Wiggle and the Whale Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time



July 2016

Themes of this story include:

  • Animals
  • Frienship
  • Rhyming Stories



By Roger Priddy

The bright colours and unusual fingerprint bodies of these friendly creatures makes this book a fun and interesting read. The unlikely friendships explored are clever, descriptive and exciting. As you meet each set of friends you will discover the ways they like to move about and what they like about each other. You may even be able to spot some familiar items hidden amongst the pictures.

Key Message for Parents

The first five years matter and last a lifetime


Positive early experiences help children make connections in their brain, laying down pathways for learning. These pathways will become strengthened over time but it is critical that the foundations are laid down in the first few years of a child’s life. 

Parents can help support their child’s first five years by: 

  • providing positive relationships, rich learning opportunities and safe environments for the child to develop to their full potential
  • participating in stimulating experiences like Story Time with their child to create meaningful learning opportunities
  • valuing time spent with young babies and children, taking time to read, sing, talk and play. One-to-one interactions with babies and young children help to reinforce feelings of security, encourage language and positive experiences which in turn help to enrich their early brain development.

Learning Outcomes

Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators 

Children will learn to interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes. Children including those who are not yet verbal will gain many communication skills from taking part in a story time session. 

As educators we can encourage babies to be effective communicators by: 

  • engaging with a variety of texts and exploring all the book has to offer
  • repeating favourite books and discovering different things about them at each new opportunity
  • expressing what is seen on the page, using the written language and also explaining the other visual representations - images, photos and colours on the page. Babies will begin to understand symbol and pattern systems by observing the reading process
  • encourage babies to have a say and engage them in conversation around the book, during reading and after. They will begin to identify books as a way of communicating ideas and start to make meaning of the language and tone used to tell the story. 

Before Reading

This story is about animals, their unlikely friendships and how each animal is unique. The animals in this story might make particular sounds or they may have a favourite action. Animate the story by making these sounds and actively moving your body. Invite parents and carers to join along with you whilst holding their baby. 

During Reading

Photographs of everyday items have been use to collage the illustration in this book. As you share this story, point out any hidden items you can see. If you have multiple copies of this book, let babies explore the pictures up closely. Encourage parents and carers to name objects, older babies who are using words can then help to name the objects too. Point out the features of the animals, the colours they are. Look at the differences between the animals, the very big giraffe and the very tiny caterpillar. 

Its through lots of talking with babies that their knowledge and understanding will grow. Over time they will begin to understand meaning and can start to categorize animals and the sounds they make from your description and expressions.

After Reading

Pick a favourite animal from the story and sing a song related to that animal. You can adapt the well know song ‘Old Macdonald’s Farm’ and include the animals from the story, making the noises and movements as suggested in the text. Talk about the different animals who appeared and what sounds or movements they make. Older babies and todders will begin to replicate these actions themselves. For young babies, ask parents and carers to hold them on their laps (alternate between holding babies facing away from their parent/carer and towards the group, and sitting face-to-face.)

For full Learning Time download attached PDF

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