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From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers: Rhyme


Ms Cliff the Climber by Allan Ahlberg
Published by The Penguin Group, 1997
ISBN 0-670-86591-5
Illustrations © Fritz Wegner, 1997

The Happy Families books by Allan Ahlberg are guaranteed to deal with everyday issues in the funniest, madcap stories you’ve ever read. In Miss Cliff the Climber Clara Cliff spends all her time climbing through the ups and downs of life.

She meets and marries Clifford Clamber and they have a baby girl called Clarissa. However, as time goes by Clara and Clifford divorce. Clara and Clarissa live together for some time and then Clara meets and marries Claude who has three children of his own.

Through its portrayal of totally chaotic family life, the story deals in a unique and humourous way with marriage, divorce and mixed siblings. On the surface it’s just a funny story but could be a great launch pad for discussion about everyday issues for today’s children.

Full colour illustrations with a substantial amount of text make Happy Families ideal beginner readers for young children.

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