Skip to content

The Comet

Joe Todd Stanton
Flying Eye Books

Nyla is a creative child who loves drawing and enjoys her  life in the countryside. She lives with her dad, and they spend lots of time playing and cooking together, making up stories and watching the night sky.

Everything changes when they have to move to the city. Dad has no time to play with her, the buildings are grey, the streets are busy, her school is strange and there are very few stars in the night sky. Then one night Nyla spots a comet, sparking her imagination, memories and lots of creative activity.

This is a story told through minimal text and wonderful illustrations about the challenges of moving house and from one way of life to another. We see Nyla and her father making a new house into a home and becoming part of the community. A beautiful picturebook full of imagination, creativity and a sprinkling of magic.


Share the story

Talk about the book – there is so much to talk about in the illustrations and story, here are a few starting points you could choose.

Talk about Nyla’s feelings at different points in the story, including what was different about her life in the countryside and in her new home.

Share your favourite illustrations and talk about why you like them

Share any puzzles; for example, your child may wonder why there is no mum in the story – you could speculate about this together and also discuss whether Nyla really chases a comet across the roof tops.

Talk about the image of Nyla and her dad in their new tower block and the neighbours they meet there. See if you can both spot which is Nyla and her dad’s flat?

Talk about what your child would tell someone else about this book.

Things to make and do

Create sound effects
Create sound effects for the pages where Nyla sees the comet and chases it across the sky as it magically grows.

You and your child could experiment to find ways to make different sounds for example with your voices or everyday objects such as keys. Alternatively you could make dried pasta shakers or use musical instruments if you have them.  

Be a star gazer
If possible, have a look at the sky at night. Talk about what you can see.

Be an artist like Nyla
Give your child a large piece of paper and paints so that they can paint their own wonderful night sky picture with hundreds of stars and maybe a comet streaking across the sky. They could start with a midnight blue background and when it’s dry spatter white paint or ink for the stars. If you don’t have paints children could use crayons or felt pens.

Make a mural
Although you are unlikely to want to encourage your child to paint a mural on the walls like Nyla does (!) you might be able to get hold of a roll of lining wallpaper so that they could draw or paint a large design, perhaps based on plants or flowers like Nyla does. You could tape it to a wall or door when finished.

Write a diary
Give your child a small, folded book so that they can imagine they are Nyla and write her diary for one day in the story – perhaps when they move to the city or at the end of the book when they meet their neighbours

Find out More

Read more books by Joe Todd Stanton

Titles include:
Arthur and the Golden Rope
The Secret of Black Rock 
Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx 
A Mouse Called Julian 

Find out more about comets Hubble telescope spots ‘biggest ever’ comet – CBBC Newsround

What is the difference between a meteor, a meteorite, an asteroid and a comet? – CBBC Newsround

Read Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System
Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System a book by Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chelen Ecija. (