The Smeds (who are red) never mix with the Smoos (who are blue).
So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, their families strongly disapprove.
But peace is restored, and love conquers all in this happiest of love stories.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Read the title of the book first. What do you think it is about? What is a ‘Smed’? What is a ‘Smoo’? Where do they live? What might happen in the story?
- Can you think of any other stories where two people from different backgrounds fall in love?
- Make up a new story about two people, animals or aliens who want to be friends but are not allowed.
- There are lots of made-up words in this book. Can you make a glossary to explain what they all mean? Could you make up some of your own words and write definitions?
- Look at the illustrations and think of some speech / thought bubbles for the characters.
- Retell the story from the point of view of Janet or Bill.
- Write a diary entry for Janet or Bill from a time when they crept off to play in the Wurpular Wood together.
- Make a list of all the rhyming words in the book. Can you think of other words that rhyme with those?
- Write a prequel to the story that explains why the Smeds and the Smoos dislike each other.
- Make a newspaper report for the Smeds or the Smoos about the disappearance of Janet and Bill.
- Create a ‘missing alien’ poster for Janet or Bill.
- Write a sequel to this book? What might happen to the Smeds and the Smoos (and their new baby) next?
- Record your own narrated version of the story. Here is some examples:
- Look at the other plants and creatures in the illustrations and think about how they might be adapted to living on the alien planet.
- Make a food chain for the living things shown in the illustrations.
- Make a stop-motion animation about two aliens.
- Use art software to draw Janet and Bill.
- Create some puppets based on the characters and use them to retell the story.
- Design a board game about the rescue of two missing aliens.
- Design your own alien and create a character profile for it. Where does it live? Does it have any special abilities?
- Design a new creature that might live on the far-off planet.
- The Smeds and the Smoos visit other planets to find Janet and Bill. Can you imagine a new planet that they might explore?
- Make a melody for the Smeds and Smoos song at the end of the book.
- Make a map that shows the locations mentioned in the story. Add labels to show what happened in each place.
- Make a list of the ways that the Smeds and the Smoos are similar / different. Is being different from others a bad thing?
- How did Janet and Bill feel in the story? How would you feel if your family told you not to play with a particular person?