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In the Dark, Dark Wood

in a dark dark woodJessica Souhami             
Frances Lincoln
Age 3-5 years

This enjoyable picture book captures young children’s attention and demands participation throughout. Written and illustrated by Jessica Souhami, this is a scary folk tale where children can turn the pages, open the flaps and join in with the scary sounds. It all adds to the suspense and excitement. Children discover the humour and drama in the story, and how to explore pictures to tell more of the tale.




Share the story

Spend time talking together about the cover picture, what children notice, what the story might be about and where it might take place.

Read aloud
Read the story aloud, taking time to talk together about the pictures as you do. Encourage children to open the flaps and read them aloud together. 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.

Join in
Read the story again (and again!), this time leaving spaces for children to join in with the repeated phrases and sounds. It will be fun for them to try to scare you with their scary voices!

Tell the story
After hearing the story a few times, children will get to know it well. Encourage them tell it to you in their own words, perhaps using some words or phrases from the story, and using the pictures to help them.

Things to make and do

Act the story
Use a small sheet with eye hole for children to be a ghost and hide in different parts of the house, telling the story as they move from place to place. You can chase them!

Make a flap book
Children can make their own lift-the-flap book to find where the ghost is hiding. For example:

Hoo Haa. Is she behind the door?   Nooooo!

Hoo Haa. Is he under the bed?      Nooooo!

Hoo Haa. Is she inside the box?    Yesssss!

Find out more

Read more books by Jessica Souhami, titles include:

Baba Yaga

The Leopard’s Drum

Old MacDonald

* No Dinner!

Rama and the Demon King


The Strongest Boy in the World

* See more lovemybooks ideas