It’s a busy day at nursery the day has just begun, come in and join the FUN!
Join the adventure with The Little Pioneers, Ping, Ebo, Alice, Charlie, and Ela as they work together through a variety of fun and exciting activities; building rockets, trying new foods from faraway places and entering a world of fantasy while playing dress up, but ultimately creating lasting friendships.
In this series of 5 books the Little Pioneers explore and demonstrate the core Co-operative values of DOES; Democracy, Openness, Equality and Social Responsibility. The books are aimed at pre-school reading age 3-5, but with bold and colourful illustrations, and easy to follow language these beautifully created rhyming picturebooks are enjoyable for children and parents of all ages!
Creating the series of books
Children and colleagues from five of The Co-operative Childcare nurseries had the exciting opportunity to work alongside author & illustrator, Pippa Pixley, to create a boxed set of Little Pioneers storybooks.
The children discovered the secret of how Pippa gets her story ideas, creates characters and builds stories around them. She also demonstrated how to make scrumple puppets from paper and fabric, turning them into an interactive story performance. The children had lots of opportunity for joining in with movement and songs. Inspired, they made their own characters and had a fantastic time as they explored and shared their ideas through drawing, emergent writing, storyboarding, story mapping and roleplaying.
At each of the five settings Pippa visited she introduced one of the Little Pioneer characters: Ping, Ebo, Charlie, Ela & Alice. The children came up with lots of story ideas. For instance, for Ping children said:
She loves pink and purple and butterflies and painting and playing with her friends!”
Pippa gathered these ideas and incorporated them into the narrative: Ping was painting a purple butterfly with her friend Ela when a gust of wind blew it out of the window.
Here is a glimpse of how the collaborative story-building process develops from things the children say and do (and what is important to them) to storyboard sketches and finally to a finished spread . .
Charlie is joined in this rhyming picturebook by four friends – Ping, Ela, Alice & Ebo – and they have fun as they create some amazing things together!
Meet the author
"It was a great privilege and lots of fun to visit the nurseries with such fantastic children and wonderful staff. This exciting project was to create stories for the Little Pioneer characters – Ping, Ebo, Alice, Charlie and Ela – who would star in their own picture books.
We role-played, small-world-played, created storyboards and drew pictures. It was so exciting to hear the children confidently tell stories or contribute ideas as we explored different scenarios! We went hunting for bugs and planting seeds; we were vets caring for our pets; we played games; we tried new foods; we were explorers and helped each other out.
I took their brilliant ideas back to the studio where we worked together to start designing the series: Joel crafted the lovely rhymes and I illustrated the books, drawing inspiration from my sketchbook observations of the children at play, taking careful note of their gestures and expressions.
The making of the Little Pioneers five book series was a fun collaborative process with children, staff and production team – all sharing ideas and working together. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it!"
Let’s get reading!
Research proves that children who enjoy reading do better at school in all subjects.
It's never too early to start reading with your child. Reading together increases not only literacy skills but it helps to build a strong and loving relationship between you and your little one.
5 Top Tips to get you reading with your little one!
1. Set aside some time
Find somewhere quiet without any distractions and make sure to turn off the TV/radio/computer.
2. Ask your little one to choose a book
Sharing books your child has chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means your little is also more likely to engage with the book.
3. Point to the pictures
If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encouraging your little one to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
4. Encourage your little one to talk about the book
Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your little one plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling, or how the book makes them feel.
5. And lastly, above all - make it fun!
It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices: your little one will love this!