Saturday, 20 February 2016

Winnie in Winter by Valerie Thomas and illustrated by Korky Paul

Winnie the witch and her cat Wilbur are fed up with feeling frozen and sick of the sight of snow. Winnie casts a spell and turns everything into summer. That is a big mistake. Her neighbours invade her garden and Winnie realises summer’s shortcomings. So she decides to cancel her spell and bring back the winter.

Winnie is a loveable witch who lives with her cat Wilbur. Children will enjoy reading about her antics and as there are so many titles about her, these make a great resource for an author study.

In this particular story, the contrasts are made between winter and summer in terms of clothing, weather, flora and fauna. References are made to animals who are hibernating and flowers that only grow in Spring/Summer. This makes it a good story to read aloud to any class who are studying the Seasons. There is also an interesting PHSE lesson in the story about respecting other people's property.

In terms of English, the story is simply told, making it ideal for those children who have successfully achieved phase 5 phonics. The text can also be used as a stimulus for a number of the spelling, punctuation and grammar objectives identified for year 2; in particular, apostrophes for omission, adjectives, noun phrases, the use of commas for separating words in a list, commands and sentence structure.

Korky Paul's illustrations give a certain charm to the story. Wilbur's facial expressions are wonderful and the detail in each of the full page spreads means there is always plenty to talk about. 

In Year 2, children will be able to explore the similarities between this story and other Winnie stories and will enjoy composing their own Winnie story, which they could illustrate in the style of Korky Paul.

A lovely, picture to share with children aged 3-7 as a read aloud book and as a literacy resource in year 2. Every Key Stage 1 library should have these on their shelves.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 978-0-19-273689-5


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