May 7th, 2020

Bookshow at Home with Benji Davies

Wow! That week simply flew by! Our first Book of the Week with Catherine Rayner’s wonderful story Abigail went down a storm and children sent in some brilliant giraffe pictures to put up in our gallery. Talking of storms, this week we are back with another of our favourite books, The Storm Whale by Benji Davies, with some interesting author facts and fun exercises to do at home. You can sign up to our newsletter here, or follow us on twitter @ChildrensBkShow. Our activities should appeal to all kinds of readers, writers and artists, so everyone can get involved.

Book of the Week: The Storm Whale

Noi lives with his fisherman dad and six cats by the sea. One morning after a storm, Noi finds a new friend on the beach, who he tries to keep a secret from his dad. The Storm Whale is a beautiful story about loneliness and companionship and every illustrated page is full of wonderful detail.

Author in focus

The Storm Whale is Benji's first picture book, and won the inaugural Oscar’s Book Prize and was Dutch Picture Book Of The Year 2017.

Benji studied animation at university where he learnt how to tell stories with pictures, from short films and music videos, to title sequences and picture books. In his work he aims to capture how it feels to be a child.

Benji’s other books include Grandad’s Island, The Storm Whale in Winter, Grandma Bird and Tad, which has just been shortlisted for the Oscar’s Book Prize 2020.

Watch Benji reading The Storm Whale

Benji Activities!

Make a Stormy Sea Collage

‘One night, a great storm had raged about their house’.

What happens during a storm? What would the sea have looked like during the storm? Which colours would you see in a stormy sky and sea? Look again at the title page of the story which shows the stormy sea. How is this different from the illustration which shows the morning after the storm?

How to create a Stormy Sea Collage

You Will Need:
Different shades of blue and grey paper
Plain A4 paper
Black paper or a black crayon/felt tip

  1. Use paint to mix different shades of blue and grey and paint these onto 3 sheets of plain paper. Use a wide brush and paint in wavy lines to create a textured finish.

If you don’t have any paint, you could collect different shades of blue and grey paper from around the house: magazines, food packaging, wrapping paper, craft paper etc.

  1. When the paint is dry, tear the coloured paper into long, wavy strips. The tears should leave a white jagged edge which will be the crests of the waves.
  1. Stick these in layers onto the grey piece of paper to create the stormy waves, leaving a gap at the top for the grey sky.

  2. Finally, draw and cut out a little whale silhouette (like those on the end papers of the books). Stick the little lost whale to the stormy sea. Tuck its head just behind a wave so it looks like he is swimming.

Tell a Story about Life on the Island

‘He told stories about life on the island.’

What stories might Noi have told the whale? Why do you think the whale was an excellent listener?

Imagine what life would be like for Noi on the island. What adventures might he have had – perhaps with his dad, with his cats, or while his dad was out fishing?

Tell or write a story from Noi’s point of view. You could create a story map (like in the example below), a comic strip or a story book.

We'd love to see your Stormy Whale Collages and read your stories about Life on the Island! To send us your work to display in our gallery use the link below, or upload to twitter with the hashtag #BookshowAtHome. You might also like to send us a video of you reading your work. We're very impressed with the work we've received so far (select an image for a closer look)...

Email us your work for our gallery

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