The Rustle of Leaves Read and Explore

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Pippa the Rabbit accidentally causes her children to become afraid of the “Rustle of Leaves” which means that when Fox offers to keep them safe from the “dangerous” rustling, they find themselves in a truly tricky situation. This engaging story can help children to understand anxiety so they can become better equipped to challenge and manage their own fears.

Watch Howard read the story:

  • As you are reading the story together, encourage your child to join in with the repeated phrase, “the rustle of leaves”.
  • Add in actions and sound effects so that every time you say the words “rustle of leaves” you make a rustling sound and action together with some dried leaves or some scrunched up paper. Take turns to make the rustling sound and action.
  • Talk about why you think Gus and Nelly became afraid of the sound of leaves rustling.
  • Ask, “What could Pippa have done to keep her children safe from Fox?”.
  • Spend some time talking about what we can do if we feel afraid or anxious about anything. Let your child know that you and other trusted adults in their lives are there to help when anything is worrying them. Together, identify the adults they can trust.

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

  • Draw your own picture of a fox: Look closely at the illustrations in the book. Have a go at drawing your own fox, talking about the shapes you use, such as ovals for the eyes and a circle for the nose. You may wish to watch this draw-along video to help you. Glue leaves over the top so you can just see a little bit of the fox peeking out.
  • Songs and rhymes: Sing the Sleeping Bunnies and Little Peter Rabbit songs together and join in with the actions.
  • Change the story: What do you think would have happened in the story if Pippa had told Gus and Nelly she was afraid of the Fox?
  • Make a bunny card together: Follow the instructions on the Words for Life website.

Worry Friends: Watch Emma make some worry friends. This activity is linked to the book A Little Bit Worried by Ciara Gavin, which is another story about having worries or anxieties and how to deal with them:

Join in with Howard

Join in with Howard as he talks about the story and asks some questions for you to answer together.

For older children

Go to the library and find out more about animal habitats. Find out what kinds of shelter different animals need and what they like to eat. You can discover lots of information about animals and their habitats online, for example on the Stem Learning website.