We take a look at some of the books, stories and poems currently being enjoying in our various Reading Rooms shared reading groups.
Emily Brown and the Thing by Cressida Cowell (Author) and Neal Layton (Illustrator)
Our Little Legends group set off on an exploration with Emily Brown and Stanley to help make The Thing feel better. For age 3-8 years, this book looks at being scared of the dark, as Emily and Stanley find a ‘Thing’ crying outside their window. They embark on a series of adventures to find everything he needs for a good night’s sleep . . . but nothing seems to work. What is troubling the Thing, and why can’t he get to sleep? Parents and children the world over will recognise all the bizarre excuses a child can make to keep the light on and a parent in the room at bedtime, and this story shows how important it is to talk to children, and find out what is really going on in the complex depths of a child’s imagination.
‘The Woman in the Moon‘ by Carol Ann Duffy
Taken from Duffy’s collection, The Bees (Picador, 2011), this poem challenges the traditional perception of ‘the man in the moon’, imagining the moon as “a diet of light, sliver of pear, | wedge of lemon, slice of melon, half an orange, | silver onion“. The moon here is a silent observer to the world, listening in to people’s songs, but mourning over the state of the planet.
‘The Listener‘ by Tove Jansson
IN the title short story from the collection, originally published in 1971, we meet Aunt Gerda – the good listener – who fears the onset of forgetfulness in old age. Her answer to the problem is to create an artwork that will record and, inevitably, betray all the old secrets that have been confided in her. Jansson is best known at the author of the beloved children’s characters, The Moomins. Alongside ‘The Woman in the Moon‘, these pieces kicked off Reading Rooms’ Positive Ageing Events in Easons Belfast, bringing a heart rendering conversation on dementia and how we can best help those living with the condition.
Tell Me The Day Backwards by Albert Lamb (Author) and David McPhail (Illustrator)
Just before going to bed, Timmy Bear and his mother play a game they call Tell Me the Day Backwards. Timmy tries to remember everything that happened to him that day in reverse order, from watching the sunset on the hill to the picnic supper before that, from being chased by bees to finding honey in an old tree trunk, all the way back to waking up that morning from his winter-long hibernation. Reading the story, our Little Legends group manged to get lots of things were backwards – our names, our clothes, we were under the mats instead of over them and we even managed to say the alphabet backwards! For age 3-5.
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
Once there as a boy, and one day, he found an aeroplane in his cupboard… He didn’t remember leaving it in there, but he thought he’d take it out for a go right away. At first, all went well and the plane flew higher and higher and higher until… suddenly, with a splutter, it ran out of petrol. The boy was stuck on the moon… and he was not alone… We had a lot of fun reading this, making our own aeroplanes and spaceships. We even named the characters Alien Sean and Bellboy! Some of our Little Legends even taught us to speak Alien. Bi beep bop bop!!