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The Acorn

the acorn largeEdward Gibbs
Brubaker, Ford & Friends
Age 3-5

A valuable lesson in patience! Little acorn has to fend off all the woodland animals who want to eat it. Acorn promises them that, by leaving it to grow into a mighty oak tree, they will have plenty of acorns to eat year after year. Time passes and, true to his word, the final flap delivers the welcome surprise. A simple, beautifully illustrated, picturebook with an important message and a memorable ending.


Share the story

Read aloud
Before reading the book, encourage children to look at the cover and to talk about what they think is happening. Have they seen an acorn? Do they know what it is? Then read through the story, pausing to talk about the pictures. What would children like to happen in the end?

Join in
As you read reread the book, encourage children to join in where they can. Their confidence and enjoyment will build as you revisit the book together.

Talk about the story
Talk together about which part of the story children like best and why. Why do they think the animals agreed to leave the acorn alone? Have they ever had to wait for something they really want? How does it feel? Was it good to wait

Tell the story
Using the pictures, children can turn the pages and retell the story in their own words.

Things to make and do

Act it out
Children can use animal toys and real or pretend acorns to act out the story and make up their own.

Make an animal colour chart
Using coloured or painted card or paper squares, children can draw and cut out animal shapes from the story and  glue them to a sheet of paper. Then they can label them eg white mouse. Are there any other woodland animals they can add, using more colours?

Plant a seed
Plant an acorn or other seeds in a flowerpot and place on the windowsill to watch it grow.
Keep a diary or calendar of the plant’s growth. Children can draw, describe and measure the height of the plant. When grown, it will be interesting for them to see the plant seed and roots.

Make leaf prints
Collect fallen leaves when out for a walk. Can you find any oak leaves? Using water-based paint and a brush, children can paint  oak leaves, then print them onto a piece of paper. They can use a paper towel to press the leaf onto the paper. Children could try to make a pattern by making several prints.

Find out more

Read more books by  author/illustrator Edward Gibbs here

Titles include:

I Spy on the farm

I Spy under the sea

I Spy with my little eye

I Spy in the Sky


Little Bee

Read other related books:

Hello, Goodbye! by David Lloyd, Louise Voce (illustrator) about life in a tree.

Find out more about Acorns

The life of an acorn filmed by Neil Brumhall