Christopher Nibble loves munching dandelion leaves. And he’s not alone. All the guinea pigs in Dandeville eat dandelion leaves for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But no-one seems to do anything when the dandelions begin to dwindle. They just carry on munching. In fact, the guinea pigs of Dandeville are heading for eco-disaster . . . But that’s where Christopher Nibble steps in. He discovers the last dandelion growing outside his bedroom window and, rather than eat it, he does his horticultural research in the library and then nurtures the dandelion patiently until it has produced a perfect head of tiny seeds. Then he blows the seeds from a hill high over Dandeville so that each dandelion seedling takes root and grows into a new plant.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Write a story about another resident of Dandeville and an adventure that they have.
- Write a set of instructions to teach people how to look after a pet guinea pig (see Resources below).?You can find information on the RSPCA’s site.
- Write a set of instructions to teach people how to grow their own plants.
- The guinea pigs like to ‘munch’ and ‘nibble’ the dandelions. How many words can you think of to describe how we can eat?
- Can you write the story in the first person, from Christopher’s point of view?
- Write a recipe to teach the guinea pigs how to make a new type of ‘dandelion dish’.
- At one point in the story, ‘the worst thing imaginable happened?’. Could you use this sentence as the starting point for a brand new story about a different animal (or a person)?
- Think of positive words that Christopher might use to describe dandelions and negative words to describe cabbages!
- Create a page from the book ‘Everything You Need to Know about Dandelions’.
- Look at the book titles in the illustration of the library. Can you write a story based on one of these titles?
- Read the sequel, Christopher’s Caterpillars. Can you write another book about Christopher Nibble?
- Look at the repeating patterns on the guinea pigs’ clothing. Can you design your own repeating patterns?
- Find out everything you can about guinea pigs and write a report about them.
- What other types of food do guinea pigs like to eat? Could you plan a meal for them (with or without dandelions!)?
- Can you find any dandelions in parks and gardens near to you? What other plants grow in these areas?
- Learn about how plants grow and reproduce. What are seeds? How are they dispersed?
- Look at the seeds from different types of plants. How are they similar / different?
- Take part in gardening activities to help plants grow in your school / garden.
- Design a new shed / greenhouse in which Christopher can grow lots of plants.
- Design a new pair of patterned shorts for Christopher Nibble to wear (see Resources below).
- Look at the different patterns and textures used in the illustrations. Can you make your own patterns / textures using different art materials?
- Look at the book titles in the illustration of the library. Could you design a cover for one of these books?
- Use natural objects to create your own artwork. Look at the work of Andy Goldsworthy for some inspiration.
- Decorate a plant pot and use it to grow some of your favourite flowers.
- Draw a map of Dandeville, showing Christopher’s house, the library, Daisy Chain Hill and other places mentioned in the story. Could you use a key to show the different places?
- Christopher’s mouth waters at the sight of the last dandelion. What makes your mouth water? Are these healthy or unhealthy types of food?
- It takes a lot of ‘willpower’ for Christopher to stop himself from eating the last dandelion. What is willpower? How can it help us?
- Christopher has to be very patient while he waits for the dandelion to grow. When have you ever had to be patient?