Thursday, June 20, 2024
A Boy, His Dog and the Sea

A Boy, His Dog and the Sea

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Anthony Browne

Danny isn’t expecting much excitement when he takes his dog, Scruff, for a walk on the beach. He would much rather play with his older brother, Mick. Scruff loves the beach, but Danny thinks it’s boring. Will Danny discover just how extraordinary the beach really is?


  • Write a new story with a similar title (e.g. A Girl, Her Cat and the Park, or A Farmer, His Pig and the Field).
  • Look at the front cover of the book. What do you think might happen? Who is the boy? What happens to his dog? Why is the sea important in the story?
  • Retell the story (or a part of it) from Danny’s point of view. Could you retell it from Scruff’s viewpoint? How might their opinions of the day’s events differ?
  • Write a prequel to the story. Why was Danny feeling sad and bored?
  • Rewrite some of the direct speech as reported speech.
  • Think of some speech / thought bubbles to add to the illustrations.
  • Some of the pages do not include any text. Can you think of some text for these?
  • Compose a poem about the sights, sounds and smells at the beach.
  • Write a newspaper article about Scruff’s rescue!
  • Write a sequel to this story about Scruff, the hero.


  • Make a list of living things that you might find at a beach habitat. Could you create a food chain / web using your list?
  • Learn about buoyancy. Why do some things float and others do not? Create a boat that will continue to float as you add increasing amounts of weight to it.


  • Use publishing software to design a poster that encourages people to visit the beach.
  • Design a game in which Scruff has to rescue somebody in the sea.
  • Carry out a survey about your friends’ favourite beach / seaside activities and record these on a spreadsheet.

Design Technology:

  • Design a new beach hut / shelter for the seaside.


  • Collect some pebbles and use these to create some art.
  • Make some patterns using different types of pebbles.
  • Paint some pebbles and rocks.
  • Danny looks at the pebbles on the beach and sees lots of different things. Could you create a similar picture that hides objects inside an image of something else?
  • Retell the story in the form of a comic strip.
  • Create some sand sculptures.


  • Use instruments and other objects to imitate sounds you might hear at the beach.


  • Find your nearest beach and plan a trip there. How would you get there? How long would the journey take?
  • Make a map that shows the boy’s journey throughout the story.
  • Think of famous beaches around the world. Can you find these on a map?
  • Discuss the importance of keeping beaches clean and the impact of litter on marine life.


  • Learn about the history of the RNLI or another organisation that helps / rescues people who are in danger.
  • Find a beach near you and investigate its history. How have people used it in the past?

Physical Education:

  • Plan a set of games that you could play at the beach.


  • Make a poster to teach people how to stay safe at the beach / around water.

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