‘This Dave. This Dave’s Cave. But Dave not happy…Dave want new cave.’

Synopsis/Review:

This Dave’s Cave. Dave like cave. Cave perfect. But Dave think. What if better cave? Better rocks. Better grass. Better Wi-fi (ok, Mr B added). Dave find new caves. But none perfect. Dave sad. Will Dave find dream cave?

That was a lot tougher to write than you would imagine, but I hope you get the idea! This book is written in a very stereotypically ‘caveman’ style which makes it perfect for reading aloud and could lead to some fantastic conversations about use of language, both positive and negative. However, as I’m sure you have realised by now, grammar ain’t what gets me out of bed in the morning! What I love is a good story, a strong message and unforgettable characters, and in this deceptively simple book Frann Preston-Gannon has provided all three. Taking hold of a narrative structure that many children will be familiar with (too this, too that), we are presented with a hilarious modern (if a book about a caveman could be described as modern…) twist. The illustrations tell their own story, and without giving too much away, you are guaranteed to get giggles when you show the children the fourth and fifth cave!

Recommended Age: EYFS/KS1, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if older children enjoyed it too (you know, if they’re not ‘too cool’)

Themes/topics

  • Stone Age
  • Cavemen
  • Homes
  • Explorers
  • Journeys
  • Friendship
  • Habitats
  • Pets
  • Contentment
  • Sharing
  • Decorations
  • Art
  • Patience

Teaching ideas:

  • Estate agent poster describing each cave – can children extract positives in every case with their use of language?
  • Links with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’
  • Play around with adjectives to describe objects – ‘too…’
  • Design and describe a cave for Dave
  • Role-play area/’Bookcave’
  • Send a postcard to Dave’s friends telling them about his journey
  • Use the clear structure to create own story
  • DT: Create a model of the perfect cave
  • History: research and compare different homes through history
  • History/Art: learn about cave art
  • Science: Use Dave’s unhappiness with his cave to explore suitable/unsuitable habitats
  • Transition/Art: Create own cave paintings based on what is important to children
  • Drama: act out the story
  • PSHE: What did Dave learn? Have you ever felt the same way?
  • PSHE: When have the children ever had to show patience/contentment?
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