Age 3-7 years
When the Meadowsweet family find themselves at the bottom of a deep crack in the earth, they have to depend on Octavia, their talkative mynah bird, and a very unusual seed to rescue them and help them climb back into the world.
With echoes of the beanstalk, this joyfully illustrated fable for our times shows human reliance on the natural world and each other for survival, growth and happiness.
Share the story
Read the story aloud, taking time to talk together about the pictures as you do. Encourage children to imagine what might happen next and turn the page to see if their predictions were right. Talking about the book deepens children’s enjoyment and understanding of the story.
Read the story again, this time leaving spaces for children to join in.
Talk about the story
Read aloud, pausing to talk about the illustrations, and consider how the family could escape. Before turning the page, predict what might happen next.
How do the Meadowsweet family feel at the beginning of the book and how do they feel at the end of the story? What has made a difference?
Talk about the different characters in the story, your favourite and why.
What is the story is about? What do the Meadowsweet family discover is important by the end of the book?