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Katie’s Pick of the Week – ‘Ant and Bee’ by Angela Banner


I have to admit it.  Today I had to offer a bribe to my eldest son, Sebastian.  It was a substantial bribe in fact and it’s not the first time it’s happened!  Sebastian decided he was not going leave the house for nursery this morning so after much negotiation (on my part) I caved in and said I would take him to the toyshop after nursery if he went without a fuss.

Of course, his first sentence after I’d picked him up was “Mummy, is there a present in my car seat?”  Oh gawd.  What was I thinking?  I’m definitely on the way to creating a spoilt brat.  He’s going to turn out to be a monster but it’s the only way to keep the peace AND I hate sending him to nursery when he doesn’t want to go.  Bribing is definitely a way of helping me assuage my guilt even if it isn’t helping his character!  I can’t be the only mother to have done it and thought all those things straight away….

However, in every guilt-driven toyshop errand, there is a silver lining and this one was finding the ‘Ant and Bee’ books.  The perfect books for any aspiring reader, Ant and Bee teach children to read via word recognition and encourage story sharing with siblings and parents.  With a recommendation from Anthony Horowitz on the cover that states: “These were the books that taught me how to read”, how could any parent fail to be impressed!  These books are a lovely, old-fashioned way of reading with your child.

The author, Angela Banner, started writing this series of books when trying to teach her son how to read.  As you turn the pages, you’ll see three and four letter words that occur often and these words are printed in red.  Children learn to read the red words and the parents read the rest.  Simple but effective.  The books also teach children about the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours, countries of the world, calendar and clock reading and the alphabetical stories emphasise words beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet.