Read and explore Whatever Next!

Whatever Next!

Baby Bear wants to go on a trip to the moon. Once he finds a rocket and some space boots he is ready to go! Join him on his adventures and see what friends he makes along the way.

Watch the story

Whatever Next! Is a children’s picture book by Jill Murphy published by Macmillan Children's Books. You can watch the National Literacy Trust reading the story online.

Four ways to explore the story with your child

  • As you are watching or reading the story together, encourage your child to talk about what they can see on the page, or point to the pictures as you say what you can see.
  • Ask simple questions about what might happen next.
  • When you read or hear “Whoosh,” use lots of expression and encourage your child to repeat.
  • Add in some other sound effects, for example for the aeroplane, the rain and the owl.

Go to the moon!

After you have finished the story, try these moon-themed activities together:

  • Countdown: Go outside to your garden or a nearby outside space. Count down from ten, taking a step for each number. When you get to zero, say “blast off!” and run to an agreed point. You could try jumping, or hopping for each number.
  • Cardboard box play: Use a large cardboard box and make it into a rocket, a train or anything else your child wants! Go on an adventure like Baby Bear. You might want to use felt tips to decorate the box.
  • Space pictures: Use tinfoil and paint to make some shiny space pictures. You could paint a moon or some stars.
  • Indoor picnic: Pretend you are the characters in the story. Collect items you might need for a trip to the moon, including a blanket and food for a picnic. Lay out a picnic inside and enjoy it together. During your picnic, you could retell the main parts of the story or act it out.
  • Songs and rhymes: Sing these rhymes about space and space travel. The words for these rhymes are on the Words for Life website: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, andHey Diddle Diddle.

For older children

Make a list of what you would take to the moon. Items could include food, toys and special items. This could prompt a discussion about precious things and people.

Whatever Next! Is a children’s picture book by Jill Murphy published by Macmillan Children's Books. Thanks to @MacmillanKidsUK for letting us read it aloud.