Welcome to RARING READERS, the Patron of Reading blog of Captain’s Close Primary School in Asfordby, Leicestershire. This is where
you’ll find the latest news on what I’m doing with the school and reviews of some brilliant books that I think you might enjoy.
It’s your blog as much as mine, so whether you’re a student, a teacher, a member of staff or a parent at the school, I’d love to hear
from you. You can put a message in the comments section beneath each post or, if you , you can write a guest post.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Treasure Hunts and Book Dragons

Hi Captain's Close!

I really enjoyed visiting the school again last Friday. I hope you had a fun day too.

A big thank you to all the school council members who helped to get the day off to a great start with our performance of Here Be Monsters in morning assembly. I especially liked the growly voices some of you did for Captain Cut-Throat.

The rest of the morning was spent doing the book-themed treasure hunts. Miss G and I had talked about doing the treasure hunts outside if the weather was good (which, thankfully, it was), but it wasn’t until we started putting the clues out that I realised what lovely big school grounds you have.

One of the Key Stage 2 treasure hunt clues. Did you work out which book to look for next?

Some of the clues ended up being quite far apart and by the time you’d finished the hunt you had all exercised your legs as much as your minds! Well done for finding so many of the clues - especially those of you that managed to find the letters in the right order.

This Key Stage 1 clue, stuck to the back of the storyteller's
chair, was particularly hard to find.

I spent some of my lunchtime reading Walter the Super Chicken, the very funny picture book written and illustrated by Jack, that I talked about in afternoon assembly. I was very proud to see the words “Inspired by Jonathan Emmett” on the front cover. I wish I had taken some photos of it. If someone can send me a couple, I can add them to this blog post.

I spent the afternoon building the cardboard book dragon, with the help of some of the children of Key Stage 1.

I practised by making this small dragon first.

Key Stage 1 helped me make the full sized version

Here’s the finished dragon sitting in the hall. Miss G wanted to put it in the library, but it was too big to fit through the library door!

The finished dragon – but what is its name?

I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s covered in all your “page scales”. And it needs a name! What do you think it should be called? I think it’s probably a she.

If you borrow a book from the school library don’t forget to fill in one of the book review slips that I showed you in afternoon assembly, so that you can let other readers know what you thought of if. It would be interesting to see which books get the most 5 star reviews.

Do keep sending me your Rapid Review videos. And, if you’re read any of the books already featured in a Rapid Review, don’t forget to post a comment to let everyone know what YOU thought of it. You can see all the review videos, including my latest video, about Holes by Louis Sachar, by clicking HERE or on the “Rapid Reviews” link on the right of this blog. And if you want to write or draw something about a favourite book, don’t forget that you can send that to me as well!

I had a good look at all the wonderful work on the Patron of Reading display in the hall and was particularly impressed by the writing and illustrations you’d done showing how Asfordby and Melton might be converted into Mortal Engines style traction town. 

Some of your wonderful Mortal Engines World Book Day work
One of your traction town designs

I tweeted some photos of your work to Mortal Engines' author Philip Reeve which he retweeted with the ominous words “AND SO IT BEGINS...”.

Perhaps the next time I see you, instead of me driving to Asfordby, the whole of Asfordby will be driving to me!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

HOLES • Rapid Review by Jonathan

My second rapid review is of Holes, a novel by American author Louis Sachar.

You can find out more about this book on this page of Louis Sachar's web site.

Holes is not just one of my favourite children's books – it's one of my favourite books written for readers of any age. Miss G is going to get some copies for the school, so I hope that lots of you will want to read them.

If you've read it, let me know what you think of it – good or bad – by leaving a comment on this post.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

WHAT FRIENDS DO BEST • Rapid Review by Chaffinches Class

Chaffinches Class got together to make this Rapid Review of WHAT FRIENDS DO BEST illustrated by Nathan Reed and written by me!

Thanks, Chaffinches. It's lovely to see one of my own stories reviewed and I'm delighted to hear that so many of you enjoyed reading it.

I'm also pleased to hear that some of you like building things. I love building things and I was thinking about myself a little when I wrote Winston's character.

If anyone else has read this book, I'd love to know what they thought of it. And if you didn't like it, don't be afraid to say so – although I'd be interested to hear why!

CLICK HERE to read or leave comments on this book.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

THE BFG • Rapid Review by Grace

Grace made this Rapid Review of THE BFG written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Thanks Grace! You said that you the story pulled you into it, so that it felt like you were there. That's a great description – and something that many good books can do!

I grew up reading Roald Dahl's books. I think my favourite is Fantastic Mr Fox. I wonder if anyone at Captain's Close has read that.

You can find out lots more about The BFG on this page of the Roald Dahl web site.

And here's a video of David Walliams reading some of the book.

Have you read The BFG? If you have, what did YOU think of it?

CLICK HERE to read or leave comments

Friday, 27 February 2015

THE VERY HUNGY CATERPILLAR • Rapid Review by Owls Class

Owls Class made this Rapid Review of THE VERY HUNGY CATERPILLAR written and illustrated by Eric Carle.


Thanks Owls! That's a lovely review.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published 46 years ago and was one the picture books that I borrowed from the library when I was your age. Now my family have our own copy!

Do you like sticking your fingers through the holes like I did?

Miss G has told me about the problem leaving comments on the blog. Hopefully we will have that fixed soon. When it is, I'd love to hear what the rest of Captain's Close think of this book. I'm sure some of the year 6 children will remember reading it. Was it a favourite – or did you think there were too many holes in the plot?

CLICK HERE to read or leave comments.

Friday, 23 January 2015

THE LIBRARY DRAGON • Rapid Review by Violet and Amelia

A big THANK YOU to Violet and Amelia for making Captain's Close's first Rapid Review video which is about THE LIBARY DRAGON written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael P. White.

Great work, girls! I'm glad a fearsome dragon didn't stop you from reading this book.

Have you read this book? If you have, tell us what you thought of it by leaving a comment on this post.

Why we can't live without books

Here's my answer to the question "why we can't live without books".

Good luck with the competition!