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Project X - What's that noise?
'What's that noise?' By Chloe Rhodes is part of the Oxford Reading Tree Range in a sub category of 'Project X'. It is a series well used in Primary Schools and is of the green book band level which is approximately age 5-6 years old.
This book is 16 pages long which 8 mini chapters. This book does not follow a fiction based story. The 'chapters' are as follows;
1. A Noisy Start: This is two pages and looks at a baby crying
2. Shh Im Sleeping: A two page chapter about sleep noises
3. Feeling Noise: This talks of deaf people a noise
4. Breaking Glass: Talks about the human voice
5. Lift Off: This chapter looks at a rocket flying into space.
6. Under the sea: This looks at the Blue Whale.
7. The Biggest Bang: This chapter looks at volcanos.
8. Making a Noise: A one page chapter which has a spider graph of the noises found in the book.
On each page is a noise-o-meter which shows how many decibels each noise can get up to.
Although this is an interesting book, I really don't think it is a great book for a learning to read set. There are a lot of difficult words in this book, and my little one found it quite 'boring' (in her words) as there was no story to it.
I think Oxford Reading Tree books are great, and am starting to like some of the Project X books, though this one is not at all recommended by me.
Project X is a wonderful new series of books designed to make boys want to read. This particular book is book band 5, which they have colour coded as green. As such this book is not suited to brand new readers, but rather children who have already started to read and can read a fair number of words with confidence. My son has just turned 6, and did need help with some words in this book, such as "vibration" and "musician". However after reading this a few times with help he can now read it on his own.
As a home educator, I love these books. I taught my son to read using phonics, but he chose to teach himself to be a better reader by sitting down pouring through his Oxford Reading Tree and Project X Books, and he often looks through the book shelf in his free time, selecting books from this series. This book does not have a story like many in this series, but is non fiction. Still it does catch my child's interest, and it also teaches about science, so all in all I am very pleased with it. In all honesty, he does not choose this book as often as the fiction books in this category, but this book does have the added bonus of teaching science as well.
This book teaches children about decibels using a "noise o meter", and various facts about sounds. It explains that sound makes vibrations and features a deaf musician who can play drums by feeling the vibrations. It also has noises from snoring, to rocket launch, to a blue whales song right up to the loudest sound ever heard on earth, the eruption of Krakatoa. Each sound is listed in order, from a baby's cries which rank only 60 decibels, to snoring at 70 ( but only because they have not heard my husband - in which case I am sure it would be higher), up to Krakatoa at 190. This book is a fun way for a child to learn about the world around, while improving reading skills. We spent hours after first reading this book looking up things like how a voice can shatter glass, what sound waves look like, and what a blue whale sounds like. We also created a range of experiments with sound, so i think my son learned quite a lot from this book.
Although this book is completely non fiction, it does feature Max, one of the characters from the main series, who appears on each page with a small speech bubble explaining a fact from that page. This book also ties in with four others in this same band for the subject noise, or sounds. Each subject comes with two non fiction books and three fiction books. A teaching guide is available separately for each set of books, but the back of the book also has questions and suggestions for further activities for parents and children.
I would recommend this book for reading with a little bit of help the first time from about 6 years, reading alone at about 7 years. It is useful also for teaching basic principles of science.
I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 in my original Amazon review because it is a very short book, only 16 pages. It does seem a bit expensive with Amazon currently selling this for £3.90, but Marketplace sellers have it new from £2.81. I believe I paid £5.00 which I felt was a bit much for the size of this. With the price a bit lower now though, and considering how much my son has learned from this book, I will bring my rating up to 5.
I would also recommend this entire series of books, which has a very wide range of reading ability, so you are certain to find one to suit your own child.