Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Years navigation


The King's Birthday (Reading)

by Dot Meharry; illustrated by Philip Webb. This text is levelled at Turquoise 1.

In this humorous narrative, the king is upset because nobody seems to have remembered his birthday. The illustrations are rich with clues about what is really happening, but the king remains oblivious until he sits down to his royal lunch. This story has a traditional fairytale structure, starting with a problem, continuing with a series of events similar to each other (as the king tries to find out if anyone has remembered his special day), and finishing with a happy ending.

This is a sequel, with lots of humorous links, to The Hole in the King’s Sock (levelled at Orange), which is also available as a big book. This means that students are likely to be very familiar with the characters, setting, and fairytale-like text structure before they read this Turquoise text.

Some key challenges are the “royal” vocabulary and the use of compound and complex sentences running over two or three lines.

The following example highlights the sorts of reading behaviours teachers could expect to observe in students who are meeting the standard. Sometimes these behaviours will be in response to teacher prompts and questions, and sometimes they will be spontaneous as the students notice and respond to the ideas in the text. These behaviours may be during the first or subsequent readings and discussion.

Click to enlarge each section as you hover over the image.