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The Littlest Yak

The Littlest Yak                                                          
Lu Fraser, ill. Kate Hindley
Simon and Schuster
Age 3-5

Gertie lives on top of a mountain with her herd of yaks, where she is very good at gripping onto the steep mountain sides. However, Gertie isn’t happy, she is the littlest yak in her herd and just can’t wait to be big.

One day Gertie finds her ‘smallness’ comes in useful when she is asked to rescue an even teenier yak stuck on a narrow ledge. Gertie bravely saves the day and finds out that you can have ‘bigness’ inside even if you are small on the outside.

An appealing, rhyming story with delightful illustrations about not being in too much of a hurry to grow up that shows that sometimes being small can have its advantages.   

Click here to watch the story read aloud


Share the story

Read Aloud
Read the story aloud to your child.

Join in
When your child is familiar with the story encourage them to join in – perhaps with the rhyming words or the dialogue..’

Talk about the book
▪︎Talk about Gertie and how she feels at the beginning and end of the story.
▪︎ Share your favourite illustrations
▪︎ See if anything puzzles your child, for example the idea that you can have ‘bigness’ inside if you are small on the outside.

Things to make and do

There are lots of size words in the story – big, bigger, biggest, huge, humungous, tall, small, little, littlest, teeniest. Use these words when you are chatting with your child indoors or out and about.

▪︎ You could collect together some soft toys or figurines and organise them in size order. Which is the teeniest/tiniest? Which is the biggest? Can you find something huge?

▪︎ Collect together photos of your child as a baby, toddler and at different ages. Talk about what they could do when they were little and what they can do now. Talk about what they will be able to do, or would like to do, when they are older and bigger. You could also have pictures of yourself when you were a baby and child and do the same thing.

▪︎ Make a model yak – use a cardboard tube perhaps stuffed with paper. Glue thick light coloured wool or curls of paper on its back. Cut a head from a piece of card or felt and stick it on….

▪︎ Make a mountainous home for the Littlest yak in an old tray or, if you have it, a builders tray. Use pebbles or small rocks for the mountains. You could make ice together in different shaped containers such as small bowls or cups and fake snow. And twigs and plastic animals to represent the yaks.

Find out More

Read another book by author Lu Fraser:

The Littlest YakThe New Arrival also illustrated by Kate Hindley

One Camel Called Doug illustrated by Sarah Warburton

Find out about yaks – watch the video

Talk about other animals that are similar to yaks such as different cattle or sheep. Using photos or videos of yaks, talk about how they are adapted to their tough environment – thick woollen coat, gripping hooves, strong limbs, hard horns etc. If you can, visit a zoo or children’s farm that have yaks or similar related animals.

Find out more about wool and how it keeps you warm.
Collect together clothes that are made of wool. See how warm they keep you and make you feel. If you can collect some raw wool from a children’s farm or from a country walk, perhaps stuck to a fence by a field (nb wash hands thoroughly after handling the raw wool). Explain to your child how the wool is collected from the yak and sheep, cleaned, dyed and made into woollen strands