Review of Follifoot Farm Phonic Books, Combining Consonants Series Decodable Books, Part 3

If your young child is of school age then you will be perhaps familiar with phonic books, designed to teach reading and literacy. Unlike more traditional, story type reading books, phonic books are a teaching aid designed to help children learn how to read through a process of decoding the letters of the alphabet to form a word. These decodable books can be purchased for home schooling and can be a great tool if you feel you would like to help your child with this important learning journey. However, you must ensure that the books you choose are written in accordance with the Department of Education guidelines to ensure the integrity and quality of the material.

Marlene Greenwood is a trusted and respected author of phonic books and has published over 100 books within her Jelly and Bean and Follifoot Farm collections. Her latest decodable books covering phase four phonics are available from January 2011 and focus on combining consonants to make a single sound. Book 3 in the series is called “Down the Well” and follows on from Book 2 entitled “Two Chicks”.

As with earlier books in this series, Greenwood’s illustrations are superb and the reader will immediately recognise Wellington, Kevin and Lotty (the dog characters from earlier books). The dogs interact through a mixture of play and mischief; something that undoubtedly children will easily relate to. Kevin falls down a well when chasing a ball and is rescued by his two canine friends. Storytelling in a decodable phonic book is uncommon and something that sets the Follifoot Farm range above the competition. Not only is the text 100% decodable but it is also intriguing and engaging with a story woven throughout the series that encourages the child to read on. I believe that the stories within these books will make learning less of a chore a little more fun than other books will.

The vocabulary used within this book includes:
Phase 2 phonics: on, in, and, sad
Phase 3 phonics: will, well, yells, with
Phase 4 phonics: flat, grass, help

Vowel digraphs used include:
“ay”: play, “ee”: see, “ow”: down.

Irregular, high frequency words include:
the, to, no, she, she, one.

All the decodable books from the Follifoot Farm range can be purchased by educational institutions and members of the public for home schooling.