James Sellick, illus. Frann Preston-Gannon
Wren and Rook
This book is based on a very popular cartoon film from Greenpeace. It begins with a foreword from Emma Thompson. The back of the book includes additional information and photographic images about orangutans and the problem with palm oil. There is also guidance on how to join the campaign by raising awareness and writing to big companies.
Combining fact and fiction in an attractively illustrated format this book would be a brilliant introduction to a topic on rainforests or endangered animals for children aged over 5. The rhyming text and beautiful illustrations help to make it a book to talk about and enjoy reading again and again.
Watch the Greenpeace cartoon on which the book is based
Read the story aloud
Before you start reading look closely at the end papers together – and talk about what you see. You might decide to read the story first and return to the foreword later. When you read the story, pause when the little girl asks why Rang-Tan was in her bedroom to talk about the story so far. Then read Rang- tan’s response. After this you could decide whether to go straight onto the additional information straight away or return to that another time.
When you share the book again your child might like to join in with the chorus. If you pause at the end of lines, they can join in by adding the rhyming words.
Talk about the story
Talk about how the little girl felt when she found a Rang-tan in her bedroom and then later how she felt when she heard Rang tan’s story.
Talk about what you both found interesting, or surprising in the book. What would your child tell someone else about the story or about what is happening to Orangutans?
If your child shows interest in getting involved in the campaign look at the ideas in the back of the book and talk about ways they could help, or perhaps how you could all help as a family.
Things to make and do
Paint a picture
Give your child a large sheet of paper (eg wallpaper lining paper) to paint or draw a big, colourful picture of a family of orangutans in a rainforest.
Be an investigator
Look at products in your house eg shampoo or shower gel – do they contain palm oil?
Learn to use an atlas
Use an atlas or globe or a world map online and try to find the countries where Orangutans live. (Borneo and Sumatra).
Make a book
Make an info book about orangutans. You could talk together about what to include and children could
write a different fact on each page about what they know or find out about Orangutans, where they live, what they eat and the threat they face.
Join the campaign
Write a letter or make a poster – there are suggestions for how to go about this at the back of the book.
Find out more
Find out more about orangutans
Start with the information at the back of the book. Here are two weblinks if your child would like too find out more:
Find out more about the book’s creators
James Sellick is a storyteller based in London. Frann Preston-Gannon has written and illustrated many books for children including these with activity pages on Lovemybooks: