My new favourite book…Into the Forest…

abc doesCreativity, Reading, TalkLeave a Comment

I am always on the look out for a great children's book and I found this one at my good friend Pete's (mrmojowriting.co.uk) house last night!

Although he does have 2 children they are now in Year 10 and Year 12 so he didn't buy it for them. Within his training repertoire, he has a really good day on using film to inspire techniques in writing for KS1 and Ks2. One of the  9 techniques that he explores is 'signposting'.

In its simplest terms, children look at different film clips and texts and discuss how the director/author has built the tension and 'signposted' to the watcher/reader that something is about to happen. The children then experiment with using these techniques, first through talk and then writing.

It is really engaging stuff and gets some brilliant results (if the evaluations are anything to go by).

So…the book!

One of the texts that he uses for both KS1 and Ks2 is 'Into the Forest' by Anthony Browne.

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It is brilliant for text and illustrations. Within the first two pages Browne had created brilliant atmosphere of anticipation, anxiety and tension. He 'signposts' a story with a sad ending. There is loads of potential for children to take the start and then predict the end.

It actually has a happy ending which is a good twist and another powerful storytelling technique to demonstrate to children.

If you are looking at the genre of 'traditional tales' there are echos of a number of tales in the story and the illustrations – especially Little Red Riding Hood.

Lots of the illustrations are mainly in black and white with the key items picked out in colour. Again, good for visually showing children what the author wanted the reader to see as particularly important and how you could translate this into making key parts of your talk/writing more 'colourful' so that they will stand out, rather than just training children to stick an inappropriate adjective infront of every other word!

Folk-and-fairy-tales

The book starts with a missing father and a boy's feelings of fear and anxiety at his parent's disappearance, so be aware that this could raise some sensitive issues with some children.

I have loved Anthony Browne books in the past and this one has inspired me all over again.

Happy reading…

Alistair

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