The Animals of Farthing Wood - review
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The Animals of Farthing Wood This book has been written as a source of enjoyment, for children to read. The pragmatics behind the book and how it is written is that it aids children to learn to read and understand how to handle reading a slightly more advanced reading book (for ages 5 to 7). It also helps the child how to learn to follow what is written down on a page, reading the words from left to write, to the end of the line, and then to the beginning of a new line - it helps develop familiarity with story structures and conventions. It also builds vocabulary and literary discourse at an appropriate level for the age group. These are essential skills for children to have when reading in the future, so must be taught to them at an early age. By naturally engaging the child in an interactive activity - reading the book with a parent or carer, this can give them social skills - interaction and understanding of events with people around them or familiar to them, and even new people. This can then be taken on into older stages in their life, where they develop more advanced social skills, and because they are socially developed, they can get on in the world.
They can point to the pictures and identify which animal is which and learn what the different animals look like and what their names are. The discourse between the text and the child, is written in a way, for example 'The animals' homes were being destroyed to make way for houses and roads', to inform the child or reader of the book the story. The narration is direct, aimed directly at the reader. The speech of the animals is less direct, as they are talking to each other, not directly to the reader yet they can still follow what is being said, who is saying it and what is happening. The lexical choices in the story are used for informative and educational purposes in some cases. The constant use of the animals names 'Fox' and 'Badger', teaches the child the names of the different animals, which the pictures then show the child what the animals' looks like. It also teaches to differentiate between species of animals. 'Animals' is used as the collective term for all the animals and then the names 'adder', 'weasel' are used for the specific species they are referring to.
This eases children gently into more complex syntax structures. Along with these more complex structures, clauses are used too 'soon there would be no wood left', to get a simpler idea across clearly to the child. In one part, listing is used to introduce the child to animal names; 'Rabbits, hares and hedgehogs, mice, voles and squirrels joined Fox and Badger'. This gets a lot of information over to the child in a simpler way than putting it into a sentence or sentences. There are fewer words, as commas are used to separate the words. This is showing the child that words aren't always necessary to separate words, symbols can be used in place of the words and still be understandable. This book has used common ways of writing for children, making it appeal to a child. By including illustrations it helps form the child's understanding of events in the book and relates the pictures to the words. The main theme and plot of the story is fictional and involves animals talking to each other and going on an adventure. This is beyond reality and really appeals to a child's mind and helps further develop their imagination. This makes a child's reading experience more interactive and more enjoyable for them. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amelia Cairns Page 1 09/05/2007
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