" these books with their children. And it encourages you not to just stick to the suggested text, but, where a child shows interest, improvise on the pictures.
Above is one of our personal favourites. Louis knows who is supposed to own each item, but, sometimes with a cheeky grin insists that the doll is the mummy's or the cowboy hat belongs to the daddy, the result is much hilarity as we make up stories. Mummy once became a bit of a kleptomaniac and ended up stealing everyone's toys. And I often insist that the iron does not belong to Mummy, after all, Louis has seldom seen me with such an object in my hand!
There are also pages with simple counting tasks...
Sharing books like this one in Ladybird's Talkabout series with pre-schoolers is exactly what has been 're-discovered' in schools as a means to improve children's writing. My oldest little fox, Una, is in year 2 and along with the rest of her primary school, and many other's around the country, takes part in The Big Write every week. This is a teaching method devised by Ros Wilson that many schools use to raise Key Stage 1 and 2 children's attainment levels in writing. Follow the above link to hear Ros explain The Big Write far better than I can.
It's a great way to improve and encourage children's listening, talking and writing skills, and there is also a version for early years called The Big Talk. The Big Talk is also used by our school to encourage parents of the Key Stage 1 and 2 children to participate in the learning process. Each week we are told the The Big Write topic for that weeks and asked to talk to our children around this - The Big Talk - ready for that weeks writing. The Big Write takes place every Friday with special pens and special paper, a relaxing atmosphere in the class room with music and sometimes candle light. Writing is made to feel special and important not just something you HAVE to do at school. It's a wonderful message to give children - that writing is special.
This post is part of Ladybird Tuesday started on the Being Mrs C blog, take a look at her posts here.
And the rest of Mrs Fox's Ladybird Tuesday posts are here and if you have a collection of Ladybird books, please do feel free to join in.