Book reviews - learning to read - Rising Stars

"Welcome to Reading Planet, the only reading scheme that:

  • Fully engages with today's world through exciting book-banded fiction and non-fiction readers that explore modern topics and themes
  • Promotes gender equality and diversity with characters and stories that will inspire young readers of today ​
  • Is written for the demands of the new curriculum and will support every child in meeting age-related expectations
  • Is rooted in the latest literacy research from Coventry University to ensure your pupils make reading progress"

Find out more on the Rising Stars website. Reading Planet is out now for Reception and Key Stage 1. Key Stage 2 will be available in 2019.

Reading Planet - Making Music - Lilac: Lift-off (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 0)

This wordless book features bright colour photos of a range of musical instruments - and happy children playing them. How many can your child name? Many will be familiar to young children, so they will have plenty to talk about, and there are suggestions at the end of the book too. Making Music is part of the Lift-off wordless book range for Lilac band, reading age 3 - 4. Young children will develop essential early language skills to ensure they are ready to start learning to read. Moving on from this, with single words labelling appealing photographs is Reading Planet - The City Farm - Lilac Plus: Lift-off First Words (Rising Stars Reading Planet). Readers visit a City Farm to meet lambs, donkeys, guinea pigs, goats and hens, giving them to opportunity to practise sounds.Level 0 - 1.

Reading Planet - The Flat - Red B: Rocket Phonics (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 2B)

Ana is sad to be moving but once her familiar things are in place, she is happy again. The book includes 6 key sounds - ch, th, ng, ai, ee and oo, and includes helpful notes for parents. The story offers children the opportunity to share in the feelings of others and can be used to encourage the sharing of feelings. At the same level is the non-fiction title Reading Planet - In the Fish Tank - Red B: Rocket Phonics (Rising Stars Reading Planet) with additional sounds sh and oa. Single sentences explain the gorgeous colour photos. As with the previous book, there are prompt questions at the end. Reading Planet books have been carefully levelled to support children in becoming fluent and confident readers. Each book features useful notes and activities to support reading at home as well as comprehension questions to check understanding.

Reading Planet - Planet Powers - Yellow: Comet Street Kids (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 3)

Comet Street Kids reading books follow the adventures of Rav, Asha, Tess and Finn, four of the residents of Comet Street. There are 144 exciting stories in the series that children won't be able to put down - so they certainly won't run out of reading material! Tess and Rav are on an alien planet – and they have super powers! It's great fun being able to run as fast as a rocket and throw giant rocks – but will they be able to help some frightened aliens? A lively story and children really enjoy the familiarity of the characters. Reading age: 5-6 years. As with all the Rising Stars readers, there's lots of additional material to add value. The book starts with notes about the words used, a reading activity, and suggestions for before, during and after reading.

Reading Planet - The Hidden Lagoon - Blue: Rocket Phonics (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 4)

During a seaside holiday with their grandparents, Philip and Emily go out on a boat with Grandpa Joe. They discover a beautiful blue lagoon perfect for paddling in, and then they enjoy a picnic. Rocket Phonics reading books are fully decodable phonics books allowing children to practise their phonic skills in context, developing emerging reading skills. Reading age: 5-6 years. The quality of the illustrations in all the books is exceptional; do make the most of them by encouraging discussion, which will help with reading and understanding, as well as encouraging language and descriptive skills.

Reading Planet - The Broken Bike - Green: Comet Street Kids (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 5)

Another enjoyable story about the Comet Street Kids - a group of friends with whom children will readily identify. The Comet Street Kids are riding in a bike race at the local park. Finn really wants to win, but half-way round, a moment's inattention means he hits a problem. Luckily, Rav is on hand to help and the friends finish as a team - a lovely story about friendship. Reading age: 5-6 years. The spine of every book is in the colour of the level, making it easy for children to locate the right level on the shelf - a little thing but a help to busy teachers.

Reading Planet - My New Glasses - Orange: Rocket Phonics (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 6)

As well as being an interesting story, the book addresses issues which can be of concern to children - having an eye test and wearing glasses. The boy in this story is nervous before his first appointment, but the optician soon puts him at ease. The sight tests turn out to be really interesting, and afterwards he gets to choose an exciting pair of new glasses! It's reassuring, factual and perfect to read with any child expecting a visit to the optician. Reading age: 5-6 years, with 20 pages. Each of the Reading Planet books has a full page at the end 'Talk about the book/story' with 6 to 8 questions depending on the reading age. These help adults to ensure children have understood the story and are useful prompts for additional activities.

Reading Planet - Alien Race - Turquoise: Comet Street Kids (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 7)

Another exciting adventure for the friends from Comet Street. They find themselves on an alien planet, in an alien race! They mustn’t finish last – otherwise they’ll get the nasty surprise waiting for the loser... can they dodge a zinger attack and gloopy gunge to beat the alien racers? Brilliantly lively illustrations couple with the enjoyable story to really encourage children to progress with their reading - and enjoy more of the many adventures of the Comet Street Kids. Reading age: 6-7 years - as children progress through the reading levels the books get longer - this has 24 pages, with more sentences to each page.

Reading Planet - A Bump in the Night - Purple: Comet Street Kids (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 8)

Finn is sure he heard something outside in the night, but what is it? He and his friends are determined to find out, but it's not easy to spot something in the dark. Can Finn and his friends uncover the mystery of the bump in the night - and save it from danger? These stories are great fun and bound to appeal to children. Reading age: 6-7 years. On the inside back cover of each book is a section called 'After reading'; each of these include three or four activities linked to the theme of the book, allowing even greater use to be made of the books; an excellent way to add value, to encourage thinking, discussion and creativity, and to enhance understanding of the book.

Reading Planet - A Special Feast - Gold: Comet Street Kids (Rising Stars Reading Planet Level 9)

Finn and Tess of the Comet Street Kids have decided to help out their busy parents – by cooking them a special feast! Rav and his mum help the twins to plan and cook the meal, and they can’t wait to surprise their mum and dad with the food they've made. But there might be another surprise around the corner that could ruin everything... Another very enjoyable story, this time with 24 pages and more sentences to each page - but still with lively illustrations on each page. To recap, all the Reading Planet books have a useful introduction, including featured words and reading suggestions. Full colour illustrations give the books real child-appeal. At the end of the books, useful material includes 'Talk about the story' plus extension activities. It's all well thought out and the books are perfect to stimulate a love of reading.


Sign in