What a Wonderful World, illustrated by Tim Hopgood

It’s the last week of term here in Scotland so I wanted to write about a feel-good book that teachers in Special Schools might enjoy reading to their pupils before the holidays start. If you want to get hold of this book in time for the end of term there is a Kindle Cloud Reader version: https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Wonderful-World-Tim-Hopgood-ebook/dp/B00NU31KTY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Of course most pupils are not at school at the moment but I know that many teachers are reading stories over video for children who are at home. I think this is the perfect feel good story for this. The illustrations in the book are wonderful. And the text is of course based on the song made famous by Louis Armstrong. If you want to play the song instead or as well as reading the text it is readily available online.

My approach might be to read the story and include one or two props first, then to put the music on and have more of a free-flowing sensory adventure, adding in more props and helping the child to explore them in their own time with the song playing in the background.

A set of colourful scarves would be lovely to use.

Set of colourful scarves suitable for sensory storytelling.

Green for the trees, blue for the sky, yellow for the bright day, navy for the dark night, lots of colours for the rainbow! Organza scarves like these ones work well because they are see-through – most children will enjoy the sensation of the the scarf being draped right over their head.

Other props that would work to make a more tactile story would be:

Leaves and twigs

Roses (or something that has a rose scent)

Squishy duvets or pillows for clouds

A rainbow coloured parachute

A doll for a baby

And maybe even a beach ball globe:

Beach ball globe.
A beach ball globe would be quite difficult to understand as a concept – but it could be a lot of fun!

You don’t need to have props to accompany all the illustrations in the book, just linger over what you do have….

In the same way as the illustrator has added in things that are not in the text you can add in some favourite things from this ‘wonderful world’…try to include things that you know the child you are reading to enjoys; maybe some confetti for snow, the noise of a dog barking, some beach sand…

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