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No Dinner!

no dinnerJessica Souhami
Walker Books
Age 3-7

This is a lively retelling of the traditional Indian story of the Old Woman and the Pumpkin. The dramatic illustrations and graphic use of print inspire children to talk about the story of an old woman who sets off to visit her granddaughter on the other side of the forest. Her journey is a dangerous one and tests her clever plan to outwit the fierce animals she meets along the way.

The strong story pattern and repetition helps children to join confidently with the reading.


Share the storywolf

Read aloud
Read the story aloud, talking together about the pictures as you do. Talking about the book deepens children’s enjoyment and understanding of the story.

Join in

Read the story again and leave spaces for children to join in with the reading.

Tell the story

When children hear the story again and again, they will get to know it so well that they can say it in their own words, using the pictures to help them.  Listen for the ways they use words and phrases from the story. This will help them when they come to read the story for themselves.

Things to make and do

Story play
Children can use animal toys for tiger, bear and wolf 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 animal masks
Using card, coloured pens and string or tape, children can make their own animal masks, cutting holes for eyes, mouth and to tie string to hold them on. They can use their mask to retell the story or to create a new one.

Make stick puppets
Using lolly sticks, coloured pens, glue and card, children can make a stick puppet for each of the characters in the story to act out the story.  This is more fun if you join in, perhaps taking the role of the old lady.

Find out more

Look for other versions of this story at the library, for example The Old Woman and the Pumpkin by Betsy Bang.

Find out more about wildlife here.