Summer Reading Challenge 2020

Every year we help to promote the Summer Reading Challenge, produced by The Reading Agency, bringing workshops and storytelling shows to libraries in and around London to engage children in reading, the challenge and the libraries.​

And this year is no different! Well... it's a little different. The Summer Reading Challenge is, of course, online this year. BUT we will still be providing lots of fun and silly activities that fit with this year's theme - The Silly Squad! 

With the launch of the Challenge on Friday 5th June we started our #SillyReadingChallenge where we challenged you to come up with your silliest ways of reading. Check out our video to see some of our own ideas. 

Each week we will be producing new content which can be found on this page as well on library websites - so scroll down for new content week by week!

Lastly (and most importantly!!) make sure you sign up to the challenge here:

www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

SILLYSQUAD_Stacked.jpg

Every year we help to promote the Summer Reading Challenge, produced by The Reading Agency, bringing workshops and storytelling shows to libraries in and around London to engage children in reading, the challenge and the libraries.

And this year is no different! Well... it's a little different. The Summer Reading Challenge is, of course, online this year. BUT we will still be providing lots of fun and silly activities that fit with this year's theme - The Silly Squad! 

With the launch of the Challenge on Friday 5th June we started our #SillyReadingChallenge where we challenged you to come up with your silliest ways of reading. Check out our video to see some of our own ideas. 

Each week we will be producing new content which can be found on this page as well on library websites - so visit us here for new content week by week!

Lastly (and most importantly!!) make sure you sign up to the challenge here:

www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

 

The Remarkable Rocket is here!

Roll up, roll up! The time has come to witness the event of the century! The court has gathered for the Prince's wedding, but perhaps more interesting than that is what is going on in the firework box...

 

The Rocket is convinced that this whole event is all about him and is driving romantic Catherine wheel and rational Roman Candle up the wall. But with all his bragging will he be as remarkable as he claims to be?

This is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's very silly short story for children, which can be read here.

 

This is the final film we are producing for the Summer Reading Challenge 2020. It was filmed in a socially distanced bubble. 

Thank you once again to Arts Council England for funding our Summer Reading Challenge project. We couldn't have done it without you!

*DRUMROLL...* 

It's the Remarkable Rocket Trailer!

Did you guess what the story was??? Here's a virtual high-five if you did - *CLAP*!

So here it is, our trailer for our adaptation of, arguably, Oscar Wilde's silliest story of all; 'The Remarkable Rocket'!

The film will be released on Friday 11th September - one week away! We hope you enjoy the trailer and be sure to look out for the full video!

Alices Adventures: Chapter 12, Alice's Evidence
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Week 12: 

A Special Surprise!

And Alice's Final Chapter...

For our final video of the Summer Reading Challenge, we thought we'd set ourselves a challenge by bringing one of our favourite silly stories to life! 

See if you can guess what it is... it has talking fireworks, a royal wedding and was written by an Irish author and playwright! If you can guess, you get a virtual high-five from us!

Here's the teaser with the trailer to follow next week. Enjoy!

In the final chapter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice is put on trial by the King and Queen of Hearts! Will she get through? Will she eventually escape Wonderland? If so, how? Have a listen to find out.

Week 11: 

Magical Nick-Names

And Who Stole the Tarts?

This week we have been reading, "I'm Not A Mouse!" by Evgenia Golubeva.

 

In this book, every time Olivia's mum calls her by her pet-name, "Mouse", Olivia turns into a mouse! This gets her into some sticky situations, and she can't stand it! Can she convince her mum to stop calling her Mouse? 

 

This book got us wondering what it would be like if every time we were called by our nicknames, "Cat" and "Hutch", we turned into an actual Cat and an actual Hutch! And this is what happened... 

If you have a pet-name and have an idea of what type of character you'd turn into, you can download and print off THIS TEMPLATE with a space to draw and describe your character. We'd love to see what you come up with!

In Chapter 11, Alice gets to witness a real life court case, to find out who stole the tarts? Of course, this being Wonderland, it's not your average court case... 

Alice in Wonderland Chapter 11 - Who sto
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Alice's Adventures: Chapter 10, The Lobster Quadrille
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Week 10: 

Painting with Chocolate!

And Alice learns a new dance...

This week, for the Summer Reading Challenge, we were inspired by the brilliantly hilarious book, "Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties!", by Humza Arshad and Henry White and illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff. In this book, Aunties are invading Humza Khan's (aka Little Badman) school!

 

And they are making the children participate in all sorts of awful lessons - like cake tasting, reading food packages then eating whatever is inside and painting with chocolate - that's right - chocolate!!!!!

 

Ok... none of this sounds terrible, but Humza and his friends are sure they are up to something and are determined to get to the bottom of it! This book is laugh-out-loud funny and also gets the tummy rumbling! So we were inspired to do our own chocolate paintings! And you can too! Just the watch the video to find out how. 

In Chapter 10, Alice learns all about the Lobster Quadrille - a very interesting dance - performed by the various creatures that live in the sea. She is also "treated" to two... erm... "delightful" songs!

Week 9: 

Making shakers with Cat & Hutch!

And Alice gets a story...

This week we were inspired by the very funny and musical book, "The Diddle That Dummed", by Ken Gray and illustrated by Fred Blunt. 

In this book, Flinty Bo Diddle is writing a tune for his fiddle. But one of the Diddles won't Diddle - it keeps on Dumming! Flinty gets quite annoyed by this and in the end decides to write a different tune... will the Diddles all go along with the tune? Or do their own thing? Check out the book to find out!

We decided to get musical too and make some shakers! Check out the video to make your own and see if you can follow along with our rhythm game! 

The Duchess returns in Chapter 9, The Mock Turtle's Story, but with a complete personality change! By this time, though, Alice is quite used to strange things happening in Wonderland and things are not about to get any more ordinary, when the Queen introduces her to a Gryphon and Mock Turtle...

Alice's Adventures: Chapter 9, The Mock Turtle's Story
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Alice's Adventures: Chapter 8, The Queen's Croquet Ground
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Week 8: 

Cat & Hutch become Detectives!

And Alice meets the Queen!

This week we had planned to do a detective training workshop based on the brilliant and funny book, "Dragon Detective: Catnapped!" by Gareth P. Jones. However, when we found our book missing, we had to don our detective gear and get straight on the case (with no time for training!) 

We tried to think what Dirk Dilly, the Dragon Detective, would do... we thought about how, in the book, when the cats go missing, Dirk went on some stakeouts! He looked for clues! He wore disguises! And - well if you want to find out what happens, you need to read the book of course! 

Did we solve the case? Did we find the book? Did we go from amateur detectives to giving Dragon Detective, Dirk Dilly, a run for his money? Watch our video to find out...

Meanwhile, back in Wonderland, Alice has the honour (ahem) of playing croquet with the Queen of Hearts! But this is Wonderland and, like everything else, this is not your normal croquet match...

Week 7: 

Alan the Alligator's Big, Scary Businesses! 

And Alice goes for tea...

"Alan's Big, Scary Teeth", by Jarvis is one of our all time favourite books and is absolutely perfect for this year's Summer Reading Challenge silly theme! 

 

In the book, Alan LOVES scaring all the other animals with his ferocious teeth. But Alan has a secret... and to find out what it is, you'll have to read the book!

By the end of the book Alan changes his ways and becomes a gardener, a hairdresser and a dentist! 

We decided to catch up with some of the animals that have joined Alan's businesses. Check out our video to see what happened.

We also did a live reading and drama workshop based on this book that will be available here until the end of September.

And here is THE chapter we have been looking forward to the most! It's Chapter 7: A Mad Tea Party! Join Alice, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter and the sleepy Dormouse for tea!

Alice's Adventures: Chapter 7, A Mad Tea-Party
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Alice's Adventures: Chapter 6, Pig and Pepper
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Week 6: 

Poetry with a Hamster and Alice meets the Cheshire Cat...

Like absolutely everyone (or at least it should be everyone!) we LOVE Joseph Coelho's poems and, after reading "Hamster! Hamster!" in his book, "Werewolf Club Rules! And Other Poems", we wanted to find out what the Hamster's point of view was on the whole situation.

 

You see, the poem is written from a child's point of view, who initially describes the Hamster as, "soooo deliciously cute!". However, after the child sticks their finger in the Hamster's cage and swiftly receives a bite, they change their mind and describe the Hamster as, "so perfectly horrid!"

Here is what happened when we interviewed both the child and the Hamster. 

If you are inspired to write any poems of your own, please do send them our way! We'd love to read them and, if you're happy for us to, we will read them out on our social media. 

This week we also returned to Wonderland to join Alice at the Duchess' house in Chapter 6: Pig and Pepper. 

PARENTAL GUIDANCE: This chapter contains darker themes than previous chapters. Please listen to it before sharing with your children. 

Week 5: 

Baking Cookies with Cat & Hutch!

And Alice gets grumpy with a Caterpillar...

This week we were inspired by "Angry Cookie" by Laura Dockrill and illustrated by Maria Karipidou to get baking! In the book, Angry Cookie is very...well, angry - and doesn't want to talk to anyone! Can you cheer him up? We made our very own Angry Cookies, as well as Happy Cookies, Sad Cookies, Silly Cookies and a whole host of other Cookies! Check them out in our video.

 

If you want to bake your own, you will need:

150g butter

150g brown/caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

200g chocolate/chocolate chips

Happy baking! 

Meanwhile, Alice continues on her Adventures in Wonderland. When we left her, she had just met a caterpillar... have a listen to find out what happens next!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 5: Advice from a Caterpillar
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Alice's Adventures: Chapter 4, The Rabbit Send in a Little Bill
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Week 4:

How to party when stuck at home, while Alice gets stuck in Rabbit's home!

This week's video was inspired by the brilliantly funny book, "My Parents Cancelled My Birthday!", written by Jo Simmons and illustrated by Nathan Reed. 

Like many of you, we had to celebrate our birthday at home this year but, just like Tom in the story, we still had a great party! We decided to catch up with some of the other characters in the book to find out what they would do for their perfect stay-at-home party.

Check out our video to find out what Nana, Mum and the Tooth-Fairy get up to!

And of course, we rejoined Alice in the fourth chapter of her Adventure's in Wonderland as her ever-changing height causes her more trouble!

 

Week 3:

Cat & Hutch become Pirates while Alice races about!

This week's video was inspired by the brilliant "Imagine That!" (formerly known as "The Incredible Journey", written by Tom Burlison when he was just 7 years old(!) and illustrated by Sara Sanchez.

In this story the characters Ruby and Elliot imagine that all sorts of ordinary objects are fantastic and wonderful things - like a puddle becoming a portal to a pirate ship!

This made us think about what it would be like if we were on a Pirate ship together... check out our video to find out what happened!

And, of course, we caught up with Alice in Chapter 3 of her Adventures in Wonderland as she participates in a Caucus-Race and hears a Long Tale... check it out over here!

Week 1:

Superhero Vegetables and a White Rabbit...

We absolutely LOVE the Supertato series by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. The books are full of fun and bright illustrations that bring to life the naughty deeds of the Evil Pea and the heroic acts of Supertato and his friends. 

We were inspired by some of these heroics to create our very own Super-Veggie stick puppets, (DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE) who helped us to rescue some vegetables in distress! Check out our video to find out how to make your own.

When thinking of silly and funny books for children, we couldn't possibly ignore the spectacularly weird and wonderful 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.  So fall down the rabbit hole with us as we bring to life a new chapter every week!

For more fun and engaging activities and to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge (if you haven't already!) do visit:

www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

Alice's Adventures: Chapter 3, A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale
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This week we were inspired by the brilliant book, "Aunt Grizelda's Fairytales of the Unexpected", by Anna Best and Natallia Pavaliayeva. In this collection of funny and entertaining poems, we see the Fairytales of old given modern and hilarious twists like Rapunzel who - actually we don't want to give all the endings away! This book is aimed at children aged 6-9. More information on this book can be found on The Summer Reading Challenge website: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

We were particularly inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood twist, which sees Grandmamma using a Judo chop to save Little Red from the Big Bad Wolf! Check out our video of the follow up Martial Arts Lesson!

We also rejoined Alice in Chapter 2 of her Adventures in Wonderland, where she struggles with height changes and gets stuck in a pool of her own tears!

Alice's Adventures: Chapter 1, Down the Rabbit HoleCat & Hutch
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Alice's Adventures: Chapter 2, The Pool of Tears
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Week 2:

Little Red Riding Hood learns to fight, while Alice struggles in a Pool of Tears

This week we were inspired by the brilliant book, "Aunt Grizelda's Fairytales of the Unexpected", by Anna Best and Natallia Pavaliayeva. In this collection of funny and entertaining poems, we see the Fairytales of old given modern and hilarious twists like Rapunzel who - actually we don't want to give all the endings away! This book is aimed at children aged 6-9. More information on this book can be found on The Summer Reading Challenge website: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

We were particularly inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood twist, which sees Grandmamma using a Judo chop to save Little Red from the Big Bad Wolf! Check out our video of the follow up Martial Arts Lesson

We also rejoined Alice in her Adventures in Wonderland in Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears. 

©2019 by Cat & Hutch Ltd

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