Fun activities inspired by The Elephant’s Umbrella

Buy The Elephant’s Umbrella

Read a wonderful review of The Elephant’s Umbrella by Love My Books, and discover some incredibly fun activities to help you enjoy the story even more!

Laleh Jaffari, Ali Khodai (illus)
Tiny Owl
Age 3-5

The elephant is very proud of his umbrella and happy to share its shelter with the other animals. One windy day the umbrella is swept away and is found by a leopard and later a bear. These animals don’t want to share the umbrella, they have much more selfish ideas. The umbrella decides she wants to find the elephant again and asks the wind to help, elephant is a much more thoughtful owner.

A beautifully illustrated story about generosity and kindness.


Share the story

Watch the trailer

Read aloud

Before you start reading the story look at the cover illustration together, and talk about the animals sheltering under the umbrella.

Join in

As you read it again children might like to join in with the conversations between the umbrella and the leopard and bear ‘What a lovely umbrella! Will you be mine?’ ‘If I become yours where will you take me when it rains?’ etc

Talk about the story

Talk about the different characters and what they thought about the umbrella, which character children liked and why.
On rainy days talk about whether it is ‘drizzling’ or ‘pouring’


Things to make and do

Play the story

Use soft toys and act out the story together you could use a children’s umbrella if you have one or improvise with a paper plate for example.

Make a new scene for the story

What other animals might find the umbrella and what might they want to do with it? Make up another ‘scene’ for the story. You could write down children’s idea in a folded book and they could illustrate

Print a picture

Make a rainy day picture, use bubble wrap and paint it blue. Press onto paper to make big rain drops. Before printing you could cut out a shape in the bubble wrap to be a dry patch. When the print has dried children could draw the elephant sheltering under his umbrella in the dry patch.

Paint with rain

See here for ideas for using rainwater to create interesting paintings

Find out more

Download a poster here

Do some science

What material would make the best umbrella for elephant? Try an experiment together.

You will need:

a bucket
a soft toy
a watering can
some different materials eg plastic, card, fabric, paper.

Put a toy elephant or other toy animal in a bucket. Place one of the materials on top.

Sprinkle water from the watering can over toy in bucket. Look at the toy, is it damp? Can children find out which material would make the best umbrella? NB You might need to change the toy if it gets soggy!

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A magical puppetry performance of A Bottle of Happiness is coming to Hay Festival!

Buy A Bottle of Happiness

Fans of A Bottle of Happiness will be delighted to hear that this fabulous story is coming to Hay Festival this year as a wonderful puppetry performance! A Bottle of Happiness is a modern fable about a boy and his dog that explores the value of possessions against values of friendship and fun! We’re very lucky that this is the second year in a row that this team have chosen to adapt one of our books. Last year they also adapted The Little Black Fish for Hay Festival. Director Gillian Hipp wrote a blog about how the show is progressing. Read it below!


The beautiful puppet representing Pim the dog

This year’s Hay Festival project will again be created in collaboration with Tiny Owl Publishing. The publishing company have shared their book ‘A Bottle of Happiness’ written by Pippa Goodhart and inspiring illustrations by Ahsan Abdollahi with us to develop a children’s theatre performance that will be performed at the Hay Festival on 29th May 2019 in the Starlight tent (tickets to go on sale soon).

To create the performance the BA Performing Arts team, has teamed up with Artistic Director – Claire Coache – from Open Sky Theatre. Claire will be offering the Performing Arts students advice, feedback and direction throughout the development of the ‘Bottle of Happiness’ production.

We have also teamed up with Contemporary Design Craft student Lilly Rishworth-Huppert to create a puppet and Ferel Smith to create the set.

Performers in The Little Black Fish- Hay Festival- 2018.

Lilly has already been working hard on her dog puppet design, which will represent Pim in the performance.

And she has kept us up-to-date with her progress – from the moulding of the head of Pim to the decorating of Pim, which has been heavily inspired by Abdollahi’s illustrations.

Music students are also collaborators on the project and we are hoping for live music to be taking place during the performance.

For our first rehearsal and development day we have Frantic Assembly running a full day workshop for movement inspiration that will feed into the project.

  • A Bottle of Happiness longlisted for 2018 UKLA Book Awards
  • A Bottle of Happiness among the best books of the year by the Sunday Times. Link
  • Read about Gillian’s previous production of The Little Black Fish

Visit our bookstore

Download book posters

Limited edition prints

Subscribe to Tiny Owl on YouTube


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