Jenny Nimmo’s ‘The Dog Star’ – A Big Hit with 2nd Class Room 6

From ‘The Daily Reader’ newspaper:

“It was confirmed today that of all the Jenny Nimmo books that 2nd Class Room 6 have read that ‘The Dog Star’ is their very favourite. A poll was held in class and these were the results. ‘The Owl Tree’ and ‘Tom and the Pterosaur’ both got one vote each. ‘The Stone Mouse’ received six. But ‘The Dog Star’ was the runaway success with twenty two votes.

Some people felt that perhaps the last book read by the class is always going to do best because it is more recent and clearer in their minds, but supporters of ‘The Dog Star’ said, that though they enjoyed all the Jenny Nimmo books we have read so far, ‘The Dog Star’ was simply the best.

Later in the year, 2nd Class Room 6 are going to read ‘The Snow Spider’ by Jenny Nimmo. This is a challenging read and it will be interesting to see, if ‘The Dog Star’ will be knocked off top position”.


So why was ‘The Dog Star’ so popular?


We agreed that it was about something

a lot of children dream about:

a dog of their own.


But the story is not that straight forward.

There are a lot of difficulties

in the story for Marty

who is the main character.


Her older sister Clare puts her in a very difficult

situation and she doesn’t know whether to

make her sister happy by being mean to

Miss Theresa Tree or make her Dad happy

by being friendly to her.


We found the story



and magical.

We prefer serious books.

For example we preferred the serious

‘Owl Tree’ by Jenny Nimmo

to the ‘Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’

by Jill Tomlinson, even though it made us laugh.


We ‘made the connection’ between the eight and a half years,

that it takes the light from the Dog Star to reach earth,

and the fact that Marty is eight and a half years old

and that Marty’s Mum went home to God

eight and a half years ago.


Having already read ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’

we knew about Orion and his belt,

and what the Dog Star was, didn’t need to be explained to us.


Even at the end of the book,

we were left wondering about

‘The Dog Star’.


What was it really?

Where did it come from?


We would give this book ten out of ten

and would recommend it to children

between the ages seven and nine.


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Making Connections: Data & English: Our Favourite Class Novels

This week we have been talking about the class novels we have read:


Jill Tomlinson’s

‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’

‘The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure’

and Jenny Nimmo’s

‘The Owl Tree’

and ‘The Stone Mouse’


We talked about the ones we preferred

and why we preferred them better.


First we collected data from the class

to see which book by Jill Tomlinson

2nd Class Room 6 preferred:

‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’

or ‘The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure’?



Then we made a bar graph.

Some children were absent

and Teacher got to vote as well.

You can see from the graph that

‘The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure’

was our favourite book, by a score of 16 to 12.


Then we collected data to see which

class novel about owls, the class preferred:

Jill Tomlinson’s ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’

or Jenny Nimmo’s ‘Owl Tree’?


We made a bar graph to show the results.

‘The Owl Tree’ was the winner there.

Once again the score was 16 to 12.


The next day we took a vote,

to collect data for this bar graph

to find out which story by Jenny Nimmo

the class preferred:

‘The Owl Tree’ or

‘The Stone Mouse’?


Teacher got to vote again and

there were less children absent,

so there were 30 in our survey.

‘The Stone Mouse’ was the winner here

by a very close score of 16 to 14.



Niamh said ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’

was a very funny book that made her ‘laugh out loud’.

So why did the students in 2nd Class Room 6

prefer ‘The Aardvark who wasn’t sure’?


The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure’

The children said this was a funny book too

and that they learned lots of new things

about animals who live in the African ‘veldt’.


‘The Owl Tree’

‘The Owl Tree’ was the book children preferred

of the two about owls. 2nd Class Room 6 felt it was

an unusual and serious book and that it was more grown up.


They liked the way Jenny Nimmo

worked a little bit of magic into every day life.


Cian said it gave him ‘mixed feelings’ because predicting

what was going to happen to the tree worried him.


John Paul said he liked the description of the food

that Granny Diamond brought out to her ‘trick or treat’ visitors.


Isabella said that it was interesting

to try and imagine what Mr. Rock looked like.


Fiona said that it was a good book to help

some one understand a disability or someone who looked different.


However good ‘The Owl Tree’ was the children thought that

‘The Stone Mouse’ was even better.


‘The Stone Mouse’

There were so many problems for Ellie

and ‘The Stone Mouse’ to overcome.


Isabella said she was interested

in finding out why Ted did what he did.


Alice was fascinated by the connection

between Ellie and ‘The Stone Mouse’,

where they both seemed to be worrying

at the same time.


Alice thought that it was interesting

that Ted is the short for Teddy

and that usually Teddies are soft and cuddly

but that Ted in the story was not.


Our next class novel is ‘The Dog Star’ by Jenny Nimmo.

Teacher says that there is magic and a mystery in it

and we are looking forward to it.




Book Review: It was a Dark and Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

Teacher read  ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’

to the children in 2nd Class, Room 6.

‘It was A Dark And Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

It was a big hit.

It is a ‘laugh out loud’ book with plenty of scope

for dramatisation and funny voices.


Great fun to read aloud in class!

It was impossible to predict what was going to happen next in the story.

But guessing was fun too.


Book Review by Jack S

Antonio is the hero.

He is eight, the same age as me.


Antonio is captured by brigands.

The Chief of the Brigands is bored.

He tells Antonio to tell a story to pass the time.


Antonio’s story is about


and sharks,


and killer parrots.

There is a castle in his story with a ‘Thingy’ in the moat.


Antonio uses the story telling

to distract the brigands

so he can escape,

and get back to to his own family.


I would recommend this book to children my age. It made me laugh.

Create your own Animation

Finally we made a podcast of what we thought was best about this book.

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Books we enjoyed this year

Book Reviews by Room 6

‘Beware of the Killer Coat’ by Susan Gates

Teacher read us the story, ‘Beware of the Killer Coat by Susan Gates.

It was a very funny story about a boy called Andrew.

Andrew thought that his new coat was really a monster that was out to get him.

This coat swallowed the important notes that came home from school.

Andrew’s gloves also disappeared.

This book was illustrated by Josip Lizatovic.

His pictures are very funny too.

They really bring the story to life.


‘Once Dark and Stormy Night’ by Alan Ahlberg

is a book about a boy who was kidnapped by brigands.

Jack said it was confusing.

Mo said it was funny and interesting.

Ryan said a lot happened in the story.


‘Care of Henry’ by Anne Fine

is a book about boy

who had to decided who to stay with when his Mum was in hospital.

It was important that his dog would be minded too.


Most children liked the book a lot.

Though some children said

it was not very funny or interesting or adventurous.



The Stories of Jill Tomlinson: Similarities and Differences.

Books by Jill Tomlinson

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark

The Cat Who Wanted To Go Home

The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure

The Otter Who Wanted To Know

Penguin’s Progress

How are these books the same?

They all have a main character, who is a young animal.

They are all asking questions

of their grown ups

and their friends

and they are all learning.

They all have adventures.

They have a beginning

a middle,

and an end

and they all have a happy ending. 

How are they different?

They are different because the main character is a different bird or mammal.

Some are nocturnal and some are diurnal.

Some of the questions they ask are the same,

but some are different.

They come from different habitats all over the world.

They have to watch out for different predators.

Their diet is different.