Thursday, 14 November 2013

Barefoot Book Club : The Mother of Monsters

Mischievous Ntombi, the Chief’s daughter, isn’t at all afraid of the fearsome Ilunge River. But when she goes to swim there, she enrages the Mother of Monsters, with her gigantic head, bulging eyes and thick, slimy scales, causing more trouble than she could ever imagine!

'The Mother of Monsters' was the book of choice for our Halloween themed October Book Club at Big You, Little You. Suitable for ages 6 and up, ' The Mother of Monsters ' is the second book in Barefoot's monster series, ideal for young readers. 

The start of our book club sessions, sees us delve into the fantastic Barefoot Atlas, to find out more about the country our book was set in. This is a great way for the children to share their geographical knowledge and share stories or facts about what they know about the country. None of the children,in this group, had visited South Africa but the great illustrations by Sophie Fatus really help bring the story to life.

With a discussion about what life may be like for people living in a South African village, the scene was set to start read our favourite exerts from the books, with each child reading aloud if they felt comfortable to do so.  Listening to children read aloud and discover new words for the first time is one of life's great pleasures. I love how much attention and support the children in the group give to each other. It was also great to hear the children express their own opinions of the book, what they liked and disliked, without believing that there was any right or wrong in their understanding of the book. With themes of parental rebellion, trust, independence and arranged marriage, the 'Mother of Monsters' certainly provoked lots of debate, on an appropriate level for the age group.

Once we have read and discussed the book together, it is time to move on to a small activity whilst enjoying a snack. Snacks are usually connected to the country of origin but as it was Halloween we decided to make our own cheeky monster cupcakes and ate them whilst completing a monster themed word search, to keep those brains ticking over. A task at the end of book club is an ideal way to wind down the session and to give those who may want to ask a question to do so in a relaxed manner, particularly if they were shy to ask in the group. With lots of themed music playing in the background, the session finished with the children going away happy, after deciding on December's book choice.

If you would like to start up your own Barefoot Book Club, get in touch and we can provide books and activity advice. If you are in the North West, get in touch and we could come and facilitate in a venue of your choice.

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