The Road that Trucks Built by Susanna Leonard Hill #trucksontour


Hi Everyone,

Yippee! I am the first stop on Susanna Leonard Hill’s #trucksontour!

The incredible Susanna Leonard Hill has been on a whirlwind blog tour these past few weeks. Firstly with When your Elephant has the Sniffles and When your Lion needs a Bath and now The Road that Trucks Built.

Based on the classis nursery rhyme “The House that Jack Built”, this adorable book is a truck fan’s delight! Published by Little Simon with an age range of 4 to 7 year olds, a team of happy, hardworking vehicles created by Erica Sirotich, work together to shove and forge, smooth and even, spread and flatten, paint and create a new road. A handy key of all the vehicles concludes the book.

As I have a few truck fans in my class, I decided to create an activity based on the book to share with you all today.


Ta – dah!

This is what we did…

We used different sized plastic trucks to paint the tracks on the roads.


Then I attempted to draw the trucks (thank you Erica for making the trucks as cute as pie, and apologies to you for my less than perfect drawing skills)! Finally, the children coloured them to complete our road – and a bright and new display!


Don’t forget a prize will be given for sharing on social media. Every time you share a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #trucksontour you will get an entry into a raffle where 3 winners will each get a $25 Amazon gift card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy #trucksontour, Susanna!!



It’s Susanna Hill’s Blog Tour! When Your Elephant has the Sniffles – recipe (1)



Hello everyone,

I am thrilled to welcome Susanna Leonard Hill and her two book babies to the Little Red Story Shed.

Susanna is an inspiration to so many picture book writers. Her Monday Funday Short & Sweets, Would You Read it Wednesdays, Perfect Picture Book Fridays and writing contests are FABULOUS!  If you aren’t already following her blog, you should nip over and follow right now (susannahill.com)!

Welcome to Switzerland, Susanna.
Come on in…cup of tea?
Milk? Sugar? Elephant ear cookie…?


Perfect recipe for your new book When Your Elephant has the Sniffles, don’t you think?

Oh, I knew you would like it. Please help yourself to another while I tell everyone how the kids and I made them.


1 rectangle of puff pastry
1 egg (beaten)
1/3 cup of sugar mixed with
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon


Cut the rectangle of puff pastry into two smaller rectangles.



Sprinkle the first half with 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar mixture.


Starting at the short side, roll the pastry towards the centre.


Then do the same starting from the other side.


Which leaves you with this…


Repeat this process with the second rectangle of pastry.

Cut each roll into approx. 12 slices and place the slices cut-side down onto a baking tray.


Whisk the egg with a fork.


Brush your elephant ears with the egg mixture.


Bake for 12 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.


Leave to cool on wire racks.

Well, there you go – elephant ears! Quite simple and fun to make. Hope you and your preschoolers enjoy this recipe. Susanna and I are going to have another cup of tea and a few more elephant ears.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to scroll down for more fun activities and the book reviews! Oh..and if you share this post using #whenyourbooks you get an entry in the end-of-tour raffle for a Special Prize!

Happy, happy blog tour, Susanna!






When Your Elephant has the Sniffles – elephant collage and review (2)


Well, as you know, Susanna popped by the Little Red Story Shed for an afternoon tea and elephant ears. I am pleased to say we also managed to show her our elephant collage before she had to fly.


The kids had great fun making this poor sniffly thing by cutting and pasting lots of blue pieces onto the outline drawing.

Here is how they did it…

Neat huh… they had fun making this.

Here is our review:


Written by: Susanna Leonard Hill

Illustrated by: Daniel Wiseman

Publisher: Little Simon (Board Book Edition – 11 July 2017)

Ages: 2 – 4 years

When your Elephant has the Sniffles is a fun read-aloud for little people. The children laughed as the elephant was marched to bed by his little girl and they loved her attempts to keep him occupied and sneeze-free, most especially making shadow puppets on the wall.  Written in very few words, allowing the illustrations to shine, I loved the humorous text, the unseen narrator and the twist at the end. As we ate our elephant ear snack the kids were telling each other to drink their water as it is ‘important for fighting the sniffles’. We loved Daniel’s colourful, fun illustrations and thought the elephant and his little girl were wonderfully expressive! Big thumbs up all around!!

Scroll on down to the last #whenyourbooks post and a scrumptious lion pancake activity. Don’t forget to share this post using #whenyourbooks!  Every time you post with #whenyourbooks you get an entry in the end-of-tour raffle for a Special Prize!






When your Lion needs a Bath – review and lion pancakes (3)


My preschoolers and I have had such fun with these two books and I am so happy to be part of Susanna’s blog book tour!


Written by: Susanna Leonard Hill

Illustrated by: Daniel Wiseman

Published by Little Simon (Board Book Edition – 11 July 2017)

Ages: 2 – 4 years

When your Lion needs a Bath is laugh out loud funny! Lion is smelly and his little boy plots and schemes to get him in the bath! Once again Susanna has written this in very few words, with a charming twist at the end. It has perfectly balanced text with colourful and expressive illustrations by Daniel Wiseman. This book is excellent for sharing with little people! We loved it!

And…of course, as with When your Elephant has the Sniffles, I decided a fun food activity was the way to go to extend this book with the kids – they loved it!

Here is what we did…

We sat very quietly and watched my assistant Melanie making pancakes…yummy.


We chopped nectarines, pineapple and cherries.

We gave our lions fruit manes, cherry eyes and a whisker or two of red licorice …

then we stepped back and admired our creativity…


Finally, of course, we ate them for our snack! What fun!


Thanks for popping by and don’t forget to share this post using #whenyourbooks. Every time you post with #whenyourbooks you get an entry in the end-of-tour raffle for a Special Prize!


Alexandria LaFaye wants us to reminisce about our favourite candy…how can we refuse?


Author friend, Alexandria LaFaye, has set us a new writing challenge!

“Who is ready for some creativity calisthenics? Inspired by Kenvin Henkes genius book about the life of a marshmallow chick as a friend. Share a narrative poem or short story about a food who becomes a child’s friend. (100 words or less)”.

For more information visit her blog at http://alafaye.blogspot.ch/2017/03/feeling-creative-about-your-favorite.html 

I love these challenges and couldn’t resist putting together a little poem about growing up with my Grandad’s favourite sweets, as we call them in England. 

The humble jelly baby was first manufactured by Fryers of Lancashire who created them in 1864. They were supposed to be jelly bears, but the resulting sweets looked more like newborn infants and were subsequently given the ghoulish name, ‘Unclaimed Babies’. The invention was revived by Bassett’s of Sheffield, England who were responsible for mass producing jelly babies from 1918. These sweets are a British classic!

Happy reading everyone…



Jelly Babies.gif




Vivian Kirkfield’s #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge 2017


March 2nd is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to young readers as Dr Seuss, and once again Vivian Kirkfield (www.viviankirkfield.com) is hosting a 50 precious words challenge!

The challenge is to write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total word count for the story is 50 or less. For more information pop over to Vivian’s website (https://viviankirkfield.com/2017/03/02/50preciouswords-writing-challenge-is-open/#comments)

This year I was inspired by a very noisy crow and his find…happy reading everyone!



(40 words)

Crow found a nut…
“My nut!” he cawed greedily.

Jay squawked loudly as crow flew over his tree.
Crow dropped the nut!

Jay caught the nut.
“My nut!” he squawked cheekily.

Squirrel bounced along the branch.
Jay dropped the nut!

Squirrel caught the nut.
“My nut!” he squeaked gleefully.

Woodpecker hammered!
Squirrel dropped the nut!

The nut
to the ground.

Pig walked under the tree.
“My nut!” he grunted and gobbled it up!


Thanks for stopping by. I’m off to read the other entries…good luck everyone!











Susanna Hill’s 6th Annual Holiday Contest


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…! It’s Susanna Hill’s Annual Holiday Contest!

The contest: Write a children’s holiday story using the basic format/concept of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but it is not to exceed 300 words (excluding the title).

So without any further ado…here is my entry for 2016.


Robbin’ Robin (299 words)

by Julie Abery

On the first day of Christmas Red Robin came to me and asked for a house in the tree.

On the second day of Christmas Red Robin came to me and cheeped for a star which he hung at the top of the tree.

On the third day of Christmas Red Robin came to me and chirped for some lights to be twirled up the trunk of the tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas Red Robin came to me and pecked at a cookie, which he dunked in my nice cup of tea!

On the fifth day of Christmas Red Robin came to see what else was free ???

Cookies and tea

Twirling lights

Sparkle and shine from the star at the top of the tree! 

On the sixth day of Christmas Red Robin came to me and begged for my colour tv.

On the seventh day of Christmas Red Robin came to me, needing a chair to sit comfortably watching tv.

On the eighth day of Christmas Red Robin came to me, asking for speakers as the north wind’s a little noisy.

On the ninth day of Christmas Red Robin came to me, wanting my Playbox ’cause there’s nothing to watch on TV! 

On the tenth of Christmas my mummy said to me, “It’s very strange, but our house seems a little empty!” 

On the eleventh day of Christmas my daddy said to me “What’s going on? Because our stuff’s all up in the tree!” 

On the twelfth day of Christmas can you guess where I’ll be…?

I’m hiding out …

“What’s going on?”

“It’s very strange”

Wanting a Playbox

Asking for speakers

Needing a chair

Colour TV

What else is free?? 

Cookies and tea

Twirling lights

Sparkle and shine

…with the robin atop of the tree! 

Happy Holidays Everyone!