Great reads for World Book Day

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By Helen Watts – Editor, Literacy Time PLUS and Rebecca Wallis – Assistant Editor, Literacy Time PLUS

World Book Day is the biggest annual celebration of books and reading in the UK and Ireland. To help you join in the fun, the Literacy Time PLUS team has chosen five great reads for you to share with your children – books that lend themselves particularly well to discussion and classroom activities.


How the Whale Became and other stories

Ted Hughes

(Frances Lincoln, 978 18450 79284)

If you are looking for a story to read aloud to the children, you could start with any one of the eleven animal creation stories in this classic, witty and lyrical collection by Ted Hughes. Who would have thought that the first whale grew in a vegetable patch from a small black bean, or that the hare has such wild, shiny eyes, immense speed and leap, and long ears because it once fell in love with the Moon? The magic of such enchanting tales is captured perfectly in Jackie Morris’ beautiful illustrations.

Activity ideas

  • How many more creation tales can you find – or examples of the same story told in different countries?
  • Pick an animal and think up a funny creation story for it. For example, How did the robin get its red breast? Why are fish said to be so forgetful?
  • Collect common sayings or similes featuring animals and their features – for example ‘As strong as an ox’, ‘Sly as an old fox’.
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