Extract 1

The Ugly Duckling

by Hans Christian Anderson


It was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful. The stork walking about on his long red legs chattered in the Egyptian language, which he had learnt from his mother. The corn-fields and meadows were surrounded by large forests, in the midst of which were deep pools. It was, indeed, delightful to walk about in the country.

In a sunny spot stood a pleasant old farm-house close by a deep river, and from the house down to the water side grew great burdock leaves, so high, that under the tallest of them a little child could stand upright. The spot was as wild as the centre of a thick wood. In this snug retreat sat a duck on her nest, watching for her young brood to hatch; she was beginning to get tired of her task, for the little ones were a long time coming out of their shells, and she seldom had any visitors. The other ducks liked much better to swim about in the river than to climb the slippery banks, and sit under a burdock leaf, to have a gossip with her.

At length one shell cracked, and then another, and from each egg came a living creature that lifted its head and cried, "Peep, peep."

"Quack, quack," said the mother, and then they all quacked as well as they could, and looked about them on every side at the large green leaves. Their mother allowed them to look as much as they liked, because green is good for the eyes.

"How large the world is," said the young ducks, when they found how much more room they now had than while they were inside the egg-shell.

"Do you imagine this is the whole world?" asked the mother; "Wait till you have seen the garden; it stretches far beyond that to the parson's field, but I have never ventured to such a distance. Are you all out?" she continued, rising; "No, I declare, the largest egg lies there still. I wonder how long this is to last, I am quite tired of it!" and she seated herself again on the nest.

Extract 2

Dick Whittington

by Margaret Nash


Long, long ago, there lived a poor boy called Dick Whittington. People told Dick that the streets of London were paved with gold. He set off to seek his fortune there.

But when Dick reached London, the streets were dirty. Dick was tired and hungry. He fell asleep outside a rich merchant's house. The next day, the merchant and his daughter, Alice, found Dick. "You poor boy!" said the merchant. "You can live here and work in my kitchen if you want," he said to Dick.

Dick worked hard for the merchant, even though the cook kept telling him off. There were rats in his bedroom, too. Dick bought a cat to get rid of them.

One day, the merchant began loading his ship with goods to sell in far-off lands. "They will make my fortune," he told his servants. "I will sell things for you, too, if you wish." Everyone gave something to sell. Dick only had his cat so, sadly, he gave her. "Don't worry. She'll be all right," said Alice. She and Dick became good friends.

No matter how hard Dick worked, the cook still told him off. She beat him too. Dick was so unhappy that one day, he ran away. Dick walked to the edge of London. When he sat down, he heard church bells ringing loudly. "Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London. Turn again, Whittington!" they seemed to say. Dick stood up. He turned. Then he hurried back to the house.

The merchant was back home. He greeted Dick happily and gave him a big bag of gold. "This is all yours, Dick!" he said. "The King of Barbary paid highly for your cat to get rid of the rats in his palace." Dick gasped with joy. He had made his fortune! "Well done!" said Alice. "You deserve it!" Later on, Dick married Alice. He also became the Lord Mayor of London, just as the bells said he would!



Merchant - Salesperson

Extract 3

Aliens Stole My Underpants

by Brian Moses


To understand the ways

of alien beings is hard,

and I've never worked it out

why they landed in my backyard.

And I've always wondered why

on their journey from the stars,

these aliens stole my underpants

and took them back to Mars.

They came on a Monday night

when the weekend wash had been done

pegged out on the line

to be dried by the morning sun.

Mrs Driver from next door

was a witness at the scene

when aliens snatched my underpants

I'm glad that they were clean!

It seems they were quite choosy

as nothing else was taken.

Do aliens wear underpants

or were they just mistaken?

Extract 4

Daddy Fell Into The Pond

by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed."

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.

O, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
Daddy fell into the pond!

Extract 5


by Janine Amos


Dear Grandpa,

We're moving. Mum and Dad told me yesterday and we went to see the new house. I like my room there but it's much smaller than my old one. All the rooms are smaller. There was a lady there with all her furniture and curtains. She'll move out and we'll move in with all our things. I'll have to go to a different school. I'll really miss my friends. And I won't be able to go to Art Club anymore. I like Art Club. Everybody knows me there.

No one will know me at the new place - it's miles away. We've got to go because Dad couldn't get a job round here. Mum and Dad have known for ages, but they didn't tell me. They said Finn can come to stay sometimes.

I hope your leg is better.

Love Tom.


Dear Tom,

What an exciting letter! Thank you for telling me your news about moving. It sounds like you're feeling a bit mixed up about it all. Half excited and half sad to be leaving? I felt like that when I moved here.

You're bound to miss your old friends. You can write to them and meet up in the holidays. Don't forget, you'll be busy making new friends, too. I know how much you enjoy Art Club. Are you sure there isn't something like it in the new place? Perhaps your Mum or Dad could help you to find out.

My leg is feeling much better now, and the bandage is off.

Write soon.

Love Grandpa.

Extract 6

Walt Disney

by www.ducksters .com

Walt Disney

  • Born: December 5, 1901 in Chicago, America.
  • Died: December 15, 1966 in California, America.
  • Best known for: Disney animated films and theme parks
  • Nickname: Uncle Walt.


Where did Walt Disney grow up?

Walter Disney was born in Chicago on December 5, 1901. When he was four years old his parents moved the family to a farm. Walt enjoyed living on the farm with his three older brothers and his younger sister. It was on the farm that Walt first enjoyed drawing and art.


From artist to film maker.

At high school Walt drew for the school newspaper. When he was sixteen, he went to help in World War I. He spent the next year driving ambulances in France.

Disney returned from the war ready to begin his job as an artist. He drew a new character named Mickey Mouse. He made the first animated film to have sound; this starred Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

In 1932, Disney decided he wanted to make another animated film called Snow White. The film became the top film of 1938. His first big live action film was Treasure Island.



Disneyland is a theme park with rides based on his films. Disneyland opened in 1955 and is still visited by many people today.

Extract 7

First Fabulous Facts: Scary animals

by Ladybird Books


Scary Bears.

Bears have big powerful bodies, sharp teeth and long claws. They use these to catch their food. Female bears will fiercely fight off other animals, including larger male bears who try to attack their cubs.

Fabulous facts.

Big and biggest.

Polar bears live in the freezing Arctic North. They are the biggest type of bear. Standing at about 2 metres high on all fours, polar bears are taller than an adult human.

Up here!

American black bears love honey. They use their hook-like claws to climb trees and reach it.

I seal you.

Polar bears hunt for seals by waiting next to holes in the ice. When a seal comes up for air, the bear catches it with its paw.


Brown bears in coastal parts of North America are experts at salmon fishing, catching up to forty fish a day! They stand in the river and grab the salmon with their long claws.


Deadly sharks.

Some sharks are fearsome hunters, especially the great white shark. It's huge mouth is lined with rows of about 3,000 jagged-edged, sharp teeth. If it loses a tooth, it is quickly replaced by another one!

Fabulous facts.

Speedy shapes.

Many sharks have pointed snouts, triangular fins and sleek bodies. This helps them to speed through the water at up to 95 kilometres an hour, almost as fast as a car on a motorway.

Super smell.

A shark can sense the blood of an injured animal in the water from 500 metres away. That is about ten lengths of a full-sized swimming pool.

Deadly shake.

A shark often grabs its prey in its jaws, then shakes its head from side to side to break off chunks of flesh.


In 2012 a surfer in California, in the USA, was lucky to survive a shark attack. He fought off the shark by punching it on the nose!



Prey-an animal that is hunted by other animals for food.

Predator-an animal that hunts another animal for food.

Extract 8


by Stephanie Turnbull


The main purpose of all castles was to defend against enemies. Sometimes boiling liquids and missiles were dropped on the enemies attacking the castle. The final place of safety for the castle residents was the stronghold, or keep. It was the tallest and strongest building within the walls. The main entrance was protected by a drawbridge.

The main residential building (great hall) was called the Palas.

The Knights were protected with full suits of plate armour, made of metal plates, which were very heavy and difficult to move in. Knights in armour who fell off their horses were unable to run away. The sword was the most important knightly weapon.

Some castles were built on cliffs, so they had a good view out to sea. Castles were built for rich people such as lords and ladies or kings and queens. Rich people had two or three castles. If they were tired of one, they moved to another. Servants worked and lived in the castle grounds. Soldiers guarded the castle gate.

The castle's main tower is called a keep. The keep was built on a high mound of earth. A thick wall was built to keep enemies out. Some castles were made of wood. Other castles were made of stone. They had strong towers and thick walls. Building a castle sometimes took more than twenty years.

Some castles had water around them. This is called a moat. The moat helped to keep out enemies. People crossed the moat on a wooden platform called a drawbridge. The drawbridge was pulled up with chains if an enemy came near.

Extract 9

I Don't Want To Go To Bed!

by Julie Sykes


Little Tiger was very naughty. He did not like going to bed. Every night when Mummy Tiger said, "Bedtime!" Little Tiger would say, "But I don't want to go to bed!" Little Tiger wouldn't let Mummy Tiger clean his face and paws, and he wouldn't listen to his bedtime story.

One night Mummy Tiger lost her temper. When Little Tiger said, "I don't want to go to bed!" Mummy Tiger roared,

"ALL RIGHT, YOU CAN STAY UP ALL NIGHT THEN!" Little Tiger couldn't believe his luck. He scampered off into the jungle before Mummy Tiger could change her mind.

Little Tiger went to visit his best friend, Little Lion. When he arrived, Little Lion was having his ears washed. "It's bedtime," growled Daddy Lion. "Why are you still up?"

"I don't want to go to bed!" said Little Tiger, and he skipped off into the jungle before Daddy Lion could wash his ears, too!

Little Tiger decided to visit his second best friend, Little Hippo. He found him splashing in the river, having a bedtime bath. "It's bedtime," bellowed Daddy Hippo. "Why are you still up?"

"I don't want to go to bed!" said Little Tiger, and he scurried off into the jungle before Daddy Hippo could give him a bath, too!

Little Elephant was Little Tiger's third best friend. He went to visit him next. Little Elephant was not out playing. He was in bed listening to his bedtime story. "It's bedtime," trumpeted Mummy Elephant. "Why are you still up?"

"I don't want to go to bed!" said Little Tiger, and he bounced off into the jungle before Mummy Elephant could put him to bed, too!

Extract 10

Tulsa and the Frog

by Tony Ross


Tulsa has a silly name. Worse than that, it was a horrible name. Worse than that, Tulsa hated being called Tulsa.

Worse than that, her second name was not much better.

She was called Tulsa Pomfret. Honestly, Tulsa Pomfret; even the dog laughed. Sometimes the other children called her Pom Pom Pomfret. That was bad, but better than Tulsa.

Tulsa hated her name so much, she wanted to be someone else. Anybody else would do, so Tulsa imagined that she was some of the people who lived in her story books.

This is how it worked. When Tulsa was reading Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, she became Snowy and The Seven Dolls. She would pretend that her seven dolls were doing all the work that Snow White had to do. She had more than seven dolls really, but only needed seven for this game. When Mum called, "Tulsa, time for tea," she didn't hear. When Mum called "Snowy, time for tea," she said goodbye to the seven dolls, and went downstairs.

Tulsa had some teddy bears. She picked the biggest one, and the next to biggest one, and the smallest one. Of course, she became Goldilocks. The best bit about being Goldilocks, was having three bowls of porridge for breakfast, and being Goldy.

When Dad found her in his bed, he said, "Tulsa, what are you doing in my bed?" Tulsa didn't say anything, so Dad said, "Goldy, what are you doing in my bed?"

"Just trying it out, but it's horribly hard," she said, jumping to the floor.