Collins Arabic Big Cat is a guided reading series for ages 3 to 11. The series is structured with reference to the learning progression of Arabic at nursery and primary schools researched especially for Collins. This carefully graded approach allows children to build up their reading knowledge of Arabic step by step. Level 12 books feature greater use of literary language and more unusual and challenging vocabulary. Play scripts also feature from Level 12. Non-fiction titles contain longer, more formal sentences and a wide range of unfamiliar terms. Sentences become longer with greater use of conjunctions and relative clauses. Grammatical vowel endings are more evident to encourage fluent reading and to provide familiarity with some higher-level features of written Arabic. Renowned author and artist Ros Asquith has written and illustrated this gently humorous story of Firaas the Hippo who longs to play the cello. Children can follow his trek through the wild, wet jungle as he searches for a teacher who won't roar, snort, growl or hiss at him! The beautifully detailed illustrations of jungle and animals offer lots of discussion points, and there is a two page final spread showing numbered vignettes from the story to help recap and retell.