Discussion prompts

Here are some ideas for things to talk about while sharing the book - you could explore a few different points each time you read it.

Before getting started, you could find some beach ambience online and play it quietly while you read.

Have you ever been to the seaside? What was your favourite thing about it? (Alternatively, talk about the things the child would like to experience when they go to a beach for the first time.)

Look at the beach huts on the first spread. Talk about how they’re used for changing clothes and resting. If you had a beach hut, what colour would it be?

Why do you think the family is running along the beach? Are they chasing the dog or just excited about finding a place to sit? You could point out Jenny Duke’s use of body language - the child on the far left is so excited, they’re pulling their mother along!

“Gulls cry” – when we say that an animal is crying, we mean that they’re calling out to each other - no tears involved! Can you make a noise like a seagull? If you have coastal sounds playing while you read, you could point out the sound of crying seagulls.

Can you wriggle your toes?

“In the sand I stand” – If you could be anyone in this picture, who would you be? Would you be the one building a sandcastle or playing in the water? Why?

The adults are wearing sunglasses – you could point this out and explain the importance of protecting your eyes when it’s very sunny.

What creatures do you think the family can find in the rockpool?

Look at the ice cream spread together. Which ice cream would you choose and why?

“Beach chair flips” – Can the child you’re with explain what’s happening in this picture?

There’s a service dog in this spread. You could talk about how they help people and the importance of not distracting them. The vest they wear shows us that they’re working or training, so they shouldn’t be stroked or called to.

This spread is the turning point – the wind is picking up! On the next few spreads, the sky darkens and shelters rip (but it’s great weather for flying kites!)

The family finds shelter and enjoys a meal together. Can you see the rainbow in the distance? That must mean the sun is coming out again. You could talk about keeping a positive attitude even when things seem to be going wrong; although the rain meant they couldn’t keep playing in the sand, it led to more fun memories! If you like this theme, you may also enjoy ‘The Roller-coaster Ride’ by David Broadbent, which is about a day out that doesn’t go as planned!


Design a Sandcastle

Draw a castle or sand sculpture. What would you decorate it with? Shells? A flag? Would you add a moat?

More ideas:
• If you have a sandpit or live near a sandy beach, you could have a go at recreating your design.
• You could also look up recipes for sand dough online.
• You could spread PVA glue on the finished picture and sprinkle sand over it.

Let’s Write!

Can you replicate Caroline Cross’s writing style to make some extra pages for the book?

You could create your own rhyming picture book based on a trip to a park or a forest. If you’re able to visit one of these places, you could make notes on what you hear, see and smell, then work your research into your poem.

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