This story is about a little girl, totally absorbed drawing and painting animals when mum calls her for lunch. She sits at the table but refuses to eat anything. Suddenly three animals appear: a crocodile, a bear and a wolf; the very same animals she had been drawing but life size… and alive! They seem very interested in her lunch and in no time at all have gobbled it all up. Later that day she has a very hungry tummy and when it is dinner time eats all her food up speedily before any animals snatch it.
A simple, endearing and magical story which taps into a familiar problem for parents and children, the difficulty of tearing yourself away from games and activities to fit in with mealtimes.
Share the story
Before you start reading the story together talk about the cover, and talk together about what you both see in the picture and what might happen in the story. Read the story aloud to your child pausing to talk about what is happening in the story and the pictures as you do.
As you re read the story children will enjoy joining in, perhaps as the different characters.
Talk about the story
Talk together about the little girl’s feelings about mealtime at the beginning of the story and at the end. What made her change?
How might her Mummy feel?
What is your favourite bit of the story?
Were there any surprises?
What is the little girl having for lunch and dinner? What is your favourite lunch or dinner?
Things to make and do
Tell the story
Children could set a table for lunch or dinnertime, use soft toys as the animals and tell the story. This would be more fun if you join in too.
Draw, cut and stick
Children could draw or paint some animals like the little girl in the story and cut them out to stick in a little book like she does. They could compose captions about the animal and what they like eating eg The wolf likes apples
Draw lunch on plate
On a paper plate or a circle drawn on paper children could draw or cut and stick their favourite lunch or dinner.
Make a shadow picture
On the title page the little girl is shown making a shadow picture on the wall have a go at doing this together – see here.
Find out more
Find out more about Rebecca Cobb here
The Paperdolls (written by Julia Donaldson)
Read another story about a reluctant eater
I will not ever, never eat a tomato by Lauren Child
Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French and Alison Bartlett