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Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Review

Jensen loves to read everything, everywhere at the moment [which has had its embarrassing moments no thanks to people who like to write in the dirt on the back of cars]- and as it’s the Summer holidays, I don’t want his passion for books to take a backseat to slowworm hunting and tree climbing completely, and so I was very happy to be asked to review the new Big Cat Series from Harper Collins, Reading Lions.

The Reading Lions are a series of what are essentially guided reading books for home.  There are five levels, from first reading at home [level one] aged 4-5, through to fluent reading at home for the 9-10 year olds.  We were sent the level two set for 5-6 year olds, as Jensen is quite confident in sounding out and enjoys phonics at school.  Having levels with ages listed for each series really is helpful for parents – I’ve spent countless hours in book stores trying to gauge whether a book is too challenging or easy for my boys to read, and what their capabilities should be.

Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Review Selection

In each pack of Reading Lions, there are 6 books with a RRP of £24.  Three fiction, three non fiction.  Although boys are notorious for being particularly partial to non-fiction, having been raised by parents who were married in Walt Disney World, he’s completely devoted to fairy tales and so we have no worries at the moment that he won’t enjoy the fiction in equal measure.

Each book also features some brilliant extras that parents will love.  There’s an explanation of phonics [an alien concept before I became a teacher], paragraphs detailing the phonics and tricky words which are the focus of the book, some pointers on how to approach the book and what to discuss before reading, and in the back of the fiction books there’s a story map – which I love to use with the boys in different ways, and some creative ideas and games that you could also take part in to enrich the reading experience.  The Reading Lions are perfect for a parent who wants to help their child but doesn’t really know how to go about it, or how to get started.

Click the little photos below for a look at some of the guidance given inside the books.

Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Review FictionCollins Big Cat Reading Lions Review Fiction Excerpt
Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Story Map FictionCollins Big Cat Reading Lions Suggested activities for guided reading

As a geography subject leader, I was overjoyed to receive the Picture Atlas from the series also – it’s geared towards age 4-8, and is big, sturdy, bright and colourful with animals featuring all over the pages which automatically engaged my boys.  There’s an interactive online activity that you can also take part in through the purchase of the atlas, which we are going to look at this weekend.

Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Picture Atlas
Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Picture Atlas Review Animals

We were absolutely thrilled to review the Big Cats Reading Lion Series, and so this evening, Mister Jensen [and you must call him that, or you risk being put on the “thinking cloud” for being naughty] sat down beneath the trees to do his little review of what he’d been sent…

We were sent the Big Cat Reading Lions books and Picture Atlas for the purposes of this review.  This has not influenced my opinions and the words are my own – except for the video review, and Jensen is too young to understand someone else sent the books to him so he’d talk about them nicely.


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