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Victoria Turnbull
Frances Lincoln
Age 3-7

Pandora is the story of a lonely young fox who lives by herself on a rubbish dump. She spends her days mending broken things and creating a cosy home for herself from them. One day she sees an injured bird fall to the ground. She cares for it carefully until it is well enough to fly away. In gratitude the bird returns regularly bringing small gifts of seedlings which grow and gradually transform Pandora’s world into a land of living things.

This is a truly beautiful picture book about loneliness, companionship, hope and regeneration. Its creator Victoria Turnbull talks about the book:


Share the story

Read aloud
Pause at the first double page with the image of Pandora. Talk about what you can both see and what you wonder about the character in the centre and where she is.

Read the story aloud making sure to allow time to linger over the beautiful pictures as you do.

Join in
When you share a book more than once you are both likely to notice more in the words and the pictures. Children may like to join in with the reading once they become familiar with the story.

Tell the story
Children could use the illustrations to guide them and tell you the story, in their own words.

Talk about the story

How does Pandora feel at different points in the story? Look back to see what the pictures and the words suggest.

If you tell someone else about this story what would you say it is about?

What would children like to happen after the story ends?

Things to make and do

Role play
You could help your child make a simple stick puppet to represent the little bird. Children could pretend to be Pandora and have imaginary conversations with the bird, as it is getting better, when they are playing and after the bird returns with gifts. This is more fun if you join in too.

Make Pandora’s diary
Children could imagine they are Pandora and write her diary, perhaps for the day she finds the bird, when it flies away and when it returns. A few sheets of A4 paper folded and stapled would make a simple diary which children could then decorate.

Create a cosy nest for the wounded bird
Find a box and fill with twigs, scraps of material. You could go for a walk in a park or wooded area to look out for leaves, seeds, cones or feathers to decorate the nest in the box. Perhaps you could find a ‘wounded’ toy could nestle in the box. Add a ‘do not disturb’ sign.

Make or mend
Collect some broken toys or other broken things together. Are there any you can mend or make into something new? Alternatively you could create something useful, maybe for Pandora’s home out of junk (packaging).

Find out more

Find out more about author illustrator Victoria Turnbull
Her other books are: The Sea Tiger and Kings of the Castle

The author, Victoria Turnbull, was thinking about the story of Pandora’s box and the theme of hope when she wrote this book. See here for a summary of the story of Pandora’s box: