Sunday, June 16, 2024


by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Aaron Becker

This wonderful book follows a little girl who draws a magic door on her bedroom wall. Through it she escapes into a world where wonder, adventure and danger abound. Red marker pen in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon and a flying carpet which carry her on a spectacular journey … who knows where?

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Use the title as the starting point for your own story. What might your own story about a ‘Journey’ include?
  • Look at the illustrations on the front, back and inside covers. Discuss what you think it might be about.
  • As you explore the illustrations in the book, try to find features that might be clues about the rest of the story.
  • Think of your own captions, speech / thought bubbles to add to the illustrations.
  • Make a word bank that includes words you could use to describe the people, places and events in the story.
  • Create a narrative version of the story. Could you turn it into a playscript?
  • Imagine that you had a pen that could be used to draw (and create) real objects. What would you draw? Could you write a new story based on this concept?
  • Write a character profile about the girl. What do you know about her? How would you describe her?
  • Retell the story from the girl’s point of view. Could you write a diary entry for her?
  • Write a prequel to this story that explains where the magic red pen came from. Who owned it before the girl? Who made it? Why does it have special powers?
  • Choose one of the settings in the story. How would you describe it?
  • Write a newspaper article about a girl who goes missing through a magical doorway in her bedroom.
  • Write a newspaper article about the girl who arrived in the city in a red boat.
  • Stop reading when the girl first arrives at the city. Should she go in? Why (not)? Share your thoughts with others and vote on what you think should happen next.
  • Why is the purple bird being hunted by the people?


  • Create a game in which a girl has to rescue a special purple bird.
  • Create a video that shows the illustrations in the book and is accompanied by your own narration / speech.
  • Watch this trailer for the book. Could you use multimedia software to create your own book trailer?

Design Technology

  • Create a model of one of the airships in the illustrations.


  • Imagine that you could draw a magic door from your classroom / bedroom wall into another world. Draw the view to the other side.
  • Create a picture that shows what the girl can see at your favourite point in the story.
  • Could you create an additional page (or group of pages) that tells a different part of the story? Could you draw a sequel to this book?
  • The illustrations were created using watercolour paints. Can you try to paint using a similar style?
  • Look at the different characters in the story. Can you create your own illustrations of them? This video has some tips from the author / illustrator:


  • Compose a theme tune to accompany a movie version of this story.


  • Draw a map of the city the girl encounters.
  • How many different forms of transport can you find in the book?
  • Imagine that you had a flying carpet. Where would you travel to? Why?
  • Plan your own ‘Journey’. Where will you go? How will you get there? What will you need to take?


  • Find out about famous journeys, explorers and expeditions from history.

Religious education

  • Why do people sometimes go on special journeys as part of their religion? Can you find out more about these?


  • Look at the body language of the characters in the illustrations. What might they be thinking / feeling? How can you tell?

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