The Grotlyn

Age Range: 5 - 11

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?!​

Book Author: Benji Davies

See More Books from this author

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 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 Technology

  • 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 colours. 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?​


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