Where my feet go?

posted in: Birgitta Sif | 2

wheremyfeetgofrontcoverA joyous celebration of a child’s imaginative, intrepid and open-hearted take on the world, Where My Feet Go by Birgitta Sif (@birgittasif) follows one young panda recounting what they’ve been up to that day.

From exploring outside and playing in the sandpit to using their parent as a climbing frame before bedtime, we read and hear that Panda has had a very happy day getting up to all sorts of adventures, traversing jungles and even meeting with dinosaurs. Yet the illustrations show a slightly different story, one apparently much more like a normal day that anybody might experience, involving puddles, sticks and feeding the birds. This funny mismatch between words and images is bound to create conversations and spark listeners’ own re-imaginings of the world around them.

Whimsical, upbeat and wide-eyed, Panda (who could be either a boy or a girl, for the gender is never mentioned, opening out this heartwarming story so really anyone can identify with Panda) reminds me a little of Charlie’s Lola. Sif’s subdued palette and the natural story arc heading for bedtime make this a calm, relaxing and uplifting read about a child’s ability to think big and embrace adventure, reminding us adults to open our eyes to the joy and delights we might otherwise overlook in the everyday world around us.

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Inspired by Panda’s adventurous feet we decided we’d try making plaster of paris casts of our footprints. I made a batch of playdough which, when cooled, the kids stepped into:

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(If you’ve never made homemade playdough before it’s super easy. For this activity we used 4 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 8 tablespoons of Cream of Tarter, 4 tablespoons of oil and 4 cups of boiling water, mixed all together over a low heat on the hob, until the ingredients combined and came away from the edge of the pan without sticking to our fingers when we touched it.)

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In an old icecream tub we mixed up some plaster of paris as per the instructions on the packet and then poured the thick gloop into the impressions left by the kids’ feet in the playdough.

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After a couple of hours the “feet” were dry enough to be taken out of their moulds. The playdough is perfectly fine to re-use to make more casts – we reused ours 4 times and it was still good for more play.

We left or “feet” to dry out completely for a couple of days before painting and decorating them.

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Now (perhaps slightly channelling Hans Solo given all the Star Wars stuff that is in the air at the moment), J’s feet are of on an adventure of their own…

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Whilst making our footprints we listened to:

  • Dirty Feet by Bobs & Lolo
  • Foot Stomping by The Flares
  • 500 miles by The Proclaimers – it’s all about walking! My very favourite cover of this classic is the crazy accordion fuelled version by Billy McIntyre and his All Star Ceilidh Band (you can hear a sample here)


  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading Where My Feet Go include:

  • Personalizing a pair of wellies. Nail varnish (!) and acrylic paint both work pretty well on welly rubber/plastic. Here’s an example on the Royal Horticultural Society’s blog.
  • Updating your dressing-up box with a few new (old) pairs of shoes. There’s nothing like experiencing what it’s like to be someone else when you literally put your feet into their shoes. Charity shops, jumble sales, old relatives, older siblings/cousins are all good sources of shoes for dressing up in.
  • Making a paper plate frog inspired by Little Panda’s green friend. Danielle’s Place has several different ideas you could try.
  • Reading Where my Wellies Take Me by Michael Morpurgo, Clare Morpurgo and Olivia Lomenech Gill.


  • If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:

  • Learning about fish who evolved feet with One Smart Fish by Chris Wormell
  • The Birthday Cake Mystery by Thé Tjong-Khing and how we painted our patio with our feet
  • Books to encourage family adventures outdoors
  • feetextensions

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    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

    2 Responses

    1. I love the sound of this book and the way that the illustrations depict elements that are not referred to in the text, it adds an extra dimension to the story. I was reminded of the Emily Brown stories when I read your review.
      Catherine @ Story Snug recently posted..A Book Cake For A New Baby

      • Thanks Catherine, yes kids will have such fun pointing out how the text and images tell very different stories – it’s such fun. Off to root out my Emily Brown stories now 🙂
        Zoe recently posted..Where my feet go?

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