The friends are out for a walk. Suddenly, they spot it – a beautiful bird perched high in a tree! They simply must have it and – shh!- they have a plan. So they tip-toe very slowly, nets poised – “Ready one … ready two … ready three … GO!” But, at the turn of the page, we find a ridiculous bunch of very tangled characters and a blissfully oblivious bird, flying away. One hilarious foiled plan after another and it’s clear that this goofy gang cannot catch that elusive birdie! But the littlest of this group, a quiet spectator up until now, knows that a bit of kindness can go a long way… Will his friends follow his gentle lead or will they get themselves into even more trouble?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Retell the story from the point of view of one of the characters.
- Retell the story from the point of view of one of the birds.
- Rewrite the story in the form of a playscript. Could you perform it for an audience?
- Inverted commas aren’t used in this story. Could you rewrite it using the correct punctuation?
- ‘LOOK’ and ‘GO’ are imperative verbs. Can you think of any others?
- Write a set of instructions to teach people how to look after a bird.
- Make a list of ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments about trying to catch wild animals.
- The characters have a plan, but this is never described. Could you write out their plan?
- Write a sequel for this story in which the four characters try to catch the squirrel.
- Create a similar story about some people who try to catch something unsuccessfully.
- Read some of the reviews of this book on Chris Haughton’s site. Could you write your own review?
- Design a game in which the four characters have to try and catch a bird.
- Use art software to paint an image using different shades of one colour.
- Look at this trailer for the book. Could you make your own?
- Make some puppets to represent the characters in the story. Could you use them to perform it to an audience?
- Create a collage that shows one of the birds that the characters are trying to catch.
- Most of the illustrations use different shades of blue. Could you try to create your own pictures using different shades of the same colour?
- How many different shades of blue can you think of?
- Compose a piece of music to accompany an animated version of this story.
- Look at the expressions of the characters in the illustrations. How are they feeling? What are they thinking at different points?
- The author’s site has a number of activity sheets that schools can use. Download them here.