Ant and Bee: Angela Banner (Egmont, revised ed. 2013)
People of a certain age will remember Ant and Bee from their childhoods. Actually, people of several certain ages as Ant and Bee were in print from 1950’s to early 1990’s. Anyhow, some people (me included) remember Ant and Bee with a sense of nostalgia and love, so hearing that Egmont was starting to reprint them was hugely exciting.
I pre-ordered a copy of the first Ant and Bee from the lovely Mostly Books and it was with some trepidation that I collected it because nostalgia is a funny thing… I needn’t have worried, the new and updated* versions were an immediate hit with MG and DG and have been read innumerable times in the three days we’ve owned it.
*(I suspect the original language would have been very dated but don’t have an original copy to compare, I hope Storyseekers will do a comparison post with her loft treasures!)
Ant and Bee is a quite surreal story in order to fit the introduction of 26 three-letter words alphabetically (in order) throughout the text. As each new word is introduced, it is given a page to itself (double page) and then the word is included in red text throughout the book to encourage young children to join in. As a method of learning to read, this will work for some children and not others.
I never learnt to read with Ant and Bee but they were great as early readers. The same is true for MG. She has learnt to read phonetically, is currently on Blue/Green book band level and can read the entire book. The pride from reading such a long (over 100 pages!) ‘real’ book is wonderful to see and the mad story is appealing to her. DG loves shouting the words as we get to them, but is not at a stage to recognise the red symbols as being a word yet, although she does recognise letters, so cannot read along other than with the first introduction of a word.
MG has already requested another Ant and Bee book for her birthday later this month, and I can see us collecting them all as they are published. Three were published today, with another three following later in the year.
MG reading an extract from Ant and Bee, with DG in the background not listening