Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Crocodile Under the Bed

The Crocodile Under The Bed

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Judith Kerr

Once there was a little boy called Matty, and he was very sad. Matty is sick, and very sad because he’s too sick to go to the Queen’s birthday party! But when he gets an unexpected visitor, it seems that Matty might not miss out after all…

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write a new story about a child who finds an animal hiding under their bed.
  • Create an invitation for the Queen’s birthday party… or for the animals’ special party.
  • Find out about the Queen’s life and write a biography about her.
  • Rewrite the story in the form of a play script.
  • Matty uses the words ‘great’, ‘big’ and ‘enormous’ to describe the crocodile. Can you think of other words to describe a crocodile? Could you make a poster / display to share your words?
  • The author uses the word ‘said’ a number of times in the story. Can you think of any synonyms for ‘said’ and replace these in the story? Do your new words improve the story? You could use some of our examples on this page.
  • Retell the story from Matty’s point of view. This could be in the form of a diary entry about his day.
  • Write a description of Matty’s journey as he flew on the back of the crocodile.
  • Create a recipe for a birthday cake for the King.
  • Imagine a new ride that Matty could go on as part of the animals’ party celebrations. Use your idea to create a new page for the story.
  • This book is a sequel to the popular story, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Which do you prefer? Why?
  • Write a sequel for this story about a new adventure that Matty and the crocodile have together.


  • Make a list of food and drink that you might need at a party. Calculate the total cost for different numbers of people.


  • At the start of the story, Matty is sick. Think of things that people can do to keep themselves fit and healthy.
  • Matty has a party blower. How do party blowers make a sound?

Design Technology

  • Design (and make) some new party hats for the animals to wear at their party.
  • Can you make a birthday cake for the King or Queen?
  • Make some puppets based on the characters in this story (e.g. Matty, Chimpy and the crocodile) and use these to retell the story.


  • Look for examples of patterns in Matty’s bedrooms and on the animals’ party hats. Can you design your own patterns?
  • Watch this video of Judith Kerr talking about her illustrations and the decisions that she makes when she is drawing and writing her books:


  • Draw a map that shows the main locations in the story and the events that took place there.


  • Look at the expressions of the characters in the illustrations. How are they feeling? Can you think of words to describe their emotions?
  • Matty’s family leave him behind when he is unwell. Discuss with a friend whether they should have gone to the party or not.

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