'I smell the mouse with my wet, black nose.'
With each new book, I try and do an accompanying workshop. I thought the theme of the workshop based on ‘Mouse in the House’ could be the senses; sight, hearing, smell and touch.
I had a chance of airing this new book and the new workshop too at the Wisbech Reads Festival.
Parents with their toddlers in push chairs arrived at the gazebo in the middle of Orchard School Primary School playing field where I had a display of artwork and some props as part of an event promoting family learning. First I read the story and we looked at the pictures. Then came an activity linked to the senses.
'Touching' was the easiest. Babies all seem to have grown up with touchy, feely books and the babies at my workshop solemnly fingered the different textures I had brought with me. ‘Seeing’ was a little trickier but we were able to play a modified game of ‘I spy’ without using any letters. ‘I spy my Mum’s eye, my Dad’s nose, etc.’ ‘Hearing’ was fun; I had all kinds of things that made noises in my bag. The tots were looking quite alert by now. But 'smell' and sniffing things, was problematic. This sense, like taste, has the potential to disgust or even bring on the sneezes. So I asked the parents to have a sniff of the scents first. In my little sealed jars I had some chocolate powder, a cinnamon stick, mint leaves and a lily flower. The parents decided whether their child would like a particular smell and the sniffling passed without mishap and my workshop ended without tears…until... a great gust of wind hit the gazebo, knocking over the flip chart, scattering pens and pencils and blowing away my artwork.