October 27, 2017
by Nora Nagy
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Five new classics to explore 2: Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Jewels

When we open a classical novel, we open the door to multiple worlds (historical, geographical, literary, psychological and philosophical) to explore. It is exciting to see what each title means to us, who the author is, how the books were created and how they can be used to develop our students’ knowledge of language and culture.

Let’s take a look at our five new classic reader adaptations. Then tune in later in the year for a lesson based on each book. The titles are:

  • Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit. Level 1 reader, adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne, illustrated by Viola Niccolai.
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Jewels by Arthur Conan Doyle. Level 2 reader, adapted by Geraldine Sweeney, illustrated by Agilulfo Russo.
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Level 3 reader, adapted by Donatella Velluti, illustrated by Michele Rocchetti.
  • The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Level 4 reader, adapted by Donatella Velluti, illustrated by Claudia Palmarucci.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Level 5 reader, adapted by Elspeth Rawstron, illustrated by Sara Menetti.

Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Jewels

1 Who is the author?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1859. He worked as a doctor until 1891 but he had a passion for writing stories. In 1891 he decided to become a full-time writer. His first novel was called A Study in Scarlet. He then wrote a collection of short stories called The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which were published in instalments by The Strand Magazine. Conan Doyle wrote 56 Sherlock Holmes stories in total. One of the most famous and popular is ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Conan Doyle died in 1930. Sherlock Holmes’ fictional house in Baker Street is now a museum. Continue Reading →

October 17, 2017
by Nora Nagy
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Five new classics to explore 1: Five Children and It

When we open a classical novel, we open the door to multiple worlds (historical, geographical, literary, psychological and philosophical) to explore. It is exciting to see what each title means to us, who the author is, how the books were created and how they can be used to develop our students’ knowledge of language and culture.

Let’s take a look at our five new classic reader adaptations. Then tune in later in the year for a lesson based on each

book. The titles are:

  • Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit. Level 1 reader, adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne, illustrated by Viola Niccolai.
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Jewels by Arthur Conan Doyle. Level 2 reader, adapted by Geraldine Sweeney, illustrated by Agilulfo Russo.
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Level 3 reader, adapted by Donatella Velluti, illustrated by Michele Rocchetti.
  • The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Level 4 reader, adapted by Donatella Velluti, illustrated by Claudia Palmarucci.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Level 5 reader, adapted by Elspeth Rawstron, illustrated by Sara Menetti.

Continue Reading →

October 12, 2017
by Nora Nagy
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Meet the illustrator: Sara Menetti

What is it like to illustrate classic literature? How does an artist approach famous novels like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility? We talked to Sara Menetti, illustrator of these two beloved classic texts to share insights into her work process and inspiration as well as thoughts about the role of illustrations in the reading and learning process.

Sara Menetti

We invite you to visit Sara’s website to explore her visual world: Sara Menetti’s website. Continue Reading →

October 4, 2017
by Nora Nagy
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Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen’s view of relationships and society never ceases to amuse us. Her careful and ironic observations of everyday events and feelings have given us relevant advice as well as entertaining reflections for over two hundred years now. All of her novels are successful already in her time, and through an endless list of adaptatations they have become even more popular today.

We would like to give you a chance to celebrate Jane Austen’s work in the year which also marks the 200th anniversary of her death. Let’s remember her and introduce her work to our students. Some of them might have already read her novels or seen an adaptation. Some of them might have just heard the name but never had opportunity to become more familiar with her work.

This month our third Jane Austen title, Sense and Sensibility will become available in the Helbling Readers series. What’s special about this new edition is that it has a new design with exciting features to support your students’ learning of language and culture at the same time.

The reader was adapted by Elspeth Rawstron and illustrated by Sara Menetti. Continue Reading →

September 21, 2017
by Nora Nagy
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The Dark in the Box: engaging with emotions through stories

We have all most likely  experienced what it is like to be afraid of the dark, either in our own childhood or through the eyes of a child we care for. Fear, anxiety and loss are some of the negative emotions which can be challenging to deal with not only at home but also in the classroom, especially when we are working with young children. Young learners do not possess the complex language skills to describe what they are afraid of and they might not be familiar with the vocabulary to talk about the things that concern them.

One way of addressing feelings which are often considered difficult is reading stories. When working with young learners, stories with illustrations and pictute books in particular are highly indicated. Our new young reader, The Dark in the Box written by Rick Sampedro and illustrated by Manuela Scarfò is an excellent example of how poignant images accompanied by simple texts can get young readers to engage meaningfully with stories which help them express their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Young learners might not be able to describe exactly how they feel, but they can respond to the images in the book, and by doing so they can notice similarities between themselves and the characters in the book. They may feel similar to Andy, the main character who is dealing with his fear, or they might be like one of his classmates and they can actually help someone else address their feelings. Continue Reading →