Monster News

End of school year!

Display resources and tutorials for End of School Term!

Congratulations on making it through the whole school year! We know you're probably very excited for summer holidays and TYM will be right here waiting for you when you get back.

You're some of the hardest workers on the planet, and here at Teach Your Monster, we love to make your life a little bit easier when it comes to teaching and resources.

Before the end of term

Make sure you...

  • share your player passcodes with parents so kids can practice their skills over summer

Watch how

  • AND transfer your old students to their new class

Watch how

Click here if you'd like to watch the rest of our 1 minute tutorials. Feel free to share these videos too!

We know some of you start prepping before the end of term, so we've prepared a big Back to School Pack with loads of lovely FREE RESOURCES for display in your classroom.

Download

Do you need a Data Processing Agreement to use Teach Your Monster? Read here for more information and advice on how we can help.

Have an absolutely wonderful summer, put your feet up - we know you deserve it. If you have any feedback on our resources, or have something in mind you'd love us to make, do contact us on

See you in the fall!

Teach Your Monster HQ

Adventurous Eating Is Nominated For An Award

We are delighted to announce that our game, Teach Your Monster Adventurous Eating, has been shortlisted for an award at this year's Games For Change Awards festival in New York!

Adventurous Eating has been nominated in the 'Best In Health and Wellness' category alongside Soul Paint and So Exhausting, with the winner being announced at the ceremony on 27th June.

It is an honour once again to be recognised by our peers and industry experts for our efforts in making magical, fun-filled learning games. This is the second year running that we have had a game nominated, with Teach Your Monster Number Skills making the shortlist for 'Best Learning Game' in 2023.

Games For Change Awards logo

Teach Your Monster Adventurous Eating is a unique game that encourages kids to eat a broader range of fruit and veg and build a better relationship with food. Designed in collaboration with Dr Lucy Cooke - an expert in children’s food preferences and eating habits - and inspired by the SAPERE method, Adventurous Eating is packed full of fun mini-games that encourage kids to explore foods with all five of their senses.

Despite only being released in January 2023, Teach Your Monster Adventurous Eating has been played over 6.4 million times by over 1.25 million children - based on research with hundreds of parents who use the game at home, 16% said their child tried new foods as a direct result of playing Adventurous Eating.

Bub from Adventurous Eating celebrates being nominated for an award surrounded by fruit and vegetables

Beyond Numbers to 10 - The Expansion of Number Skills!

Something HUGE is happening here at Teach Your Monster - Number Skills is expanding! The team have been working very hard to bring you the next stage of Number Skills, set to expand into the UK Key Stage 1 Year 1 curriculum and US standards for Kindergarten curriculum.

Number Skills has been a huge success so far, with over 20 million plays and thousands of five star reviews. Since the launch, we’ve been overwhelmed with the response from teachers and parents, but we also have had literally hundreds of you ask us for harder levels for older kids.

Well finally... IT'S COMING!

As ever, backed by our Maths expert Bernie Westacott, we have ensured that the game is aligned with all US common core standards and the UK national curriculum, so you can be certain that your kids are making the right progress at the right time with their numbers.

There will be loads of brand new mini games, a whole new set of islands to explore, new stories and a few surprises in store too...

Be the first to play the game

If you can't wait for the new school year to play the game, click here to join our Number Skill Testers Club and play an exclusive, early version of the game for free!

New Number Skills stages

Teachers!

In our upcoming 'Experienced' stage, we’ll be covering concepts like:

  • Numbers to 100
  • Place value
  • Composition/Decomposition
  • More advanced addition/subtraction
  • Number bonds
  • The foundations of multiplication.

Things to do before end of term:

  • Access Monster Trucks and Volcano in class now via Practice Mode to warm up the kids for next year!
  • Transfer your current students to their new teacher quickly and easily. All you need is their email address and this helpful 1 minute tutorial!

Can't Wait? You can already play two brand new mini games right now!

Simply go to Practice Mode and you'll see two new games under the "Games" section. If you're not sure how to access Practice Mode, watch this video to find out.

Monster Trucks

Number Skills Monster Trucks Higher Numbers game

‘Bumper Cars’ has expanded to ‘Monster Trucks’ where children can recognise and bump numbers up to 20, with a clever use of 2 ten frames. Skills: Composition/Decomposition, Addition, Subtraction, Number Bonds.

Volcano

Multiplication in Number Skills

The ‘Bouncy Castle’ has expanded to ‘Volcano’ where children can count up to 50, not only in ones but 5s too! This is a start to the foundations of multiplication.
Skills: Counting, Multiplication

These can be accessed via practice mode in the app and on desktop! Watch the video below to find out how to access them. 

For those covering the game in class, the game currently has counting, subitising and number bonds (reception/Pre-Kindergarten) up to 10 EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). One of our core principles in mathematical learning is that repetition of concepts solidifies number knowledge, and moving on too quickly might hinder the building of basic number knowledge. So it’s important that kids have been allowed to play the first two stages in Number Skills before moving on. 

Once confident in numbers to 10 and 20, moving on to numbers to 100 and place value will be much easier for them and the next stage of Number Skills supports them on their journey. 

The full update to Number Skills will be out in time for the new school year, with many more brand-new mini games, and a whole new island adventure to explore. Keep an eye out for further news on this.

Leo Allen
Number Skills Product Manager

An Interview with our Number Skills Illustrator - Matt Oxborrow

(4 minute read)

We have loads of fantastic people here at Teach Your Monster contributing to all our wonderful games. So we thought we better introduce some to you! In this month’s edition, we interviewed Matt Oxborrow, the genius behind all the wacky and wonderful designs in our game Teach Your Monster Number Skills!

Matt Ox and the characters of Number Skills

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Matt… Matt Oxborrow, or just Matt Ox. I’m a freelance illustrator and art director and I’m responsible for all the artwork on Teach Your Monster Number Skills. All the monsters, rides, funny little things with eyes and the little bits of detail on things that no one else really notices.

How did you get started as an illustrator?
I illustrated my first book of animals when I was 5 years old. I started taking it a bit more seriously after school and got a degree in it before starting out working life as an animator. That led me to character design and art direction, then 25 years later to here.

When and how did you get started at Teach Your Monster?
A funny little Non-Player-Character called Darren Garrett got in touch after seeing my work for another highly successful app. I think it was about 4 years ago when we’d all been banished to our homes and not allowed out so a big project like this was just what I needed to stay relatively sane. 

How do you develop your ideas? What are your stages?
I like to start by going out and sketching monsters in the wild. They’re actually everywhere if you know where to look. Paredoilia (the phenomenon in which people see faces or other patterns in ambiguous images) definitely helps. The early sketches provide the wild silliness and humour then it’s a case of distilling it down into something that’s still fun but has the articulation and dexterity necessary to do its job on screen. I often rebuild a sketch using geometric shapes and strokes in Illustrator then when the composition is nice, I kind of bash them around and beat them up to make them look a bit more handmade again. 

What are important considerations when designing for young children?
They’re very stubborn and very honest critics so you have to revisit a design a few times with fresh eyes to make sure it looks like what it’s supposed to look like. Stylisation can sometimes come and kick you if you’ve drawn a monster that can be interpreted as a cat for example. Kids will never unsee the cat.

Do you use your own kids as part of your process?
Absolutely. My daughter was 2 or 3 when we started Number Skills so is one of our earliest testers and has been my litmus test for whether something is fun or ‘boorwing’. A truly valued critic.

How do you design for games vs regular illustration jobs?
As I mentioned earlier it comes down to articulation. The rigs (the ‘skeleton’ of the characters that control it’s movements) are very rigid so you have to make sure every character has the physical ability to perform it’s job or it’s going to look weird. Imagine a T-Rex trying to stack a pile of crates… Nope. 

What do you use for inspiration and research at the start of a process?
It depends on the job but everything starts with an observation or an obscure reference. I look at nature, animals, people and their funny clothes and habits, loads of old cartoons and comic strips. The internet is a treasure trove for character designers. I also find myself looking at my own old work and reminding myself what worked and what didn’t.

What tools do you use?
Pen and paper for initial musings then Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop with my Cintiq Pro (drawing tablet). 

Out of all the things you've worked on at Teach Your Monster, what are you most proud of?

I love the player characters and the Monster Dressing up shop. It took so much work to get right but being able to build your character from all those sets of limbs and heads is pure joy.

If there was part of the TYM design process you'd like other clients to follow what would it be?
Creative freedom and belief in my decisions.

Is there anything you wanted to get in the game that didn't make it in?
I really wanted to make the magic mirrors actually reflect your monsters in weird distorted ways. Dawid (one of TYM’s game developers) has an idea of how it might work so maybe one day.

What's your favourite ride or character in Number Skills?
The rollercoaster is my favourite ride. I love its stupid grin and the little train that zooms around the track when you go near it. Brain in a Jar is officially the funniest head in the monster customiser. There’s also a new game and character in the pipes that I really like… (stay tuned for this in an upcoming update)

Has working on Number Skills helped you help your own kids?
Yes, even learning how to pronounce ‘pedagogy’ has been invaluable. It’s a fascinating field to work in.

Has working on Number Skills improved your maths?
Embarrassingly, yes. 

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Check out Matt’s amazing illustrations by playing Number Skills here!

You can take a look at the rest of Matt Oxborrow’s great work on his website.

Social Stories to help with tricky emotions

(3 minute read)

Social stories have many different uses all focused on healthy social development. When used to depict and display challenging emotions, social stories give children the language to identify, speak about and develop emotional self-regulation strategies.

What is emotional regulation?
Also known as emotional self-regulation, this is the ability to manage our emotions. 

It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions, adjusting to changes in expectations, self-soothing strategies and handling frustrations without a tantrum! 

Regulating our emotions is a skill, just like learning to read, that can be taught and nurtured, so that children can direct their own behaviour responses as they grow towards goals that will benefit them, in the face of a rather unpredictable world and our feelings about it!

Regulating emotions is a pretty personal journey, as our reactions to certain events may be completely different from one another - one child starting a new school will feel excited, and another might be terrified. Although one feels like a positive emotional response, this might result in the child disrupting the class, being too rambunctious in the playground and ultimately result in a bit of a telling-off. So it’s the self-regulating strategies employed by BOTH children that will help them fit positively in their new environment. 

How do we develop it? 

Coaching kids through challenging situations with a supportive framework is the key to learning self-regulation skills. Rather than being impulsive and reactive, slowing them down and teaching them how to respond calmly really helps develop these strategies. Clinicians call it “scaffolding” the behaviour you want to encourage until they can handle these situations on their own.

In schools, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) schemes can help teachers scaffold these self-regulation skills in a more formal and structured way, helping children learn about their feelings, the feelings of others, and how to recognise and manage emotions.

The first two learning steps in SEL are self-awareness - identifying emotions, learning about feelings, and self-management - managing emotions, and coping with feelings.


Social Stories - how do they help teach emotional regulation?

For some children, understanding feelings is particularly challenging as ‘feelings’ aren’t tangible and children often lack the language to articulate them. Adults may be able to model feelings to children but not experience them in the same way, presenting a particularly difficult challenge when teaching self-awareness. 

Social stories present information in a literal, 'concrete' way, which may improve the understanding of a previously difficult or ambiguous situation or activity. So social stories can help us present emotions to kids and model the type of language that can be used to describe them. 

What forms can these stories take?

Picture Stories can be especially useful for all people, including those with learning difficulties, to model the language used to describe emotions and the associated bodily expressions of emotions.

Here at Teach Your Monster, we have developed social picture stories with our expert, Child Clinical Psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin! Bongo Blows His Top is the first in a series of beautifully illustrated comic strips addressing emotional regulation. In this story, we see ‘Bongo’ having some difficult feelings in response to environmental stressors and ‘Cuddles’ giving 3 useful strategies to deal with those emotions. Why not download a copy here and read it with the kids? Available in black and white too

If you’re interested to find out more about social stories click here for a helpful article from the National Autistic Society. 

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Kay Leathers
Freelance writer and designer.

TEACUPS - A Reading for Pleasure Acronym

(5 minute read)

What is the first book you can remember reading because you wanted to? The first one that drew you into a story that you can probably remember into adulthood? Maybe you picked it from the library or in a book shop. Maybe you still have a copy in the house.

Reading for pleasure is choosing to read what you want based on your own interests and preferences, without the pressures of being graded, assessed or marked on ability. Clearly teachers need to assess reading proficiency, but at the same time children can find being assessed quite stressful — potentially that can create some negative connotations when it comes to reading. Therefore it's really important to foster reading time where children aren’t assessed, where they can read what they want and as much as they want.

Angela Colvert, lecturer in English Education at Roehampton University and our Teach Your Monster resident Literacy advisor, describes 4 core principles for developing a joy of reading:

1. Skill and will - The skills for reading are phonics, word decoding etc and the will is the motivation to read. There’s no use in having the skill to read but no will to actually pick one up! So it’s important to develop both in tandem.

2. Achievement - Many studies have shown that if children read for pleasure over time, they will be more successful in their school career and achievement across a broad range of subjects. On a more personal level, more reading helps children to access more texts that they are interested in.

3. Cultural understanding - reading can be a doorway into another life. You live vicariously through stories, develop empathy, different perspectives. Non-fiction develops investigative skills.

4. Identity - the way in which children start to identify themselves as readers and develop preferences, having autonomy and ownership over their reading choices. 


After the success of Teach Your Monster to Read - a game where we introduce the skills and building blocks of reading, we wanted to create a game that would encourage the will to read. Together with Angela as the literacy advisor, our team developed the game ‘Teach Your Monster Reading for Fun’. In this game, kids teach their own little monster the joys of reading (while also vicariously learning it themselves) in a range of contexts. 

Ensuring the game was underpinned by literacy pedagogy, Angela and the team developed the acronym 'TEACUPS' to inform the design process and ensure that research and pedagogy were embedded throughout the game. This helped to keep the core principles of reading for pleasure in focus. This could draw some parallels with popular teaching or at-home reading for pleasure practises.

T is for…Trying new things
Providing a range of texts is a great way to encourage the development of identity and maintain the will to read. The game provides a range of texts, including magazines, recipes and free e-books, for children to enjoy and encourages them to extend their reading experiences. 
The librarian ‘Goldspear’ recommends books similar to the preferences that the child has shown to ensure that a sense of identity is being built, while also recommending new ones that are slightly removed, to extend the kid's knowledge. 

E is for…Enjoyment
One key element of will is enjoyment - after all if you don’t enjoy it, you don’t do it! In the game, there is an extensive map of places and characters to visit all wrapped up in this joyful and humorous world of reading adventures waiting to be explored. Those familiar with our other Teach Your Monster to Read games will recognise the engaging and exciting environment and the fun the children can have reading with their very own monster. 

A is for…Achievement
Achievements in reading can affirm a child’s reading identity. Put simply ‘I am being rewarded for reading’ = ‘I enjoy reading’. Completing reading adventures and missions within the game supports the children’s sense of achievement as they engage in reading across a range of authentic contexts. We’ve added badges that the kid can collect by completing certain missions, to help instil this sense of achievement. 

C is for… Community
Book talk and building reading communities is one of the pillars for teaching reading for pleasure. When children can talk with adults and their peers passionately about their books, this builds enjoyment and a sense of belonging (identity). When playing the game, the children are part of a community of virtual characters with whom they can read, talk about books and share reading adventures. When looking at how children interact with the game, it was found that they do actually read aloud to the characters in the game, building this love for reading. 

U is for… Understanding
Understanding the purpose of reading or ‘why do I read’ can motivate readers. In normal life, lots of reading can be done to fulfil a purpose, for example, reading a recipe to make a meal. When completing missions, children develop an understanding of the purpose of different types of text, for example, when following instructions or using a text to help a villager make a rock bun! And children can be creative around this, building that positive association of reading and enjoyment, rather than simply following an instructional text. 

Teach Your Monster Reading for Fun Recipe game

P is for…. Preferences
Crucial to reader identity is the sense that the child can start to have preferences and build a collection of books they enjoy. As the game develops, children will begin to evolve a preference for certain activities and books and can curate their very own collection of favourite texts on their monster’s virtual bookshelf. 

S is for… Stamina
Developing a regular reading habit can make a real difference in building that love of reading. The game supports children to develop the habit of regular reading and the option to listen to audio books can support their engagement. Characters encourage you to pick up and read a book from your bookshelf if it’s been a while.

These pillars can be applied outside the game too. Can you think of ways to help children read for fun in the classroom and at home using TEACUPS?

Alex Goss
Teach Your Monster to Read and Reading for Fun Product Manager

Click here if you’d like to see Angela Colvert talking more about this subject.

The Joy of Growing Veggies With Kids!

(3 minute read)

A mum and child gardening

The first holidays of the year can seem like a long time coming after a long dark January… But it can be the perfect time to start a growth spurt for you and your little ones - not in height but in seedlings! With loads of benefits to growing your own veg, we explore some quick and easy crops to grow with your little ones this spring break. 

Now is a great time of year to start growing crops, ready to harvest throughout the summer. Providing a much needed connection to nature, bringing your little ones in on the job can provide many benefits: fresh food, help with cooking, the joys of seeing something you have cared for grow and flourish - not to mention that tomatoes from the vine are SO much tastier than the ones from the super market - and are super easy to grow! 

I recommend starting with one easy veg if you’re a complete beginner when it comes to gardening and there are plenty of videos online to help guide you if you get stuck. I have selected a few of my favourites to talk about here. 

Buy seeds that you can plant together so that your kid can witness the full lifecycle of a plant - a great teaching point that will help them out in school too! Courgettes are super fast to grow from seed - just six weeks and you can potentially have your first crop. Get your child to simply drop the seeds into seed tray to start them off indoors early, then show them how to choose the strong ones to transplant into bigger pots (compost the weaker ones). You’ll need to wait until warmer weather to plant them out in the garden, but then just feed them weekly for a good crop. If you don;t have a garden, you can plant them in a large pot at least 45 cm high and 45 cm wide. Your child can start to harvest them when the courgettes are 10cm long - a good chance to practise their mathematical measuring skills too!

Salad leaves are extremely easy to grow from seed, with rocket having large enough seeds for small hands to manage. They can be grown in a window box, meaning you only need a windowsill to start the process. Salad is especially rewarding as it will keep cropping for weeks, especially if you stagger the planting, allowing plenty of healthy dinners while you have a supply! You’ll need to harvest those leaves with scissors though, so adult-assistance may be required for this job. 

With tomatoes, you can actually scoop out the seeds from an existing tomato, but you’ll need to harvest and dry them in advance. Growing them from seed requires a bit more work, planting in seed pots to start them off indoors, then planting out once they have established themselves. Much easier to buy tomato plants that have gone through the difficult seedling part and have been given a good start in life. Encourage your child to water and feed them with tomato food throughout the summer, and pick the fresh sweet red beauties as they fruit.

See this article for more details on how to grow easy crops.

If you’re already playing Teach Your Monster Adventurous Eating, your child may have some idea of the growth cycle of a plant from the garden in the game. Of course, we had to speed up the process in the game so they’d probably have a wildly unrealistic idea of how quick this process is! Planting veg with your kid is a great teaching point for them, to see this in real-time from seed to plate and literally eat the fruits of their labour!

Kay Leathers
Freelance writer and designer

Queenie Bee - Ask me anything!

(3 minute read)

Queenie Bee in the interview booth

Today we sat down with our very own Queenie Bee from Teach Your Monster Number Skills and asked her some questions about her life. We thought it would be a good opportunity for you and your little ones to learn a bit more about her - why don’t you and your kids read it together? Here is a printable version if you’d like the children to read along with you. 

Interviewer: What's your favourite number? 

Queenie Bee: My favourite number has to be 4 - I love how 2 and another 2 make four, that’s 2 twos!

Interviewer: How come you own a number park?

Queenie Bee: Ever since I was a tiny bee I’ve loved numbers. I’d spend hours bumbling along counting flowers and pollen all day long. What I ALWAYS wanted to do is celebrate numbers by combining my other passion — theme parks!

I scrimped and saved counting the pennies, plus a generous donation from my Grandmother Queenie Ay (that’s who I inherited my hair from) I managed to buy a run down old theme park.

Of course, back then it was actually an Alphabet park! Letters absolutely everywhere! I thought ‘nine nine no, this has to go!’ I just had to change it because I love numbers soooooo much and I think everyone should love numbers just as much as I do. 

Interviewer: How much do you love numbers?

Queenie Bee: Oh well how long have you got for this interview? Ho ho! 

Numbers are the best - it is a language everyone can understand, no matter what language you speak. Everyone can learn numbers and they go on and on forever. Not many things can do that you know!

Do you know what - I love numbers so much, I eat number cereal for breakfast, number nuggets for lunch and number salad for dinner! I even dream in numbers! 

Interviewer: If you could build anything in your park what would it be?

Queenie Bee: I’d build a huge statue of me!! Although I don’t think Angela the sea monster would be very happy if she saw it…

Interviewer: Who or what's your biggest Maths inspiration?

Queenie Bee: Whoever invented number bonds, they’re so fun aren’t they?

Interviewer: What's the deal with Angela the Sea Monster?

Queenie Bee: Well Angela can get a little peckish and she has a fondness for submarines and boats. As you can imagine this can be troublesome when trying to get monsters to the park. Luckily she also loves our house band and number based songs. If monsters do well practising numbers, the band will play which cheers her up and we can often get her to spit out submarine parts. And other things.

Interviewer: Isn't turtles a weird way to cross a river?

Queenie Bee: Isn’t a bridge a weird way to cross a river? 

It gives turtles a job to do, what do turtles do where you come from? Nothing. That’s right. Poor turtles don’t have anything to do! Terrible shame, I say. They make an excellent bridge.

Interviewer: Where do you get those outfits from?

Queenie Bee: Well Moo (my cow friend) is actually an excellent tailor and makes them for me - as you can see they are skin tight and in my favourite colour - rainbow! 

Interviewer: Where do numsters come from?

Queenie Bee: Well numsters are an unusual species of monster that come from the top of Mount Numbaro, a mountain just north of Number Park. Once a year, I have to hike up there with a huge sack and get them all from a cave at the summit. This is very hard because as you know, they like to stick in groups mostly - the orange ones love being in tens! Makes them very hard to shove in the sack… anyway they love Number Park because they get to go on the slides and the rollercoaster all day…

Well there you have it, straight from the Queen’s mouth! Stay tuned for more interviews with our other Teach Your Monster Monsters coming soon…

A Reading for Fun Book review!

(3 minute read)

World Book Day is a fabulous day for inspiring a passion for all things reading and books! Of course, here at Teach Your Monster, we’re very passionate about reading, from Teach Your Monster to Read - our game which teaches the building blocks of reading - phonics, all the way through to Teach Your Monster Reading For Fun - our ‘reading for pleasure’ game. We thought World Book Day would be a great opportunity to tell you all about the books in Teach Your Monster Reading For Fun, why we choose them and why we love them so much!

Reading for Fun Bookshelf

Reading for Fun has a library of over 70 books. Al, our Product Manager for Reading for Fun says that the books in the game are a fantastic way to introduce kids to a variety of texts, in a casual, fun way. 

"I’ll avoid being self-indulgent and suggesting you read my very own Teach Your Monster: Football Quiz book, as football and quizzes may not even be your thing! Besides, there are plenty of other top reads in a wonderful collection of free books!"

Here’s Al’s top 5 Reading for Fun books:

Book 1: Teach Your Monster Joke Book
What is it about? I was trying to think of something witty to say here, but nothing can top the wise little gags in this corker of a book. 

Who wrote it? A bunch of hilarious jokers. And it was illustrated by the very talented Rich Wake!

Who would like it? Anyone with a sense of humour?! 

Why would you want to read it? Sometimes it’s nice to just pick up a book and have a flick through. It’s great for one-liners that you keep in your back-pocket for unsuspecting friends!

Book 2: Roger Stevens’ Monster Poems
What is it about? Roger has given us some amazing poems in this gem.

Who wrote it? Roger Stevens

Who would like it? Anyone who likes rhyme, monsters, or plays Reading for Fun! 

Why would you want to read it? You’ll definitely want to read this as you play the Reading for Fun game. The poems are woven in with the game world - which brings everything to life!

Book 3: Seasons

What is it about? It’s a look through the changing seasons. Sit back and read about baby animals, snowy winters and the changing wildlife. 

Who wrote it? Emily Bone

Who would like it? Anyone who wants to learn more about the seasons.

Why would you want to read it? To have a mindful moment with nature. 

Book 4: Astro Girl

What is it about? It’s about a girl, Astrid, who plays with her dad at home, thinking about all the adventures she can have in space! No spoilers, but it has a great ending with Astrid’s mum.

Who wrote it? Ken Wilson-Max

Who would like it? Anyone who loves space!

Why would you want to read it? This book is a great family read! A playful bedtime story with lots of positive messages.

Book 5: Immi
What is it about? It’s about a young girl called Immi who discovers beautiful new things to decorate her igloo with.  

Who wrote it? Karin Littlewood

Who would like it? Anyone who wants to get lost in another world for a moment.

Why would you want to read it? To snuggle up with a story about being creative, using your imagination and making meaningful connections  

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Alex Goss Teach Your Monster

Alex Goss
Teach Your Monster to Read and Reading for Fun Product Manager

What’s the point of World Book Day?

(4 minute read)

Teach Your Monster and World Book Day

World Book Day is a charity whose mission is to encourage all children to love reading for pleasure. An annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and the joy of reading, this year's World Book Day will be taking place on Thursday 7 March 2024. But is it just a chance for many kids to go to school dressed up as Spiderman? Does World Book Day really have an impact on reading? These are the important questions!

As an ex-Primary school teacher, I remember World Book Day fondly and how excited the kids got at being dressed up and having the tokens ready to spend at the pop-up book store in the downstairs hall! I think it provides a strong way to embed a love of reading at an early age, and provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to really hound the point about reading for pleasure and autonomy when it comes to book choice - something that I never quite got in my own learning back in the 80s/90s! I love books now of course, and reading to the little ones was always a great joy in being a teacher. 

More studiously however, The Literacy Trust did a comprehensive report on the impact of World Book Day, which found that it helps children in two ways: aiding all children to become book owners, many for the first time, and by supporting a variety of activities and experiences essential for building life-long readers. 

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With all the book tokens given out on the day, children can get their £1 World Book Day book for free with their token, so it really can help ALL children get access to physical books. We asked our team which books they would love to give away this World Book Day:

TYM team Book recommendations:

“I'd go for a picture book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. It's all the tales you know but with a very silly twist and all the tales come crashing together in one chaotic conclusion. Great illustrations and design too. See also The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by the same author.” Darren, Creative Director.

Mr Gum books are the best books” Matt, Game Developer.

What do people do all day by Richard Scarry. Leo, Number Skills Product Manager

Don’t worry little Crab and the other books in the series by Chris Haughton.” Mor, UX Lead

Remember that there are over 70 books in our reading app Teach Your Monster Reading for Fun too!

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On World Book Day, teachers can look to the World Book day website for fun ideas and activities, or use the day to celebrate a book they’ve already been reading in class. They may also dress up as a book character themselves - bringing great joy and a giggle to their pupils! To the parents out there, we know that it can be tricky to put together a decent outfit for World Book Day so here are some of our team’s Top Tips! 

Kid’s dressing up - our TYM top tips

“Hang on to everything you have in a dressing up box. You'll be surprised what you can pull together in an emergency with a flat cap and fake beard.” Darren, Creative Director.

“I remember dressing up as the Snow Queen for world book day many moons ago. My Mum made me this amazing spangly cape with fake icicles and we made a tin foil spiky crown. Great book that!” Alice, Designer.

“Anything can be made with a big enough cereal box - why not cut a head hole in one side and paint the box to look like a book? Then you can put any title on there, with a few simple touches and recycle it year on year (with a different name)” Kay, Freelance Designer.

We have also made these Teach Your Monster to Read printable masks and Reading for Fun printable masks as a free download!

We really hope you have an amazing World Book Day this March 7th and we hope to see some little monsters popping up in your local school! 

Kay Leathers,
Ex-Primary Teacher and Freelancer

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