Monday 5 September 2011


Term has begun and we are starting to "row" again.

Our Five in a Row book, this week, is Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston with paintings by Robert Duncan. This book is about an illiterate mountain girl who befriends a newcomer. This friendship leads Amber to reading and eventually, after her new friend leaves, to writing. Beautifully illustrated and poignant.

We have a number of activities to do which are linked to this book. Today, we made a mountain road from playdough to illustrate that roads go round and not straight up mountains. It wasn't very successful-we really needed much more playdough for our cars and looked odd in light pink! We plan to try again with compost.

The children did use some improvised musical instruments as they would need to make their own entertainment on an isolated mountain. This was a noisy activity-I did put a limit on its duration. There aren't neighbours at the top of mountains.

We plan to link this with some other books about friendship.

The Snail and the whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a library book of which we are becoming rather fond. It seems to spend more time in our house than in the library. The rhyming text makes it especially memorable.

Melrose and Croc find a smile by Emma Chichester Clark is a book we have had for 5-a-Day before. Its popularity is undiminshed.

Jonathan Mark in the park by Jacqueline Sibley dates from 1970 and has some fun pictures of a little girl with her apron and the mother wearing a 1970s dress. The story is of a little boy and his struggles both not to quarrel with his friend and to go home at the correct time which seem to be timeless issues in the park. The book covers asking the forgiveness of both the friend and God.

Alfie and the birthday surprise by Shirley Hughes looks at the friendship between Alfie's family and the neighbours, the MacNallys. The MacNally's cat dies and Bob MacNally is very sad. This covers how Alfie and his family help. I love the fact that the friendships are across a generation and between families.

This post is linked to 5-a-Day books at the Imagination Tree where there are many more ideas for reading to little people.


  1. I love the sound of the Jonathan Mark book. Thanks for linking your fun ideas!

  2. Anna-you are welcome to borrow some, if you want.