It has become apparent to us SOTB contributors that publishers seem to no-longer publish exciting biographies/ autobiographies for children, akin to; Roald Dahl’s Boy, My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell or When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr. This is a shame as biographies can be an excellent way to introduce children to reading non-fiction but in an understandable narrative form. With this in mind, we set ourselves a challenge to assemble a Biography Story Sack based on someone who children are aware of and who is both a passive and inspiring role model. Therefore we thought very hard and picked the formidable Mo Farah.
So we have picked the vibrant and picture book Ready Steady Mo! By Mo himself along with Kes Gray and Marta Kissi, as central core to build the story sack around. Ready Steady Mo!, is a funny, vibrant beautifully illustrated picture book, following Mo, as he runs through extraordinary settings inspiring others to get active too. We have paired this up with Where’s Mo, a fun Where’s Wally style spotting books full of puzzles and based around London 2012.
For the obligatory non-fiction book element of the story sack, we have included Roy Apps, short biography ‘Dream to Win; Mo Farah’ which concentrates on Mo’s story from when he was a boy and his extraordinary journey from Somalia to the UK and young sportsman to Olympic champion. The book is told in narrative form and is interjected by lovely illustrations by Chris King. In addition to this we have included another non-fiction, Richard Brassey’s fully illustrated picture book of ‘The Story Of The Olympics,’ to help put Mo achievement into perspective to young readers.
However the essential soft toy element of the story sack was problematic, as after searching toy shops, the internet and even charity shops, it became apparent that it is near on impossible to by a soft toy/ rag doll or plush of a person unless you want a white blonde haired girl. Therefore our Mo, has been homemade, and we have tried very hard to make the likeness as close as possible to Marta Kissi’s illustrations of Mo in Ready Steady Mo!
For the game part we have chosen the Top Trumps GOLD 30 Legend of London 2012, which includes a Mo Farah card, and we also included a god medal so children can pretend to be a gold medallist too.