A Sensory Story for World Book Day

World Book Day is on the 4th of March this year. A perfect day for a sensory story with lots of books in it!

A stack of books

I wrote this story for the Wigtown Book Festival and imagined it happening in one of the lovely wee bookshops in Wigtown, but feel free to set your version of the story in your local bookshop, or library or even in the book corner in your classroom.

The props for this story are all ordinary household objects. You will need: an apron, a duster (a feather one is great if you happen to have one), a scrubbing brush, a yellow duster or similar (for polishing), a pile of books and a mug. But you don’t need to stick to these exact objects – just adapt the story to suit whatever you have to hand. If you are telling the story in a classroom you could make up individual sets of tactile props for every pupil.

Sensory props for the story: a scrubbing brush, yellow duster, feather duster, books and a mug

Brownies are a kind of Scottish fairy – they can be very helpful, but are quick to take offence! This story is very loosely based on a traditional Scottish tale.

Directions for how to use the props are in the square brackets.

The Bookshop Brownie

This is a story about an old bookshop. [Let the children see and feel some of the books]

A brownie lived in this bookshop. A little magical man.

Every night the old woman who worked in the shop put out a big mug of milk for the brownie. [Use a teaspoon to ‘stir’ the mug of milk]

The brownie slept all day.

Every night he got up.

He shook out his apron. Shake shake shake [Shake the apron]

He picked up his duster. Dust dust dust [Dust with the duster – you could ‘dust’ the children’s hands as well]

He sorted the books. Sort sort sort [Sort the books by thumping them on top of each other and flipping through the pages.]

He scrubbed the floor. Scrub scrub scrub [Pretend to ‘scrub’ with the scrubbing brush. You could scrub the children’s shoes]

He polished the front step. Rub rub rub [Use the yellow duster, shake it out and then ‘polish’ with it]

He drank down that big mug of milk. Glug glug glug [Mime drinking the milk]

And went to bed just as the sun was rising.

Every night it was the same. [Repeat the actions from before]

He shook out his apron. Shake shake shake

He did the dusting. Dust dust dust

He sorted the books. Sort sort sort

He scrubbed the floor. Scrub scrub scrub

He polished the front step. Rub rub rub

And he drank down his milk. Glug glug glug

Shake shake shake

Dust dust dust

Sort sort sort

Scrub scrub scrub

Rub rub rub

And glug glug glug.

But one night the brownie…

Shook out his apron. Shake shake shake

Picked up his duster. Dust dust dust

Sorted the books. Sort sort sort

Scrubbed the floor. Scrub scrub scrub

Polished the front step. Rub rub rub

And went to get his mug of milk…

Uh-oh…no milk! [Make this very dramatic!]

The old woman had forgotten to put out milk for the brownie.

It doesn’t take much to annoy a brownie.

He shook his fists. [Shake your fists]

And then…

Stomp stomp stomp [Stomp as loudly as you can, encourage other to join in]

Went the brownie across that clean floor

And stomp stomp stomp

He went over the shining doorstep

And  stomp stomp stomp

He went down the road

And over the hills and out of sight…

And after that the old woman had to… [Repeat the actions one more time]

Shake shake shake

Dust dust dust

Sort sort sort

Scrub scrub scrub

And rub rub rub

all by herself.

And the little brownie was never seen again.

Remember – not all of my props recommendations are toys! The props I suggest should not be used by children unsupervised.