The Singing Mermaid

the singing mermaidWhen we first introduced this book to the grade twos the boys took one look at the cover and rolled their eyes.  However, two pages in and they were hooked!

The story begins with the beautiful mermaid singing to all of her friends in Silversands Bay.  One day she is heard by a Circus owner (Sam Sly) who lures her away with promises of a marble pool and the chance to sleep in a feather bed.  Her friends try to warn her that he is lying but she goes anyway.   Despite making new friends at the circus, she is desperately unhappy because she is kept in a small fish tank with no room to swim.  She longs to return to her home, but how can she possibly get there when she has no legs to carry her?

The solution to this problem is just gorgeous.  I’m not going to tell you what happens, you will have to read the book.

After reading the story we created our own mermaids using sparkly sequins for her tail.  They look amazing……

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What the Ladybird Heard

what the ladybird heardWe are loving all of the fabulous books by Julia Donaldson and ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ is no exception.  This humorous, rhyming tale is the story of a silent ladybird living amongst a noisy cohort of farm animals.  She is almost overlooked until she witnesses Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh attempting to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow.  A plot ensues, hatched by the ladybird herself, to confuse and fool the thieves and put a stop to their dastardly plans!  The grade twos loved the animal noises and being able to find the glittery ladybird on each page.  It is a thoroughly engaging book which is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of all who read it.

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Julia Donaldson on Strip Design

Strip DesignStrip Design is a very creative app that can be used in a number of ways.  It is essentially a comic editor but is also a wonderful visual way for kids to create and demonstrate learning.  Strip Design allows children to describe, compare, explain, organise thoughts, design and implement ideas.

Today we saved some images from the internet to create a collection of our favourite Julia Donaldson books.  What do you think……

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Tiddler: The Story-Telling Fish

tiddlerTiddler is another gem of a book by the marvellous duo of Donaldson and Sheffler.  It captured the  imagination of our grade twos and had them wanting more.

Tiddler is a little fish who likes to tell big tales.  Every day he arrives late for school and every day he has an elaborate excuse for his tardiness.  These tales involve octopuses, shipwrecks and turtles and the stories spread like wildfire from one fish to another and another.  One day, Tiddler is on his way to school when he is so distracted by his daydreaming that he gets caught up in the net of a fishing boat.  He eventually gets thrown back in the water and finds his way back to school when he hears some anchovies talking about one of his stories.  He tracks the story back home and arrives at school just as everyone else is leaving.  Tiddler explains what happened and of course not everyone believes him, but still his story spreads until it is told to a writer, which is how the book is written.

This is a book which celebrates the power of storytelling.  It would be great inspiration for a creative or imaginative writing session.

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Stick Man


This week we shared the wonderful ‘Stick Man’ with the grade twos.  Julia Donaldson takes us through the epic journey of Stick Man who is taken away from his Stick Lady Love and Stick children Three.  We follow Stick Man through the realities and dangers of being a ‘stick’ as he longs to get back home to his family tree.  He is used by a dog to play fetch, used as an arm for a snowman and even ends up in a fireplace!  Surprisingly, he is saved by Santa and is reunited with his family in time for Christmas.

Well done Julia Donaldson.  Another great book to add to our favourites list.

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The Snail and the Whale

snail on a whale

A snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on a whale’s tail.  Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the snail feels very small in the vastness of the world.  But when the whale is beached in a bay, it’s the tiny snail who saves the day.

This is such an engaging story with a powerful message.  It tells us that no matter how small or insignificant a person may think they are, a little bit of effort and determination can make anything possible.

After sharing the story we created our own whale using paper cut outs.  See if you can spot the snail on the whale’s tail…..

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Introducing Julia Donaldson…….

Today we began our author study of Julia Donaldson. Julia is the outrageously talented, prize winning author of some of the world’s best loved children’s books. Her first picture book, A Squash and a Squeeze, was published over twenty years ago, and since then she has written over 160 books. We are lucky to have a number of her books in our library. We look forward to sharing some of those with you over the next 10 weeks.
We kicked off our author study with one of Julia Donaldson’s most loved picture story books, The Gruffalo……

The Gruffalo is about a cheeky and confident little mouse who defends himself from an array of predators, whilst walking through ‘a deep, dark wood’. He defends himself through words rather than violence. He does this by outsmarting the naive predators by claiming that he is about to meet a ‘Gruffalo’, a mythical beast. The mouse frightens the predators by giving them vivid descriptions of the beast – ironically, the mouse does meet the ‘Gruffalo’ and outwits him too.
Although most of us were already familiar with this story, it was just as enjoyable the second (and in some cases, third and fourth) time around.
After sharing the story we began to create our own ‘Gruffalo’. There are a number of processes involved in this activity and we didn’t get through them all today. We look forward to sharing the finished project with you next week.
Here we are busy cutting out our Gruffalos….


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