Exercise: Working for Children



maisie-1 maisie-2

Maisie Mouse


Each Peach Pear Plumb

Pre-School (3 to 5)


Dear Zoo

Early Reader (5 to 7)


Charlie and Lola

Established Reader (7 to 9)


“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

Older Age Groups


“Artemis Fowl”


“The Witches”

Pick Two Age Groups…

Pre-Reader – “Growing”


Early Reader – “Family”


What makes an animal ‘appropriate’ for an age group?

Giraffe – I can’t think of an inappropriate age for a giraffe, or an elephant, or a crocodile, or a mouse, or a…

…why would an animal be age-appropriate?

Spiders: no often found for younger kids. Maisie encounters Bees, snails, butterflies, rabbits (as animals not as characters).

Bunnies: Are these too silly and cute for older kids? Do they need Dogs and ponies? Teltubbies have bunny rabbits – has is this the result of them being appropriate or part of the way in which bunnies have become only for younger kids?

Bees: Are interesting as they have always (since my own early-reader days) been for younger kids. “Ant and Bee go Shopping” – Angela Banner. Also black and yellow stripes are notoriously hi-vis for young children’s eyes.

It looks like the association of animal with age is to do with how the child wishes to interact with the world. Dogs are excellent mediators between people – I can hardly remember an established or older age group story that precluded a dog: Enid Blyton (Secret 7, Famous 5) had them, Snoopy was one, Rupert the bear didn’t have one,  Swallows and Amazons included the dog as part of the gang I think.

Giraffes are a bit of a mystery… is it just the unique shape that makes them suitable from birth? A strongly identifiable shape for babies to learn about the basics.

Early Reader – “Dog”


Pre-Reader – “Bee”




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