My Little Story Corner

For the love of picture books

Leave a comment

DIY Easter Cone Basket

Cute Bunny or Chick Easter Cone Basket

With Easter and holidays around the corner I know I’m going to plan some activities to keep the kids busy! A trip to the library is also on the agenda (of course!), so the perfect combination of books and crafts should tie us over for the next couple of weeks! Check out my Pinterest Easter board for more ideas.

One essential Easter item on the cards is the trusty basket for all your sugary needs. And yes, there are a zillion different ways to make one… here’s one that is so easy to make, and looks so sweet too!

Materials (to make a bunny):

imageColoured or patterned paper 12″

Sticky tape

Hole punch



Craft glue

Pipe Cleaner

Pom pom

Goggly eyes or black marker


  1. Fold your paper in half diagonally to form two triangles. Cut on the fold.
  2. Face your triangle with the point at the top. Take the left corner, curl under and line up the straight edge to the top right straight edge, ensuring the two corners meet at the top. Tape in place.image
  3. Cut off a small section of the right side of the triangle to use for ears.image
  4. Roll the remaining paper around the cone and tape into place.
  5. Use the hole punch to make two holes, one on either side of the cone. Tie a piece of ribbon to each hole to form a handle.image
  6. Cut out two long ears with your spare paper. Cut your pipe cleaner into six small pieces.image
  7. Arrange the ears, eyes, nose and whiskers in place on the front of the cone to make the bunny. Enjoy your egg hunting! ūüźáimage
  8. Alternatively, make a chick cone basket using a feather and an orange beak.image

Finally, here are some gorgeous Easter books to check out these holidays!



Craft idea adapted from Glue Dots Blog.

Photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).

© My Little Story Corner 2016.



Adelaide’s Secret World: Teaching Notes

Adelaide’s Secret World, Elise Hurst (author, illus.), Allen&Unwin, 2015. ¬†


imageShe lives a solitary existence. A life once full of delight and wonders, now, a world confined in glass jars, hidden within a cloak and a red curtain. The town in which Adelaide lives is bustling with movement, but it seems the townsfolk are simply, and privately, just passing through each day. Longing for a connection, a serendipitous moment finds Adelaide at the door that opens her heart and soul to a whole new world full of possibilities. As she finds her inner calm, it is that very red curtain that once blocked her vision that she courageously uses as the missing link. By connecting the torn thread amongst the townsfolk, those who were once lonely and silent, including Adelaide, have now found a voice, and each other.

imageWith her stunning collection of dreamy oil paintings and evocative words, Elise Hurst takes her readers on a soul-searching journey that touches a little piece of all of us. Feeling lost and isolated is not uncommon, particularly in a world of chaos. But Adelaide reminds us that friendship, humanity and self expression can always be celebrated with a little bit of courage and an open heart. The exquisite mixture of colour, movement, emotion, and poetic softness in both text and illustrations work flawlessly together to evoke feelings of angst, peace, turmoil and calm. Pale yellows and greens in the beginning and end shed light on a world that is safe and comfortable, and becomes brighter even more so as Adelaide’s world is suddenly flooded with energy and an inner peace. The mid-section carries deep greens, blues and greys, signifying this spinning, chaotic whirlwind inside her mind. And throughout the book, pops of red burst with visual warmth, power and imagination.

Adelaide’s Secret World’ is undeniably uplifting and visually rousing, a perfect choice for early primary children to revisit over and over again. This book has potential to win awards and would make a gorgeous film. Highly recommended. ¬†

This review appeared first at Boomerang Books.


Before Reading:

Look at the cover. What do you think this story is about? Why do you think Adelaide lives in a ‘secret world’? What is a secret world?
Read the blurb. What does it tell you about Adelaide’s life? How do you think it changes?
Look at the colours of the endpapers. What do you think the red represents? What might the blue represent?  

During Reading:

Do you think she likes the quiet?
What do you notice in the illustrations?
How might she be feeling at this moment? (Ask over several pages).
Why do you think Adelaide couldn’t talk to the Fox at the door? ¬†

After Reading:

What aspects did Adelaide like and dislike about the quiet stillness?
In the beginning, why do you think Adelaide enjoyed watching the still and quiet ones? What thoughts might she have been telling herself?
What discovery did she make when she peered in to Fox’s world? How did this change her view on herself?
What did she use to connect the creatures? How is this item significant?
What did Adelaide learn about herself and the other creatures? Do you ever feel the same way? What ways can you ‘reach out’ to others you don’t know so well? ¬†



Creative Writing.
Choose an image from the book and describe what’s happening using carefully chosen verbs and adjectives.
For example, “Every night she listened to the hum of the setting sun and the soft pure song of the evening star.” ¬†


Discuss and write your interpretation of the following sentences.
“…the quiet stillness crept into her heart and stayed.”
“…taking a little bit of the world and making it her own.”
“…though her heart called out she could make no sound.”
“…found their voices.”

Vocabulary: Word Study.
Use a dictionary to find and write the meanings of the following words:

These are a few carefully chosen verbs from the story. Find words with similar meanings:

“The rain soaked windows glittered like a jewellery box.”
Discuss and write your own analogy of a wet window / the setting sun / a brooding sky and rising buildings, and so on.

Book Study
Read and discuss the similarities and differences between other books by Elise Hurst.  


Number: Subtraction.
“But there was always something missing.”
Play ‘What’s Missing?’ Number Games and Stories.
Depending on your focus number, write equations and stories with a missing addend.
For example, ‘Adelaide once had 20 paintbrushes, but after 8 of them broke, how many did she have left?’

8 and ___ makes 20 / 8 + ___ = 20.

Use materials to solve the equations.
Download What’s Missing in Adelaide’s World. Draw and write the equations on the red string.
Make your own red string with beads to add and subtract number equations.
Adelaide What's Missing 1 Adelaide What's Missing 2

Number: Doubles.
“Ones became twos. Twos became fours.”
Play the Bunny Doubles Spinner Game.
Spin the spinner and find the double. Cover or mark the double with a counter or pencil on the bunny’s jacket. The first player to cover all their doubles wins!
Doubles include two sets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.    
Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 1 Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 2

Science / Technology.

– The townsfolk connected via a piece of string. Make your own String Telephone to talk to your friends.
Activity from Scientific American.

Art / Craft.
– Adelaide took a little bit of the world and made it her own. Make your own little Terrarium World (Botany).
Glass or plastic jar / container, top quality soil, gravel / pebbles, small plant (succulents work well), figurines, water.
1. Make sure your jar is clean. Fill the bottom with gravel about a third of the way up.
2. Add a thin layer of soil, then place your plants in position.
3. Fill in more soil surrounding the plants, holding them in place. Sprinkle water to moisten the soil.
4. Place your figurines in the terrarium to finish off. We also added a few flowers and a ladybird to pretty it up!
image image

Idea adapted from Babble Dabble Do and Make and Takes.  

Play Dough / Clay Sculptures.
Make your own sculptures to put in your Terrarium World. Use Play Dough or Air Drying Clay.
Clay art ideas from Wonderful DIY.

Design and make other kinds of sculptures.
Terrific ideas at Artful Parent.

Oil Paintings.
Recreate your favourite scene from the book, experimenting with oil paints or oil pastels. Try different techniques such as blending and bold strokes.

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.  

Purchase Adelaide’s Secret World.

Information about the author illustrator, Elise Hurst can be found here.  

Leave a comment

Two Birds on a Wire: Teaching Notes

two-birds-on-a-wireTwo Birds on a Wire, Coral Vass (author), Heidi Cooper Smith (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.  


In an utterly amusing and entertaining tale, two birds; Black and Blue, pick a squabble up high on a wire. When the pair refuse to share, pandemonium strikes and the snapping, snorting, pushing, shoving, hassling and heckling battle breaks loose. Some puffing and panting later, the bickering birds turn tail and decide to rather sit together and enjoy the view.  

The fun rhyming verses, together with the characters’ exuberance and cheekiness brings out plenty of laughable, yet thought-provoking moments. The illustrations are eye-catching to say the least, but I also love the softness of the autumn colours in the background that remind us to enjoy the tranquility that is right in front of us (or below if you were a bird on a wire). ¬†

So, let’s get some perspective here! The story takes place above a country town, overlooking trees, farm houses and animals. The unique angle that Heidi Cooper Smith has so cleverly introduced is highly effective. But from another clever angle is Coral Vass’s underlying theme of valuing cooperation and unity. It’s about ‘seeing’ the bigger picture, and not getting tangled in pettiness. ¬†

‘Two Birds on a Wire’ is a perfect read aloud book for early childhood readers with a vision to learn the importance of sharing and problem solving, and have a giggle at a pair of silly birds at the same time! ¬†


Before Reading:
Put one chair out for two people. Ask two children to try and sit on it. How did they react when they both wanted to sit on the chair? Did they argue about who was there first, or who was bigger, or louder?
What would be the best solution? What are some kind and friendly ways to solve the problem?
Look at the front cover. Do you think these birds are happy with each other? What does their body language tell you about what they’re thinking? What do you think they’re upset about? ¬†

During Reading:
Do you think Bird Blue should’ve shouted at Little Black to go? Do you think Little Black reacted well? Do you think one of the birds will be the winner? ¬†

After Reading:
When Bird Blue first shouted at Little Black, what are some things that he could’ve said so that they didn’t argue? What might you do if someone was angry at you?
What do you think the birds learned from their squabble? How did they solve the problem in the end? Do you think they will always share from now on?
Do you ever have times when you don’t want to share? What are some things you can share and what are things you can’t share? ¬†



Creative writing. Write a story about a pair (of animals or humans) who fight over an object. How did they argue? How did they resolve the issue?

(Check out Anna Kang’s ‘You are (Not) Small’ and ‘That’s (Not) Mine’ about disagreements). ¬†


Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds.
Find the rhyming words in the story. Some may not have the same rime spelling (eg. ‘at’ in cat, hat, sat), but the sounds are the same.
Download, laminate (optional) and cut out the Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds to play a rhyming game.
Separate each bird so that the matching pair can be re-found by stating the two rhyming words.
(To make it easier for less advanced students, cut a different pattern inbetween each bird so that they will easily be able to match the birds back together. Eg. Wiggly line, wavy line, zigzag, etc.)  
Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds1 Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds2

Angry Bird Verbs.
Write some verbs (doing words) around the angry birds to describe their silly actions. Eg. snapped, snorted, pushed, shoved, hassled, heckled, scowled, etc).
Download the Angry Birds Verbs sheet here.  
Two Birds on a Wire Angry Birds Verbs


Number. Less Than, Greater Than.
The birds argued that they were bigger, louder, better than one another.
Play this fun game to extend your counting and comparing skills.
Materials: Greater Than, Less Than print outs, bundle of toys / real life materials.
Objectives: Practise skills in counting, comparing, estimating, place value and fractions.
1. Count out 2 piles of toys (upto 20 objects depending on level). Ask, which is larger? Smaller? Equal? Use the print outs to show each answer. If student is unsure they can use the numbers on the number line to see how they ascend.
2. Read the sentence. Eg. ’15 is greater than 5′, ’12 is less than 18′, ‘6 is equal to 6’.
3. Extension. Play the same game using fractions – use parts of whole items and/or pictures. Eg. ‘1/2 is greater than 1/4’. ¬†
Two Birds on a Wire Greater Than Less Than Two Birds on a Wire Equal To2

Space / Location.
Mapping Coordinates – Bird’s Eye View: Map a Farm.
The birds overlooked a little farm from their wire. Complete the grid as per the key and state the coordinates for each item.
Download Bird’s Eye View Map a Farm.
Extension. On your own grid, use unifix blocks to build a city. Working in pairs, have each person take turns to build a tower and state the coordinates. Eg. ‘The blue tower is in A4.’ ¬†
Two Birds on a Wire Map a Farm


– Explore flight and propulsion with this fun whirlybird!
See instructions for craft from Minieco.

Art / Craft.  

Create some gorgeous birdy artwork with these ideas:  

Black Silhouette Birds on a Wire
Materials: watercolour paints, paper, paint brush, black paper, scissors, white crayon, glue.
1. Create an abstract painting with your chosen colours and with water, blend together. Tip: once painted, tilt your paper side to side to blend the colours further.
Birds on a wire art2
2. With your white crayon, draw your bird shapes onto black paper. Cut out.
3. Cut a thin black strip for the wire.
4. Paste the wire first, then the black birds onto the paper in position.     
Birds on a wire art

Paper Plate Birds on a Garland.
From Pysselbolaget.

Patterned Birds on a Wire.
Found on Flickr.  

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.

Purchase Two Birds on a Wire.

Information about the author, Coral Vass can be found here.
Information about the illustrator, Heidi Cooper Smith can be found here.

Leave a comment

Alfie’s Lost Sharkie: Teaching Notes

alfie-s-lost-sharkieAlfie’s Lost Sharkie, Anna Walker (author, illus.), Scholastic Press, 2015. ¬†


We just loved Alfie as he dawdled his way out of the house in ‘Hurry Up Alfie!’ (see review). Now we are excited to see him return, and this time he’s dawdling on his way to bed. But who can sleep when their favourite bedtime toy has gone missing?

Like in ‘Hurry Up Alfie!’, the story is once again relayed through the gentle, humorous, and all-too-familiar conversation between mum and child. Mum has to subtly coerce Alfie into following the night time routine as he searches for his toy, Sharkie.
”Let’s see if he’s in the bath.”
”He might be hiding in your pyjama drawer.”
”Have a look on the bookshelf, Alfie. It’s time for a story.”

Alfie finds himself in the oddest of situations, and whilst we might think that falling into the clothes drawer and mis-placed pyjamas on Steve McQueen the cat is hilarious, Alfie does not and is still determined to find his toy. But will Alfie’s strong-headed, independent mind see him succeed in his attempts to uncover Sharkie’s whereabouts, and perhaps put off bedtime for just a little longer?

Strong, loveable and totally relatable characters both for parents and children, and adorably warm, familiar and creative illustrations by Anna Walker make ‘Alfie’s Lost Sharkie’ yet another enchanting classic that preschoolers will want to read again and again. ¬†


Before Reading:
Read (or re-read) ‘Hurry Up Alfie!’ to familiarise with the main characters; Alfie and his mum. What kind of words can you use to describe Alfie? (appearance, personality, likes, dislikes, etc).
Play a game of Hide ‘n Seek with a toy, placing it in a difficult location. Once found, ask the child how they felt when they couldn’t find the toy, and how they felt when they found it.
Look at the cover of ‘Alfie’s Lost Sharkie’. What can you tell about Alfie in the picture? Why do you think he might be looking for Sharkie? What is Sharkie? Have you ever lost your favourite toy? What did you do? ¬†

During Reading:
Where do you think Sharkie is? What do you think Alfie has to do next to get ready for bed?  

After Reading:
Do you think Alfie’s mum was happy with him? Why or why not? Do you think Alfie really needed Sharkie for bedtime? Why? How do you think Sharkie ended up in Alfie’s bed?


Alfie’s Lost Sharkie Letter Matching Activity
Recognise and match letters and sounds.

1. Complete the cut and paste activity sheet. Download Alfie’s Lost Sharkie Letter Match Sheet
2. Find and list other words that begin with ‘A’ for Alfie, or ‘Sh’ for Sharkie.
3. Hide a range of toys or objects around the house. Once found, ask the child to say the beginning sound, letter and the name of the toy. Any that begin with the same sounds can be grouped together.  
Alfie's lost sharkie literacy bw

Bedtime Routine Chart
Match pictures with corresponding word.
Sequence events in order.

1. Cut and paste picture to match the correct bedtime routine task. Eg. Toothbrush picture matches ‘brush teeth’ text.
2. Place each set in order of events from first to last. Eg. Bath first, lights out last.
3. Add your own night time task to the list. Follow the routine every night!
Download Bedtime routine chart.
Bedtime routine chart pic

Sift and Spell Literacy Game
Objective: Recognise sounds in words in correct order.

1. See the link for instruction details.
2. Adapt the words to suit those related to ‘Alfie’s Lost Sharkie’.
3. For younger children write the whole word next to the picture (eg. shark), then ask the child to find each letter and match them with your word.


‘Find Sharkie’ Number Recognition Game

Number recognition 1-10 (or 1-12, or 1-20).
Recognise and name colours.

Dozen egg carton (alternatively use paper cups),
plasticine (or playdough / bluetac),

1. Make a small shark sculpture using playdough, plasticine or blue tac. Use the pencil to poke eyes and teeth. The shark must fit under an egg cup.
2. Cut out egg cups individually. Decide on the number of egg cups depending on the level of the child.
3. Paint each egg cup a different colour. Once dry, paint on the numbers 1 to 10 (or 12), one number per egg cup.
4. Set them out ready to play!

‘Find Sharkie’ Number Recognition Game – How to Play:
1. One person hides ‘Sharkie’ underneath one of the egg cups.
2. The seeker must say a number and lift that corresponding number to see if ‘Sharkie’ is there. Continue until found. If there are multiple players, take turns.
3. Play more rounds by hiding ‘Sharkie’ in higher numbers, and add more numbered egg cups (up to 20) to increase difficulty.
4. Further increase difficulty by mixing up the numbers so that they are not in ascending order.
5. Alternate Games:
– Colour Recognition –
Play the game as above, but child must now say the number and the colour. Eg. ”Five, green”.
– One to one correspondence –
Make different sculptures (or balls) to match the number on the egg cup. Eg. Make three sculptures to match the ‘3’ egg cup, etc. Count them to reinforce number skills.
– Letter Recognition –
Play the ‘Find Sharkie’ game with letters written on the egg cups to play a Literacy game.

Could Sharkie be in the bath?
Explore sinking and floating experiments with different objects found in nature.
Digging for Sharkie.
Melt ice blocks with salt, and dig out your treasures! These have been made for Halloween, but you can freeze any small objects you wish.  

Art / Craft
Search for Sharkie with these great shark binoculars!
Make some cool shark tubes (or alternate with paper cups).
Free animal mask printables, including a crocodile and a shark!

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp
All sourced resources have been credited.
These are for personal and classroom use only and not permitted for commercial use.
My Little Story Corner 2015

Leave a comment

Scary Night: Teaching Notes

Scary Night
Lesley Gibbes
Illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Scary Night: Question Time!  

IMG_6895Before Reading:
Have a Halloween style goody bag filled with related items or pictures. Eg. bats, ghost picture, owl, crocodile, bear, pumpkin, cake, hat, parcel. Ask children to guess how these items might appear in the story. Ask, what do you know about Halloween? How do you feel about the dark night?
Look at the cover. How do you think the characters feel about where they are? What do you think the title is telling us about the story? Do you think it will be a story that is…funny? scary? serious?

During Reading:
Where do you think they’re going? Why is it a ‘mystery’?
Ask children to join in to answer the questions (‘Were they scared?’, ‘Did they shake?’, etc), the loud roaring and screaming, and the repeating lines (‘Did they give up? Of course they didn’t!’, ‘tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight’) ¬†

After Reading:
How did you feel about the story? Were you afraid? Why do you think the friends kept going when they were so frightened? What would you do if you were scared? Where did the friends end up going to? Why do you think they were going to a party in the night? What do you think ‘tickled pink’ means? ¬†

Scary Night: Learning Time!  

Dramatic Play.
– Re-enact the story with some props; cake, hat, parcel and background items.
Characters include: Cat, Hare, Pig, crocodiles, bear, Goat.
РAlternatively, make the characters into puppets for a puppet show. Shown here are the characters drawn, coloured and cut out, taped onto black painted pop sticks, tip-toe creeping in front of a painted background.     
IMG_6915 IMG_6914

– Write your own play for ‘Scary Night’. What kind of scary places, creatures and animals would you meet? Will you be going to a party or somewhere else?
– Write a creative answer to the question:
But where were they going in the dead of the night, tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight? They were going to _____________. Illustrate.
– Make an open-the-flap-door card. On the front write
”Turn the handle. Sneak inside. Count to three and shout…”
Inside the door flap write your own word that the friend might shout. Who will be behind your door?
Shown is a lid from a baby wipes packet for the door. Alternatively, to make a flap-door, cut three lines in the centre of the paper, leaving the longer left side attached as the hinge.  
IMG_6899 IMG_6900 IMG_6902

– Phonics.
Make a chart with each character and the first letter of their name. Eg. ‘C’ for Cat. List all the ‘c’ words that you can think of.
Repeat with ‘H’ for Hare and ‘P’ for Pig. Decorate.
– Complete the worksheets. ‘What Can Cat Carry to the Party?’, ‘Follow Pig along the Path!’, ‘Would you Dare to Scare a Hare if You Were a Bear?’ Download Scary Night Reading Worksheets ¬†¬†
scary night worksheet c scary night worksheet p scary night h

– Rhyming words.
Find and list the rhyming words in the story. Brainstorm other words that rhyme with… night, cave, roar, stairs, pink.
– Adjectives.
Find and list the adjectives in the story. Eg. scary, pale, snapping, cool, bold, grizzly, sharpened. Can you think of any more to describe the characters and setting in the story?
– Read other Halloween stories. How do they compare in terms of ‘scariness’? ¬†

– Space / Location.
Make an obstacle course with props and furniture.  Use prepositional language as you use each piece of equipment.
Materials: cushions, chairs, block towers, blue material, dark sheets, table, paper.
Eg. over a hill (cushions), through the woods (blocks), across a creek (material), past a cave (sheet over table), up a mountain / stairs (boxes), behind a gravestone (chair), under the moonlight (paper on wall).
Here we have Porcupine with a present, tip-toe creeping on a mysterious journey.     
IMG_6965 IMG_6966 IMG_6967

– Number: Ordering numbers, Number Place, One to one correspondence.
Match the number order. Download Scary Night Number Order Worksheet
scary night number order

– Number stories.
Make up number stories about the characters. Use materials such as counters or toys to help.
Eg. There was one friend and three more came to his party. How many friends altogether?
There were five bats and two bats flew away. How many bats are left?  

– Heaps of fun Science Activities for Halloween can be found at:
– Static Powered Dancing Ghost or Bat
Teaching tips on Static Electicity:    
– Haunted Halloween Ice Hand Melts  

Art / Craft.
РWaterpaint and crayon relief pictures. Make spooky pictures using crayons and thinned black water paint.   
IMG_6908 IMG_6909 IMG_6910

– Halloween crafts from Red Ted Art:

Bat Crafts:    
25-Cute-Bat-Crafts-for-Halloween-and-Bat-Lovers Handprint-bat-flying-over-moon-craft-300x275 bat-crafts

Cute pom pom bats:

– Halloween Shadow Makers:

– Paper Cat Crafts:

Purchase Scary Night at Boomerang Books.

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp 2014.
All sourced resources have been cited.
Lessons for personal and classroom use only, and not permitted for commercial use.


Oliver and George: Teaching Notes

Oliver and George
Peter Carnavas

Oliver and George: Question Time!

Before Reading:
What do you know about bears? How do they normally behave?
Look at the cover. Which character do you think is Oliver? Which is George? What can you see them doing? What do you think the boy wants to do?

During Reading:
Have your mum or dad ever told you ‘in a minute’ when you’ve asked for something?
Ask children to join in when reading, ‘George got so mad that he… didn’t do anything. George wasn’t mad at all.’
What do you think George will do? What will Oliver do next? Do you think George will get mad this time? Why did George get mad about Oliver taking his book?

After Reading:
How would you describe George? Why do you think he reacted the way he did?
How would you describe Oliver? Why do you think he behaved like he did? Could he have done something else to get George to play?
What would you do to get someone’s attention? What would you do if someone was pestering you?

Oliver and George: Learning Time!  

– Write your own story using the following sentence starters.
Oliver ___________. George got so mad that he… didn’t do anything.
Oliver ___________. George got so mad that he… ______________.
George __________. Oliver got so _____ that he ________________.

– Adjectives.
How would you describe Oliver? Cheeky, Funny, Eager…
What about George? Busy, Serious, Polite, Honey-Coloured…
Complete the Oliver and George_adjectives with lots of describing words (adjectives) for each character.
Oliver and George_adjective George Oliver and George_adjective Oliver

– Read other books by Peter Carnavas. Can you spot the differences and similarities between his writing style and illustrations?

РRead other books about bears. How do these bears compare to George? Are they often polite or scary?

– Make your own puzzle.
To promote spatial awareness.
To reinforce one-to-one correspondence.
To practise skills in patience and perseverence.
Download puzzle and see instructions here.
Oliver and George Puzzle 4 pieces Oliver and George Puzzle 4 pieces(bw)

– Measurement (Length).
Paper plane races (see Science activity).
Materials: paper, ruler / tape measure.
1. After constructing your paper planes, set up a starting line and line up against your competitors.
2. Take turns to throw your paper planes as far as possible.
3. Using a ruler or tape measure, measure the distance (length) from the starting line to where the plane landed. Record.
4. Have a few turns to determine a winner!

– Measurement (Time).
George said, ”In a minute”.
1. Clock face: Identify hour hand, minute hand and second hand. Identify numbers and marks in between. How many marks in between numbers? What do each represent?
Make your own clock including the minute marks.
2. How long is a minute? How many seconds? Watch the clock and count each second until it reaches where you began. Does it feel like a long time to wait for something?
3. How many things can you do in a minute? List some activities, then have a turn to see how many times you can do that activity in one minute. For example, jumping on the spot, writing your name, bounce a ball, fold paper planes, and so on.

Arts / Crafts.
– Peter Carnavas has deliberately left white backgrounds to focus on the dynamics between the characters. Their actions are like a little skit. Notice their props and costumes!
Using old cardboard boxes, make some simple costumes and perform your own little play!
IMG_6710 IMG_6712 IMG_6717
IMG_6713 IMG_6714 IMG_6718
IMG_6724 IMG_6725 IMG_6726

You can also find some fantastic no-sew costumes at Red Ted Art:

”Oliver threw a paper plane at George. George got so mad that he… didn’t do anything.”
– Paper Plane Experiments.
1. Try make a variety of paper planes.
2. Test out the aerodynamics of your different paper planes. Which ones go furthest?

Watch a video clip of Peter Carnavas drawing George the bear:

Read a behind-the-scenes interview with Peter Carnavas:

Oliver and George
Available for purchase from Boomerang Books ($22.49 + $6.95 shipping per order)

Lessons and worksheets by Romi Sharp 2014
All sourced resources have been credited.
These activities are for personal or classroom use and not permitted for commercial reasons.


The Brothers Quibble: Teaching Notes

The Brothers Quibble
Aaron Blabey

We’ve seen the success of Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon and Pig the Pug. Now, in true form, Aaron Blabey brings us another humorous story that at times makes us cringe; it’s The Brothers Quibble. ¬†

”Spalding Quibble ruled the roost.
He shared it with no other.
But then his parents introduced…
…a brand new baby brother.”

Oh, this is the part when Spalding’s world falls apart. With a hint of delirium and eyes as big as saucers, the oldest boy feels something called ‘utter and complete jealousy’ creep up from somewhere deep inside.
And a WAR has erupted in the Quibble household!  
Spalding goes on to cause absolute havoc, only to be sentenced to Time Out in his room. And as baby Bunny starts to grow up, he is forced to learn valuable lessons in defending himself against his monster of a brother. But behind every taunt, quabble, whack and scuffle, Bunny still has nothing but love to give.  

Eventually, Spalding’s frozen heart is melted and the brothers begin to actually like each other. Even if it’s not always sunny! ¬†

I love how the drama in the illustrations is so cleverly depicted with accentuated, crazed facial expressions and moody dark backgrounds. But then there’s also a nice softness in the colour palette during those ‘loving’ moments. With a flowing rhyme in the text, and an equally flowing sequence of events in the pictures, the story is an easy read many times over. ¬†

The Brothers Quibble, a story of relationships, acceptance and jealousy, contains just the perfect amount of humour, touching moments and wickedness to capture all readers from age four, and particularly for those who understand the complexity that is sibling rivalry.  

The Brothers Quibble will be read by an estimated 500,000 children around Australia in the 2015 National Simultaneous Storytime.  

Title: The Brothers Quibble
Author / Illustrator: Aaron Blabey
Published by: Penguin Group / Viking Feb 2014
ISBN: 9780670076000
PB. RRP: $24.99
Ages: 3+ years
Type: Picture Book

My Little Question Time!  

Before Reading:
Do you have a baby brother or sister? How did you react when they first came home? / How do you think you would react?
Look at the cover. How do you think these two brothers feel about each other?
What do you think the word ‘quibble’ means? How does this relate to the story? It is a pun… what does this mean? ¬†

During Reading:
What does ‘rule the roost’ mean? Do you think Spalding should have reacted this way when his brother came home? Is it an over-reaction? How do you think Spalding is feeling? Why do you think he is feeling this way? Do you think his parents were right to put Spalding in Time Out? ¬†

After Reading:
How did Spalding’s feelings towards Bunny change? Why? Why do you think Bunny still loved his brother although Spalding wasn’t nice? Do you ever fight with your brother or sister? Do you still love each other? ¬†

My Little Learning Time!  

– Write a persuasive text explaining why you should / should not have a brother / sister.
– Write a letter to your sibling, telling them how you feel about them.
– Write an acrostic poem using your brother or sister’s name.
– Finish the sentence, ”I love my brother / sister because…”, ”My brother / sister drives me crazy when…” ¬†

– Complete or make your own wordsearch using words relating to the story.
Download our The Brothers Quibble Word Search here:
the brothers quibble wordsearch
– Research information and other books by the author, Aaron Blabey. Present as a slideshow or poster.
– Read other books about brothers. How do they get along? Is there often sibling rivalry and jealousy? Are they often about acceptance?
I Love My Baby Brother by Anna Walker, Tim and Ed by Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner, Cuthbert’s Babies / Herbert and Harry by Pamela Allen, There’s Going to be a Baby by John Burningham ¬†

Art / Craft.
– Spalding Quibble felt a bit delirious when his parents introduced Bunny. The expressions on his face are really quite priceless! Draw some crazy faces, or team up with a partner and draw each other’s craziest-looking faces! ¬†¬†
– Make a crown so you can ‘rule the roost’.
Tiara for girls:  
Crown template:
– Draw a portrait of your family.
– Create a gorgeous photo frame to put a family photo into.  
– Cereal Box Photo Frame  
– Take your own family photos.
– Make a family tree.
Using coloured card, patterned paper, templates and photos, you can create this gorgeous creation:  
– Handprint Family Tree  
– Paper Family Chain  
– Family of Monsters from TP Rolls!

Time: Milestones
Bunny Quibble grew as time passed. He learned to sit, crawl, walk, dodge a cricket ball and talk.
Create a timeline or time wheel to show your own milestones from birth to now.  

Spalding traumatised his family, one of the horrific things he did was cover them in green paint.
Make your own Green Gooey Slime!  

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp 2014.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal or classroom use only, and are not permitted for commercial use.

The Brothers Quibble
Available for purchase from Boomerang Books ($22.49 + $6.95 shipping per order)

Leave a comment

Tim and Ed: Teaching Notes

Tim and Ed
Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner

My Little Book Review: 

Having two kids under five is busy enough; constantly picking up after them, the daily hustle and bustle, and the shouts, shrieks and laughter that goes with sibling shenanigans. But what about young, lively, always busy, curious twins? Now that would be a handful!  

Dubosarsky and Joyner make a great award-winning team, already bringing us The Terrible Plop and Too Many Elephants in This House, which was chosen as the 2014 National Simultaneous Storytime picture book. And another terrific team they have introduced more recently, are the adorable Tim and Ed.  

Tim and Ed, identical twin koalas, are pretty much the same. With their matching eyes, mouth, feet, and head, and their arms, legs, knees, nose, ears and toes that are the same. The only thing differentiating them are their initials on their tee shirts. In their colourful, safe world with their Dad, they share a definite cheekiness, curiosity about their twin existence, and an unequivocal bond.  

‘I want to be the same as him!’, Ed reveals, as no contrast will be accepted, even if caused by a dirty, wet pond. Absolutely exhausting their poor old Dad, this duo’s energy just doesn’t seem to tire. With a noisy racket and a toy-ladened house, Dad and Auntie Pim join forces to organise a well-deserved break for the single father. ¬†
However, their sense of security is suddenly shattered when the twins discover that they will be spending the night apart. In the beginning they hardly notice each other’s absence, enjoying their time crashing toy trains and racing bikes around the yard, and dining on spectacular meals. ¬†

In the quiet calm of the night they notice the missing presence of each other’s company. But upon reuniting the following day, with the reassurance of their Dad, the koalas realise a little bit of independence can be fun. And although they may look the same, they each have their unique qualities, which makes them special individuals. ¬†
Tim and Ed is a gorgeous picture book that perfectly matches Ursula Dubosarsky’s rollicking, rhyming storyline with Andrew Joyner’s lively, expressive illustrations. Dubosarsky’s real life conversations between father and sons, and activities written with descriptive text, are paired with Joyner’s accurate facial expressions and charmingly drawn details, including a typical Aussie backyard and messy family living room. ¬†

Children aged three and up will adore the moments shared with their siblings and parents after reading Tim and Ed. With action-filled behaviours that they can relate to, delightful and engaging illustrations, and learning about being individual and independent, especially when you are a twin, it will be easy to get attached to this picture book.

Also find this review on the Boomerang Books Blog:

Tim and Ed
Available for purchase from Boomerang Books ($22.49 + $6.95 shipping per order)

My Little Question Time!  

Before Reading:
Show two toys / objects that look exactly the same. Ask, what is different? What is the same? When two things are the same we say they are identical. Ask, What is a twin? Are all twins identical? Do you have a brother or sister? Do you like to do the same things?
Look at the cover. What do you notice about these two koalas? What is the same and what is different?  
twin toys

During Reading:
Explain twin babies can either come from one egg (identical), or two eggs (non-identical). What animals are hatched from eggs?                                                                                                                  
Why does Ed want to be wet and dirty? Why do you think Dad wasn’t feeling good? Do you think they will have a good time apart? Who is Ed looking at in the glass? ¬†

After Reading:
How did Tim and Ed feel to be apart for the night? What do Tim and Ed mean when they say, ‘There’s nobody like him or me!’? Just because they look the same does it mean they are the same person? Do they always need to do the same things? Can one twin like to do something while the other twin likes something else more? ¬†

My Little Learning Time!  

– Read other books by Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner
The Terrible Plop
Too Many Elephants in this House

– Identifying odd one out: Which picture doesn’t belong? ¬†
Australia Odd one out

РIdentifying differences between font letters. Eg. a, g vary in style. Look in magazines, newspaper, books, and so on. Cut out / copy and paste onto a chart.  

– Create a Thinking Venn Diagram, showing similarities and differences between Tim and Ed. Alternatively, choose your own topic to compare.
tim and ed venn pic
– Letter Focus: On a chart, write the letter Tt. Look through the book, Tim and Ed, to find things that begin with that letter. T is for Tim, tomato, tree, train, toys, tee shirt, etc.
Make another chart with Ee for Ed, egg, engine, eyes, ears, etc. Make a paper construction of one of the words on your chart/s.  
– Write a story about yourself being doubled, or tripled, etc, and all the fun shenanigans you all get up to!

Art / Craft.
– Koala Mask.
Materials: Paper plate or cereal box, black paper or texta for nose, mouth and around eyes, coloured tissue paper, cotton wool balls, paddle pop stick, craft glue, scissors, sticky tape.
1. Cut out the shape of the koala head with ears.
2. Mark where eyes will be. Cut out the two circles.
3. Using cut up tissue paper, glue pieces all over face.
4. Glue cotton wool balls on ears.
5. Cut out a black nose and glue in place.
6. Draw black around the eyes and a little mouth.
7. Sticky tape a paddle pop stick to the back.   
koala mask koala mask mirror
Alternatively, you can use a template, found here:  
koala mask activity village

– Twin Koala Footprints.
Materials: Grey, white and pink paint, black pen, paper, paintbrush.
1. Place one foot at a time in the grey paint, and place next to each other on the paper.
2. Dab grey paint for ears, arms and feet. Add a white circle in the heel and tummy areas, and two white dots for eyes.
3. Dab pink paint in the ears and cheeks.
4. Draw a face with a black pen.
koala footprints  

– Seashell Koalas.
Materials: Different sized flat clam seashells, craft glue, black pen or small beads.
1. Arrange shells, large for tummy, medium for head, small for ears, feet and nose.
2. Glue back of head to the top of the back of the tummy. Glue small feet on bottom, ears and darker nose shell on head.
3. Draw black dots for eyes, or glue on small black beads.
4. Why not make twin seashell koalas, and a seashell gum tree, too!   
koala shells  

– Recycled Can Koala.
Materials: Different sized recycled cans and lids, craft glue, tape.
1. Arrange cans and lids, larger for tummy, medium for head, lids for ears, hands, nose.
2. Glue and tape all together to form a koala shape.     
recycled can koala

– Newspaper Collage Koala.
Materials: newspaper, white paper, grey paper, black paper, coloured backing paper, goggle eyes, black pen, glue.
1. Rip bits of newspaper into small pieces. Draw circles for head and tummy onto white paper. Glue newspaper pieces onto white paper as paper collage inside drawn circles. Cut off extra bits outside circles.
2. Cut grey paper into shapes for arms, legs and ears. Glue in place.
3. Glue black nose and goggle eyes into place.  
4. Glue whole koala onto coloured backing paper.  

РKoala Face Origami.     
koalaface koala origami

РSymmetry: noun The quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis. Symmetry is when one shape becomes exactly like another if you flip, slide or turn it. 
Complete the koala’s face around the line of symmetry. ¬† Download Koala Symmetry here.
koala symmetry pic

– Patterns. Tessellations – draw and cut out a shape, and use it as a template to create your own tessellating pattern.

РSpot the Difference: Identify similarities and differences between a set of given pictures.  

-Count the koalas colouring page

– Counting / Addition: Doubles.
Learn your doubles facts.
doubles facts
Play doubles games with dice, dominoes or blocks.   
dice doubles domino doubles
Complete the ladybugs by doubling the spots. Use counters, or laminate and use whiteboard markers.
ladybug doubles
Make a doubles flip book, with the doubles equation on the front, and the answer / picture under the flap.
doubles flip book

РKoala Study. Research appearance, breeding, food, habitat, behaviour, and so on. Create a poster or slideshow presentation.  
Koala Baby07RAM
– Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
Have you ever wondered why you can see your face in a mirror?¬†In this fun activity,¬†work with a partner to guess where you will see each other’s reflections in the mirrors. Record the angles in which the light has reflected off the mirror.,-mirror-on-the-wall-angles-of-reflection/  

– Mirror Drawing Challenge.
For some lateral reflection action, try this fun experiment by drawing a picture on paper, then placing it besides a mirror to attempt to draw the ‘mirror’s image’!    

Photography and lessons by Romi Sharp 2014
All sourced resources have been credited.
These are for personal or classroom use and not permitted for commercial use.

Leave a comment

Baby Bedtime: Teaching Notes


Baby Bedtime
Mem Fox
Illustrated by Emma Quay

I could eat your little ears.
I could nibble on your nose.
I could munch your tiny fingers.
I could gobble up your toes.  

Read my review of Baby Bedtime here.

Baby Bedtime: Question Time!

Before reading:
Find a cosy place to snuggle up with your little one. Look at the book cover. Ask, ‘What can you see in the picture?’ ‘What do you think they are doing?’
Lead to discussion about mum or dad (or grandparent) settling child into bedtime routine.

During reading:
Touch or pat the body parts of your child as you read them in the story (nibble on your nose, munch your tiny fingers, stroke your silky hair). ‘What can you see in the pictures?’ (books, chair, crib, etc).

After reading:
Re-tell (or sing) the lullaby in your own words, putting your child into bed. Finish with a kiss upon the brow.
Alternatively, your child can do the actions to you, reinforcing knowledge of body parts.  

Baby Bedtime: Learning Time!  

Music / Movement / Games (Body Parts).
Learn and reinforce understanding of body parts through songs and rhymes.
– Sing and dance to such songs as:
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Dr Knickerbocker
Tickle Yourself
Round and Round the Garden
This Little Piggy Went to Market
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Hokey Pokey
See lyrics for lots of ¬†‘body’ songs and nursery rhymes at: and  

Baby Bedtime is a lullaby in a picture book. Sing lullaby songs to settle your little ones to bed.
Lullaby and Good Night
Hush, Little Baby
Rock a Bye Baby
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Baby Mine
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Toora Loora Loora
See lyrics here:  

Role Play.
– Look after a doll or large plush toy to go through the bedtime steps; bath time, dinner time, brush teeth, put pyjamas on, toilet, read a story, go to bed.
Have appropriate size clothes for the toy, and a warm, cosy place to sleep.  

Read other age appropriate books by Mem Fox.
Where is the Green Sheep?
Time for Bed
Hello Baby!
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Where the Giant Sleeps
Tell Me About Your Day Today
Good Night, Sleep Tight  

– Read other book about elephants.
Too Many Elephants in This House by Ursula Dubosarsky
Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by David McKee
Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Suess
Dumbo by Disney
Mr McGee and the Elephants by Pamela Allen
Little Elephants by Graeme Base  

– Draw a picture doing a night time routine. Eg. eating dinner, taking a bath, brushing teeth, putting pjs on, reading a story, sleeping in bed. Adult to scribe a sentence.
– Take photos of these activities. Include a favourite sleeptime doll or toy to be included in the routine and photos. Display in an album or poster labeled, ”My Bedtime Routine”.
– B is for Baby. Identify the letter ‘Bb’. Say the letter, say the sound ‘b’.
Find it in the book.
Trace it with your finger (in the air, on the ground, on your tummy, on your palm, or on paper with a pencil).
Say words that start with ‘b’. Play ‘Eye-Spy’ looking for things that start with ‘b’. ¬†


Art / Craft.
Elephant crafts.
– Elephant handprints
– 3D Elephant:
– Milk bottle Elmer elephant:
photo1-26 photo2-12
– Paper Plate Elephant:

Collage and Painting.
– Use hands, fingers, feet, toes, nose to paint patterns with various colours.
– Frame your art!
Illustrator, Emma Quay has so cleverly created a sense of warmth and cosiness in her pictures with the use of real fabrics, textures and patterns.
Materials needed: variety of patterned paper, fabric, string, ribbon, doilies, crayons and craft embellishments.
By drawing an outline of a shape, cutting a stencil in the paper and sticking materials behind the cut outs, create a picture for your little one’s bedroom. Frame it! ¬†
IMG_4461 IMG_4462

РSculpt various objects or create patterns with playdough using a range of tools (cutters, roller, bottle tops, fork, spoon, other kitchen utensils, etc), and natural materials like sticks, leaves, pebbles, flowers, etc.  

– Number: Counting fingers and toes.
– Space / Location: Play ‘Where is your toy?’ by placing it in different positions around your body.
Say, ‘The bear is on top of my head.’ ‘The bear is under my arm.’ ‘The bear is between my feet.’
Prepositional language includes: on top of, under, above, below, between, next to, besides, behind, in front of.
– Measurement: Play ‘How Long is My Nose?’ by placing different sized socks on your nose (like an elephant trunk).
Also could use them as ears or tail. Compare all the different sized socks by placing them next to each other.
Ask, ‘Which sock is the longest?’ ‘Which sock is the shortest?’ ‘Which one is longer; the green sock or the blue sock?’ ‘Put them in order from shortest to longest.’ ¬†

Baby Bedtime
Available for purchase from Fishpond ($24.99 free shipping)

Baby Bedtime
Available for purchase from Boomerang Books ($19.99 + $6.95 shipping per order)

Photography and lessons by Romi Sharp.
See links for sourced resources.