Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ -#Children #Reading by Sue Wickstead

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

Teacher and children’s author Sue Wickstead shares one of her favourite books and authors from her childhood, and some interesting mixed lego animals she has made.

Have you met any fantastic beasts?

I was asked to talk about an author, for my writing group, and what they meant to me..

Who is your favourite author?

There are so many, I didn’t know who to choose!

I thought about looking at JK Rowling and her book ‘Magical Beasts and where to find them’.

This reminded me of an old book we had in the family, ‘The Zoo on Sunday’, written by Frank Worthington.

I wondered if perhaps this was where JK Rowling might have got some of her ideas.The Snat

Frank Worthington C.B.E; F.R.G.S; F.Z.S; Formerly secretary of Native Affairs, Northern Rhodesia and author of author of ‘The Little Wise Owl’ and ‘Chiromo, the Witch Doctor’.

Frank Worthington published The Zoo on Sunday in 1925, and as a ‘first-class black-and-white artist’, was also the illustrator.

My aunt Rose was given the book in 1930 (she remembered it was given by her Auntie Edie, a teacher, and Uncle Carl Webster, a head master and schools inspector in London at that time).

The book was passed down in the family for us to look at and enjoy, which we did although it was a little strange.. It was certainly thought proviking..

Mixed up animals

The Tor-tare

The book has full page black and while illustrations of mixed up animals (The Tortaire; The Hippo-Cock-Tail; The Snat; the Hermit Bear and The Cro-co-dowl to name but a few)

The Snat

Each with a poem to go with the new animal.

The introduction poem asks why London Zoo might be closed on a Sunday. It asks, ‘What can be seen there on a Sunday that isn’t to be seen on a Monday?’

The poem ends with a ticket to ‘Toological gargles, Wegent’s Park’ from the ‘Toological Sobriety of London’.

With a message’ don’t breathe a word on Monday of what you saw or heard on Sunday.

Frank Worthington had ‘more than one unusual pet:

One was a Marabou Stork, with a bill like a pickaxe. It would walk quietly up to a sleeping dog, contemplate for a time, and then give the animal a tremendous blow with his beak and would clatter his beak and dance around with delight.’

‘Another pet was a large bush pig, it would often dig itself out of the sty and was persuaded to go home by one boy pushing it and another scratching its back with a garden rake.’

These strange pets obviously gave Frank Worthington his ideas and inspiration.

Lego Mixels

The book has recently re-captured my imagination, because over lockdown I have been making a few Lego models which seem to have mixed up animal links.

Each colourful trio come in family groups, such as The purple Wiztastics, who are Mesmo, Wizwus and Magnifo.Wiztastics

The Mixels and Nixels have some imaginative names such as Nurp-Naut; Vaka-Waka; Tentro; Glomp and Jawg and they certainly made me giggle..

MixelsI did wonder what a book of ‘Lego Mixels’ might look like and was set to have a go.

Phonics

As a teacher, I have been asked to teach phonics to reception and year one.

In the ‘Read-Write-Inc’ phonics scheme one task is for the children to sound out and say a few words and have to identify if they are real or Alien words.

Phonics – Alien WordsThese names not only sound fun, but have some very odd-looking creatures.

The next time I teach phonics I doubt I would be able to say if it was an alien word. If you can sound it out and say it, I’m sure you can write about it and if you can’t? Well there are lots of words from other languages you might have trouble pronouncing and just because you can’t say it doesn’t mean it is nonsense.

Maybe the best nonsense words can become fun. Like the Nifflers in JK Rowlings book Fantastic Beasts.

And maybe I will have to write a book to go with the Mixels. Who knows?

© Sue Wickstead 2022

My thanks to Sue for letting me share the posts from her archives and you and any younger members of the family will find much to enjoy over on her blog.

About Sue Wickstead

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author with Award winning books.
Shortlisted in the Wishing Shelf Book awards. and has written children’s picture books with a bus theme. In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.

Her bus stories are about a playbus. Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!

For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.

As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.

‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.

Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.

A small selection of books by Sue Wickstead

One of the reviews for David’s Bin Day

This Children’s picture book follows David as he likes to watch out for the bin men each week.

He likes to wear a bobble hat just like the bin men, and he decides he wants to tidy up.

Suddenly things around the house start to disappear, including an important letter for Daddy.

Where are the missing items? Does it have something to do with David?

This is a really sweet and lovely book to read, and I loved reading it with my daughter.

Not only does it show children about one of the jobs that they may not think of, but it also shows the importance of keeping things tidy.

I must admit, I was laughing thinking about what I would do if this was my child, but I did love how the family reacted.

My daughter said: I loved the pictures in the book and liked listening to mummy read.

Overall, a sweet and lovely children’s book with a message to keep things tidy.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Sue Wickstead – Facebook: Stories Sue – Facebook: Teacher Page – Twitter: @JayJayBus – LinkedIn: Sue Wickstead

 

47 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ -#Children #Reading by Sue Wickstead

  1. I’ve not heard of Frank Worthington but I love this book and the stories of his own pets! The phonics scheme is a good one as it prevents children guessing the words, and I’m sure you could have some fun working some of them into a story with your Mixels, Sue! Many thanks for this, Sally. ♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A delightful post, Sue. I have a few books that have been in the family for generations, and I can see why Worthington’s book stuck around. How creative. Thanks for sharing some of the illustrations. And your legos cracked me up! They’re wonderful. (My lego animals need a lot more imagination.) Thanks for sharing, Sally. Great choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Sally for posting this blog.
    Funnily enough I remembered this blog yesterday when I was asked to teach Year One phonics.
    I didn’t know this was the post you were going to post.
    How Spooky is that?
    After a morning creating imaginary things with my grandson it was fun to read and remember.
    It certainly was interesting reading about Frank Worthington…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – 26th September – October 2nd 2022 – Hits 2004, Bocelli, Culinary ‘H’ foods, Basking Sharks, Podcast, Reviews, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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