Cristy Burne


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A monster activity for celebrating International Childrens Book Day

Remember: tailor the spookiness of your creatures to suit. This drawing of a bunyip is scarier than anything I ever imagined!

Celebrating international childrens books

Looking for ways to celebrate International Childrens Book Day (April 2, the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson)?

Want to entertain a bunch of kids for a couple of hours?

Like to imagine weird and wonderful creatures?

Give this activity a shot: Remember…the creatures you talk about can be as scary (or not) as you choose.

For example, you might skip zombies in favour of fairies, or talk about unicorns instead of the Loch Ness Monster.

Audience: Children of any age (thought I recommend you tailor the scariness of the stories you choose to suit)

You will need:

– Sheets of paper

– Pens and pencils for drawing

– Any books that feature curious and fabulous monsters from around the world. For example:

A labelled drawing of the Japanese tanuki, thanks to the Shigaraki Tourist Assocation. What type of monster would you draw?

BUNYIPS DON’T by Sally Odgers features Australian bunyips;

TALES OF THE TOKOLOSHE by Pieter Scholtz features the African tokoloshe;

THE TANIWHA OF WELLINGTON HARBOUR by Moira Wairama features the Maori taniwha.

What to do:

– Read books about some of the weird and wonderful monsters that exist in mythology from around the world.
– Talk about some of the monsters that exist in Western/European mythology (for example, vampires, werewolves, etc)
– Ask the kids to grab their pens and paper and dream up their own monster. Encourage them to create a monster that is specific to them. Draw the monster and label its attributes. Does it have strong legs for jumping mountains? Does it carry a cake for feeding its friends? Does it wear sunglasses to protect its eyes from the snow?

Happy International Childrens Book Day!