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The Way Back Home

the way back homeOliver Jeffers
Harper Collins             
Age 5-7

An adventurous boy finds a small aeroplane in a cupboard and immediately flies it, higher and higher until he runs out of petrol and is stranded; on the moon! Coincidentally, a Martian whose space ship has broken down, lands on the moon as well. Can they help each other so that they can both make their way back home? The Way Back Home is a delightfully illustrated story about friendship, working together and having lots in common despite being different.

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Share the story

Read aloud
Before you start reading  look at the cover together and talk about what the story might be about. As you read the story aloud pause if your child wants to look at the pictures and talk about what is happening.

Talk about the story
Read the story again and allow time to talk about it some more. You might talk about:

How the boy gets ready to fly the plane

How the he might feel when he is stranded on the moon

How the alien feels when the boy forgets to go back

After the story ends, what might happen next

Watch the story
Watch the story being read aloud here.

Things to make and do

Make puppets
Help your child to make finger puppets of the martian and the boy out of felt or other fabric. Alternatively you could use small cardboard tubes decorated with coloured paper, paint or fabric to make mini figures.

Play the story
Act out parts of the story with the puppets you have made together or find a hat, gloves and goggles or similar for your child to dress up in and pretend to be flying a plane like the boy in the story; extra props such as a sink plunger joy stick would be fun.

Role play a conversation. Pretend to be the boy and the Martian having a conversation when they meet on the moon.

Write a letter
Children could write an imaginary letter from the boy to the Martian  about what he has been doing on Earth.

Make a mobile
Using thick card from a cardboard box cut out a large crescent moon shape or your child to paint or decorate. Make a simple plane from two pieces of card slotted together and a spaceship, perhaps from a plastic tub. Suspend  these from a metal coat hangar to make  a  story mobile. You could add the two figures and some stars as well.  
Find out more

Read more about books by Oliver Jeffers here, titles include:

How to Catch a Star

The Heart and the Bottle

The Day the Crayons Quit

* Lost and Found

The Moose belongs to Me

* See more lovemybooks ideas

Find an animated and interactive introduction to Oliver Jeffers characters and the settings of some of
his stories here.