What is the mysterious Grotlyn? What sort of creature could it be, scuttling across the town, frightening everyone in its path? And why has it stolen PC Vickers’ knickers?!
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Use the title of this story as the starting point for your own story. What is a ‘Grotlyn’? What might happen to it?
- Look at the first double-page spread. Discuss each of the characters. Who are they? What might they be thinking/feeling? Where is the story set?
- Write a description of the setting for this story.
- Think of some speech/thought bubbles for the characters in each illustration.
- Write a diary entry from the point of view of Rubi or Sam.
- Write a newspaper article about the sightings of the Grotlyn. Include interviews with some of the characters in the story.
- Write Policeman Vickers’ police report about the strange happenings that are taking place in the town.
- One part of the story says, ‘For things are not quite what they seem’. What does this mean? Could you use this idea in your own writing?
- Imagine that the monkey wrote a postcard or letter back to Rubi and Sam. What would it say?
- Write a sequel to this story. Where will the monkey go?
- How does a hot air balloon work? Describe the forces taking place when a hot air balloon is in flight.
- Watch this trailer for the book. Could you make your own book trailer using Powerpoint or animation software?
- Design and make a simple musical instrument.
- Make a model of a hot air balloon that the ‘Grotlyn’ could use to escape in.
- Draw your own illustrations that show what you think a ‘Grotlyn’ might look like.
- The illustrations in this story use very dark shades of colour. Can you create your own pictures using dark colours?
- Silhouettes are also used frequently in the illustrations. Can you draw your own silhouette pictures?
- Compose a simple melody to accompany the organ grinder’s rhyme.
- Find out more about street organs. How are they played? How do they make sounds?
- Where is this story set? What do you know about Victorian England?
- Look at the illustrations and discuss how Rubi’s life is similar/different to your own.
- Can you find out more and write a report about the period? Use our Victorians resource pack.
- Try having a Victorian Day in your school.
- Find out more about the history of organ grinders.
- Rubi is frightened of the Grotlyn at the beginning of the story. What things are people sometimes frightened of? Do you have any fears? How do you overcome them?