Friday, April 19, 2024
Willy's Stories

Willy’s Stories

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Anthony Browne

Once a week, Willy walks through an ordinary-looking set of doors and straight into an adventure – an adventure inspired by a beloved classic of children’s literature, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to The Wind in the Willows. Where will those doors take him today?

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write about a new adventure that Willy might have when he goes through the doors again.
  • Choose one of the adventures that Willy has in the book and answer the question that he poses.
  • Write a paragraph (or more) to describe what happens next in each adventure.
  • Imagine that you are Willy. How would you react in each situation?
  • Create some speech / thought bubbles for the illustrations to show what Willy is thinking / feeling.
  • Look at the use of punctuation in the story. Why have exclamation marks, semi-colons and brackets been used in certain places?
  • At different points in the story, Willy meets Long John Silver, Friar Tuck, Captain Hook and other characters. Can you find out more about these people? Which stories do they come from?
  • Imagine what is inside the tinderbox that Willy is asked to collect. What might happen if he collects it for the old woman.
  • Discuss the ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments for collecting the tinderbox and giving it to the woman.
  • Some of the words are written using UPPER CASE letters. Why has the author done this?
  • Create a new page for this book, in which Willy has another adventure with a character from a popular book.
  • The author varies the length of the sentences in each adventure. Can you explain why he does this?
  • ‘Willy’ speaks directly to the reader at different points in the story. Why has the author used this technique? Can you use it in your own writing?
  • Create your own version of this story, based on adventures that you might have in books that you have read.
  • Willy visits a library to get his books. Could you think of some questions that you could ask a librarian?
  • Make a persuasive poster to encourage people to visit their local library.


  • Willy spots a footprint in the sand on the desert island. Can you investigate different types of animal footprints? How are they similar / different? Look at our Animal Footprints resource for ideas (see Resources below).


  • Use publishing software to create a news report about one of the adventures that Willy had.
  • Create a video / animation that retells the story of one of Willy’s adventures.


  • Look at the expressions of the characters in the illustrations. Can you draw your own pictures of different people and try to portray different emotions on their faces?
  • All of the characters in the illustrations are monkeys. Could you try to recreate them using other animals?


  • Plan a trip to a library. Where is it? How will you get there?


  • Look at the expressions on the faces of the characters. How are they feeling? How do you know?


Animal Footprints

Animal Footprints

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