Dangerous! tells the story of a label obsessed Mole who sticks labels onto everything. It’s a very amusing story and I am really excited about the potential for using this book in the literacy classroom.
The Story: Mole loves writing labels and sticks them everywhere! One day he finds something big and green on the path, he’s not sure what it is but he sticks lots of labels on it. Suddenly the green thing yawns – it’s a crocodile so Mole sticks a ‘dangerous’ label on it. The crocodile eats the labels then tries to befriend Mole. Mole finds the crocodile annoying ands shouts at him which makes the crocodile cry. The crocodile sticks his own label on his tummy and Mole reciprocates by writing a label that ensures that the two become friends (We won’t tell you what the labels say, we’ll let you read the book to find out!).
Tim Warne’s beautiful illustrations complement this easy to read story. My favourite spread shows crocodile trying to make friends with Mole (even the flowers he tries to give Mole are labelled!). My daughter loves the first double spread which shows Mole labelling everything in his environment and she likes to read the words out loud. The label covered pictures provide lots of scope for discussion and give beginner readers lots of opportunities to engage in reading. Mole is very cute and we share his outrage when the crocodile eats his precious labels but my daughter was also sad when Mole ‘wasn’t kind to the crocodile’ and made him cry. The story perfectly portrays the trials and tribulations of friendship and can help stimulate discussions with children who are trying to understand their own friendships.
Dangerous! is a great book to use in the classroom as it can stimulate many literacy activities. At the beginning of the story Mole writes nouns on his labels as he knows what everything is called. When he finds the crocodile he writes adjectives. The use of labels is inspiring and could stimulate a label sticking activity in a reception class. Split the class into teams and give them different sets of coloured labels with different words to stick onto classroom objects. The team with the most correct labels wins, depending on the reading level and understanding of the children you could use adjectives as well as nouns. For older children this is a great story for introducing and consolidating adjectives. First sort some of Mole’s words into nouns and adjectives and discuss which you could pair together. Then ask the children to think of their own adjectives. For example, Which adjectives would you use to describe a crocodile? Which adjectives would you use to describe your friend? (like Mole does on the final wordless spread). They can then finish by drawing and labelling their own animal.
Dangerous! also includes over 100 free stickers. It’s a really fun book to read for pleasure as well as to use to stimulate learning.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Tim Warnes
We were sent a review copy of Dangerous from Little Tiger Press. It’s a great book which we really enjoy reading and has given me lots of ideas for classroom activities.