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The Marvellous Moon Map

Teresa Heapy, illus. David Litchfield
Red Fox
Age 3-7

Mouse wants to go on an adventure to find the moon. He draws a map and enthusiastically sets off refusing Bear’s offers of help. All is well until the sky turns dark, mouse can’t see his map and the forest becomes quite scary. Then suddenly Bear is there to help and reassure him. But why does Bear decide to make a paper boat? And will they ever find the moon? Maybe not, but Mouse will find other wonders during his journey and discover he has a true friend in Bear. This is a beautifully written story about friendship and adventure with magical illustrations. The refrain makes it easy and fun for children to join in with repeated readings.

 

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Share the story

Read aloud

Look at the cover, read the first page then ponder together about what might happen in this story, how might mouse get to the moon?

Read the next few pages, pausing at the cliff hanger in the forest, what might be hidden there?  Then continue to read the book aloud to the end, talking about what is happening in the story and pictures when your child wants to. There are words in bold and large print to read loudly and emphasise.

Join in
When you reread the story your child might like to join in  with some parts, for example the chorus ‘I’ve got you and you’ve got me’ and the sounds in the forest.

Talk about the story

  • Talk about how mouse and bear feel at different parts of the story.

  • Talk about anything that puzzles children for example, any new words such as ‘marvellous’.

  • Talk about the moon, anything your child knows or would like to find out.

  • Share favourite illustrations and parts of the story and look at these again.

  • Look at all the space books and objects in Mouse’s house.

Claire tells us about sharing The Marvellous Moon Map by Teresa Heapy and illustrated by David Litchfield with her two daughters: ‘My girls are 6 and 3 years old and love going on adventures. Anything from a walk in the woods to a weekend camping at the seaside. This beautifully illustrated book really captured their imaginations. I think what they enjoyed most is the sense of adventure as mouse sets out to find the moon. We’ve read this book a good few times now, it’s fast becoming one of their favorites. I love that they join in with the repeat phrases in the book like “But I’ve got you, and you’ve got me - so we’ll be all right”. As well as the story of mouse and bears’ adventure, this is also a book about friendship. I like to think that my girls are sharing adventures like bear and mouse and building a strong friendship along the way. As well as reading the book, we’ve talked about the ideas in the book like what mouse or bear is feeling at different parts of the story like scared and excited. My eldest was quick to point out that mouse needs a rocket not a map to get to the moon so we talked about this too. We’ve talked about what we’d pack in our backpacks if we were going on an adventure like this and where we’d go. We also used the book to inspire us to create a moon map of our own. My eldest particularly enjoyed this and took great pleasure in using the book for inspiration to draw her own map. We also used the step by step guide at the back of the book to make an origami boat which we floated in a tray of water for a while. My two love creating and also water play so they had a fantastic afternoon inspired by this beautiful book.’

 

Things to make and do

Make a paper boat
There are instructions in the back of the book and the author and illustrator have made a short video showing you how here 

Children might like to try some experiments with the boat, see suggestions below.

Draw a map
Your child might enjoy drawing a magnificent, mighty, most marvellous moon map of their own, if possible on a large sheet of paper. Talk about it together when it is finished.

Pack a bag and go on an adventure
Talk together about what might be needed to go on an adventure. Find a bag eg a rucksack and pack it with some of these things. Perhaps you could go on a real adventure with your supplies in a garden, park or forest. (Making sure you have a map of course!) Children might like to make a mini book about their adventure with drawings and writing – children beginning to write could do this themselves, for younger children you could write down their ideas for them.

Make a soundscape
What did mouse hear in the forest at night? Can you make some night time noises together?  You could use your body or voices or objects such as screwed up paper and twigs. You could make these noises when you reread and get to this point in the story or record your sounds, make the room really dark and play the recording, making sure you are close enough together so children feel safe.

 

Find out more

Find out some facts about the moon and the sun.

  • For an information book about space exploration see On the Moon by Anna Milbourne and Benji Davies see here for our activity ideas on this book

  • Watch a video about the moon together

  • Here are some facts about the moon for older children

Try a science experiment

Do some experiments with floating and sinking by making boats with different types of paper, which floats longest? What happens if you don’t cover the paper with crayon? See here for more floating and sinking experiments.