Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

For ages 3 to 8

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This book is best for:
  • concept of time
  • describing
  • labelling ocean animals


A modern take on ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’. Tiddler is a tiny fish with a big imagination. He is frequently late for class and loves to tell tall tales as excuses. Neither his teacher nor his classmates believe his elaborate stories, but will they believe him when one of his crazy tales actually comes true?

Tiddler is written in delightful rhyming text. There is much to discover and describe in the vivid, detailed illustrations. This book is a fantastic choice for teaching children about ocean animals as there is a wide variety illustrated and labelled throughout the book. There are also multiple opportunities to teach the concept of time and days of the week. Children can have a go at reading the time on the clock each time we visit Miss Skate’s classroom during the story.

For further speech and language targets in Tiddler, see the list below.

Book Details

Narrative Structure: Complete Episode

Story Plot: Character Flaw

  • animals - ocean, fish
  • excuses
  • honesty
  • imagination
  • places - ocean

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /d/ - dive, dolphin, day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, mermaid, told, rode, found, heard, friend
  • /f/ - fish, fishermen, fishing
  • /l/ - late, little, lost, lobster, silly, turtle, tale, whale, eel
  • /m/ - Monday, Miss, mermaid, fishermen, swim, home
  • /r/ - ride, ray, rescue, sorry, story
  • /s/ - sorry, seahorse, seal, save, Miss, yes
  • /s/ blends - story, starfish, school, Skate, small, swim, scales, squid, strange, lost, chest
  • /sh/ - ship, shiver, shoal. shrimp, fishing, fishermen, fish
  • /t/ - Tiddler, tales, Tuesday, told, turtle, late, net
  • conjunctions (and, but)
  • copula (was)
  • negatives didn't
  • regular past tense
  • irregular past tense verbs (blew, swam, told, lost, flew, heard, rode, met, took)
  • subjective pronouns (I)
  • action verbs
  • matching
  • labelling
  • describing
  • predicting
  • explaining means to a goal (e.g. what can Tiddler do to get back home?)
  • identifying obstacles to an action (e.g. what might stop Tiddler from getting home safely?)
  • making inferences (e.g. how does Tiddler feel? How can you tell? *He shivered in the seaweed)
  • temporal concepts (days of the week, time)
  • excuses
  • honesty
  • traditional opening
  • character description
  • time
  • initiating event
  • problem
  • plans
  • resolution
  • moral
  • dialogue
Rhyme & Sound Awareness:
  • rhyme
Book Info

Published by Scholastic in 2010 (ISBN: 9781407116631)

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