Review of Decodable Books for Use With Phonic Teaching – Follifoot Farm Series 2, Part 2

Phonic teaching is now commonly used by teachers and parents as the most appropriate way to teach children how to read. Brought to you by respected author and illustrator Marlene Greenwood, the Jelly and Bean at Follifoot Farm collection of decidable books are a superb resource for phonic teaching and are in line with the Letters and Sounds teaching approach. This is the second review of the new series (series six) of Follifoot Farm decodable books. This series is aimed at children aged 6 as part of Phonics Phase 4 of the national curriculum.
The second book in the series is entitled “The Cats Who Fell Out Of The Car, Part 2: Into The Barn”. In Part 1 our new feline friends had been abandoned by the roadside and so embarked upon a journey to find shelter and safety. They quickly found a farm and the book ended with them meeting a big brown bull. Part 2 progresses seamlessly and so on the page one we again meet the brown bull. The cats then continue their adventure and meet new characters including four squealing pigs, a collection of angry sheep and a noisy cow. The story ends with the exhausted cats taking shelter in the barn on some hay.
Whilst the core aim of the book is to encourage and enable children to decode letters and form words through reading, it is imperative that the story is engaging and age appropriate in order to alleviate boredom. I believe that this story, which has elements of fun but also elements of fear, is going to hold the attention of the child and is a fun read for both girls and boys.
In Part 2 the child is introduced to a collection of vowel graphemes including ay: away, again and hay, or: door, ow: cow, down and are: scared.
Marlene Greenwood has written 114 decodable phonic books in the Jelly and Bean collection. Her development into Follifoot Farm sees her popular characters move into new, interesting adventures and the standard of the phonic content remains extremely high. In fact, each story book within this series is 100% decodable by children.

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