Encouraging a love of books and a love of reading in some children can be a harder job that you’d imagine. It can be really fun and useful to try to bring a story to life. You could use silly voices, or act out the story with puppets, or put together a story book bag. A story book bag is a great way to bring a story to life. I’ve done one with one of our favourite books – A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson.
A Squash and a Squeeze is the story of a little old lady lives all by herself in her little house but she’s not happy. Her house just feels too small, but what can she do? She seeks out the help of a wise old man who advises her to bring in a flappy, scratchy, greedy, noisy crowd of farm animals. When he eventually advises her to evict all of the animals, he house suddenly feels big again.
A Squash and a Squeeze is a lovely story to read out loud. Like Julia Donaldson’s other books, it’s wonderfully rhythmic and really enjoyable. The illustrations in the book are fab too, full of life and action, though for copyright reasons I used royalty free images instead of the iconic Axel Scheffler illustrations from the book.
Story book bags are a lovely thing to make up. We chose one of our favourite books – A Squash and a Squeeze. I printed some suitable images onto card; cut them out and stuck them onto lolly sticks. I also gathered a few suitable props, like an egg and a jug and popped them in the bag alongside a copy of the book A Squash and a Squeeze.
My son absolutely loved the story book bag. It really helped bring the story to life for him. He loved using the props and acting out the story as I read it out. He enjoyed it so much, that once I’d finished reading he went on to make his own fun story using the characters.
I’m really pleased that such a simple thing really brought the story to life. I’m delighted that it also encouraged my son to do some creative storytelling of his own. Do I have a future author on my hands? I hope so.
A Squash and a Squeeze is widely available from all good bookshops.