Takeshita Demons was featured in the 2010 Children’s Book Week pack with some ideas for key stage two activities. Below, I reproduce these ideas. If you’d like the pretty colour version, please download the booklet, activities, posters and more from the BookTrust site.
Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne (Frances Lincoln) is an exciting adventure story inspired by Japanese folklore and in particular the supernatural yokai – demons – which are a key part of Japanese culture, but little known outside Japan. These activities explore stories of supernatural creatures from around the world.
Amazing imaginary creatures
- Give each child a large sheet of paper and ask them to design their own imaginary creature.
- Let imaginations run wild: have a range of art materials available, or bring in old magazines and newspapers so children can use collage techniques to create magical creatures from pictures of animals, birds, insects and people.
- Give creatures a name, and label them to show their unusual features or special powers. Make a display of the finished creatures.
Find out about folklore
- Divide children into pairs or small groups, and assign each group a different supernatural creature from traditional folklore, legend or myth. Try the Loch Ness Monster (Scotland), the Yeti (Nepal and Tibet), the Phoenix (Greek myth) or the Banshee (Ireland); alternatively, children could choose their own creatures based on stories they have read.
- Ask children to use the library or research online to find out more about their creature. What does it look like? What are its magical powers? Do they think it would be friendly or scary?
- The last pages of Takeshita Demons suggest that there might be more adventures still to come. Ask children to continue the story by imagining that Miku and Cait now encounter their creature. What do they think would happen? Write and illustrate the story.
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