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Whatever Next

whatever nextJill Murphy
Age 3-5

A beautifully illustrated picture book about Baby Bear and his wish to travel to the moon. With one or two props, his teddy, some food for the journey and more than a little imagination he whooshes off on his journey meeting a friendly owl on the way. Children will enjoy returning to this book to re read it and talking about the illustrations. All children will need later is a cardboard box and they will be able to imagine they are off to the moon themselves!


Share the Storybear1

Read aloud

Read the book aloud allowing time for children to enjoy looking at the beautiful black and white and colour illustrations.

Join in
Read the book again allowing children to join in with words they might remember such as WHOOSH! BUMP! Or ‘Whatever next!’

Tell the story
Encourage children to tell the story in their own words using the illustrations to help them. You might find they include some phrases from the story.

Talk about the story
Share your favourite pages and talk about why you like them. Encourage children to ask any questions they might have about the story. You could add one or two questions as well, for example do children think Baby Bear really went to the moon?

Watch the Story

From Graham Smith

Ellie and Miles shared Whatever Next and Lovemybooks ideas for playing the story:

‘We had a lovely time with Whatever Next- first I read the story to Miles, then we read it again with his dad there too and Miles loved telling him what was happening and showing him the animals. The owl went down a storm, it was very popular indeed. We had a good chat about who might live in the holes on the moon and I think he was surprised to find that Baby Bear didn't find anyone there. He thought the picnic was very good indeed, he was very taken with that. I think when we got out the rocket box Miles thought he was actually about to fly up the chimney! 

We talked about imagination and how we could use different things to pretend - we do a lot of duplo and painting but don't play many imaginative games, so it was very helpful to have this prompt. One day we were making paper books and Miles made one inspired by Whatever Next. He told me story and did the pictures, I just transcribed what he said. Mummy Bear and Baby Bear made quite an impression on him!’

Things to Make and Do

Story play
With your help children can imagine they are Baby Bear on his journey to the moon. Find a big cardboard box or plastic storage container for the rocket and gather ‘space boots’ and a helmet, a favourite toy and supplies for the journey. Encourage children to tell you afterwards what they saw on their journey.

Have a moon picnic
Set out a picnic tea on a blanket for your child dressed as Baby Bear on the moon, children can find a few toys to join in.

Make a picture
Give children a large piece of paper and paints or crayons to paint a picture of their journey to the moon.

Find out more

Read more about books by Jill Murphy here

Titles include:

* Peace at Last

Five Minutes Peace

A Quiet Night In

Just One of Those Days 

* See more lovemybooks ideas