LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARDS PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY
How the Sun Got to Coco’s House is a beautiful, charming picture book with delicate illustrations, showing the journey the sun takes from the far side of the world, through forests, across the sea and over mountains, chasing the night before it shines through the window of a little girl – Coco.
The sun is personified throughout the book and the poetic manner in which its actions are described are absolutely delightful, encouraging imaginative thinking and creative use of language.
‘It lit the East Side of a city and took passing glances at itself in office towers.’
‘Bold as you like, it extinguished the street lights on Coco’s street.’
This would be a great way to kick start a topic looking at light and shadows or even the Solar System. It raises questions about how light travels and how shadows are cast as well as well as day and night and the orbiting of the planets around the sun. The text and illustration could be used to stimulate scientific discussions and thinking. The enchanting illustrations show many places on the sun’s journey, some recognisable, others less so, but all are worth exploring. Can they be found on a map? What do we know about each location e.g. climate, landscape, wildlife and people?
How the Sun Got to Coco’s House also encourages brave use of language; there are so many fantastic verbs used to express the actions of the sun, many of which would not be the first to spring to mind e.g. trapped, crept, paused, touched, skidded, tumbled and balanced. Children would have great fun exploring verbs for other types of weather or perhaps the stars or moon, making brave choices and trying to move away from obvious vocabulary. This is a book that is perfect for innovation and invention. Children could get highly successful results and create their own story using personification. It also makes me think, what does the sun see? During the day it, travels across the world; it must see some unbelievable and inspirational things! And on the flip side, what will the sun never see? Once children start to think creatively by seeing how Bob Graham uses his words -a limited amount of words- so carefully to create images for the reader, they will be able to start writing with the same thoughtfulness and imagination.
This book is simply lovely and perfect to inspire creative thinking and creative writing. I can’t wait to use it in class.
How the Sun Got to Coco's House by Bob Graham
Candlewick Press ISBN: 978-0763681098