Children's Book: Harry the Poisonous Centipede
We have recently finished reading together the story, "Harry the Poisonous Centipede" written by "Lynne Reid Banks" and illustrated by "Tony Ross". Tony Ross is the creator of "The Little Princess Book Series", another very popular series of children's books.
When I first picked up Harry the Poisonous Centipede, I thought a centipede is a strange creature to base a children's book on. After all, centipedes are not exactly fuzzy and cuddly (like bears, cats or dogs) nor are they are they typically associated with children. However, the author weaves this tale so well that before long you actually like Harry despite his poisonous pincers.
Harry the Poisonous Centipede is a Great Story to Read to Younger Children
While Harry the Poisonous Centipede is a chapter book aimed at children aged 8 to 10 years old, we read this story to our boys aged 4 & 6 years. Both boys greatly enjoyed it. Reading stories that are written at a slightly higher language level than the language level of the children listening has great benefits. It extends children's language abilities, introduces them to new vocabulary and grammatical structures.
Harry the Poisonous Centipede Contains Factual Information
Woven into this fictional story are true facts about centipedes. This is an aspect I appreciated about Harry the Poisonous Centipede as it meant the boys were learning more about centipedes even if they didn't realise it. These facts have been included in such a way that the information adds depth to the story.
Since reading Harry the Poisonous Centipede, the boys' interest in centipedes has definitely been stirred. Centipedes have become the topic of many discussions. The internet has proven to be a valuable source of information so that when a question has been asked, we've been able to search for the answer. For example, we now know the longest centipede was 1 metre in length. Imagine that crawling up your leg! It's enough to send shivers up my spine!
The internet is also a great source of centipede photographs. We've been fascinated by the different shapes, colours and sizes of centipedes crawling around the earth. Thankfully, however, they are not (to my knowledge) crawling around in our house! I digress - back to Harry the Poisonous Centipede:
The illustrator's pen and ink drawings are placed frequently throughout the book. The boys enjoyed these as the drawings helped to convey the action and emotions involved in the story of Harry the Poisonous Centipede.
Harry the Poisonous Centipede is Part of a Series
When we come across a book we've enjoyed, we found it helpful to do a search through our local library catalogue to see if the author has written any other books. This is exactly what we did. We were pleased to learn that there are sequels to Harry the Poisonous Centipede. Other titles in the series include:
Harry, the Poisonous Centipede Goes To Sea.
Harry, the Poisonous Centipede's Big Adventure.
We're looking forward to receiving reading these books as soon as they arrive at our local library. No doubt Harry will get himself into further trouble. The boys are eager to hear about his adventures.
Story Extension Activities for Harry the Poisonous Centipede
Harry the Poisonous Centipede has stirred the boys' interest in centipedes so we're making the most of the situation. So far, we've engaged in five learning activities directly related to 'Harry the Poisonous Centipede'. These learning activities have been designed to expand skills, interest and knowledge. We hope you'll enjoy participating in these activities just as we have.
Activity One: Draw or paint a centipede while referring to a photograph of a real centipede. This fun activity draws on children's creative abilities while looking at the real aspects and characteristics of a centipede.
Activity Two: Write a centipede story. This can be done by children of all ages, including young children and can be heaps of fun as children use their imagination! Anything is possible in a story!
Activity Three: What Do You Remember About Harry? Draw Harry the Poisonous Centipede and then write down things you know about Harry around the drawing. Memory recall is one of the skills this activity strengthens. You may be amazed by how much your child actually remembers!
Activity Four: Harry the Poisonous Centipede Maths Activity - focuses on writing numbers. There is a free downloadable printable available for this story extension activity.
Activity Five: Make Harry the Poisonous Centipede. This activity also focuses on maths as children use clips or pegs to count and attached 42 feet! A free downloadable printable is available for this story extension activity.