World Book Day (here in the UK) falls on March 6th this year and in the run up to this delicious day I’m hoping to get the kids at my local infant school buzzing with excitement about the authors and illustrators who feature on this year’s list of World Book Day books. The idea is that if we’ve had fun in school and read lots of books by the same authors and illustrators, the children will be even more excited when it comes to choosing their World Book Day book by authors and illustrators they recognise.
One of the books children will be able to choose is a new book by Emily Gravett, Little Book Day Parade and so today I’m sharing my ideas and the (free) resources I’ve discovered to go with Emily Gravett’s brilliant range of books.
First some general Emily Gravett resources, before moving on to book specific ones.
A 12 minute video interview with Emily, giving an overview of her books, including about differences between UK and US versions of her books, her influences, why she normally only illustrates books she’s written herself, the role of collage in her work, her family background, her favourite book as a child, background stories to the creation of Wolves and Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. Towards the end of the video Emily reads Monkey and Me in its entirety. If you just want to use clips from this video, they are usefully cut up and shared here.
A lovely video of lots of images from Emily’s books, to a soothing soundtrack. You could use this to play “spot the book we’ve read together”. Kids can see how many books they recognise. Alternatively, use it as an introduction, and find out which pictures the kids liked best and start with those books in your class exploration of Emily Gravett books.
Introduce kids to the idea of research in the school/public library (rather than online). Set them the task of finding books about wolves, and adding further facts to those read by the rabbit in the book
Create a library roll play area. Twinkl and Sparklebox both have printable resources for this, here and here. You might also like this library role play areas from Imagination Tree.
A short video of Emily talking about why she made Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears and what she enjoyed most about making this book.
Enable the children to create their own lift-the-flap book of fears. Fold A4 paper in half, and use an envelope to create the flap (stick the envelope flap to the paper page, so the front of the envelope is facing you). Underneath the envelope flap children can draw or write their fears. Alternatively, turn everything on its head and make a book of things which don’t frighten you. Each child could contribute a page or two to a class book of fears (or things which don’t frighten them).
Play balancing games with plastic fruit. How high can you build your tower of fruit? This would be especially fun if you dressed up as a bear 😉
Have an orange and apple tasting party. Depending on the time of year you could have a variety of different oranges or apples, and talk about the different colours, textures and tastes. Some apples are almost orange!
This book is available in several different formats including picture book, board book and ebook. With older children you could explore what differences these different formats take, and what advantages each of these different formats has.
This book is a great resource to use to make it fun to practise nonwords of the type children might experience at the end of Year 1 phonics test in the UK (the phonics screening check). You could take Gravett’s split pages with nonsense words to inspire the kids to create their own non-word generators.
Play with wool – give the kids a ball or two of brightly coloured wool/yarn and let them wrap it around some classroom furniture or a bench or tree in the playground, to create a modern art installation! Alternatively make yarn/wool balloons with glue. This will take longer, but at least the kids will end up with something they can take home.
Play with boxes. Snaffle the largest cardboard boxes you can eg from a white goods store, and let the kids turn them into dens / houses / tunnels. For some inspiration take a look at this post from Let the Children Play.
Mimic Gravett’s illustrations by providing children with images of “scary” animals and letting them add grafitti/collage/paint/masking tape to make the animals safer/ less frightening. Kids love drawing moustaches on people in newspaper photos and this activity takes it a step further.
Create new monster animals by tearing up images of animals and then letting the children rearrange them so, for example the head of one animal is stuck on the body of another animal.
Give the children post it notes and let them make lists of things which scare them, and things which make them feel safe.
Sensory play with toothpaste – allow the children to “draw” by squeezing out toothpast. You could include plastic animals and toothbrushes and get the kids to brush the animals’ teeth. Sensory play with a tub of jelly would also work well.
Role play circus activities. Sparklebox has lots of free circus themed downloads , and you could include a dressing up box with clown costumes (think silly hats, wigs, glasses), or tutus, a top hat for the ringmaster and so on. Silk scarves for juggling and mini stilts would be great additions if you have the space.
Emily Gravett is just one of this year’s World Book Day authors/illustrators.
These are the World Book Day books by the authors and illustrators we’ll be focussing on (i.e. the ones most appropriate for an infant school, though there are more books for older children and apps for teenagers).