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From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers:
Sports and Pastimes


Sports Day for Charlie by Joy Allen
Published by The Penguin Group, 1990
ISBN 0-241-12904 – 4
Illustrations © Michael Charlton, 1990

Charlie bans all sorts of fattening foods in an effort to rid Dad of his big tummy before Sports Day. Hearing that Charlie’s friends say he is too unfit to run is just the incentive Dad needs to embark on a fitness campaign with Charlie as his trainer. Training begins at six o’clock each morning.

Reading very much like a precursor to the Harry Potter books, the school is divided into three Houses; Slugs, Beetles and Spiders all competing to win the Cup. Charlie and his dad triumph in the end. Charlie’s House – Slugs – wins the cup and Dad crosses the line in a sporting finish, neck and neck with boastful Jake’s Dad.

Divided into just three chapters, the story gently eases young readers into the concept of the introduction, middle and the conclusion common to all stories. Clear large type combined with black and white illustrations help children make the transition from picture books to first story books like this one very easy.

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