Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph

Book Title: Grrrrr!

Author: Rob Biddulph

Publishers: HarperCollins Children's Books

ISBN: 9780007594139

The sixth term in the academic year marks the start of the sports day season and the pressing question on every teacher and parents mind- will it be dry or will the heavens open to a sports day wash out? As it is an Olympic year, many classes will also be studying the games this term. Because of this, Rob Biddulph’s latest picture book ‘Grrrrr!’ would seem to be the perfect book to share with a class of budding future sports men and women.

The book opens with the introduction of Fred bear, a real sports superstar and winner of the ‘Best Bear in the Wood contest’- three years running! A brilliant fish catcher and hula-hooper, Fred devotes so much time to training he doesn’t seem to have any time left for making friends. When Boris the bear arrives in town to challenge Fred’s winning streak, the animals of the wood band together to support their champion. Fred realises that there are more important things in life than winning- such as sportsmanship, kindness and friendship.

This is a gorgeous picture book, full of character and humour. Rob Biddulph’s illustrative attention to detail is a joy to look at, and his use of colour is bright and cheery.

Classroom activities based on this book might include creating your own woodland Olympics- designing and participating in events. A class could recreate the story in a different setting; the events of ‘Grrrrr!’ take place in the forest, but what if they took place on the African savannah, or the frozen arctic? Discussions regarding stealing and forgiveness for PSHE lessons are obvious, but it would also be good to look at the actions of the woodland animals, their kindness and use it to prompt work on how to make and maintain positive friendships.

Recommended mostly for KS1 classrooms, this is a story, however, that would be enjoyed by all primary school aged children especially during such a sports centred time of the year!