Just Imagine by Pippa Goodhart




Author: Pippa Goodhart

Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

Just imagine what it would be like to be as small as a mouse or as big as a house. Imagine exploring the depths of the ocean, travelling into the past or the future - or something even stranger... This playful, interactive book allows a child to tell their own story, combining new elements each time. The questions posed in the text make a discussion guide superfluous but here are some additional things you may want to talk about with your group or class.

Before reading:

  • Have you ever heard someone use the words ‘Just Imagine…’?
    • What do they mean when they say those words?
    • Are you good at imagining?
  • Endpapers: Can you spot what all the words on these pages have in common? (if a supplementary question is needed, draw attention to the word ending). The all end in –ing. And they are all action words - about doing something.
  • Write some action words on cards and play charades. Can you guess the mime?
  • Can you imagine being big?
    • Invite the children to talk about whatever interests them on this spread.
    • What would be good about being big? Is there anything you would not  like about being big?
    • Do you know any stories where the characters are MUCH bigger than the other characters (.e.g. Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, Gulliver in Gulliver’s travels).
  • Or would you like to be small?
    • Would you rather be super big or super small?
    • Have two areas in the room, one labelled big, the other labelled small. Ask the children to go to the area of the size they would prefer to be.
    • Ask them to explain why they chose "big or small".
    • After listening to each other's ideas and discussing the relative merits and weaknesses does anyone want to change their mind? If anyone changes their mind, invite them to say what convinced them to change
  • Imagine being made differently: read the words in the speech bubbles.
    • Are there any words that you think are particularly funny? Why?
  • Travel through time: ask the children to choose the period in history that they think would be most fun. Provide a few facts about life during that period.
    • Ask the children to suggest where they could find out more about their chosen time period
    • Briefly talk about non-fiction books, historical stories and internet as well as visiting places.
    • There are lots of ways we can find out about the past.
  • Invent the best machine:
    • what do the different parts of the machine do?
    • What do you think they are making? If you could invent a machine what would it do? (Tip: you might also want to read Weasels by Elys Dolan in which weasels invent a spectacular world domination machine).
  • Imagine being magical: which magical creatures can you name and which stories would you find them in?
  • Imagine being an animal: in pairs, how many animals can you name?
    • What special powers do some of these animals have (e.g. a stick insect has sticky feet and can walk upside down on the ceiling; a chameleon can change colour etc)
    • which of the powers would you most like to have?
    • Perhaps you could invent a superhero that has powers like one of these animals.
    • Would you like to live underground? Are there any animals that live underground? How have they adapted to be able to live where there is no light? (Moles, earthworms, bats).
  • If you could choose between being able to fly or live in the deep ocean, what would you choose?

After reading,

invite the children to draw and then share what they would most like to be able to do. Create your own colourful display ‘Just Imagine…’


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