Elaine Forrestal

Teacher’s Notes for Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town

Before read­ing the book

1.      Look at the cover. Read the title. What will this story be about?

2.      Com­pare the cov­ers of Miss Llewellyn-Jones (Fre­man­tle Press 2008) and Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town. Would you have recog­nised Miss Llewellyn-Jones? Why is she dressed so dif­fer­ently? Dis­cuss what sort of clothes you and your class­mates wear for:

  • going out
  • going to school
  • play­ing at a friend’s house
  • going swim­ming.

3.      Show the end­pa­pers at the begin­ning of the book. Why has the illus­tra­tor, Moira Court, cho­sen to make this image the first one you see? Why has she shown only one of the girl’s legs? Com­pare the colours she has used for the front end­pa­pers with those used for the back end­pa­pers. Are they the same?

4. At the bot­tom of the Library Infor­ma­tion page (oppo­site the Title page) there is a small pic­ture of two black and white birds. These are not mag­pies, but they are a very com­mon West Aus­tralian bird. Can you guess what they might be called by look­ing care­fully at what they are eating?

Read the book

Stop at the double-page spread in the mid­dle of the book (pp14 & 15). Lots of things are hap­pen­ing on these two pages. Make a class list of ideas about:

  • who the peo­ple are
  • where they are going
  • where the sausages came from
  • who owns the dog
  • what will hap­pen next?

Now read on to the end

How does Miss Llewellyn-Jones feel when she can’t find Teddy? Which pic­tures give you the clues and what is it about those pic­tures that show you how she feels? Her facial expres­sion? Her body lan­guage? The colours that Moira Court has used in the picture?

While Teddy is stand­ing on the post box look­ing for Miss Llewellyn-Jones, where is the lit­tle girl who owns the horse?

Write your own story using the girl as your main char­ac­ter. Think about:

  • giv­ing her a name,
  • giv­ing her mother a name.
  • Decide who the dog belongs to.
  • Tell how the girl feels about los­ing her horse?
  • Does she get it back?
  • How?

Revisit

The pic­ture on page 3 is very sim­i­lar to one of the other pic­tures in the book.

Which one?

How many dif­fer­ences can you find?

When Miss Llewellyn-Jones rides into the town she goes past at least one shop with­out buy­ing anything.

  • What sort of shop is it?
  • Apart from the ones that Miss Llewellyn-Jones vis­its, what other sorts of shops might there be in the town?

On p18 there is a shadow in the door­way behind Miss Llewellyn-Jones. Whose shadow is it?

Com­pare this shadow with the sil­hou­ette on p11.

Exten­sion

Here are the first two lines of a well known Nurs­ery Rhyme. Can you fin­ish it off?

Rub-a-dub-dub three men in a tub

And who do you think they be …

Do any of the char­ac­ters you have named appear in Miss Llewellyn-Jones goes to Town?

Think of another Nurs­ery Rhyme – one you are famil­iar with – and write your own story based on the char­ac­ters and events in that rhyme.

Search out a cumquat tree. Carry out your own cumquat juice experiments.

  • How many cumquats does it take to make a glass of cumquat juice?
  • How long does it take to fill a stan­dard water glass.
  • How long does it take to fill a med­i­cine glass?

How the story changed

Unlike their pre­vi­ous book, Miss Llewellyn–Jones, in which both the story and pic­tures changed a lot dur­ing the col­lab­o­ra­tive process, the pic­tures in Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town changed very lit­tle. That may have been because, hav­ing done the first book together, Moira and Elaine had got to know and to trust each other. Elaine was con­scious of leav­ing gaps in the text to allow Moira’s pic­tures to move the action for­ward and to show the emo­tions of the char­ac­ters at dif­fer­ent points in the story.

What did change quite sig­nif­i­cantly was Elaine’s orig­i­nal text. She and Cate Suther­land (children’s pub­lisher at Fre­man­tle Press) worked on ‘mak­ing the words sing’, rather than sim­ply telling the story.

Here is the first draft of Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town. Com­pare this draft with the fin­ished book.

  • What sort of changes have been made?
  • What effect have these changes had on the story?
  • Are there other changes you would have made if this had been your story?

Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town
© Elaine For­re­stal 2008

Miss Llewellyn-Jones rode her bicy­cle to town
Up hill, up hill, up hill and …
D o o o o w n

From the butcher she bought sausages.

From the baker she bought bread.

From the candy-cake maker she bought a lol­lipop instead.

In the fruit shop there were per­sim­mons and pas­sion­fruit,
goose­ber­ries – but no goose.
Miss Llewellyn-Jones was tak­ing quite some time to choose.

Her bas­ket was bulging.
Teddy was bored.
There were places in the town just wait­ing to be explored.

(This is where we see Teddy strug­gling out of the bas­ket to go explor­ing while ML-J’s back is turned.
But things do not go exactly as planned. A cat rolls him like a ball. A dog picks him up and runs with him. The owner of the Teddy Bear Shop finds him in the door­way, picks him up and puts him on the shelf – with a price tag
!
Mean­while, ML-J is about to set off for home when she realises that Teddy is miss­ing
!)

Miss Llewellyn-Jones made a fran­tic search,

Up hill, up hill, up hill and …

D o o o o w n

(We see ML-J, on foot, wav­ing her arms and show­ing Teddy’s size and shape to every­one on the street.)

He wasn’t in the mince.

He wasn’t in the dough.

He wasn’t in the birth­day cake – fresh-wrapped and ready to go.

(Mean­while Teddy, with his usual resource­ful­ness, has man­aged to tum­ble off the shelf and hitch a ride in the bas­ket of a pass­ing cus­tomer who walks out onto the street just as ML-J is describ­ing him to the local police­man.  A joy­ful reunion takes place.)

Miss Llewellyn-Jones rode her bicy­cle back home
Up hill, up hill, up hill and …
D o o o o w n

(Per­haps the final pic­ture could show ML-J exhausted and Teddy now wear­ing some form of ID?)

NB. The words in ital­ics are just sug­ges­tions Elaine made for Moira to think about, know­ing that Moira would come up with her own good ideas as she worked on the pictures.