Our latest language learning tale draws inspiration from a famous explorer… meet Drake the duck. We’re incredibly excited to share a sneak peek of this month’s Story Box Club with you, which explores the themes of adventure and travel – just in time for the summer holidays!
To hear all about what children and parents can expect in this month’s Story Box, we caught up with Jonny Pryn (Co-Founder and Creative Director at One Third Stories). Jonny is the creative genius behind all of our stories and activity books; all of the goodies you find in your monthly Story Box will have crossed Jonny’s desk at some point or another.
Hey Jonny! What can you tell us about this month’s storybook? We hear there’s a very cute and adventurous main character…
“This month’s story is very exciting because it’s our first time working with Sue Behrent, a wonderful author who has brought loads of experience to writing a story that starts in English and ends in a different language.
It’s all about a duck called Drake who decides he’d like to go south for the winter but can’t convince any of his friends to come with him. So he decides to take public transport instead and ends up travelling all over Europe, becoming an explorer like his famous namesake, Francis Drake.
As soon as Sue pitched the idea to me, I knew Hannah (our illustrator) would have loads of fun putting a duck in such human situations. As you can see from the image of Drake sleeping on the bus she hasn’t disappointed!”
What language skills will children practice from this month’s Story Box?
“For this story, we wanted to focus on all the vocabulary associated with travelling. Given that lots of kids will be heading off to France or Spain for their summer holidays pretty soon, we thought it would be a very practical topic to cover.
To that end, our subscribers can expect to learn countries, modes of transport, directions, and how to buy a ticket. Each area builds on the next until the children are learning some really useful and quite advanced phrases.”
Can you give us a sneak peek at the activities that will be included in this month’s box?
“This month’s activity book will see kids learning the French or Spanish names for even more countries by identifying famous landmarks and flags. They’ll also be making their own vocabulary dice so that they can create sentences about where they’re going and how they’re planning to get there.
We’ve also added a really fun script activity to the end of the audiobooks. It’s a great chance for little linguists with a flair for the dramatic to practice the real-world situation of buying a ticket and getting their accent absolutely spot on.”
Why do you think it’s so important to talk about visiting other places and experiencing different countries with children?
“One of the main motivations for any language learner is the chance to go out and explore the world, meet people with a different point of view, and expand their horizons. Reading a story where the main character is actually doing all of that is only going to help their desire to learn another language.”
What do you hope children take away from this month’s story?
“The original Francis Drake may have explored the world, but he also hurt a lot of people along the way. With this story, I hope we can set a better example of how to explore different countries whilst being respectful of other cultures. Ultimately, we hope we can encourage a sense of adventure and openness at the same time as furthering the kids’ language skills.”
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