Oliver has started to become very aware of shapes, so I was delighted to stumble across ‘Walter’s Wonderful Web’ written and illustrated by Tim Hopgood when looking for some new books for him, as it teaches about shapes in a really lovely way.
‘Walter’s Wonderful Web’ takes you on Walter’s journey of discovery as he learns how to make a perfect web that doesn’t blow away in the wind.
Water keep trying to make the perfect web using lots of different shapes, but none seem to be quite right and keep blowing away in the wind, until he has a wonderful idea. Like most children’s books there is an underlying message behind the book and in this case it is all about, “if at first you don’t succeed try and try again”.
There is a great repetition throughout the book, with the sentence ‘Whoosh! went the wind and it blew the web away’ being repeated throughout a majority of the story. I always blow air onto the boys during this part of the story to empathise the wind and to help make the story more interactive. Walter the spider is also on every page and so I also ask Oliver to point out the spider on each page.
The illustrations although colourful are incredibly basic, which I think are perfect for the book considering the concept of shapes can be incredibly complex for younger children. The basic illustrations make the book a lot less daunting and help encourage imagination.
This has become a favourite in our house and has helped aid not only Oliver’s understanding of shapes, but also his speech. Since reading ‘Walter’s Wonderful Web’ regularly, Oliver has begun to identify circles and squares, which is an impressive development in his speech considering only a few months ago he wasn’t really forming any words at all.