This week the UKLA Book awards announced their long list and Flood was included in the 3-7 years category.
Copies had to be sent to the twenty teacher judges.Since its publication, I’ve used Flood a lot in schools with nursery and foundation. I bring along original artwork for the children to look at and spot how many little creatures, besides the three main characters, are afloat on debris in the flood.
I also have colouring sheets where each creature can be matched with the object it is sitting on in the book.
With slightly older children, we make up new characters and start a group story about a flood. Here they are insect characters to fit in with the class’ bug theme.
Then there's an opportunity to act out with puppets the orientation part of the story: ‘to the right and to the left’ when the ox, fox and hen cling on to each other’s tails and steer their way through the water.
We end with a discussion about friendship. The characters at the start of the story are not nice to each other; the ox wants to kick the fox and the fox wants eat the hen. But they all have to cooperate and work as a team if they are going to survive the flood. By the end a change has occurred and they have become friends.
‘…they had to squash up close. Then the rain stopped and Old Slodger the Ox thought “Maybe, after all I won’t kick the fox.” And the Hungry Fox thought, “Maybe, after all, I won’t eat the hen. And Fussy Hen stopped squawking, and stopped looking this way and that, and was peaceful and quiet.’
But the big question is - will they remain friends once the flood draws back and there are fields again - when life returns to normal?