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group three books

These stories are based on a theme of overcoming difficulty or difference. Each story has lots happening in the text and pictures. Be sure to talk about how the characters are feeling and how they resolve their difficult situations.

Here you will find ideas, activities and resources to support language development when reading these stories.

For more ideas and information, see our Resources and Launchpad Cards too.


Choose a story book (one of your own, or one from our resources section).

Pick a Launchpad Card (suitable for any book) or a Rocket Card (specific to the books listed).

Read the story with your child, and link in the advice from your Launchpad or Rocket Card.


'Elmer' book cover

© David McKee 1989. Permission requested from Andersen Press [pending].

Another colourful story with lots of opportunity for learning describing words. We particularly love the message of being loved for being who you are.


Elmer Rocket Cards (pdf, 381 KB)

Elmer story cards (pdf, 230 KB)

Elmer decorate the elephant template (pdf, 178 KB)

Elmer except game (pdf, 280 KB)

Star chart, stars, certificate - see Resources

Halibut Jackson

'Halibut Jackson' book cover

Halibut Jackson, text and illustrations copyright © David Lucas, originally published in 2005, reproduced by permission from Andersen Press Ltd.

Follow Halibut, who likes to blend into the background, until one day he is seen by everyone. Lots to discuss in the fantastic illustrations, and a chance to explore how it feels to be shy.


Halibut Jackson Rocket Cards (pdf, 366 KB)

Halibut Jackson story cards (pdf, 235 KB)

Halibut Jackson suit template (pdf, 161 KB)

Star chart, stars, certificate - see Resources

When the Crocodiles Came to Town

'When the Crocodiles Came to Town' book cover

© Magda Brol, 2019. Reproduced by permission of Orchard Books.

The Crocs are different, and at first, the people of Dullsville are not welcoming. But it seems the Crocs bring lots of good things too. Can your child discuss similarities and differences between the Crocs' life and theirs?


When the Crocodiles Came to Town Rocket Cards (pdf, 372 KB)

When the Crocodiles Came to Town story cards (pdf, 272 KB)

When the Crocodiles Came to Town quiet and noisy game (pdf, 196 KB)

Star chart, stars, certificate - see Resources

The Way Back Home

'The Way Back Home' book cover

© 2008 Oliver Jeffers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

A gentle story of adventure and friendship. Lots to look at and discuss in the pictures. Our particular favourite is the scene where the boy and the alien work out their plan of escape from the moon. How do they manage to communicate when they don't speak the same language?


The Way Back Home Rocket Cards (pdf, 359 KB)

The Way Back Home story cards (pdf, 245 KB)

Star chart, stars, certificate - see Resources

Last reviewed:11 November 2022