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The Journey Home

Frann Preston Gannon
Pavilion Children’s Books
Age 3-7

A polar bear realises his world is changing, the ice is disappearing and he can’t find food. He sets off in a small boat and on the way meets three more animals, all with big problems. A panda and an Orang-utan whose homes are also disappearing and a frightened elephant hiding from the hunters who want his tusks. They travel together in a small boat until they come to an island where a dodo lives.  Will they ever be able to go back to their homes?

This is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book which will give you the opportunity to talk  with your child about the plight of endangered animals.


Share the story

Read aloud
Before starting to read the book look at the cover illustration together. Talk about the animals you can see and what this story might be about.

Read the story aloud to your child pausing to talk about what is happening in the story and the pictures as you do.

Joining in

As you re read the story show, with your finger, how the words are shaped around some of the illustrations. Children might like join in with some of the story – eg what the animals say (it doesn’t matter if their words do not exactly match those in the book).

Talk about the story

Look again at one of the illustrations of all the animals in the boat together. What might they be thinking? How do we know how they might be feeling?

Did anything puzzle them about this story? Children might wonder about the dodo (see link below)

What would children like to happen after the story ends?

Things to make and do

Go outside and look at clouds together
What shapes can you see? Make a picture of shapes in the clouds using white paint or chalk on blue or grey paper.

Play the story
Use a box or tub as the boat and soft toys as the animals. Act out the story and as each animal joins maybe they could tell a bit more of their story about what happened to them

Draw the next scene of the story
What would children like to happen next? They could draw a next double page showing what the animals do.

Make a poster
Children might like to choose one animal and make a poster eg ‘Save the Panda!’


Find out more

Read more books by Frann Preston-Gannon and find out more about the author 

Titles include:

Dinosaur Farm

Sloth Slept on

Pepper and Poe

Dave’s Cave

Find out about the dodo

Watch a video about animals which are in danger of extinction