Milo’s Birthday Surprise takes children on a journey through the letters of the alphabet, highlighting the sound of each letter. Becoming aware of the link between sounds and letters is the first step in learning to read. Milo the monkey introduces his friends as he invites them to his birthday party.
Entertaining illustrations allow children to search for clues about what birthday surprises are in store for Milo.
The introduction of sounds in Milo's Birthday Surprise is not in alphabetical order. It follows the order of introduction and sequence of the letters and sounds in Stages 1 to 4 of the Little Learners Love Literacy program. Every page is full of alliteration - Felix the frog flps and flops with four fat fish, Kylie the koala practises karate kicks and Cooper the caterpillar crawls on a cactus.
Order of introduction: m s f a p t c i b h n o d g i v y r e qu z j u k x w
Which sounds are the most difficult?
The five vowel sounds are the hardest. For this reason we have not introduced them together. We introduced ‘a’ with Ally the alligator and then later ‘i’ with Izzy the insect. These two vowel sounds contrast and are not as similar as ‘a’ and ‘u’ … which children frequently confuse. These are followed by Oscar the octopus, Eddy the elephant and then Milo’s Uncle Upton near the end of the story.
Once children learn a vowel sound, they can start blending to make consonant, vowel, consonant words, for example, mat, sap, sip.
Why is the letter x represented by Max the Fox.
There isn't an English word which starts with /ks/. It is found in the middle or at the end of words. It is made up of two sounds /k/and /s/. Hence we have Max the Fox as Milo's friend.