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Blue Ink Reviews

Penelope the Purple Pig Finds a Pal (the /p/ sound)
This story tells the tale of poor Penelope the pig whose purple color is different than the pink pigs she longs to befriend. The other pigs refuse to play with Penelope. But finally, she meets a cow with purple patches. As the two become friends, Penelope’s lonely days are over.

The story is simply told and easy to follow—perfect for young readers. With delightful illustrations … it presents the “p” sound in an effective way that will engage its audience.

Sammy and Susie Visit the Seaside (the /s/ sound)
Sammy and Susie help young readers practice their “s” sounds as they visit their Auntie Sarah and Uncle Steven who live by the sea. Sometimes, the two children build sandcastles, sometimes they lounge in the sun; they even build a snowman by the sea in winter. But no matter what they are doing, they wish for one special thing: “… more than anything,” goes a recurring refrain of the story, “Sammy and Susie want to learn to swim in the sea.” They meet that goal when their aunt and uncle give them the gift of swimming lessons at book’s end.

This is a straightforward, easy to follow story that features simple, child-friendly words. Enhanced by colorful illustrations, the book achieves its purpose nicely.



Sammy and Susie Visit the Seaside

What I like most about this storybook
– It’s simplicity (both the storyline and aesthetically). 
– Children can relate to it well (familiarity). 
– Its effectiveness of introducing early phonics sounds to children before school (I thinks sometimes in Early Years, we tend to steer away from ‘teaching’ children phonics out of fear of getting it wrong! You can’t get it wrong with this book!).

How I think the story book can be improved
I don’t!
(Just an idea but it would be great to be able to purchase these books as ‘giant books’ to share with children at group times, particularly for schools with bigger classes?)

How the children reacted to this storybook
They really enjoyed it! I was surprised that even a 2 year old was engaged! They could easily relate to the story in one way or another and could still remember Sammy’s and Susie’s names at home time.

Emma Berry
Manager of Scamps Preschool 
East Worthing, West Sussex, UK”