Saturday, 24 February 2018

Picture book review : A Spooky Tale : A Walk With Our Teacher - Sue Wickstead

A Spooky Tale : A Walk With Our Teacher is a fun picture book, based on a real-life walk about town with a group of children, the "class of 95 who helped write the story" mentioned in the author's acknowledgements.

Before you start reading, you can trace the route that the children will take, spotting all the places and creatures that they will see on the way. If you want to keep an element of surprise while reading the book, you may want to keep this part until the end, but for beginner readers, it's a great way of sounding out the words before getting into the story to help overcome any difficult words. This is a great way of building up the confidence of beginner readers who will stumble over fewer words if they are already familiar with them.

The story and structure reminded me very much of the well-loved classic We're Going On A Bear Hunt. On each page, the short text ends with the repeated line "That's why we didn't feel well", so even young children who can't read yet will be able to join in after a few pages.

The children really don't want to go out on a class walk and list all their reasons, from a haunted house and a dinosaur to a snappy crocodile and an alien attack ! They survive it all though, and all feel a lot better when they get back to the safety of school ... apart from their teacher who really doesn't feel well now and ends up in bed, presumably after all the stress of the eventful class trip !

The detailed illustrations really bring the simple texts to life and Pierre enjoyed pointing out all the details he spotted in the pictures as we turned the pages.

There's even a bus, which is surely a nod to author Sue Wickstead's other books, featuring a play bus. (You may remember my reviews for Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus and Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure.)

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Publisher: Sue Wickstead; 1 edition (31 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993073743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993073748
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.3 x 21.6 cm

Disclosure : We received a review copy of the book.


  1. Sounds like a fun book for younger readers. The illustrations are lovely. And repetition at the end is important for less confident readers. I read in Eddie's school once a week as a volunteer, and know the value of repetition in books, it really helps children who don't have much practice reading at home.

    1. It is indeed a fun book. The opportunities to draw on the text to write their own books and maps are an area to work on.
      The book is soon to feature on a storytelling web site.
      I look forward to hearing it read by someone else!


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