What a beautiful story. Not only are the words soft and gentle but the illustrations highlight the warmth of the family who are going through a difficult time.
We have just spent that last month helping my husband’s grandmother move from independent living to higher care so we have spent quite a bit of time looking through her things and helping her keep or get rid of many things she loves.
We didn’t find a thimble but many boxes of paints and crafts and these are already being treasured dearly by my 7 year old.
Our children’s Great Grandma may live for many more years now she has the extra support bt I know that when the time comes to say goodbye, this book will be one we will share again and again.
Grandpa is teaching his grandson how to swim (and his grandson is a little apprehensive like many young swimmers are) and to help ease him into the water he tells him of a great adventure he once had when he swam around the world.
The story grandpa tells is amazing and one which we all want to believe in, even when he tells of the time he met the Prince of Whales! The illustrations highlight the wonderful adventure with brilliant colours and quirky illustrations and tell more of the story to a young readers eyes.
If we all had a grandpa like this who ignited imagination we would never fear anything as we would know that someone has gone through these emotions before – such an important message for young children.
What can you do with this story?
Geography ~ Numeracy ~Literacy
As you read this story pull out a map of the world and look where you could swim to.
Look at all of the different bodies of water in the world.
Where do people swim? Where don’t people swim? Work out reasons why!
Measure distances between countries and bodies of water.
Pose problems – if grandpa swam 1km an hour, how long would it take him to swim to New Zealand from Australia?
Can you tell a tall story that would help encourage someone?
Do you think grandpa did any of the things in this story?
Look at the inside back and front covers – what else did grandpa do whilst on his adventure? Can you add some extra tales to this story?
How do the illustrations change the meaning of the text? Read this book without looking at the pictures – ask students to tell you what they can see in their minds and then show them the image. Give students a sentence (or they create their own) where the sentence can have more than one meaning.
Word play and extension
Idioms – there are so many wonderful idioms in this story, try and find them! Then explore some more ambiguous sentences and draw your own illustrations.
The Magnificent Tree is a beautiful collaboration by Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King. It was published in 2012 by scholastic but is ties in well with National Tree Day this weekend.
The book’s main characters display a loving and respectful relationship between a granddaughter and her grandfather. The young girl loves doing things simply and the grandfather loves ideas that are ‘big, brave and brilliant’ but together they can work together to come up with wonderful ideas!
One day Bonny and Pop decide they need something so they can see the birds better. Pop thinks BIG and starts to draw his ideas whilst Bonny thinks simply and plants a seed with care.
We can draw many different teaching points from this book whilst enjoying the fun illustrations.
Trees are magnificent! Are there many trees, shrubs or flowers around you that you think are magnificent? Why are they each magnificent?
Can man made objects be part of our landscape? How can we improve our man made landscape to make nature a part of it? Look into new ways cities are becoming greener with rooftop gardens and green spaces!
Create a tree diary. How many different tress are in your school? Home area? playground or local bush land?Some great ideas on this blog for looking at the amazing Banksia!
What can you grow in your backyard or own your balcony?
Can you make a simple toy to play with? Find some bits and pieces around the house that are no longer needed. This is a fantastically fun activity and it allows children to use their imagination and be creative! Create a toy that can be used outside. It will be amazing what it created if not given too many boundaries. You might like to encourage some planning and you may like to challenge them by limiting the amount of objects they can use. Try it!
THINKING – DISCUSSION POINTS
What are ideas? How many different ideas did Bonny and Poppy come up with?
What is a simple idea? What is a complex idea? Create a list of ideas and place them into categories.
Draw up your own inventions – one that is simple and one that is complex. Both need to fulfill a similar purpose.