Dear Greenpeace by Simon James (group set, 7 books)

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This is an enchanting ecological fantasy from a multi-award-winning picture book creator.Worried that the whale living in her pond is unhappy, Emily writes to Greenpeace, who, though offering the best of advice, insist that it is impossible for a whale to live in a pond. Undeterred, Emily continues to seek the best course of action for her beloved whale, finally setting him free. 

  • Free discussion notes available on this website
  • Themes: ecology, environment
  • Letter writing
  • 32 pages 

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Dear Greenpeace discussion guide


Author: Simon James

Illustrator:Simon James

Publisher: Walker Books

Synopsis: A small girl writes to Greenpeace requesting information on whales as she has seen one in her pond. The response from Greenpeace informs Emily that whales, in fact, do not live in ponds but in salt water. Emily is unde- terred and, after having put salt in her pond, writes back asking further questions. The responses continue to be factual but Emily’s devotion to her whale, Arthur, continues despite being ‘forcefully’told that it cannot be a blue whale.that she has seen in her pond. Finally, Arthur disappears from Emily’s pond and her sadness is evident as she sits alone huddled on her bed. However, her last letter to Greenpeace reveals that Emily has, once again seen Arthur, this time at the seaside, where he let her stroke his head and shared her sandwich.

Reasons for selection: Suitable for use at both Key Stages 1 and 2, although the following suggestions would be appropriate for Key Stage 2. It is a book which raises issues for discussion, presented in a distinctive format with language use varied according to purpose, audience and nature of the writer. There are numerous opportunities for developing children’s skills of inference and deduction and as it is a picture book, it also offers opportunities to develop aspects of visual literacy. The discussion topics suggested address aspects of the PSHCE curriculum. This book is suited to group and guided reading.

Discussion points:


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