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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

Reading for pleasure

Roald Dahl 

Revolting Rhymes

Revolting Rhymes is a collection of Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. A collection of traditional folk tales in verse, Dahl gives a re-interpretation of six well-known fairy tales, featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after finishes.


The Night Shimmy

Eric doesn't like to talk. His secret friend, the Night Shimmy, says everything for him. Then he meets Marcia, who doesn't mind that he is quiet. As the two become friends, the Night Shimmy disappears. Angry and scared, Eric refuses to play with Marcia. But soon she needs his help and Eric discovers that he doesn't need his imaginary friend after all.


How can you tell he is flying at night time?

Why doesn't Eric like to talk?

What do you think will happen in this story?

Who is the Night Shimmy?


Little Beauty

A very special gorilla is taught a very special skill: sign language. He appears to have everything he needs, but one day he signs that he is sad and needs a friend. His keepers bring him a tiny cat called Beauty and the two of them become inseparable.


Do you think the gorilla is a nice character?

Why do you think he might be sad?

Do you think the cat is his friend?



What the Ladybird Heard



The ladybird said never a word.
But the ladybird saw,
And the ladybird heard . . .

Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are two crafty robbers with a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But little do they know that the tiniest, quietest creature of all has overhead their plot, and she has a plan of her own . . .

What the Ladybird Heard is a fantastically funny story from the stellar picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. With brilliant rhyming verse, bright distinctive illustrations and glitter on every page, this much-loved modern classic is perfect for reading aloud.


What do you think the ladybird heard?


Traction Man


With an action outfit for every occasion, Traction Man patrols the house. Whether he is saving toys (in latex space suit and Perspex helmet, teamed with Rocket Boots); searching the sink for the lost wreck of the sieve (in sub-aqua suit, fluorescent flippers and infra-red mask) or rescuing damsels in distress (in jungle pants, camouflage vest and a bandanna), Traction Man is never less than stylishly turned out and expertly accessorised. He is the last word in heroic fashion flair - until, that is, the day that he is presented with an all-in-one knitted green romper suit and matching bonnet by his owner's granny.


Can Traction Man overcome the humiliation of his desperately dowdy new look and rediscover the action hero within or will the burden of the knitted green monstrosity be too great?


Can you support your child with answering the following questions about the story. 


1) What do you think this story is going to be about?

2) Where is this story set?

3) Who is the main character in this story?

4) How would you describe Traction Man?

5) What do you think Traction Man will do next?


Take a look at these other books by Mini Grey.

The Owl Who was Afraid of the Dark 



This term, the children will be reading the story The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark. This story will be read by the children each week and there will be a number of activities that will be completed linked to the text. Can you support your child at home to answer some of the questions below using the Predict reading viper. Perhaps you could support your child with researching owls and their habitats in preparation for reading the story.  To find out about more books by the same author please visit



VIPER questions: 

1) What do you think will happen in this story? 

2) Why do you think this title is an unusual title? 

3) Why might the owl be afraid of the dark?

4) Who was Plop?

5) Why do you think the author called him Plop?

6) What is unusual about Plop? Why is this unusual?

7) Is there anything you are afraid of? How does it make you feel?

8) Why do you think Plop was always hungry?

9) What does 'bleary' mean?

10) Why does the old lady think that Plop is a thunderbolt?


A Squash and a Squeeze

Julia Donaldson's first ever picture book is the story of an anxious little old lady, whose house is just too small - but when she asks a wise old man for help, he suggests a rather strange solution to her problems.


Here are a selection of other texts written by Julia Donaldson.

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl


The votes are in and Class Gratitude's chosen novel this term is George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl. The children are enjoying the story and we have had lots of laughter so far. Below are some questions that link to our Reading Vipers. These can be discussed with your children



Q) From reading the blurb, what do you think this story will be about? 

Q) Who are the main characters in the story? 

Q) Can you explain who your favourite character is so far? 

Q) Who does George use his Marvellous medicine on?

Q) What time is George supposed to give Grandma her medicine?