• Flora and Ulysses discussion guide

    Author: Kate di Camillo

    Suggested year group: 5

    Synopsis and reasons for selection:

    Flora is living in a world in which she doesn’t allow for the possibility of hope. Her parents are divorced, and comic books are her favourite pastime.  Flora feels alone and is prepared for the worst life has to offer when a random act of improbability connects her to Ulysses the squirrel, who becomes her superhero champion. As both Flora and Ulysses begin to vanquish evil, they also help each other to believe, hope, and find love. Part family story, part adventure, the narrative uses both prose and comic style illustrations. The story is poignant but also very funny. It addresses philosophical issues which will generate plenty of discussion for thoughtful readers.

    Weblinks: The author’s official website

    Read more →
  • King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor: Andy Riley tells us how to Draw Evilly.

    'Edwin isn't an ordinary nine-year-old boy. He was a king, with a throne, and his own suit of armour and a castle with secret passages and everything.' Ever Friday, King Edwin spends all his money on chocolate for the peasants. But when the money runs out, Edwin finds himself in a fix. Cue the arrival of evil Emperor Nurbison, in his pointy-collared black cloak and accompanied by scary striding music. He has had his eye on Edwin's kingdom for a while and now he intends to use the peasants' unhappiness to his advantage. When the emperor builds a fake dragon out...

    Read more →
  • Primary Reading Areas- a worthy winner!

    Just Imagine...were this year's proud sponsor of the University of Greenwich's Primary Reading Area Competition. The winner, Walliams class (year 5) and their teacher, Jemma Deller, of Gallions Mount Primary School, Plumstead, created an inspirational Enchanted Forest. We were so happy to hear that they loved their prize of £200 worth of non fiction and fiction titles. We asked Jemma how her class created such a beautiful space. At the beginning of this academic year I chose to discuss with my class what improvements we should make to our reading area. The class decided that it should be more cosy and have...

    Read more →
  • First Fairy Tales: Kate Hancock looks at some younger versions of our favourite tales

    Fairy Tales are some of the most enduring and best-loved stories and can often be our first experience of storytelling and the power of the narrative. Amazingly, different cultures often have versions of the same fairy tales and myths and these frequently have a strong moral message at their heart. Although many popular versions of fairy stories can seem simple with clearly identifiable good and bad characters, other interpretations can be dark, ambiguous and sometimes a little frightening. There are a great number of fairy tale books available that are suitable for early years with a huge variety of familiar...

    Read more →
  • Into the Forest discussion guide

    Author/Illustrator: Anthony Browne






    Publisher: Walker Books


    One night a boy is woken by a terrible, frightening sound. A storm is breaking, lightning flashing dramatically across the inky sky. In the morning, Dad has vanished and Mum doesn’t seem to know when he’ll be back. The next day Mum asks the boy to take a cake to his grandma, who is ill.

    “Don’t go into the forest,” she warns. “Go the long way round.”

    But, against his Mother’s wishes, the boy chooses to take the path into a dark, mysterious forest, which is teeming with strange fairy tale characters. He must navigate this magical forest in order to reach his grandma.

    Read more →