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So Much

so muchTrish Cooke, Helen Oxenbury (illus)
Walker Books
Age 3-5

This delightful picture book captures the warmth of family life and a significant family event in a young child’s life. There’s a birthday party and lots of excitement but also lots of waiting for the big event to happen. This highly patterned story features some authentic Caribbean language patterns, adding variety, interest and extra enjoyment.



Share the story

Talk about the cover
Talk about the front cover together. What do children notice?

Read aloud
Reading the story expressively will help convey the different moods: the excitement of a guest arriving and the waiting in between.

Join in
As you read and reread the book, encourage children to join in where they can. Perhaps they can begin by chiming in with, “Ding dong!”. By rereading the book together, children will become more familiar with the story and join in with more of the reading.

Retell the story
Using the pictures, encourage children to retell the story in their own words. Start them off by telling the story yourself, using the pictures on the first few pages.

Talk about the story
There’s a lot to talk about in both the story and illustrations. You can talk together about your own family celebrations.

Things to make and do

Make a birthday card
Make a birthday card for a family member, friend or toy by folding a sheet of paper or card in two, decorating the front, and writing a greeting inside.

Make a birthday party invitation
Make an invitation for a real or pretend birthday party with the family, friends or toys, giving information about time and place, with pictures.

Draw a portrait
Draw a portrait or picture of a family member from real life, a photo or memory.
Children could draw a collection and make a little folded paper book.

Have a birthday tea party
Have a pretend birthday tea party with favourite toys as guests.

Learn a bedtime rhyme
You can learn a bedtime rhyme together, using a favourite book of rhymes or see here.

Find out more

Other books by the author Trish Cooke:

Full, Full of Love

Mr Pam Pam and the Hullabazoo

How Anansi Got His Stories

When I Grow Bigger

Look Back!

The Grandad Tree

Other books by the illustrator Helen Oxenbury:

Tickle Tickle

It’s My Birthday

All Fall Down

* We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

There’s Going to be a Baby

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

* Farmer Duck

* See lovemybooks ideas