If you work with picutrebooks for English Language Teaching purposes, you have most likely worked with some of Emily’s picturebooks: Where’s Bear? Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear and Monkey & Me are most suitable for very young (pre-primary) language learners. And books like Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, Tidy and Wolves suit the older primary language learners. Her website has many printable activities and her books cover many important topics from taking care of the environment (Tidy), standing up against bullies and being yourself (Old Hat) to friendship against societal constraints ( Cyril & Pat).
Blue Chameleon was the first Gravett picturebook we suggested when presenting our October 2018 theme of Friendship.
Comments by Tatia: I love this book, it has few words and is yet so clever. I have used this book with first year primary student teachers at and you could see that student teachers were touched by the book. They could identify with the importance of fitting in and making friends is. Overall, student teacher felt this book worked for all primary ages on different levels. If you would like to read some more on the Blue Chameleon, check this great blog post by Sandie and on Gravett’s website you will find some great printable activities.
Old Hat was discussed as a suitable book for our November Theme of Anti-Bullying
OLD HAT Kirkus Review: “Harbet – a warmly, off-white dog, mildly and endearingly scruffy has a favourite hat. It has pompoms, earflaps, and patterns; his nana knitted it when Harbet was a puppy, and it keeps him toasty warm. Unfortunately, the local trendsetters, a dinosaur, a storklike bird, and something vaguely bear-like, have different standards and could not care less about mocking. They all sport Carmen Miranda–type fruit hats and declare his old hat “OLD HAT!” (the tale’s refrain), beginning a cycle in which Harbet acquires a new hat like theirs but always after it’s become passé […] Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett and published in 2017, OLD HAT is a great confidence booster for children struggling to fit in and having a hard time because of that. How does Harbet cope? Well, he starts thinking for himself and finds his own style … he stands up by finding himself & being himself. This book will work probably best with 6-9 year olds. A great refrain for children to join in and the hats offer divers vocabulary and cross-curricular opportunities … Some great (printable) teaching activities have been provided by Emily Gravett, see the link. Check the writing activity. Tatia
Cyril & Pat was mentioned on our Facebook page as it aligned with our May 2019 Theme of Love is in the Air: Unusual Friendships.
Review by Tatia: Published in 2018, this book has been on my ‘to read’ list for a log time. Last week, I (Tatia) finally had my copy on my desk and ohh it is fantastic. The story is about a friendship between a squirrel called Cyril and a rat called Pat. Cyril is lonely until he meets Pat. He doesn’t see that Pat is a rat, he only sees a wonderful friend who makes him happy. Cyril’s friends, however, feel differently and insist that squirrels and rats can’t be friends. Cyril gives into social (animal) pressure and breaks off his friendship. One night, alone, scared and in serious need of help, Pat comes to the rescue and they live happily ever after. This book is very special and offers some excellent discussion opportunities. The story shows how Cyril’s friends use stereotypes to influence his choice of friends not noticing that he was happy. We never find out if Pat is a girl or a boy which makes the last page of Pat and Cyril with flowers … loves me, loves me not … so wonderful and a page to embrace in order to educate children on love and friendship.