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Gloria’s Porridge


Elizabeth Laird, illus. Toby Newsome
Tiny Owl
Age 3-5

When Gloria makes a bowl of porridge her cat wants some, but Gloria doesn’t want to share. This leads to a chain of events upsetting not only the cat, but also a donkey, a hive of bees, a hen and Gloria herself. Fox hears the rumpus and helps them sort out the problem. An engaging picturebook based on a traditional Ethiopian folk tale.

Watch a trailer



Share the story

Read aloud
Before you start reading the story look at the cover image together and talk about who is going to be in this story and what might happen.

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

Join in
When children become familiar with the story, they can join in with parts of it – they might like to be Gloria, the cat or the fox for example. Or they could join in with the sound effects and follow the bees buzzing with a finger.

Talk about the book

  • Does the story remind your child of any other stories? Children might mention another story with porridge in for example Goldilocks and the Three Bears or The Magic Porridge Pot

  • Talk about what the cat might have said to Gloria to explain why he ate the porridge.

  • What would your child say to Gloria about what she could have done differently at the beginning of the story?

Things to make and do

Tell the story
Children could use the illustrations to help them tell the story in their own words. It doesn’t matter if their version is slightly different, they can make it their own just like all storytellers do.

Play the story
Using soft toys and a few props such as a bowl for a porridge pot and a wooden spoon you could act out the story with your child, don’t forget to include the fox who sorts out the problem.

Make some porridge
Make porridge together, talking about what you are doing – stirring the milk or water into the oats, getting the texture just right so it is not too thick too sticky. Spoon it equally between two bowls so you can both have a share and talk abut the taste together.  

Make a card
Make a card from Gloria to the cat to say sorry for not sharing or from the cat to Gloria to say sorry  for eating her porridge

Find out more

Visit publisher Tiny Owl’s website for more resources and activities and a downloadable poster based on the story Gloria’s Porridge – Tiny Owl

Elizabeth Laird – Award winning children’s author

Have a look at Elizabeth Laird’s collection of Ethiopian Folk Tales Ethiopian Folktales

Read another book for young children by Elizabeth Laird

Grobblechops with Jenny Luncander

Beautiful Bananas with Liz Pichon

Find out more about illustrator Toby Newsome toby newsome | illustration | main gallery