Deep in the forest, a very bad bear is baking a fabulous pie. All the woodland animals want to help him find the perfect filling, so they bring him their favourite foods: berries, nuts, honey and salmon. But the bear has a better idea for what can go in the pie ...the animals themselves!
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With beautiful illustrations that are a feast for the eyes this story will very quickly become a favourite with your children. On first reading it is a funny story of slapstick humour with an undercurrent of 'peril' - just what three and four year old children love! On second reading you are drawn in by the intricacies of the illustrations and begin to notice the different animals and insects hiding on the pages. It reminded me of 'Each Peach Pear Plum' in the sense that there were things to count and talk about on each page. There are very many activities and ideas that could be taken from the book, I've made some suggestions...
Prime areas are consistent throughout the activities as together you share, listen, talk and move in different ways
- [EAD,L,M] Making your own pie - children will enjoy touching, squeezing, pulling and pounding dough - for real or out of salt dough. measuring, mixing, rolling and making the pie - talking about sweet and savoury - taste testing 'real pies', vocabulary extension using words other than 'nice' or 'nasty'. Using mathematical language - too much/full, not enough/ empty.
- [L] Listening out for the rhymes and alliterations in the text - extending rhyming strings
- [uW, M, EAD] Discussing and sorting different animals e.g. jungle, in the sky, in the water, in the forest. Noticing where different animals live in the forest - on the ground, in the trees, in holes. Moving like animals, making percussion music to accompany movements
- [PSED] - discussion of how the woodland animals work together in a team - problem solving exercises that encourage children to work together to find a solution. Looking at the different emotions that the animals go through e.g. why was the bear crying? What emotions can you see in their faces?
- [PD] discussing the health and safety aspects - which 'found foods' are safe to eat - which of the food that the animals eat do you like to eat? why is it OK for the animals to eat the food straight from the trees, bushes, river?
This would be a useful addition for any early years setting - we'll certainly be reading it again!