Fiction | 18 March 2016Picture Books You Will Love This Spring Share article facebook twitter google pinterest This blog post is going to be a bit of a mash-up of three of our fantastic picture books which are being published in paperback – you might recognise some of them but read on to find out… Deep in the Woods by Christopher Corr This stunning picture book was published in hardback at the end of 2015 and it definitely made its mark with all sorts of reviewers in the UK, which makes us extremely excited! Rather than talking about all the wonderful things people have said about this book, we would like to tell you a little bit about the origins behind this retelling of a classic Russian folktale. The historical name for this story is The Teremok. Teremok in Russian means an attic or chamber at the top of a house. This would often have been a space designed especially for women, but could also mean a high or raised residential building or palace belonging to a medieval Russian nobleman (or Boyar). The word itself is derived from the Greek teremnon meaning “shelter” or “abode”. An example of a teremok can be seen in the picture below: Here are some fun facts and ideas for further discussion with children reading this book: Russia is the world’s largest country, covering one seventh of the world’s land! Russia has the most forests of any country in the world. They are called taiga, and this is probably why so many other folk tales from Russia are based in a woodland setting. Russia has a place called the tundra. Find out what this means. Do you think anyone lives there? Russia is also famous for ballet and music. Have a listen to Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’. Do you know this famous story as well? T-Veg, The Tale of a Carrot-Crunching Dinosaur by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Katherina Manolessou Reg the T-Rex isn’t any ordinary dinosaur. He’s a vegetarian dinosaur, who definitely (according to everyone around him) should not be vegetarian! This book is great for children who like fun stories about dinosaurs, but also perfect for children who don’t feel like they fit in with the people around them. Here are some ideas for a lesson plan: Look at the pictures in the book. What does everyone think about the different dinosaurs? Which ones look like they could walk, fly or swim? Do you think that there is a difference between the kind of teeth that meat-eating and vegetable-eating dinosaurs had? Have a go at drawing them. Have you ever eaten a vegetarian meal? What was it like? T-Veg has a happy ending after all, and is all about being happy in your own skin and remaining confident in your own opinions, no matter what others think. Why not talk to children about what makes them happy? Have they ever been in a situation where they have been miserable and someone else has cheered them up? These are all great talking points for PSHE lessons, and dinosaurs are a great way to make children feel at ease in the first place! Terry Perkins and his Upside Down Frown by Felix Massie Terry Perkins is a great example of how children sometimes find it difficult to fit in with the crowd – something that we have all felt at some time or other and isn’t very fun. Here are some questions you might find useful in getting children to respond to Terry’s experience and identify things that may have happened in their own life: Looking at the cover of the book, how do you think Terry feels? Why do you think he feels like that? What makes you feel like Terry does in this picture? How many different types of feelings do you know of? Can you draw yourself feeling happy, sad, angry and sorry? Here is a list of 36 very different feelings: Brave, Cheerful, Cheerful, Bored, Confused, Surprised, Curious, Proud, Disappointed, Frustrated, Embarrassed, Silly, Excited, Uncomfortable, Fantastic, Worried, Friendly, Stubborn, Generous, Shy, Ignored, Satisfied, Impatient, Safe, Important, Relieved, Interested, Peaceful, Jealous, Overwhelmed, Lonely, Loving, Confused, Tense, Angry, Calm. How many do you you think Terry experiences in the book? How many have you felt in your life? Put everyone in pairs and play ‘make a face’. See how many of the above list of emotions you can show on your face to your partner. Can they tell the difference between them? Talking about feelings is often tough for adults and children alike, but always remember that there is often triumph over adversity in the end: ‘You never need a reason to stand up proud and tall: being upside down or different doesn’t matter… at all!’ You can also watch the trailer for this lovely book here: Buy Deep In The Woods from an online retailer: UK: Buy T-Veg from an online retailer: UK: Buy Terry Perkins from an online retailer: UK: Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.