Librarian Recommended Children’s English Books

English Books

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Jolly Phonics. How to support your child learning English in Japan and other non-English Speaking Countries

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There are many Jolly Phonic resources available for home teaching. Here are my recommendations.

Note before purchasing and Jolly Phonics Resources:
• The books have all new covers and artwork since I initially reviewed them. The originals versions are still great.
• Jolly Phonics used to produce Print and Cursive versions of their books. Which look almost identical.
• It seems they now only produce resources in Precursive. Notably it doesn’t say this on the cover.
• The thumbnails for regular books are the same as for big books and board books. Double check what you order!
Jolly Phonics. How to support your child learning English in Japan and other non-English Speaking Countries

In this Guide
• The Essentials
• Workbooks
• Songs
• Flash Cards
• Activity Books
• Grammar (or not)
• Decodable Readers
• Oxford Learning Tree
• Teachers Guides

The Essentials - New learner
• These are the resources I used in my classes. Note that I paid for these myself to use in my own school, so I only used resources that would directly impact learning.
• All publishers by definition exist to sell books.

There are 42 letter sounds.
• Teach one per day
• Each sound has a catchy song for each one

Finger Phonics 1
ISBN 9781844146437
Sounds: s, a, t, i, p, n

Finger Phonics 2
ISBN 9781844146444
Sounds: c k, e, h, r, m, d

Finger Phonics 3
ISBN 9781844146451
Sounds: g, o, u, l, f, b

Finger Phonics 4
ISBN 9781844146468
Sounds: ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or

Finger Phonics 5
ISBN 9781844146475
Sounds: z, w, ng, v, oo, oo

Finger Phonics 6
ISBN 9781844146482
Sounds: y, x, ch, sh, th, th

Finger Phonics 7
ISBN 9781844146499
Sounds: qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar

Finger Phonics Books 1-7
ISBN 9781844146505
N/A at time of publishing this page

Jolly Phonics Workbooks Books
• This is a great way for you and your child to solidify learning and visualise the sounds
• These books are also available in Print font, unlike the Finger Phonics books (currently?) are.
• Which ever you choose you must ensure that the Finger Phonics Books and Pupil books have the same font

Jolly Phonics Pupil Book 1
• Introduces the 42 main letter sounds of English
• ISBN 9781844147168

Jolly Phonics Pupil Book 2
• Builds on the reading and writing skills taught in Pupil Book 1
• ISBN 9781844147175

Jolly Phonics Pupil Book 3
• Builds and consolidates the reading and writing skills taught in Pupil Books 1 and 2
• ISBN 9781844147182

• Singing the songs are essential to learning the sounds, both for engagement and correct pronunciation
• There are Jolly Phonics CDs and Apps from Jolly Phonics available but I recommend instead YouTube for engagement and variety. Note that many of these videos are unofficial, so may disappear unexpectedly
• Number One Tip: You must not correct your child's pronunciation, reading, or writing in the early stages of Jolly Phonics. They will self correct over time. Encouraging any production is key

Jolly Phonics Flash Cards
Set of 4.
• You will not use these all at once, but rather over the duration of learning to read.
• Set 1 – 60 Letter sound flashcards covering the 42 letter sounds plus the alternative spellings of the vowel sounds.
• Set 2 – 88 Regular word blending cards.
• Set 3 – 80 Alternative word blending cards with the alternative spelling of vowels.
• Set 4 – 72 Tricky word cards. Numbered in recommended teaching order

Basic Phonics Flash Cards
• In the Print font
• Download and print your self
• I made these specifically so they can be laminated and used for tracing

Non Essential, but will certainly support learning
Jolly Phonics Picture Flashcards. One pack of 60. ISBN 9781844144334
Activity Books. I recommend these only if your child specifically asks for them. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I'd recommend instead an early learning reading book, or craft.

Mid Level Learnings
Jolly Phonics Grammar Texts. For students supporting learning at home, I recommend that school be the place to acquire grammar. Generally speaking, you as a parent have acquired your grammar by living in a country where English is a first language.
Teaching it is best left qualified professionals. Keep it fun at home. Encourage reading and writing. Keep it fun

• Jolly Phonics do have a range of Grammar texts and Decodable Reader books. I must be honest and say I have not used either myself so I cannot comment either way.
• However, I do instead highly recommend the Oxford Reading Tree series of books, aligning as they do with the English curriculum, which in turn appears in many English Language International Schools
• I'm a fan of these as the emphasis is on an engaging story for students, rather than a book written only as a teaching tool.
• I've used these successfully for many years in my classes
• The Jolly Phonics books will have to be exceptional to draw me away from the Oxford Readers - Biff, Chip, Kipper, and Floppy the dog!

Teachers Guides
• Written for teachers
• If you are a parent supporting your child stick with the Essentials above and you will be fine

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