Great picture books to perform

Where the Wild Things Are

Getting children to perform the stories of their favourite picture books can be a fantastic way to help them engage with the lessons within them.

Recommended by former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson, these picture books are great for using as the basis for drama performances in and out of the classroom.

  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby

    Author: Elfrida Vipont Illustrator: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 1-3

    One day, an elephant offers a baby a ride through the town, and the set off on a great adventure.

  • Dogger

    Author: Shirley Hughes
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 2-5

    Dogger is Dave's special toy. So when Dogger gets lost at the funfair, Dave is desolate. Will they find each other again? Exploring concepts of love, loss and kindness, this classic tale will be cherished by the entire family and will particularly appeal to any child who has a favourite toy.

  • Handa's Surprise

    Author: Eileen Browne
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 5+

    Glorious images of an African village convey the sights, smells and colours of the landscape, its animals and its food in a story told as much through pictures as through words.

  • Farmer Duck

    Author: Martin Waddell Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-6
    Reading age: 6+

    There once was a lazy farmer who spent his days in bed eating chocolate while his duck did all the hard work around the farm.

  • Tyrannosaurus Drip

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: David Roberts
    Publisher: Pan Macmillan
    Interest age: 5+
    Reading age: 6+

    A duckbill dinosaur egg is mistakenly hatched by a fierce, war-loving Tyrannosaurus family.

  • Mr Wolf's Pancakes

    Author: Jan Fearnley
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Mr Wolf wants to make pancakes but is unable to read the recipe book, write the names of the ingredients or count the money to buy them. Will his neighbours help?

  • I'm the Best

    Author: Lucy Cousins
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 6+

    Dog’s friends become dejected by his boastfulness, before realising that they all have things they do well too.

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 2-6
    Reading age: 6+

    Follow a father and his family as they go out in search of a bear.

  • One Ted Falls Out of Bed

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Anna Currey
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 4+

    This book is brilliant for bedtime, and the rhyming story is fun to read.

  • The Magic Paintbrush

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Joel Stewart
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 6+

    When Shen is given a magic paintbrush, she promises only to use it for the good of the poor. But how will she avoid painting for the greedy emperor?

  • Where the Wild Things Are

    Author: Maurice Sendak
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 4-8

    Max is being naughty, and his mother sends him to bed without dinner, calling him a "wild thing." As Max sits in his fury, a boat appears, taking him to a world of monsters and wild things with big claws and teeth. A classic picture book and one of the first to explore a child's feelings of anger.