Thursday, 1 January 2015

Spotlight on Craig Smith's picture books - absolutely hilarious!

I just love Craig Smith's picture books as they use rhyme, rhythm and repetition which is great for early readers.  They also come with a CD of Craig singing the story, which encourages young readers to join in with the shared reading experience.

Don't know Craig Smith's stories?  You don't know what you are missing...

Firstly, The Wonkey Donkey.  View a YouTube clip of the story here.  This is a crack up - it's a cumulative story which the kids really love (and university students too!).  It has such a catchy tune.  

We used bee bots with those free jackets you can get online and put a donkey cover over the bee bots, with the children programming them to dance to the tune of The Wonkey Donkey.

We downloaded the free bee bot jackets from Primary Treasure Chest.

We also used the bee bots without jackets (just as bees) and the children programmed them to dance to another of Craig Smith's stories, Willbee the Bumblebee.  You can view a YouTube clip of the story being sung here.

My Daddy Ate An Apple is hilarious.  Have you ever taken a bite of an apple only to find a worm in it?  Not just any worm, but a fuzzy one, a buzzy one, a great big fat juicy one!  You can view a review of the story  here.
Finally, drum roll... I picked up Craig Smith's latest picture book, Square Eyes.  Again, the author uses rhyme, rhythm, repetition and humour to totally engage the reader.  

This is a really funny story about not being a couch potato and getting away from the TV, the screen, the electronics etc. and being engaged and active with all life has to offer.

Craig Smith has dedicated his book, "To all the children who sometimes struggle to get their parents off the couch, their tablets and phones to play with them."

When I was reading the book, I came to the page where they were in the swimming pool and I almost wanted to get out my red pen.  In my head I was thinking there was a spelling mistake, and it wasn't until I put on the CD and listened to the song version that I got it and laughed out really loudly!  I don't want to spoil it for you, but it is very clever :)

You can view Craig Smith, the author, singing the story in song, with a group of students here.  

If you know any children who find it hard to extract themselves from digital devices, this is the book for them!  It would also be a handy addition to any unit of work around health and exercise.

On that note, if any of us made health-related New Year's Resolutions, and we shared this book in the classroom, it could be a handy reminder for us - work/life balance etc.

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. These sound great! Thank-you for sharing them.
    Not very fancy

  2. Thanks for the feedback Deb - they truly are terrific for repeated readings and reluctant readers as they are so highly engaging :)

  3. Hi Kylie, thanks for sharing these. I recently came across Willbee due to my brother's love of bees and thought it was such a good story.
    Miss Jenny's Classroom

  4. Hi there Jenny - I love all four of his books - such catchy tunes :)