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Book of the Week

Key Stage 1
Doing the Animal Bop

Author – Jan Ormerod
Illustrator – Lindsey Gardiner
Publisher – Oxford University Press
Book with CD – ISBN  9780192719881
EPUB – ISBN 9780192739544

A fun and lively rhyme that invites the children to join in with the noises and actions, as they dance the animal bop.  Learn how the different animals sound and move with this interactive book that is perfect for story time.

Key Stage 2
Charlie Changes into a Chicken

Author – Sam Copeland
Illustrator – Sarah Horne
Publisher – Penguin Books
Paperback – ISBN 9780241346211
EPUB – ISBN 9780241346259
Audiobook MP3 – ISBN 9780241379998

Charlie McGuffin has an incredible secret. He can change into a pigeon or a flea or a rhino, in fact all kinds of animals.  However, he cannot control when it happens only that it seems to happen when he is worried.  And Charlie has a LOT to worry about.

Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, The Blue Peter Award, The Guardian and The Telegraph’s Children Book of the Year, this entertaining book will delight as Charlie tries to find a way to deal with his crazy new power.

Website of the Week

Edinburgh Zoo Website

Visit the Zoo!

View live webcam footage from Edinburgh Zoo. Take a look at different times during the day to see which animals are most active and when – they may not always be in view. Further live webcam from zoos and animal parks around the world can be found at

Visit Edinburgh Zoo

Artefact of the Week

Carved Gecko Artefact

Carved Gecko

Geckos are nocturnal lizards that live in the same desert regions as the Australian Aborigines. This wooden carved gecko is painted in the Aboriginal style using dots.

What are Dreamtime stories?

Aboriginal people were the first Australians. They told stories in pictures about how the world began. They call this ‘Dreamtime’. Their stories are called ‘Dreamings’.

Why did Aboriginal artists use dots?

Dot paintings are used a lot in Dreamtime stories and traditionally represent a story about hunting or food gathering. They were often used to hide traditional Aboriginal secret or sacred information that lay underneath the dotting. Dots were also easier to paint with twigs and fingers as they did not have access to paint brushes.

Why did the Aborigines think geckos were lucky to have around?

In Dreamtime stories the gecko represents adaptability, regeneration, strength and survival.

The gecko is very adaptable and can camouflage itself to suit its varying surroundings. Should a gecko lose its tail in a fight or attack, it can regrow it. It is a lesson to us to make the best of a situation. In order to survive, you need to adapt, regenerate and go on, like the gecko.

Perhaps you would like to create your own Aboriginal work of art?

Download some templates here

Picture/Clip of the Week

What is unusual about this picture?

Go to What is unusual about the picture? Can you describe it to someone? Take a look at the questions and activities underneath the picture and have a go at some of them.

Challenge of the Week


Create an A to Z of animals

Can you think of at least one animal starting with each of the letters of the alphabet?


Go to, and make an animal of your choice.

See Also:

  • Activity Area Every week day we will add a recommendation for a book, website, artefact or picture linked to a common theme. Each Friday we will set a challenge related to this theme.