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.
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 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?
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