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Handa’s Surprise

 

Handas-SurpriseEileen Browne 
Walker Books                             
Age 3-7

This clever, simple story, set in Kenya, tells of Handa’s journey from her home to her friend’s village with a present of fruit that she has picked specially. On her way, and without her knowing, different animals each take a fruit until there is nothing left in her basket and no surprise for her friend. All is solved when a goat charges at a nearby tree, and provides a big surprise for Handa!

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Share the story

Read aloud Before reading the book, encourage children to look at the cover and to talk about the characters and what they think is happening. Have they seen food being carried like this? Then read through the story, pausing to talk about the pictures and what will happen next. What would they like to happen in the end?

Join in As you read and reread the book, encourage children to join in where they can. Their confidence and enjoyment will build as you revisit the book together and children become more familiar with the story and story language.

Talk about the story Talk together about which part of the story children like best and why. What do they know that Handa doesn’t? How would they feel if they discovered all their fruit had gone? Why do they think the book is called ‘Handa’s Surprise’? Is there more than one reason?

Tell the story Using the pictures, children can turn the pages and retell the story in their own words.

Watch the story

From Ceip La Maquina 

Things to make and do

Act it out Children can use animal toys and real or pretend fruit to act out the story. They can also make up their own using different fruits and animals.

Make a zigzag book Using card or paper, children can make a zigzag book and draw the story with each scene of the story on a different page. Then they can add their own writing to tell the story, using the repeated phrases, or in their own words.

Draw a fruit Children can choose one of the fruits Handa carries to her friend and draw it in as much detail as possible, choosing colours carefully and noticing  patterns and textures. Children can peel or cut into the fruit to see the shapes and seeds. Afterwards they can eat it!

Balance a basket How easy is it to walk carrying something on your head? Using a small basket with a few soft items, or a cushion, children can practice walking without holding their load on their heads. This can become a game, with someone trying to take an item without being noticed.

Find out more

Read more books by Eileen Browne, titles include:

Handa’s Hen

Wait and See

No Problem

Tick Tock

Handa’s Surprising Day

Wait for Me!

Up the Tree

Other related books you and your child might enjoy:

We’re Going on a Lion Hunt by David Axtell

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema

For an A-Z of Fruit see Eating the Alphabet By Lois Ehlert (see Our Top Ten Alphabet Books)

Find out more about Kenyan animals here.

 

NEW Complete list of books and activity pages

Here’s a complete list of all our book activity pages – click on the link and it will take you to the activity page

V = Video
AB = Activity Book

A

Aaaarrgghh Spider Lydia Monks  V

The Acorn Edward Gibbs       

Albert Talbot Master of Disguise Ben Manley, illus. Aurélie Guillerey   V

Alfie Gets in first Shirley Hughes  V      

Almost Anything  Sophy Henn                

The Animal Boogie Debbie Harter  V        

The Astounding Broccoli Boy Frank Cottrell Boyce, illus. Steve Lenton   AB 

Avocado Baby John Burningham  

B


The Bad Bunnies Magic Show Mini Grey

Banana! Ed Vere  V 

Bear and Bird Jarvis V

The Bear and the Piano David Litchfield  V

Bear Shaped Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden   V

Beetle Boy  MG Leonard  V  AB             

Be Brave Little Penguin Giles Andrae, illus. Guy Parker Rees

Beegu  Alexis Deacon             

Betty goes Bananas  Steve Antony  V   

Big Green Crocodile  Jane Newberry, illus. Carolina Rabei  V

A Big Mooncake for Little Star Grace Lin V

The BFG Roald Dahl    AB               

Billy and the Beast Nadia Shireen  V           

Billy’s Bucket  Kes Gray, llus Garry Parsons  V

Biscuit Bear Mini Grey  V                 

A Bit Lost Chris Haughton   V        

Black Cat White Cat Silvia Borando            

Blue Chameleon Emily Gravett    

Bog Baby   Jeanne Willis, ill. Gwen Millward

Boot: Small Robot Big Adventure Shane Hegarty   AB       

Boundless Sky Amanda Addison, illus. Manuela Adreani

The Boy at the Back of the Class Onjali Rauf, illus. Pippa Curnick   AB

The Boy who Climbed into the Moon David Almond    AB

The Boy who Sailed the World Julia Green, illus. Alex Latimer

Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?   Bill Martin Jnr, illus Eric Carle

Buckle and Squash and the Monstrous Moat Dragon Sarah Courtauld

Burglar Bill  Allan Ahlberg, illus  Janet Ahlberg  V

C

Car, Car, Truck, Jeep  Katrina Charman, illus. Nick Sharratt  V

Can I Sit in the Middle Susanne Strasser V

Charlotte’s Web EB White  V    AB                

The Chinese Emperor New Clothes  Ying Yang Competine, illus David Roberts  V   AB

Chocolate cake Michael Rosen, illus Kevin Waldron  V

The Christmas Eve Tree Delia Huddy,  illus Emily Sutton  

Cinderella of the Nile Beverley Naidoo  V   AB

Clean up!  Nathan Bryon, illus. Dapo Adeola

Clever Polly & the Stupid Wolf  Catherine Storr   

The Comet Joe Todd Stanton

The Cooking Club Detectives  Ewa Jozefkowicz

Coyote’s Soundbite – a poem for our planet  John Agard, illus. Piet Grobler    AB

The Crocodile who didn’t like water Gemma Merino   V     

D

The Darkest Dark Chris Hadfield, illus The Fan Brothers  V

The Dawn Chorus Suzanne Barton

Dear Dinosaur Chae Strathie, Nicola O’Byrne

Dear Zoo Rod Campbell             

Dig dig digging Margaret Mayo, illus Alex Ayliffe  V

Diggersaurs Michael Whaite  V         

Dinosaur chase Benedict Blathwayt    

Dinosaur roar Paul Strickland, illus Henrietta Strickland

Dinosaurs and all that rubbish  Michael Foreman  V     

Do not enter the monster zoo Amy Sparkes, illus Sara Ogilvie

Don’t worry little crab  Chris Haughton

A Dog So Small Philippa Pearce   V        

Dogger Shirley Hughes  V   

A Dollop of Ghee and a Drop of Wisdom   Chitra Soundar, illus. Uma Krishnaswamy V

Down by the station Jess Stockham

The Dragon in the Library, Louie Stowell

Dragon Mountain  Katie and Kevin Tsang  V   AB

The Drum  Ken Wilson Max, illus Catell Ronca   V

Dylan’s amazing dinosaurs EJ Harper, illus Dan Taylor

E

Each Peach Pear Plum  Allan Ahlberg, illus Janet Ahlberg   V

The Elephants umbrella Laleh Jaffari,  illus Ali Khodai    V

Eliot Midnight Superhero Anne Cottringer, illus Alex T Smith

Elmer David McKee  V

Eloise Undercover Sarah Baker    AB        

The Everywhere Bear Julia Donaldson, illus Rebecca Cobb

The Explorer  Katherine Rundell   AB   

The Extraordinary Gardener Sam Boughton   V  

Everybody’s Welcome Patricia Hegarty, illus Greg Abbott

F

Fair Shares Pippa Goodhart, illus Anna Doherty

Farmer Duck Martin Waddell, illus Helen Oxenbury

The Fastest Tortoise in Town Howard Calvert, ill. Karen Obuhanych

Fire Fox  Alexandra Page, illus. Stef Murphy   V

The Firework Maker’s Daughter  Philip Pullman   AB

Five little men in a flying saucer Dan Crisp    V               

Five Minutes Peace Jill Murphy                 

Flora and Ulysses, the illuminated adventures Kate Camillo     V   AB

Flooded Mariajo Ilustrajo V

The Forgettery Rachel Ip, ill. Laura Hughes   

Fortunately the Milk Neil Gaiman, illus Chris Riddell

Frindleswylde, Natalia and Lauren O’Hara

Gaspard the Fox  Zeb Soanes, illus. James Mayhew

G

Gerald the lion Jessica Souhami          

The Ghost train Allan Ahlberg, illus Andre Amstutz   V

Gigantic Rob Biddulph V

The Gigantic Turnip Alexsei Tolstoy, illus Naimh Sharkey  V

Giraffes Can’t Dance  Giles Andreae, Guy Parker Rees    V 

The Girl and the dinosaur Hollie Hughes, illus Sarah Massini  

Gloria’s Porridge  Elizabeth Laird, illus. Toby Newsome

The Glassmaker’s Daughter Diane Hofmeyr, Illus Jane Reay  V

Goodbye Grandma Melanie Walsh           

Goodnight Spaceman Michelle Robinson, illus Nick East   V

Grace and Family  Mary Hoffman, illus Caroline Binch   V

Granpa John Burningham   V    

A Great Big Cuddle Michael Rosen, illus Chris Riddell   V

Grobblechops Elizabeth Laird, illlus Jenny Lucander   V

The Gruffalo  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Grumpy Frog  Ed Vere    V       

H

   

The Hairy toe Daniel Postgate   V

Handas surprise Eileen Browne  V         

Hairy MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy, Lynley Dodd  V

Harry and the bucket of dinosaurs Ian WhyBrow, illus Adrian Reynolds

Have you seen Elephant David Barrow V

Here come the aliens Colin McNaughton   

The Highwayman Alfred Noyes   V   AB

The Highway Rat  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler   V

Honey biscuits  Meredith Hooper, illus Alison Bartlett

Hooray for Fish Lucy Cousins   V

Hooray for Bread  Allan Ahlberg, illus  Brice Ingman

Hortense and the Shadows O’Hara Sisters             

How to hide a lion Helen Stephens   V      

I

I am Absolutely TOO Small for school Lauren Child    V           

I am Henry Finch Alexis Deacon             

I Love you Blue Kangaroo Emily Gravett    V         

I want to be in a scary story Sean Taylor                

I was made for you David Lucas                

If I had a dinosaur Gabby Dawnay, illus Alex Barrow

If I Had a Sleepy Sloth Gabby Dawnay, illus Alex Barrow

If you meet a dinosaur Paul Bright, illus Hannah George

In the dark dark wood Jessica Souhami   

Iris and Isaac Catherine Rayner V

The Iron Man Ted Hughes    AB   

J

 The Jasmine Sneeze  Nadine Kaadan

Jolly Christmas Postman Allan Ahlberg, illus Janet Ahlberg   V

The Journey Home Frann Preston Gannon

Julian is a mermaid Jessica Lowe

The Jumblies Edward Lear  V    AB 

          

K

Katie & the dinosaurs James Mayhew           

The King who Banned the Dark Emily Haworth Booth

The King With Dirty Feet  Sally Pomme Clayton, illus. Rhiannon Sanderson

Kipper’s Birthday Mick Inkpen    V             

Knuffle Bunny Mo Willem    V     

L

The Last Wolf Mini Grey  

Last: The Story of the White Rhino Nicola Davies   V

Leon the Extraordinary Jamar Nicholas V

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch Ronda and David Armitage V

Lima’s Red Hot Chilli David Mills, ill. Derek Brazell V

The Lion Inside Rachel Bright   

Little Bad Man and the Killer Aunties Humza Arshad and Henry White,  Illus Aleksei Bitskoff   V   AB

Little Monkey  Marta Altés 

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears Emily Gravett  

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion Alex T Smith   

LIttle Rabbit Foo Foo Michael Rosen, Arthur Robins (illus) 

The Littlest Yak Lu Fraser, ill. Kate Hindley     V

Look Up! Nathan Bryon, illus Dapo Adeola

Lost and Found Oliver Jeffers              

Lullabyhullababboo Mick Inkpen               

Lulu gets a cat Anna McQuinn, illus Rosalind Beardshaw

The Lumberjack’s beard  Duncan Beedie           

Luna Loves library day Joseph Coelho, illus Fiona Lumbers

Lunchtime Rebecca Cobb  

M

Macavity T S Eliot    V   AB       

Man on the Moon, a Day in the life of Bob  Simon Bartram           

Mango and Bambang, The Not-a-Pig  Polly Faber, illlus Clara Vulliamy

The Marvellous Moon Map Teresa Heapy, illus David Litchfield

Matisse’s Magical Trail Tim Hopgood, illus Sam Boughton

Max the Brave Ed Vere

Maybe… Chris Haughton V

Meg and Mog Helen Nicholl ,illus Jan Pienkwski

Miró’s Magic Animals Antony Penrose V

Mister Magnolia Quentin Blake            

Meet the Parents Peter Bently, illus Sara Ogilvie

Mog the Forgetful Cat Judith Kerr                 

Monkey and Me Emily Gravett             

Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory Elys Dolan                  

Mr Gumpy’s Outing John Burningham       

Mrs Noah’s pockets Jackie Morris, illus James Mayhew

My Brother is a Superhero David Solomons   AB

My Dad Anthony Browne        

My Green Day Melanie Walsh   

My Must-Have Mum   Maudie Smith, illus. Jen Khatun

My Sister is an alien Rachel Bright    

          

N

Naughty Bus Jan and Jerry Oke       

A New House for Mouse Petr Horacek              

The New Neighbours Sarah McIntyre           

The New Small Person Lauren Child               

The Night Pirates Peter Harris, illus Deborah Allwright

Nimesh the Adventurer Ranjit Singh, illus Mehrdokht Amini

No Dinner Jessica Souhami          

Not Now Bernard David McKee     

         

O

The Odd Egg Emily Gravett             

Oh No George! Chris Haughton           

Oi! Get off our train John Burningham       

Oliver’s Vegetables Vivian French, illus  Alison Bartlett

On Sudden Hill Linda Sarah, illus Benji Davies

On the Moon Anna Milbourne, illus Benji Davies

Once upon a star  James Carter, illus Mar Hernandez

One dog and his boy Eva Ibbotson      AB        

Orange Pear Apple Bear  Emily Gravett             

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat Chris Riddell               

The Outlaw Varjak Paw SF Said      V    AB               

The Owl and the Pussycat Edward Lear  

P

             

Pandora  Victoria Turnbull         

The Paper Dolls  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Pattan’s pumpkin  Chitra Soundar, illus Frane Lessac

Peace at Last  Jill Murphy                 

Peck Peck Peck Lucy Cousins 

Phoenix S F Said    V     AB

Pirate Stew   Neil Gaiman, illus. Chris Riddell   V

Please Mr Magic Fish Jessica Souhami          

Please Mr Panda Steve Antony              

Pom Pom is Super Sophy Henn   
  
The Princess and the Greedy Pea , Leigh Hodgkinson 

Pugs of the Frozen North  Philip Reeve, illus Sarah McIntyre

Puppet David Almond, illus Lizzie Stewart AB

Pumpkin Soup Helen Cooper             

Q


Quiet Tom Percival, ill. Richard Jones V

Quill Soup Alan Durant   

Q Pootle 5 Nick Butterworth       

             

R

Rama & the Demon King Jessica Souhami          

Red Car Red Bus  Susan Stegall 

Rigatoni the Pasta Cat  Michael Rosen, Illus. Tony Ross

Robin’s Winter Song  Suzanne Barton          

Rocketmole  Matt Carr                   

Room on the Broom Julia Donaldson, Illus Axel Scheffler

Rosie’s Walk Pat Hutchins  

S

   

The Secret Sky Garden Linda Sarah  

Saving Winslow Sharon Creech  AB

Secret of the Tattered Shoes Jackie Morris, illus. Ehsan Abdollahi    V    AB

Shark in the park Nick Sharrat  

Shhh!   Sally Grindley, illus. Peter Upton

Shh we have a plan Chris Haughton           

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam Tracey Corderoy, illus Steven Lenton

The Skull Jon Klassen V

Silly Suzy Goose Petr Horacek              

The Snail and the Whale  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Snow  Sam Usher                 

The Snowbear Sean Taylor 

The Snowflake Benji Davies     

So Much Trisha Cooke, illus Helen Oxenbury

The Something Rebecca Cobb

Sona Sharma, Looking After Planet Earth  Chitra Soundar, illus Jen Khatun    AB      

Sophie and the new Baby Catherine & Laurence Anholt

Space Dog Mini Grey                   

Space Tortoise  Ross Montgomery, illlus David Litchfield

Stanley’s Stick  John Hegley, illus Neal Layton

Steven Seagull Action Hero Elys Dolan                  

Stomp Chomp Big Roars! Here come the Dinosaurs Margaret Mayo, illus Alex Ayliffe

Stomp Dinosaur Stomp Kate Umansky, illus Nick Sharratt

Stop the Clock  Pippa Goodhart, illus. Maria Christiana V

The Storm Whale Benji Davies               

A Story about Afiya James Berry, illus Anna Cunha                                                                                                               

Sunk! Rob Biddulph             

Superbat Matt Carr    

SuperJoe does not do cuddles Michael Catchpool, illus. Emma Proctor

Super Milly and the Super School Day  Stephanie Clarkson, illus. Gwen Millward    V 

T

Tad Benji Davies               

The Tale of Angelino Brown David Almond       AB     

10 things I can do to help my world Melanie Walsh 

Ten Delicious Teachers   Ross Montgomery, illus. Sarah Warburton V

The Three Happy Lions  Louise Fatio, illus. Roger Duvoisin

Tilly and the Time Machine Ade Edmondson, illustrated by Danny Noble    

That rabbit belongs to Emily Brown Cressida Cowell          

There’s a rang tan in my bedroom  James Sellick, illus Frann Preston-Gannon

There’s a tiger in the garden Lizzy Stewart V

This is Our House Michael Rosen, illus Bob Graham

The Thunk Michelle Robinson, illus. Deborah Allwright

Tidy Emily Gravett             

Tiger Walk Dianne Hofmeyr, illus Jesse Hodgson

The Tiger who came to Tea Judith Kerr                 

The Tin Forest  Helen Ward, illus Wayne Anderson

Titch  Pat Hutchins     

Tomorrow Nadine Kaadan          

Tom’s Sausage Lion Michael Morpurgo      AB

Toys in space  Mini Grey                   

Traction man  is here!  Mini Grey                   

Train  Judi Abott                  

The Train Ride June Crebbin, illus Stephen Lambert

Tyger SF Said, iIllus Dave McKean V AB

Tyrranosaurus Drip Julia Donaldson   

 

U

Uncle Gobb and the Dread shed Michael Rosen, illus Neal Layton

V

Valentine’s Guest House Sam Sharland V

Varjak Paw  SF Said      AB               

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle   

           

W

The Way Back Home Oliver Jeffers   

The Weed Quentin Blake           

We’re going on a Bearhunt Michael Rosen, illus Helen Oxenbury

We’re Going to Find the Monster Malorie Blackman, illus. Dapo Adeola   V

What the Ladybird Heard Julia Donaldson, illus Lydia Monks

Whatever Next Jill Murphy                 

The Wheels on the Bus Annie Kubler

Where my feet go Birgitta Sif                  

Where the Wild Things Are  Maurice Sendak          

Where’s my Teddy? Jez Alborough             

Where’s Spot? Eric Hill                      

Window Jeannie Baker    

When the Sky Falls Phil Earle V AB

The Wolf Wilder  Katherine Rundell     V    AB

The Wooden camel Wanuri Kahiu, illus Manuela Adreani

Y

You’re snug with  me Chitra Soundar

Z

The Zebra’s Great Escape Katherine Rundell, ill. Sara Ogilvie V AB

Zombierella Fairy Tales Gone Bad Joseph Coelho, illus. Freya Hartas  V   AB                                                     

NEW Complete list of books and activity pages

Here’s a complete list of all our book activity pages – click on the link and it will take you to the activity page

   

Aaaarrgghh Spider Lydia Monks  V

The Acorn Edward Gibbs                                                                                                                                  

Alfie Gets in first Shirley Hughes  V      

Almost Anything  Sophy Henn                

The Animal Boogie Debbie Harter  V        

The Astounding Broccoli Boy Frank Cottrell Boyce, illus. Steve Lenton  AB 

Avocado Baby John Burningham       

The Bad Bunnies Magic Show Mini Grey

Bear Shaped Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden   V

Beatle Boy  MG Leonard  V  AB             

Beegu  Alexis Deacon             

Betty goes Bananas  Steve Antony  V          

The BFG Roald Dahl                 

Billy and the Beast Nadia Shireen  V           

Billy’s Bucket  Kes Gray, llus Garry Parsons  V

Biscuit Bear Mini Grey  V                 

A Bit Lost Chris Haughton   V        

Black Cat White Cat Silvia Borando            

Blue Chameleon Emily Gravett             

Boot: Small Robot Big Adventure Shane Hegarty   AB         

The Boy who Climbed into the Moon David Almond             

Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?   Bill Martin Jnr, illus Eric Carle

Buckle and Squash and the Monstrous Moat Dragon Sarah Courtauld

Burglar Bill  Allan Ahlberg, illus  Janet Ahlberg  V

Charlotte’s Web EB White  AB                

The Chinese Emperor New Clothes  Ying Yang Competine, illus David Roberts  V

Chocolate cake Michael Rosen, illus Kevin Waldron  V

The Christmas Eve Tree Delia Huddy,  illus Emily Sutton  

Cinderella of the Nile Beverley Naidoo  V

Clean up!  Nathan Bryon, illus. Dapo Adeola

Clever Polly & the Stupid Wolf  Catherine Storr            

The Crocodile who didn’t like water Gemma Merino   V     

The Darkest Dark Chris Hadfield, illus The Fan Brothers  V

The Dawn Chorus Suzanne Barton

Dear Dinosaur Chae Strathie, Nicola O’Byrne

Dear Zoo Rod Campbell             

Dig dig digging Margaret Mayo, illus Alex Ayliffe  V

Diggersaurs Michael Whaite  V         

Dinosaur chase Benedict Blathwayt    

Dinosaur roar Paul Strickland, illus Henrietta Strickland

Dinosaurs and all that rubbish  Michael Foreman  V     

Do not enter the monster zoo Amy Sparkes, illus Sara Ogilvie

A Dog So Small Philippa Pearce   V        

Dogger Shirley Hughes           

Down by the station Jess Stockham

The Drum  Ken Wilson Max, illus Catell Ronca

Dylan’s amazing dinosaurs EJ Harper, illus Dan Taylor

Each Peach Pear Plum  Allan Ahlberg, illus Janet Ahlberg

The Elephants umbrella Laleh Jaffari,  illus Ali Khodai

Eliot Midnight Superhero Anne Cottringer, illus Alex T Smith

Elmer David McKee

Eloise Undercover Sarah Baker             

The Everywhere Bear Julia Donaldson, illus Rebecca Cobb

The Explorer  Katherine Rundell       

Everybody’s Welcome Patricia Hegarty, illus Greg Abbott

Farmer Duck Martin Waddell, illus Helen Oxenbury

Five little men in a flying saucer Dan Crisp                   

Five Minutes Peace Jill Murphy                 

Flora and Ulysses, the illuminated adventures Kate Camillo               

Fortunately the Milk Neil Gaiman, illus Chris Riddell

Gerald the lion Jessica Souhami          

The Ghost train Allan Ahlberg, illus Andre Amstutz

The Gigantic Turnip Alexsei Tolstoy, illus Naimh Sharkey

The Girl and the dinosaur Hollie Hughes, illus Sarah Massini

Goodbye Grandma Melanie Walsh           

Goodnight Spaceman Michelle Robinson, illus Nick East

Grace and Family  Mary Hoffman, illus Caroline Binch

Granpa John Burningham       

A Great Big Cuddle Michael Rosen, illus Chris Riddell

Grobblechops Elizabeth Laird, illlus Jenny Lucander

The Gruffalo  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Grumpy Frog  Ed Vere                      

The Hairy toe Daniel Postgate

Handas surprise Eileen Browne            

Harry and the bucket of dinosaurs Ian WhyBrow, illus Adrian Reynolds

Here come the aliens Colin McNaughton   

The Highwayman Alfred Noyes   

The Highway Rat  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Honey biscuits  Meredith Hooper, illus Alison Bartlett

Hooray for Fish Lucy Cousins

Hooray for Bread  Allan Ahlberg, illus  Brice Ingman

Hortense and the Shadows O’Hara Sisters             

How to hide a lion Helen Stephens          

I am Absolutely TOO Small for school Lauren Child               

I am Henry Finch Alexis Deacon             

I Love you Blue Kangaroo Emily Gravett             

I want to be in a scary story Sean Taylor                

I was made for you David Lucas                

If I had a dinosaur Gabby Dawnay, illus Alex Barrow

If you meet a dinosaur Paul Bright, illus Hannah George

In the dark dark wood Jessica Souhami          

The Iron Man Ted Hughes                

Jolly Christmas Postman Allan Ahlberg, illus Janet Ahlberg

The Journey Home Frann Preston Gannon

Julian is a mermaid Jessica Lowe

The Jumblies Edward Lear              

Katie & the dinosaurs James Mayhew           

The King who Banned the Dark Emily Haworth Booth

Kipper’s Birthday Mick Inkpen               

Knuffle Bunny Mo Willem                 

The Last Wolf Mini Grey  

The Lion Inside Rachel Bright   

Little Bad Man and the Killer Aunties Humza Arshad and Henry White,  Illus Aleksei Bitskoff

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears Emily Gravett  

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion Alex T Smith   

LIttle Rabbit Foo Foo Michael Rosen, Arthur Robins (illus)               

Look Up! Nathan Bryon, illus Dapo Adeola

Lost and Found Oliver Jeffers              

Lullabyhullababboo Mick Inkpen               

Lulu gets a cat Anna McQuinn, illus Rosalind Beardshaw

The Lumberjack’s beard  Duncan Beedie           

Luna Loves library day Joseph Coelho, illus Fiona Lumbers

Lunchtime Rebecca Cobb  

Macavity T S Eliot           

Man on the Moon, a Day in the life of Bob  Simon Bartram           

Mango and Bambang, The Not-a-Pig  Polly Faber, illlus Clara Vulliamy

The Marvellous Moon Map Teresa Heapy, illus David Litchfield

Matisse’s Magical Trail Tim Hopgood, illus Sam Boughton

Max the Brave Ed Vere                      

Meet the Parents Peter Bently, illus Sara Ogilvie

Meg and Mog Helen Nicholl ,illus Jan Pienkwski

Mister Magnolia Quentin Blake            

Mog the Forgetful Cat Judith Kerr                 

Monkey and Me Emily Gravett             

Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory Elys Dolan                  

Mr Gumpy’s Outing John Burningham       

Mrs Noah’s pockets Jackie Morris, illus James Mayhew

My Brother is a SuperherDavid Solomons

My Dad Anthony Browne        

My Green Day Melanie Walsh           

My Sister is an alien Rachel Bright              

Naughty Bus Jan and Jerry Oke       

A New House for Mouse Petr Horacek              

The New Neighbours Sarah McIntyre           

The New Small Person Lauren Child               

The Night Pirates Peter Harris, illus Deborah Allwright

Nimesh the Adventurer Ranjit Singh, illus Mehrdokht Amini

No Dinner Jessica Souhami          

Not Now Bernard David McKee              

The Odd Egg Emily Gravett             

Oh No George! Chris Haughton           

Oi! Get off our train John Burningham       

Oliver’s Vegetables Vivian French, illus  Alison Bartlett

On Sudden Hill Linda Sarah, illus Benji Davies

On the Moon Anna Milbourne, illus Benji Davies

Once upon a star  James Carter, illus Mar Hernandez

One dog and his boy Eva Ibbotson              

Orange Pear Apple Bear  Emily Gravett             

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat Chris Riddell               

The Outlaw Varjak Paw SF Said                       

The Owl and the Pussycat Edward Lear               

Pandora  Victoria Turnbull         

The Paper Dolls  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Pattan’s pumpkin  Chitra Soundar, illus Frane Lessac

Peace at Last  Jill Murphy                 

Peck Peck Peck Lucy Cousins 

Phoenix S F Said              

Please Mr Magic Fish Jessica Souhami          

Please Mr Panda Steve Antony              

Pom Pom is Super Sophy Henn                

Pugs of the Frozen North  Philip Reeve, illus Sarah McIntyre

Pumpkin Soup Helen Cooper             

Q Pootle 5 Nick Butterworth        

Quill Soup Alan Durant                

Rama & the Demon King Jessica Souhami          

Red Car Red Bus  Susan Stegall              

Robin’s Winter Song  Suzanne Barton          

Rocketmole  Matt Carr                   

Room on the Broom Julia Donaldson, Illus Axel Scheffler

Rosie’s Walk Pat Hutchins               

The Secret Sky Garden Linda Sarah  

Secret of the Tattered Shoes, Jackie Morris, illus. Ehsan Abdollahi

Shark in the park Nick Sharrat               

Shh we have a plan Chris Haughton           

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam Tracey Corderoy, illus Steven Lenton

Silly Suzy Goose Petr Horacek              

The Snail and the Whale  Julia Donaldson, illus Axel Scheffler

Snow  Sam Usher                 

The Snowbear Sean Taylor                

So Much Trisha Cooke, illus Helen Oxenbury

The Something Rebecca Cobb             

Sophie and the new Baby Catherine & Laurence Anholt

Space Dog Mini Grey                   

Space Tortoise  Ross Montgomery, illlus David Litchfield

Stanley’s Stick  John Hegley, illus Neal Layton

Steven Seagull Action Hero Elys Dolan                  

Stomp Chomp Big Roars! Here come the Dinosaurs Margaret Mayo, illus Alex Ayliffe

Stomp Dinosaur Stomp Kate Umansky, illus Nick Sharratt

The Storm Whale Benji Davies               

A Story about Afiya James Berry, illus Anna Cunha                                                                                                                                                               

Sunk! Rob Biddulph             

Superbat Matt Carr                   

Tad Benji Davies               

The Tale of Angelino Brown David Almond             

10 things I can do to help my world Melanie Walsh 

Tilly and the Time Machine Ade Edmondson, illustrated by Danny Noble    

That rabbit belongs to Emily Brown Cressida Cowell          

There’s a rang tan in my bedroom  James Sellick, illus Frann Preston-Gannon

This is Our House Michael Rosen, illus Bob Graham

Tidy Emily Gravett             

Tiger Walk Dianne Hofmeyr, illus Jesse Hodgson

The Tiger who came to Tea Judith Kerr                 

The Tin Forest  Helen Ward, illus Wayne Anderson

Titch  Pat Hutchins     

Tomorrow Nadine Kaadan          

Tom’s Sausage Lion Michael Morpurgo      

Toys in space  Mini Grey                   

Traction man  is here!  Mini Grey                   

Train  Judi Abott                  

The Train Ride June Crebbin, illus Stephen Lambert

Tyrranosaurus Drip Julia Donaldson          

Uncle Gobb and the Dread shed Michael Rosen, illus Neal Layton

Varjak Paw  SF Said                       

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle                    

The Way Back Home Oliver Jeffers   

The Weed Quentin Blake           

We’re going on a Bearhunt Michael Rosen, illus Helen Oxenbury

What the Ladybird Heard Julia Donaldson, illus Lydia Monks

Whatever Next Jill Murphy                 

The Wheels on the Bus Annie Kubler

Where my feet go Birgitta Sif                  

Where the Wild Things Are  Maurice Sendak          

Where’s my Teddy? Jez Alborough             

Where’s Spot? Eric Hill                      

Window Jeannie Baker             

The Wooden camel Wanuri Kahiu, illus Manuela Adreani

You’re safe with me Chitra Soundar           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our top 10 books for baby’s bookshelf

It’s never too early to read or sing to babies. They will tune into the sounds, rhythms and patterns of your voice and will gradually focus on, and delight in, the pictures. Books are a wonderful way to engage your baby in a shared, enjoyable and stimulating activity and a perfect way to spend time together. As babies grow, they will join in with your actions, words and tunes to bring the book to life. This early experience is an important first step on their journey as readers.

The stories, songs and rhymes you share together are likely to include favourites from your own childhood, children’s classics and new books by contemporary writers and illustrators. Some will be board-books, cloth or sturdy pop-up books that your baby can handle themselves. Here are some books to bring back happy memories and introduce you to some new family favourites. You can build your collection of favourite books through exploring other titles by these exceptional authors and illustrators. For more ideas also see Our top 10 classic picture books  and our Books for 0-3 years .

Dear Zoo
Rod Campbell

interactive, open-the-flaps book about receiving surprise presents from the zoo.
Each one has to be unwrapped and then sent back until the most perfect present of all arrives

Lots of repeated phrases and fun to join in with and enjoy.
A young family sharing the book (Scottish Book Trust)
See our ideas for sharing Dear Zoo here

For another lift the flap book see Where’s Spot? Our activities here

Hello You!
Campbell Books

rhyming, rhythmic book which takes you through key points in a baby’s day including breakfast, playing with a friend, bath and bed. Full of gorgeous black and white photographs of a diverse group of babies. An added feature is a fold out mirror page so that babies can see themselves.

Honey for you, Honey for me
Michael Rosen, illus. Chris Riddell
Walker Books

A new book with an interactive rhyme to say or sing, containing flaps and actions for joining in. It’s tuneful and pitched just right for babies and young children.

Sung by Julia Donaldson  Also see video of sharing the book with baby on same web page.

It’s a Little Baby
Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb
Pan Macmillan

A new book with an interactive rhyme to say or sing, containing flaps and actions for joining in. It’s tuneful and pitched just right for babies and young children.

Sung by Julia Donaldson  Also see video of sharing the book with baby on same web page.

Mine!
(Bear and Hare series)
Emily Gravett
Pan Macmillan

Bear and Hare went for a walk and found lots of interesting things along the way. “Mine!” said Hare. But Bear didn’t care until.. Hare found honey and the bees gave chase! Poor Hare. “There there” soothed caring Bear.

Beautifully illustrated and a playfully told tale of acceptance and love. Read aloud
For another book about friendship and sharing see Banana! by Ed Vere.

Peekaboo Apple
Camilla Reid, illus. Ingela P Arrhenius
Nosy Crow

Peekaboo is a favourite first game with babies and toddlers everywhere. Cleverly designed with a range of ingenious slots and sliders make this attractive board book fun to share. A baby, dog, butterfly and snail magically appear as the tabs are pulled or turned finishing with a mirror page surprise at the end of the book, so babies see themselves appear too.  The text is a simple, engaging rhyme which children will enjoy sharing again and again.

Very First Mother Goose
Iona Opie. Illus. Rosemary Well
Walker

A magical compendium of classic nursery rhymes collected by renowned folklorist Iona Opie and illustrated by the irrepressible watercolourist, Rosemary Wells. Described as the ‘mother of all nursery rhyme books’, this is a collection to dip into and treasure over days and years.


Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Men Fox, Helen Oxenbury (illus)
Walker Books

In this book we meet babies born all over the world and discover that although their skin colour may vary and they are born in very different places they have a lot in common; they all have ‘ten little fingers and ten little toes’. The rhythm and repetition of this memorable refrain makes this book fun to read aloud. There is opportunity for lots of toe tickling, cuddles and kisses with one very special baby as the book ends too.

That’s Not my Lion
Fiona Watt, illus. Rachel Wells,
Usborne Books

The unseen narrator is in search of his lion – and is looking for the one which feels just right. The repetitive rhyme is pleasing to read aloud and for toddlers to join in with. There are feely patches on every page for little fingers explore. And of course, the narrator finds their lion at the end.
This is just one of a huge collection of That’s Not My… books from Usborne so if you and your child like this one you could look out for more at the local library.

That’s Not my Lion
Fiona Watt, illus. Rachel Wells,
Usborne Books

The unseen narrator is in search of his lion – and is looking for the one which feels just right. The repetitive rhyme is pleasing to read aloud and for toddlers to join in with. There are feely patches on every page for little fingers explore. And of course, the narrator finds their lion at the end.
This is just one of a huge collection of That’s Not My… books from Usborne so if you and your child like this one you could look out for more at the local library.

Our top 10 books for baby’s bookshelf

It’s never too early to read or sing to babies. They will tune into the sounds, rhythms and patterns of your voice and will gradually focus on, and delight in, the pictures. Books are a wonderful way to engage your baby in a shared, enjoyable and stimulating activity and a perfect way to spend time together. As babies grow, they will join in with your actions, words and tunes to bring the book to life. This early experience is an important first step on their journey as readers.

The stories, songs and rhymes you share together are likely to include favourites from your own childhood, children’s classics and new books by contemporary writers and illustrators. Some will be board-books, cloth or sturdy pop-up books that your baby can handle themselves. Here are some books to bring back happy memories and introduce you to some new family favourites. You can build your collection of favourite books through exploring other titles by these exceptional authors and illustrators. For more ideas also see Our top 10 classic picture books  and our Books for 0-3 years .

 

Dear Zoo
Rod Campbell
Puffin

An interactive, open-the-flaps book about receiving surprise presents from the zoo.
Each one has to be unwrapped and then sent back until the most perfect present of all arrives.

Lots of repeated phrases and fun to join in with and enjoy.
A young family sharing the book (Scottish Book Trust)
See our ideas for sharing Dear Zoo here

For another lift the flap book see Where’s Spot? Our activities here


Hello You!
Campbell Books

A rhyming, rhythmic book which takes you through key points in a baby’s day including breakfast, playing with a friend, bath and bed. Full of gorgeous black and white photographs of a diverse group of babies. An added feature is a fold out mirror page so that babies can see themselves.

 

Honey for you, Honey for me                                                          
Michael Rosen, illus. Chris Riddell
Walker Books

This is a collection of playground songs and nursery rhymes collated by Michael Rosen and beautifully illustrated by Chris Riddell. Adult readers may recognize a few here eg ‘Jelly on the plate’ and ‘The North Wind Shall Blow’ but there will be lots of new discoveries too.

Great to share with children. You will soon identify your own favourites to read or sing and maybe act out together.
Listen to Michael Rosen reading some of the rhymes here: 

This book would make a perfect companion to A Great Big Cuddle by the same team which contains Michael Rosen’s original rhymes. See our activity page here for A Great Big Cuddle here 

It’s a Little Baby
Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb
Pan Macmillan

A new book with an interactive rhyme to say or sing, containing flaps and actions for joining in. It’s tuneful and pitched just right for babies and young children.

Sung by Julia Donaldson  Also see video of sharing the book with baby on same web page.

Mine!
(Bear and Hare series)
Emily Gravett
Pan Macmillan

Bear and Hare went for a walk and found lots of interesting things along the way. “Mine!” said Hare. But Bear didn’t care until.. Hare found honey and the bees gave chase! Poor Hare. “There there” soothed caring Bear.

Beautifully illustrated and a playfully told tale of acceptance and love. Read aloud
For another book about friendship and sharing see Banana! by Ed Vere.

 

Peekaboo Apple
Camilla Reid, illus. Ingela P Arrhenius
Nosy Crow

Peekaboo is a favourite first game with babies and toddlers everywhere. Cleverly designed with a range of ingenious slots and sliders make this attractive board book fun to share. A baby, dog, butterfly and snail magically appear as the tabs are pulled or turned finishing with a mirror page surprise at the end of the book, so babies see themselves appear too.  The text is a simple, engaging rhyme which children will enjoy sharing again and again.

 

Very First Mother Goose
Iona Opie. Illus. Rosemary Well
Walker

A magical compendium of classic nursery rhymes collected by renowned folklorist Iona Opie and illustrated by the irrepressible watercolourist, Rosemary Wells. Described as the ‘mother of all nursery rhyme books’, this is a collection to dip into and treasure over days and years.

 

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Men Fox, Helen Oxenbury (illus)
Walker Books

In this book we meet babies born all over the world and discover that although their skin colour may vary and they are born in very different places they have a lot in common; they all have ‘ten little fingers and ten little toes’. The rhythm and repetition of this memorable refrain makes this book fun to read aloud. There is opportunity for lots of toe tickling, cuddles and kisses with one very special baby as the book ends too.

 

That’s Not my Lion
Fiona Watt, illus. Rachel Wells,
Usborne Books

The unseen narrator is in search of his lion – and is looking for the one which feels just right. The repetitive rhyme is pleasing to read aloud and for toddlers to join in with. There are feely patches on every page for little fingers explore. And of course, the narrator finds their lion at the end.
This is just one of a huge collection of That’s Not My… books from Usborne so if you and your child like this one you could look out for more at the local library.

 

Wow! said the Owl
Tim Hopgood
Macmillan

When little owl stays awake one night he is amazed by the beautiful colours around him but he discovers the starlit night time sky is most beautiful of all.
Watch the story

A beautifully illustrated story about colours with a repeated refrain which is fun for joining in.
For more ideas to build baby’s first bookshelf see  our classic picture book section and our books for 0-3 year olds.

 

 

 

 

The Zebra’s Great Escape

Katherine Rundell, ill. Sara Ogilvie
Bloomsbury
Age 5-9

When Mink is swinging in the garden, trying to avoid bedtime, she doesn’t expect to meet a young zebra, or that he can communicate AND she will understand what he is saying.  Mink discovers that Gabriel (the zebra) is in urgent need of her help.

So begins a magical adventure with talking animals and a dastardly villain, who is thwarted through our heroine’s bravery and a determined team of animal helpers.

This is an exciting story with a satisfying ending and a clear message about helping others: ‘When people ask you for help, they are doing a magnificent thing, they are giving you the chance to change the world for the better.’

The Zebra’s Great Escape is a first picturebook from award winning children’s fiction writer Rundell. It is a story told with drama, warmth and humour. Her delightful text is perfectly matched by Sara Ogilvie’s lively illustrations. The book includes an A-Z of animals – which might inspire children to create their own.

Watch an introduction to the book from author, Katherine Rundell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vSqGopAfJI


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Read aloud

Although your child may be gaining confidence and able to read the text independently this is a great story to read aloud to your child. It is divided into sections, making it ideal to read over three story times. After sharing a section or before starting the next you could talk about what you both have found out so far and what your child hopes will happen next.

Talk more about the story
➤ Did anything surprise you?
➤ Did anything make you laugh?
➤ Talk about your favourite scenes from the story
➤ Which characters do you like best?


Download our activity book here

Things to make and do

Play a word game of animal alphabets
Take turns thinking of animals starting with as many letters of the alphabet as you can eg
A – player 1 antelope player 2 ‘aardwark’
B    player 1 beaver player 2 ‘bat’

Make an animal alphabet book
Help your child to make a series of zig zag books and join them together. Create an alphabet book with an animal for each letter – your child could make their own choices where possible.

Meet the cast
Give your child a large piece of paper to draw characters from the story.

Interview a character
With one of you is a reporter and the other a character from the story have an imaginary  interview them about what happened, what they saw, how they felt. The interviewer could use a cardboard tube as a prop

Find out More

Read more books by author Katherine Rundell. The Zebra’s Great Escape is Katherine Rundell’s first picturebook. She has written several novels for older children.

The Girl Savage

The Rooftoppers

The Wolf Wilder – see Lovemybooks activity page

The Explorer – see Lovemybooks activity page

The Good Thieves

Read more picturebooks illustrated by Sara Ogilvie Ogilvie, Sara | BookTrust

Man on the Moon (a day in the life of Bob)

manon the moon lge coverSimon Bartram
Templar Publishing 
Age 5-7

A beautifully illustrated picture book about an apparently ordinary man, Bob, who has an extraordinary job. Bob is an astronaut who commutes to the moon every day in his rocket to prepare for tourist visits. The illustrations are a delight with so much to discover and discuss, not least the aliens on every page. Bob doesn’t think aliens exist, but readers will soon decide he is mistaken.

 

lovemybooksactivitiesorangecentre

 

Share the story

Read aloud Before you start reading the book talk about the cover illustration, what children can see and what they think might happen in the story. Talking about the cover will intrigue children; they will want to find out more.

As you read the story aloud allow time for children to talk about what they can see in the detailed illustrations which add so much to the story.

Join in Children will enjoy hearing the story more than once. Leave spaces so that they can join in with bits they remember such as ‘man on the moon’, or ‘no such thing as aliens’.

Talk about the book Go back to the first double page spread and talk about this page. Can children spot the space clues?

There are aliens on nearly every page which children will enjoy spotting and counting.

Tell the story How does Bob spend his day? Encourage children to tell the story of Bob’s day using the illustrations to help them.

Watch the story Click here

"Isaac absolutely loved Man on the Moon. The illustrations in this book are wonderful and they captured my son’s imagination. We spent ages spotting the aliens in the pictures and trying to deciding which alien was our favourite."

"Following the activities suggested by Lovemybooks, we had a fantastic day reading, making and talking about space. We loved making a rocket together and this inspired so much discussion and learning about space."

"Reading the book and talking about the story and pictures in detail meant that my son was really willing to do some writing himself. He wrote a book about Bob’s day and was able to sequence the story himself because he was so familiar with the story. Making a zig zag book was a fantastic recommendation because it meant he was so proud to have written a book himself."

"Thank you Lovemybooks for such a brilliant recommendation and such imaginative and inspiring activities. I really think it’s such a brilliant resource for parents and teachers!"

Things to make and do

Make your own book about Bob’s day Make a zig zag book and draw a picture on each page  to show what Bob is doing at different times in the day. Click here to find out how to make a zig zag book.

Make a poster
Give your child a piece  of A4 paper to make a poster about tourist trips to the moon. They could  write something like ‘Come to the Moon!’ and then draw and write all the things tourists can do there.

Draw an alien Children can design their own alien, how many eyes will it have? What will its hands and feet be like? What colour will it be?

Make a rocket Stick cardboard or plastic tubes or containers together to make a rocket. Children could cover their model in glued paper and paint it.

 

Find out more

Read about more books by Simon Bartram here

The Diary of Dougal the Deep Sea Diver

Bob’s Best Ever friend

Alien Spotter’s Guide

Bob and the Moontree Mystery

Find out about astronauts and the moon. You could look for books at the library or click here, here and here.

Buy the book
Buy Man on the Moon (a day in the life of Bob) here

 

 

 

 

The Boy at the Back of the Class

Onjali Rauf, ill. Pippa Curnick
Orion Books
Age 8-11

When Ahmed arrives in the classroom everyone is very curious about him and why he is so quiet, doesn’t smile and disappears at break and lunchtime. When a group of his classmates find out that he is a Syrian refugee who has experienced great sadness and been separated from his parents, they are determined to help and invent some incredible plans showing both ingenuity, bravery and determination.

A heartwarming and entertaining story about a serious subject highlighting the range of attitudes people have towards refugees and indicating some of the traumas that can befall them

Watch a video to listen to the author reading extracts from the book:

https://youtu.be/aO-HzIv5-OA
lovemybooksactivitiesorangecentre

Talk about the story

What would you tell someone else about this story?

Did anything about it surprise you?

What would you have liked to say to Ahmed, to Brendon or to Alexa (55the narrator) if you met them?

Look at the author’s questions for children at the back of the book and discuss them together.

See our print-off activity book with some of these ideas and other activities

Things to make and do

Introduce the characters
Choose six or more characters from the book. Make a zig zag book. Use one page for each character to introduce them, writing a sentence or two – you could include a picture of them as well.

What does everyone think of Ahmed?
If you have any really long piece of paper, place it on the floor and ask your child to lie on it. Draw around your child to create an outline figure to represent Ahmed. Talk together about how other characters in the story think and feel about Ahmed and write their imaginary comments and questions about him outside the outline. Then talk about Ahmed’s thoughts and feelings and write these inside the outline. If you don’t have a large piece of paper, you could ask them to draw an outline on a piece of A4 or A3 paper and write comments inside and around the outline.

Draw a pomegranate
If you have the opportunity, buy a pomegranate. Give your child a piece of paper and pencils or paints to draw it whole and then cut in half looking closely at the pomegranate seeds. Try tasting them or perhaps sprinkling them over a salad.

Have an interview
Imagine one of you is an interviewer and another one of the main characters in the story, eg Alexa, Ahmed or maybe Brendon the bully. Have a conversation about what happened, what they did and why. You could use a cardboard tube as an imaginary microphone.

Film a news broadcast
Your child could imagine they are a TV news reader telling the story of Ahmed and the children’s quest to help him find his parents.   If possible, set the room up with a small table and chair. Talk first about what to include when you tell Ahmed’s story and have a practice or make notes. You could video your child and then watch the recording together.

Pack a rucksack
Talk with your child about what you would take if you had to leave your home suddenly because you were in danger, for example because of war. (This would need to be whatever you could carry in a small bag such as a rucksack). Try to collect some of these things together – what would it be hard to leave behind?

Write a list
Make a list of five things you could do to make refugees feel welcome in your class or neighbourhood. For example, learning to say hello or welcome in their language.

Find out more

Find out more about refugees

Read the information at the back of the book and find out more about refugees.

Resources refugee week   Children & young people | Refugee Week

Read about Ukrainain  refugees on the CBBC website. Ukraine refugees: What’s being done to help? – CBBC Newsround

Read more books by author, Onjali Rauf:

The Star Outside My Window 

The Day We Met the Queen 

The Night Bus Hero 

The Great (Food) Bank Heist 

The Lion Above the Door

Read more stories about refugees:

Picturebooks include:

The Journey Francesca Sanna

Wisp Zana Fraillon, illus. Grahame Baker Smith

Novels include:

Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird

No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

See our TOP 10 books about children in conflict

 

 

Please Mr Panda 

Steve Antony
Hodder Children’s Books
Age 0-3

Mr Panda has some doughnuts to share and offers them to a series of ungrateful and greedy animals. Eventually a lemur sets herself above the rest by being much more polite and is duly rewarded. A simple story about sharing and politeness.

We asked Steve Antony about his inspiration for the book and how it became a series
The first story, Please, Mr. Panda, came to me in a most peculiar way. One lazy Sunday afternoon I was doodling pandas in bed when I heard a voice inside my head. “Would you like a doughnut?” asked the voice. I imagined this to be the voice of the deadpan Mr. Panda who was staring right at me from my sketchbook. “Give me the pink one,” replied a tiny, squeaky voice, which I imagined to be that of a cute little penguin. “No, you cannot have a doughnut. I have changed my mind,” huffed Mr. Panda. This made me chuckle. But why did Mr. Panda change his mind? I continued to imagine him interacting with other animals in a similar fashion. Then it dawned on me: none of the animals said please! That’s when I knew I had a good story. Mr. Panda wanted to teach me, and the world, a lesson or two in manners.

I never imagined in a million years that Mr. Panda would star in his very own series of books!  I wrote Please, Mr. Panda a year after being made redundant from a call centre. In fact, if I hadn’t been made redundant the Please, Mr. Panda probably wouldn’t exist. The book wasn’t even called Please, Mr. Panda to begin with. It was called Would You Like a Doughnut?

The response to the first Mr. Panda book took me by complete surprise, and I just knew Mr. Panda had more stories to tell. I also love adding more black and white animals to Mr. Panda’s expanding circle of friends. I pick only black and white animals for Mr. Panda’s world because I’m red-green colour-blind, and at the start of my career I steered clear of using too much colour. Now I’m more confident with using colour. For example, my illustrations for Tim Minchin’s When I Grow Up are super colourful.

I’ve actually just finished the 5th Mr. Panda picture book. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of Mr. Panda because he’s such a funny character to develop. He’s grumpy-looking yet really generous. He’s big and gruff yet wears pink frilly aprons. He isn’t perfect, yet he tries his best to teach manners in his own unique (and somewhat unorthodox) way. Plus, he has the best fans.

Every now and then I check the hashtag #PleaseMrPanda to see what people are posting on Instagram. One school painted a gigantic Mr. Panda in their class and took turns taking selfies next to it. Another transformed their class into Mr. Panda’s doughnut factory. I often get tagged in Mr. Panda related tweets, too.

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Share the story

Watch the trailer

Read aloud
Before you start reading the story, talk about what you can see in the cover illustration. What do children think Mr Panda is holding?

Read the story aloud to your child, pausing if children would like to talk about the pictures.

Join in
When children know the story well they might like to join in when you read the story, perhaps being Mr Panda while you read the parts of the naughty animals who don’t say please. It doesn’t matter if their version is slightly different from the text in the book.

Tell the story
After hearing the story a few times, children will get to know it well. Encourage them tell it to you in their own words, with some words or phrases from the story, using the pictures to help them.

Talk about the story

  • Can children spot the lemur hiding on the end papers at the front of the book? What has happened to him in the picture on the end papers at the back of the book?

  • Talk about the colours of the different doughnuts

  • Why do children think Mr Panda didn’t give the other animals a doughnut?

  • Talk about all the animals in the book (penguin, skunk, ostrich, whale and lemur) children may notice they are all black and white


Watch the story

"Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony is a lovely little story which also helps toddlers and preschool children learn the importance of manners. The illustrations are lovely too. I have two girls who are two and five. My eldest understands and generally has good manners but the youngest is still learning. This book has been great for helping her. The book doesn't actually explain why only the animal that says please gets doughnuts but my 5 year old realised this and each time we read it we explain to our toddler why the rude animals don't get any doughnuts. I think it's starting to help her understand. We've read it a few times now and if you ask her after reading each animal’s reply if they are going to get any doughnuts, she knows if they will or won’t.

Inspired by the book we have done some of Lovemybooks’ activities together. The first activity we did was panda painting. I gave her a black piece of paper, a paint brush and a pot of white paint. She loves painting and as such loved this activity. We usually use colourful paints on white paper so this was a lovely change. I find simple art activities like this are perfect for young toddlers who enjoy the process of painting more than the end result. She was however very proud of her finished master piece and keen to show it her big sister and daddy after school and work.

The second activity we tried was making play dough doughnuts. Again she loves play dough so she really enjoyed this activity. I had to show her how to make doughnut shapes put she loved adding the red play dough to decorate them. Of course, being just 2, she was very good at destroying the doughnuts I'd just made for her too! All part of the fun for toddlers. It was a great learning opportunity to talk about colours and shapes. Claire'"

Things to make and do

Make playdough doughnuts
Use different coloured playdough to make a tray of doughnuts, talk about the actions you are doing to shape the dough and the different colours while you are making them together.

Act out the story
Children could use their tray of doughnuts to act out the story with you, or with their toys as the other animals.

If you have a stacking toy with rings children could act out the story using these as the doughnuts instead of playdough doughnuts.

Draw a picture
Children could draw a picture to say thank you (from the lemur) to Mr Panda.

Make a black and white picture
Give children a black piece of paper, white paint and a thick brush to experiment making blobs and marks, alternatively they could do this with a piece of white paper and black paint.

Find out more

Visit Steve Antony’s website

It includes facts about Please Mr Panda and a few downloadable activities based on the book.

Read more books by Steve Antony, titles include:

Thank you Mr Panda

Betty Goes Bananas

The Queen’s Hat

Monster in the Hood

Our top 10 new picture books 2020

We have chosen some of the most exciting children’s picturebooks published this year. There are books for a range of ages, books reflecting diversity, and having lots
Lantana Publishing
Age 3-7


A Story about Afiya, James Berry, illus. Anna Cunha
Lantana Publishing
Age 3-7

In this beautifully illustrated re-imagining of the poem by celebrated poet, James Berry, Afiya’s childhood world is magically created and captured in the ever-changing patterns on her white cotton dress. From sunflowers to butterflies, pigeons to tigers, waves to boulders, the dress is printed with images. Yet, next morning, it is fresh, like a blank sheet of paper, and ready for the new day’s adventures.

Listen to the story read aloud by a young reader 
Visit our activity page
Buy here 


Albert Talbot Master of Disguise 
Ben Manley, illus. Aurélie Guillerey
Two Hoots
Age 5-7

Albert Talbot has a very vivid imagination. He spends his days imagining he is a dangerous villain or a brave adventurer. His journey to school is an expedition as he becomes fearless mountaineer Rusti Buffels. When sharing his model at school during show and tell he is famous inventorProfessor Octavious Pickleswick. During swimming lessons, he is a brave undersea explorer. But when nighttime comes Albert decides it is nice to just be himself being tucked in cosily by his mum. A book which will encourage lots of imaginative play, dressing up and conversation, turning everyday events into mini adventures.
Buy here 


Bears Love Squares
Caryl Hart, illus. Edward Underwood
Bloomsbury, 
Age 3-5

Bear is very fond of squares and no matter how much raccoon tempts him with a variety of other shapes pointing out the distinctive features eg a triangle and all the fun you can have with circular hoops or balls even stars do not tempt him. Becoming desperate raccoon has one last go and makes a heart for Bear. Bear is very impressed, but he still loves squares!

An amusing rhyming book in a highly appropriate square shape which is great fun to share and return to. It is likely to prompt an interest in shapes around us too.
Buy here

The author Caryl Hart looks for squares at home and introduces her book. 

https://youtu.be/LyrB-9xqhVk

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice 
AF Harrold, illus. Mini Grey
Bloomsbury
Age 7-11

If you ever considered wearing a snake as a belt or having a picnic with a tiger this is the book for you. Packed with (not entirely useful) advice and lots of warnings eg that bears might be hiding under your cornflakes or the dangers of confusing your lunch box with your pencil case.

Topics range from food and animals to school life and indeed life in general this book packed with very silly poetry by AF Harrold perfectly matched Mini Grey’s brilliantly comic illustrations likely to lead to lots of giggles.

There are interactive elements where readers can for example use the Advice tron to select their own advice and add their own ideas for ways sausages might be useful if you are lost at sea.
Buy here


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Clean Up                                         Nathan Bryon, illus. Dapo Adeola
Puffin Books
Age 5-7

Rocket is really excited; she is going to visit Grammy and Grampy who live in Jamaica. They run whale watching tours, own a wildlife sanctuary AND Grammy is brilliant at surfing! While there, Rocket is shocked by the amount of rubbish on the beach and how it is affecting the wildlife. She decides to do something about it.

This is a delightfully illustrated story with a determined main character who sets out to make a difference. This is a story to raise awareness of the threat of plastic pollution on our oceans and ocean creatures and encourage small scale activism.
Visit our activity page
Buy here


Honey for you, Honey for me  
Michael Rosen, illus. Chris Riddell
Walker Books
Age 0-5

This is a collection of playground songs and nursery rhymes collated by Michael Rosen and beautifully illustrated by Chris Riddell. Adult readers may recognize a few here eg ‘Jelly on the plate’ and ‘The North Wind Shall Blow’ but there will be lots of new discoveries too.

Great to share with children dip into develop favourites read or sing and maybe act out together.
Listen to Michael Rosen reading some of the rhymes.

This book would make a perfect companion to A Great Big Cuddle by the same team which contains Michael Rosen’s original rhymes. See our activity page here for A Great Big Cuddle 
Buy here


Just One of Those Days
Jill Murphy     
Macmillan
Age 3-7

The Bear family are having one of those days. After oversleeping, just about everything goes wrong. Both Mr and Mrs Bear have mishaps at work and at Nursery things don’t go well for Baby Bear either. ‘Someone Else’ has his favourite dinosaur toy and ‘Someone Else’ has his favourite mug. When they get home, they console themselves and put it all behind them. Mr Bear treats them all to a pizza and a surprise for Baby Bear.

This is a delightful story full of warmth and humour in the words and the illustrations which both adults and children will relate to. A welcome return of the Bear family we first met in the picturebook classic Peace at Last 40 years ago.  

Visit our activity pages for Peace at Last and Whatever Next (also about the same family) 
Hear the book’s creator Jill Murphy talk about the book 
Buy here

https://youtu.be/Y5_VH7z4ByM

Last                                                  
Nicola Davies
Tiny Owl
Age 7-9

A lonely rhino pacing a zoo in a cold colourless world fears he is the last of his kind. He dreams about happy days with his mother before she was killed, and he was snatched from his home. Look closely and you can spot a child watching, a child who grows into an adult who helps return the rhino to the wild where he finds another rhino and is no longer alone.

There is lots to talk about here in a book Inspired by a true story, which highlights the plight of the white rhino and the power of every individual to notice and take action. This is the first book which acclaimed author Nicola Davies has illustrated as well as written. Colour is used very effectively to contrast the rhino’s experiences in captivity and in the wild. Carefully selected snippets of text support of the theme of the book.

Buy here
Nicola Davies

https://youtu.be/v46eTv3k9Hw

Pirate Stew
Neil Gaiman, illus. Chris Riddell
Bloomsbury
Age 7-9

What if mum and dad go out for the evening and choose a pirate cook as a babysitter? In Pirate Stew we find out exactly what might happens. This is a splendid, rollicking rhyme of a picture book guaranteed to delight young readers. The illustrations are just fabulous, packed with comic characters, lots of detail and pirate themed fun. Look out for the many references drawn from classic pirate books such as Treasure Island and Peter Pan.
Buy here

Author Neil Gaiman introduces his book and reads aloud from it here;

https://youtu.be/02RcHmicJoE





You Choose Fairy Tales 
Nick Sharratt (illus) and Pippa Goodhart
Puffin Books
Age 5-9

Imagine you could be in your own fairy tale, what kind of a hero would you be? This book gives you lots of choice to help you build a fairy tale in which young readers take the starring role. Choose to be a pirate, a princess or a billy goat. Decide whether you live in a palace, a gingerbread house or a crooked house. What are your talents? Where will you go, what will you take? Who is your friend and who is your enemy?  

Every page presents a stunning array of new choices in Nick Sharratt’s distinctive artwork. As you work though the book your tale can build. When you finish start again and build a different story! Creative and interactive this is a book designed for sharing and lots of talk. The latest in the very popular ‘You Choose’ series which includes You Choose in Space, You Choose your Dreams and the original book You Choose.
Buy here 

Neil Gaiman reads aloud from the book here