Julia Donaldson’s Where’s My Mom? Book Activity

This month’s author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Julia Donaldson. This was a new author for us, and I’m so glad we had the chance to discover her books. We checked out as many as we could from the library, but there are still a few titles I am eager to get my hands on.

Throughout the month I let my daughters select the books they wanted to read from our Donaldson collection. Although they enjoyed nearly all of them, the one that they both seemed to go back to over and over again was Where’s My Mom? The book is also published under the title Monkey Puzzle.


In this story a little monkey can’t find his mom, so a butterfly tries her best to help. Time and time again the monkey shares a detail about his mom, but butterfly leads him to the wrong animal. My daughters loved seeing which animal they butterfly would show the monkey next. After a while the monkey is frustrated and shares that none of these animals even look like him, but then he learns that butterfly’s babies don’t look like her. With this new discovery, the butterfly finally reunites the little monkey with his family.

Rhyming and a lyrical nature seem to be evident in most of Donaldson’s story. In this story the butterfly’s part can be sung to the tune of “Hush Little Baby.” This is a song my girls are very familiar with, so they enjoyed singing and humming along.

Book Activities

We went through our toy bins and our collection of Safari Ltd. Toobs to see if we could find all of the animals from the story. After a little digging through the Halloween decorations to find a bat, we were able to closely represent all of the animals in the story. If you don’t have all of these animals at home, your child could draw some, or you could print out some pictures of the animals.

Julia Donaldson Book Activity

Animal Sorting

We used our collection of animals to talk about the characteristics of the real animals in the jungle. We also sorted them by various characteristics:

  • Number of legs
  • Body covering 
  • How they move
  • Wings or no wings
  • Number of eyes

What other ways would you sort this group of animals?

Animal Sort for Where's My Mom

Story Retelling

We also used the animals to retell the story. As we read the story we would place the animals in order and predict which animal would come next. Tinker’s favorite part was hugging the monkeys when they were reunited at the end of the story.

Story Retelling for Where's My Mom

After a couple of readings, Lovey (age 4) was able to sequence the animals in the order they were shown in the book without looking at the book. As she did so, we talked through the clues from the story that helped her remember the sequence of events.

There are also some terrific activities and resources to go along  with this book at Teaching Ideas. Find out more about this author at her official website. Picture Book Plays also has a lot of great resourced to go along with Julia Donaldson’s books.

Now that we’ve shared our activities with you, we’re excited to see what you came up with! Please add your links to any Julia Donaldson inspired posts to the blog hop linky below. 

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Julia Donaldson’s books that share book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you’d like.

Virtual Book Club for Kids Stop by and check out some of the other blogs that participate in The Virtual Book Club for Kids.


Toddler ApprovedRainy Day MumAdventures in Reading with Kids3 DinosaursRoyal BalooThe Educators’ Spin On ItInspiration LaboratoriesPleasantest Thing Edventures with Kids Two Big Two Little Playing With Words 365Kitchen Counter ChroniclesOutlaw MomMommy and Me Book ClubCrafty Moms ShareNo Twiddle TwaddleThe Good Long Road Ready. Set. Read 2 MeReading Confetti Mama SmilesJuggling with KidsMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasCreekside LearningCreative Family FunThe Usual MayhemTeach PreschoolPlayDrMomCraftoArtHere Come the GirlsBeing a Conscious ParentSmiling like SunshineCrayon FrecklesTrain Up a ChildSmile Play LearnEnchanted Homeschooling MomCoffee Cups and CrayonsHaving Fun at Chelle’s HouseLove, Play, LearnJuggling With KidsMotherhood on a DimeGrowing Book By BookThis Reading Mama




If you are looking for more book-related activities to try now, check out the Virtual Book Club for Kids Pinterest Board.



Looking Ahead to Future Virtual Book Club Authors
April-David Shannon
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  1. Such a brilliant book and fun way to bring it to life.

    I have featured this on the Sunday Showcase – imaginative play ideas: http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2013/03/30/the-sunday-showcase-imaginative-play.html

  2. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library. I like how you build the learning activities around the book. I am featuring this article on Mom’s Library http://wp.me/p2t50R-18C. The link will be live at 11am.

  3. My 2 year-old really enjoyed this book too. I love using props to help with retellings!

    • We do, too! Props are great for supporting retelling..and also for acting out different ways to change the story or make up a new one with the same characters.

  4. My kids like this book too. Love the sequencing activity you did!

    • It’s a cute book. I’m so glad you like the activity. I bet you’d come up with some great ones to go along with this book, too!

  5. Great idea – just discovered the virtual book club and think we will be joining in soon! In the meantime I love your activities and will give them a go with my wee ones soon!

    • We’d love for you to join in! I love that participating in the club has inspired us to learn more about different authors. We’re having a lot of fun with it. And I’m glad you like these activities. I hope your wee ones enjoy them.

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