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Alfie Gets in First

alfieShirley Hughes
Red Fox
Age 3-5

This is first in a series about Alfie and his family. They are appealing stories to share and talk about. In this story Alfie gets locked inside his house on his own. Lots of people offer to help while Alfie and his sister get increasingly upset. The  illustrations show what is happening on both sides of the door. In the end Alfie opens the door himself – a story about the ups and downs of becoming more independent.

lovemybooksactivitiesorangecentre

 

Share the story

Read aloud
When you read the story aloud, pause at the question ‘But what do you think Alfie did then?’ and encourage your child to guess what might happen next. Then go on to see what happens next and read the rest of the story.

Join in
When you read the book again your child might like to join in, perhaps when Alfie calls out ‘I’ve won ’, the bang when he slammed the door or Mum telling Alfie to open the door.

Talk about the story
When you have read the story talk about what your child liked about it and share favourite parts. Other things you might talk about include:

What Alfie is doing inside the house while people gather to try and help him outside.

The last page and all the people who tried to help Alfie and his mum.

How Alfie feels at different points in the story. His expressions give lots of clues.

Watch the video

 From 2209aimee


Things to make and do

Make Alfie’s door
This can be done very simply with a piece of paper or thin card folded in half. Your child can draw and colour a door on the front and inside draw Alfie on his own or with his family.

Write instructions
Your child can pretend they are writing instructions for Alfie; what to do if he gets locked in again. Click here for a special sheet.

Draw a picture
Give your child a large piece of paper and some crayons so that they can draw some of the people we meet in this story. Children beginning to write for themselves can write labels for each character.

Find out more

See this video where the author Shirley Hughes talks about the Alfie books:

Read more books about Alfie by Shirley Hughes:

All about Alfie

Alfie Lends a Hand

An Evening at Alfie’s

Alfie’s Feet

Alfie’s Christmas

Annie Rose is my Little Sister

 

Read other books by Shirley Hughes, titles include:

* Dogger

Moving Molly

Lucy and Tom series

The Lion and the Unicorn

 * See more lovemybooks ideas

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

The Bear and the Piano David Litchfield  V

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       

Boundless Sky Amanda Addison, illus. Manuela Adreani

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

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

Down by the station Jess Stockham

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

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

Fair Shares Pippa Goodhart, illus Anna Doherty

Farmer Duck Martin Waddell, illus Helen Oxenbury

Five little men in a flying saucer Dan Crisp    V               

Five Minutes Peace Jill Murphy                 

Flora and Ulysses, the illuminated adventures Kate Camillo     V          

Fortunately the Milk Neil Gaiman, illus Chris Riddell

Gaspard the Fox  Zeb Soanes, illus. James Mayhew

Gerald the lion Jessica Souhami          

The Ghost train Allan Ahlberg, illus Andre Amstutz   V

The Gigantic Turnip Alexsei Tolstoy, illus Naimh Sharkey  V

The Girl and the dinosaur Hollie Hughes, illus Sarah Massini  

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                 

The Hairy toe Daniel Postgate   V

Handas surprise Eileen Browne  V         

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

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 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          

The Iron Man Ted Hughes                

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            

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               

The Last Wolf Mini Grey  

Last: The Story of the White Rhino Nicola Davies   V

The Lion Inside Rachel Bright   

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

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  

Saving Winslow Sharon Creech  AB

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

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           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where My Feet Go

where my feet goBirgitta Sif
Andersen Press
Age 0-5

A little panda gets up one morning and wonders where his feet might take him today. As he steps outside, his feet have all sorts of imaginary adventures; he is not jumping in a puddle he is splashing in the sea, when he is on a swing his feet are being tickled by the clouds and in a sandpit his feet just disappear!

A simple but charming story which shows how the everyday can become an adventure with just a little imagination. The delightful illustrations and repetition make this book fun to share again and again and there is lots of scope for playing the story as well.

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Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud to your child pausing to talk about anything they find interesting or puzzling as you do.

Join in
Once children have heard the story several times you can encourage them to join in, for example by completing the lines ‘My feet go..’

Talk about the story

Where did your feet go today? Where might they go/or where would you like them to go tomorrow?
Share favourite pages and talk about why you like them
Look at the final double page spread together – what other adventures might little panda’s feet have and what magical places might he go to? The illustrations gives lots of ideas.

 

Finlay, five years old, says: "I loved Eliot the Midnight Superhero because I want my dreams to be like that. My favourite part in the book is when Eliot is all quiet in his bedroom and his mum and dad think he is all quiet. It's funny because he is tricking them.”   His mum Jemma comments: “Finlay's favourite activities were making a junk model superhero machine. He made one that superheroes go through to get dressed and it puts their costume on for them and their ‘flying gear’. He made another one which was a robot that turned into a car. Lastly, he made a space rocket with a drawbridge with his sisters, and they played in this for a whole week; flying off to the beach and the moon.”

Things to make and do

Play the story
When you go for walks or trips to the park children can act out the story, imagining for example, a small hillock is a mountain or a log a creaking bridge.  Children can add ideas of their own and you can make up some together.

Make a mini photo album
Take photos of your child (and their feet!) in different places. Make a small folded book from sheets of A4 paper stapled together (or an exercise book) to use as a mini photo album. Print out the photos and stick into the book – one on each page. Talk about the photos together and write a caption for each one, reading what you have written to your child. Children can add drawings for the pages and on the cover.

Indoor play with shoes and boots
Collect together some shoes, slippers, socks and boots of different sizes if possible. Children can choose pairs to wear and imagine what they might be eg astronauts, firefighters or kings and queens.  You could play sorting games, looking for the biggest and smallest or making matching pairs.

Read a poem, say a rhyme about feet. Download our sheet

 

Find out more

Find out more about author illustrator Birgitta Sif

Other books include:

Oliver

Frances Dean who loved to Dance and Dance

Read another story about feet

Alfie’s Feet by Shirley Hughes

Watch it here:

 

from: Graham Smith 

Our favourite Christmas books

Here’s a selection of our favourite books for Christmas and the festive season.snowman 5
You can click on the link and buy the book.

 

a-boy-called-christmasA Boy Called Christmas Matt Haig
Canongate
Age 7-9

A magical story which imagines Father Christmas as a boy called Nikolas, and describes how he came to have the job of delivering gifts to children everywhere equipped with sleigh and reindeer late each Christmas Eve. Full of excitement and some sad and scary moments, this gripping tale has humour and warmth. There is a cast of highly memorable characters; including Nikolas’s archetypally evil Aunt Carlotta, elvish despot Father Vodol, a dangerously mischievous Truth Pixie and a reindeer called Blitzen. Nikolas knows he wants to do ‘good’ and believes nothing is impossible. It takes him many decades to find his purpose in life; to spread goodwill and bring joy to children everywhere. A perfect festive season book to share.
Watch a trailer
Buy here

the-christmas-eve-treeThe Christmas Eve Tree Delia Huddy, Emily Sutton (illus)
Walker Books
Age 5-7+

A little fir tree, is cut down and taken to the city to be sold. But no one wants this small, lopsided spindly tree until, just as the shops are closing on Christmas Eve, a small boy asks the shop keeper if he can have it. The little fir tree has an unexpectedly joyful Christmas with an unlikely group of people and afterwards eventually finds a permanent home where he grows strong and sturdy..

This is a delightfully illustrated Christmas story, which explores the idea of the spirit of Christmas; that goodwill, caring and fun is more important than expensive presents.
See our ideas for sharing The Christmas Eve Tree.
Buy here

A Christmas Story Brian Wildsmith
Oxford University Press
Age 3-5

The nativity story is told from the perspective of a little donkey and a young girl called Rebecca, charged with his care. The donkey’s mother is carrying Mary to Bethlehem with Joseph. The little donkey is sad to be left alone and so Rebecca, decides they should follow. Eventually they find a bright star over an innkeeper’s stable and they are witness to the events of that night.   First written thirty years ago by award-winning artist Brian Wildsmith, this hardback small format version with stunning illustrations will capture children’s interest and imagination, providing lots to talk about.
Buy here

For another Christmas story by John Burningham see Harvey Slumfenberger’s Christmas Present.

greata-and-graceyChristmas For Greta and Gracie Yasmeen Ismail
Nosy Crow
Age 3-5

It’s Christmas Eve and Greta and Gracie are busy getting ready, colouring Christmas pictures, decorating the village tree and buying ribbon to wrap presents. Greta is a bit older and takes charge of putting the star on the tree and of conversations about Father Christmas and what he is like. Gracie spends a lot of time listening and doing what she’s told. However, during the night before Christmas it is Gracie who hears funny noises and finds Father Christmas in the sitting room wrapping presents. She is able to help him, and ask him lots of questions. In the morning, for once, Greta is lost for words when she finds out that Gracie has actually met Father Christmas and so really knows what he’s like.

An appealing and amusing story about being a younger sister with a seasonally magical ending.
Buy here

Dogger’s Christmas  Shirley Hughes 
Bodley Head
Age 5-7

Dogger’s Christmas is a festive sequel to the much-loved story of a lost toy first published 43 years ago. Dave and his sister Bella are a bit older and their family have grown with a younger brother. Dave enjoys playing with lots of other toys now and is excited about new presents for Christmas, but he still loves Dogger.  The family enjoy a happy family Christmas until Dave notices Dogger is missing. Can big sister Bella save the day again? A nostalgic story for many parents who will remember the original from Shirley Hughes and the same themes of kindness and family love.
See our activity page for Dogger
 

How to Hide a Lion at Christmas
Helen Stephens
Alison Green Books
Age 3-7

This is a delightful seasonal story continuing Iris and her friend the lion’s adventures. Iris and her family set off to stay with her Auntie for Christmas. She wants to take the lion with her but her parents say no and her attempts at hiding him as a present or decoration are unsuccessful. The lion knows Iris is sad and so secretly follows her but after falling asleep on the train loses sight of her. He doesn’t give up though and after trudging through the snow eventually finds Iris’s auntie’s house soon spotting a strange man in a red coat climbing down the chimney! Has the lion found the perfect way to get inside the house? Copying Father Christmas does not go totally according to plan but eventually Iris and her lion are reunited and they are able to spend Christmas together.

A gorgeous picture book perfect for Christmas. Watch a trailer here.
Buy here
See our activity ideas for the first in the series How to Hide a Lion

How Winston Delivered Christmas
An advent story in twenty four and a half chapters
Alex T Smith
Macmillan
Age 5-9

This is a wonderful book which would be a delight to share as a family in the build up to Christmas. The whole book is designed on the principle of an advent calendar with a chapter to be read a day. It tells the story of Winston, a  mouse who finds a letter for Father Christmas lost by a little boy called Oliver and has many adventures trying to deliver it.   As well as the appealing and wonderfully illustrated story there is a festive activity for each day; from making your own wrapping paper to baking gingerbread mice. There is a clear reminder that Christmas isn’t just about receiving presents, being kind and thoughtful as Winston demonstrates is very important too. The back of the book contains several well-known Christmas songs, the story of the Night before Christmas and even tips for getting ready for Christmas the following year.

The book’s creator, Alex. T.Smith demonstrates how to write a letter to Santa, the first activity in the book here
Buy here

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Dr Seuss
Random House
Age 3-7

The only one in Whoville who doesn’t celebrate Christmas is the Grinch. He can’t bear everyone else having fun, so on Christmas Eve he dresses as Santa and sets out to steal Christmas. In this classic tale the grumpy, mean Grinch learns what Christmas is really about. Classic fun from Dr Seuss!
Buy here

jolly christmas postmanThe Jolly Christmas Postman  Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Puffin
Age 3-7

This is a very special book which is perfect for sharing at Christmas time. It is a sequel to The Jolly Postman who delivers letters to familiar characters from fairy tales. It is helpful if children already know this story before reading The Jolly Christmas Postman but not essential.

In this book the jolly postman does his rounds on a snowy Christmas Eve. Time has moved on and Goldilocks and baby bear both have a new baby in the family. The postman’s round eventually takes him to Father Christmas’ workshop and an exciting trip on his sledge with lots of special deliveries to make. This book is very ‘hands on’ with interesting Christmas mail and presents to take out of the envelopes and share.
Click here for our ideas on sharing this story
Buy here

mogs christmasMog’s Christmas Judith Kerr
Harper Collins
Age 3-7

In Mog’s Christmas Mog is thrown into confusion by the unfamiliar smells and disturbances of Christmas preparations. So much so that escaping to the roof, unintentionally she creates further disturbances with dramatic effect.
Buy here
For another story about Mog at Christmas time see Mog’s Christmas Calamity.

The Night BeforeChristmas Clement C Moore (Author), Angela Barrett (Illus)
Orchard Books
Age 5-7

This classic, festive poem is enchantingly illustrated by Angela Barrett, a Kate Greenaway Medallist, who perfectly expresses the magical atmosphere of the verse. There are many versions and including that illustrated by Eric Puybaret.
Buy here

The Polar Express
Chris Van Allsburg
Harcourt Brace
Age 5-9

A mesmerising story in words and pictures of a child who takes a magical train journey to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus, his reindeer and elves. Offered a choice of any gift his heart desires, he chooses a bell from the reindeer’s harness that only believers in Santa can hear. A prize winning story also now a popular Christmas film read here by Liam Neeson
Buy the book

Refuge 
Anne Booth, Sam Usher (illus)
Nosy Crow
Age 5-7

Topically relevant, this version of the Nativity continues the story as Mary, Joseph and their new baby leave Bethlehem as refugees and seek sanctuary in Egypt. The story is simply told from the donkey’s perspective. Beautifully illustrated with subtle use of colour.

Nosy Crow are giving proceeds of the sale of the book  to the charity War Child to help care for Syrian refugee children and their families and other children displaced, orphaned and suffering as a result of war too.
Buy here

The Snowflake
Benji Davies
Harper Collins
Age 3-7

This is a beautifully told and illustrated story about a snowflake searching for somewhere to land and a little girl called Noelle who dreams of decorating her own Christmas tree, complete with a star on top, just like the ones she has seen in shop windows. Eventually their stories combine, their wishes come true and Noelle’s makeshift Christmas tree becomes very special indeed.  The words and images really evoke the magic of snowflakes dancing as they fall, the excitement of Christmas (particularly a snowy one!) and the pleasure of making your own decorations.
Buy the book

The Snowman   Raymond Briggs
Puffin
Age 3-7
                                                                                                                      

A magical wordless picturebook which tells the story of a young boy who wakes to find it is snowing. After working hard all day to make a wonderful snowman when he gets ready for bed he can think of little else. During the night a magical adventure unfolds as the boy finds the snowman has come to life. He welcomes the snowman into the house and they have great fun dressing up, playing and having a midnight feast taking care the snowman doesn’t get too warm and melt. Then the snowman takes the boy on an amazing night time flight over land and sea. The film animation and book of the film include a magical trip to a land with many more snowmen where they meet – Father Christmas! They have the most wonderful party together but after seeing Father Christmas’s workshop and meeting his reindeer it is time to fly home. When the boy returns to his bed he hopes to see the snowman again in the morning, but sadly it has melted.

This is a book to talk about together as you read the beautiful sequence of illustrations. Was it all a dream? Speculate about this together as well as thinking what children would like to do if they built a snowman that came to life.
Watch a complete animation of the story here:
Find out more
Buy here

 

The Iron Man: A children’s story in five nights

the iron manTed Hughes
Faber and Faber (other editions available)

Age 7-9

The Iron Man was written nearly 50 years ago by the poet Ted Hughes, originally to entertain his own children. Told in five chapters representing five nights it is ideal for bedtime story reading over a week.

The book tells what happens when a mysterious iron giant arrives in a farming community. Initially treated as a threat, The Iron Man later becomes a hero saving the world from a dangerous space monster. It is mainly told from the point of view of Hogarth, a young boy who forms a friendship with the Iron Man. Exciting, poetic and dramatic this book is great for read aloud to children. There is lots to think and talk about too with the dilemma of what to do about the Iron Man for example.

Watch a narrated animation of the opening of the story here.

 

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Talk about the story

If you pause after each chapter you could talk about:

Ch1: What might happen next.

Ch 2: What the farmers could do about the Iron Man and how Hogarth felt.

Ch 3: How the Iron Man felt about being in the scrapyard.

Ch 4: What the Iron Man’s idea to save the world from the space-bat-angel-dragon might be

After finishing the story you could talk about:

Favourite parts of the story and anything your child wonders about.

What everyone thinks about the Iron Man at the beginning of the story and at the end – and why this changes.


 Things to make and do

Re read parts of the story

Go back to the opening and have fun reading it together: ‘Where has he come?’ from ‘Nobody knows’ etc

Make an iron man

Make an iron man from junk – cardboard packets cover in foil.

Make a story scene

Create a scene from the story using small figures, collage pictures and your junk model Iron Man. Watch this animation for inspiration:

Write a menu

What would an Iron Man eat? Write a menu for him

Make a picture

Draw or paint a picture of the final challenge between the space-bat-angel-dragon and the Iron Man

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

 

Find out more

Read more books by Ted Hughes. Titles for children include:

The Iron Woman

Nessie the Mannerless Monster

Meet my Folks

How the Whale Became and Other stories

Although most of his books are out of print secondhand copies and Kindle versions are available.


Watch a film

Watch the Iron Giant, a film animation based on the Iron Man. See trailer.

Talk about the two versions and which your child prefers

Listen to sounds from Space in this YouTube video ‘The Music of the Spheres’

 

Buy The Iron Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our top 10 poetry books

Here are some of our favourite poetry books for you to enjoy.

See here for more about poetry and ideas for things to do.

brian_wildsmithBrian Wildsmith’s Favourite Nursery Rhymes Brian Wildsmith
OUP
Age 0-5

A wonderful treasury of over eighty traditional nursery rhymes to share and enjoy. Beautifully illustrated by the brilliant Brian Wildsmith to delight the eyes and the imagination.

ted hughesCollected Poems for Children Ted Hughes
Faber and Faber   
Age 5-7+

This is a fantastic collection of poems by one of the best poets for children. The book begins with poems to read aloud to the youngest and finishes with poems to interest older children. It’s a book to enjoy now, and grow into later. Raymond Briggs illustrates the poems with his usual wit and perception. Hear him read ‘The Thought Fox’.

everybody was a babyEverybody was a baby once Allan Ahlberg, Brian Ingman
Walker
Age 3-7

One day a boy went walking, and walked into a store. He bought a pound of sausages, and put them on the floor. The boy began to whistle, he whistled up a tune. And all the little sausages danced around the room…’ This is a rumbustious collection of irresistible characters including babies, robbers, lizards and sausages. All are combined with nursery rhymes in unexpected ways, with much imagination and humour. Hear Allan Ahlberg  read ‘The Sausage Whistler’ and ‘Dirty Bill’ from the book.

heres a little poemHere’s a Little Poem Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters
Walker
Age 0-5

Here’s a sumptuous compendium of over fifty poems and catchy rhymes for the very young and parents to enjoy together. With poems by contemporary and classic poets, including John Agard, AA Milne and Langston Hughes, and gentle, joyful illustrations by Polly Dunbar this is a perfect introduction to poetry for young children.

luckyLucky Roger McGough
Frances Lincoln
Age 5-7+

This is a wonderfully witty collection of wordplay, poetry and riddles by a favourite writer. Children can find out how to please a weasel, what happened to Lucky and have a giggle together. See and hear him read, ‘No Peas for the Wicked’.

great big cuddleA Great Big Cuddle Michael Rosen, Chris Riddell (illus)
Walker
Age 0-5 years

What a delight this book is! Full of fun and language play, it’s a perfect entry to the world of poetry and rhyme. Very young children will want to hear, read and repeat these contemporary rhymes again and again, just as they do traditional nursery rhymes. They can dance to The Button Bop: Bottom button/Top Button/Bottom button/Bop and be reassured by Mum’s great big cuddle in Mo’s in a muddle/She slipped in a puddle. The playful Reading Lesson finishes with Now you can read you can all go and play, yet the chances are children will want you to read it at least one more time.

An inspired bringing together of a great poet, Michael Rosen, and a great illustrator, Chris Riddell, with joyous results. Look here for some readings of the poems.

over the hillsOver the Hills and Far Away Nursery Rhymes from around the World Eiizabeth Hammill Frances Lincoln
Age 5-7

A star-studded collection of over 150 poems, nursery rhymes and lullabies illustrated by 76 award-winning, international artists. Produced by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, this is a book to treasure for children and one they will want to return to time and again. Each double page is illustrated by a different artist, providing an amazing visual journey through the poems.

utterly brilliantThe Puffin Book of Utterly Briiliant Poetry Brian Patten
Puffin
Age 5-7+

An utterly brilliant book of brilliant poetry collected by Brian Pattern. There are clusters of poems by Roger McGough, Jackie Kay, Benjamin Zephania, Charles Causley, Allan Ahlberg and Kit Wright, and more, and each poet is illustrated by a different, brilliant artist. Hear and see Benjamin Zephaniah reading,
‘I love My Mother’.

rumble in the jungleRumble in the Jungle Giles Andreae
Tiger Tales
Age 3-7

Come along to join the rumble in the jungle and hear the whispers in the trees. Marching ants set off early in the morning, encountering a range of African animals on their dawn ‘til dusk journey. There’s a verse for each animal and a strong rhythm pulses though the book accompanied by humour and dazzling illustrations. A book to read at bedtime, too, with all the characters asleep by the end of their long day’s journey into night. Watch a version of the book here.

wriggle and roarWriggle and Roar Julia Donaldson
Macmillian
Age 0-5

Wriggle and giggle, snap like a crocodile, slither like a snake and ROAR! These original rhymes are guaranteed to engage children’s minds, mouths, bodies and imaginations. Nick Sharratt’s illustrations add to the fun and humour.

There is a lot to talk about here, in particular about endangered animals and the world’s rainforests. When children know the book well they might enjoy imagining they are one of the animals and telling the story of their escape from the zoo and what might happen after the story ends.

 

The Girl and the Dinosaur

 

Hollie Hughes, Sarah Massini (illus)
Bloomsbury
Age 5-7 years

Local folk are worried about Marianne because she spends so much time alone. But she is happy, especially when she discovers ancient bones on the beach and puts them together to make a dinosaur. Marianne wishes and wishes for the dinosaur to come to life and in her dreams, it does, taking her to a magical island. Marianne is no longer alone when other children start coming to her beach to dig for dinosaur bones and seek magical adventures of their own.

A story to inspire the imagination. The beautiful illustrations make this a great book to pore over and return to again and again and the rhyming text will encourage children to join in as they get to know the story.

 

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Share the story

Read aloud
Before you begin reading this story to your child look at the cover illustration together. Talk about what you both see, and what the story might be about.

Read the story aloud, taking time to look at the illustrations as you do.

Join in
When your child becomes familiar with the story they can join in with the reading, perhaps completing some of the rhymes if you leave gaps as you read aloud. They might like to join in with Marianne’s wish, the words in bold describing movement such as ‘swooping, gliding and flying’. You could have fun making sound effects, eg for the ‘tap, tap’ on the window and you could make up some magical music on a glockenspiel or jingle bells for the page where the dinosaur comes to life.

 

Talk about the story

  • Each of you could choose a favourite illustration to look at again and talk about together.

  • Talk about unfamiliar words and phrases eg slumber, summit and ‘leap of faith.’

  • Look at the illustration of the dinosaur skeleton together and talk about the bones eg spine, skull. Bend your own fingers to think about the number of bones in your fingers, then think about the number in legs and arms too.

  • Would your child like to go to a magical moonlit island like Marianne? How would they like to get there? What sort of creatures would there be and what could they do there?

Watch the story

From Daddy Mojo

Things to make and do

Draw a picture
Your child could draw a picture of their own imaginary magical moonlit island. What creatures would be there, what would you do?

Make a dinosaur skeleton
Collect together lots of sticks and pebbles and arrange them as a skeleton in a sand pit, or a tray of soil. You could use the illustration of the dinosaur in the book as a guide.

Make a wish
Help your child to make up their own wish beginning ‘With all my heart I make a wish and dream it will come true….’

Make up a story
Make up a story together about another night with the dinosaur and Marianne – or an adventure your child would like to have with a dinosaur they find who comes to life. You could record the story you create to listen to it again or write it down. You could do this for your child and they could illustrate it or they might like to write it themselves. 

Find out more

Read more books by author Hollie Hughes  

Titles include Princess Swashbuckle and Ninja Nan

 
Find more books illustrated by Sarah Massini

Titles include:

The Boy and the Bear by Tracey Corderoy and The Velveteen Rabbit with Marjery Williams

 

Find out about the girl who really discovered dinosaur bones, Mary Anning. 

Read Stone Girl Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt and Sheila Moxley

 

Go on a virtual tour of the Natural History Museum to look at the dinosaur bones

Mr Gumpy’s Outing

mr gumpy's outing lgeJohn Burningham
Red Fox
Age 3-7

This is a much loved picturebook classic which captures children’s attention and demands to be returned to time and again.  Children learn in the most pleasurable ways about asking politely, the consequences of not listening, forgiveness and being together. Children will also discover a variety of language, a predictable structure and pictures which help tell the story.

 

 

 

lovemybooksactivitiesorangecentre

Share the storymr gumpyb

Picture talk
Talk about the cover picture, naming the animals and thinking what it might be like to be on the boat.  Open the cover and talk about where the story takes place. Can children see any of the characters from the boat? Then turn to the first page and introduce Mr Gumpy. What can children tell about him from the picture?

Read aloud
Read the story aloud, taking time to talk together about the pictures as you do. Encourage children to imagine what might happen next and turn the page to see if their predictions were right. What do they expect Mr Gumpy to say and do when the boat tips up?

Join in
Read the story again (and again!), this time leaving spaces for children to join in with the repeated phrases. It will be fun for them to remember and chant, in order, the animals and their actions that make the boat tip over.

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, turning the pages and using the pictures to help them.

Watch the story read aloud

From Storytime with Nana

Things to make and do

Storyplay
Children can use animal and people toys for characters to act out the story. It’s a really good way for them to get to know the story well and helps to build their confidence with books.

Make a map
On a sheet of paper children can draw Mr Gumpy’s journey down the river to show each stop he makes to let the characters board his boat, using colouring pencils similar to drawings in the book. Children can use their map to help tell the story.

Act it out
Cut out a boat shape from a piece of cardboard for children to stand on. With a broom handle and a hat, children can pretend to be Mr Gumpy taking his friends for a boat ride. Animal toys can be collected into the boat, in turn.

Make a paper boat
You can use the instructions from a website below and make a paper boat to float in the sink, bath or a puddle. Children can see how many toy animals they can add before the boat tips up!

How to make an origami paper boat

Another way of making a paper boat

Find out more

Read more books by John Burningham, titles include:

Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car

Come away from the water, Shirley

*Avocado Baby
* Granpa

*Oi, Get Off My Train!*

Would You Rather…

The Shopping Basket

* See more lovemybooks ideas

Oi! Get off our Train

oi get off coverJohn Burningham
Red Fox
Age 3-7

This is the story of a boy who, in his dreams, becomes the engine driver of his toy train. On his travels he encounters several animals who want to join the train, and have very strong reasons for doing so.The repeating pattern of this story makes it easy for developing readers to join in with the reading. Although a simple story, the book explores the important environmental theme of endangered animals, giving readers lots to think about and discuss.

lovemybooksactivitiesorangecentre

Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud pausing to talk about the pictures and what is happening when your child wants to.

Join in
As you re read the story children will enjoy joining in with the repeated refrain ‘Oi! Get off our train!’

Talking about the story
Talk about the different places the train goes to and what the boy and the animals do when they get there. Where would your child like to go if they were on the train? Talk about the different animals in the story and why they want to join the train. Do they have good reasons?

Things to make and do

Story play
Put some boxes or chairs in a row to be a train. Your child can choose some toy animals to be the passengers and then be the engine driver themselves.  Will the engine driver let the animals on the train? How will they persuade the driver?
If your child has a toy train or suitable construction set  and small  figures they can use these to tell the story.

Make a junk model train
Collect some small cardboard boxes and tubes and stick them together with glue or tape to make a toy train together. You could cover with small pieces of glued paper and paint as well.

Draw  a  picture
Give your child a long piece of paper and crayons to draw a picture of the train with all the animals. Encourage your child to tell you about the picture and where the animals are going.

Have an outing!
Plan a journey by train or find somewhere to safely watch trains for example from a nearby railway bridge or at a station.


Find out more

Read more books by John Burningham, titles include:

Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car
Come away from the water, Shirley
* Avocado Baby*
* Granpa*
*
Mr Gumpy’s Outing
Would You Rather…
The Shopping Basket

* See more lovemybooks ideas

Find out more about an animal from the story
Choose one of the animals in the story to find out about together using the internet or information books. Encourage your child to make a poster about them with a drawing and one or two facts you have found together. Children beginning to write can have a go at writing themselves or you can scribe for them.

Find out more about steam trains
Steam trains are not seen very often nowadays. Watch film clips of steam trains like this one  and talk about what’s different about trains today.