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Amazing Animal Stories Activity Pack


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Amazing Animal Stories Activity Pack

  1. 1. A PACK OF RESOURCES FOR BOOKS BYGill Lewis, Julia Green, and Che GoldenAMAZINGANIMAL
  2. 2. Dear Chatterbooks group organizerWelcome to our Amazing Animal Stories pack!Oxford Children’s Books is delighted to present thisexclusive pack of resources to help you and yourgroup make the most of six wonderful animal stories bythree terrific authors. In the following pages you will findthree pages of fun and stimulating activities around eachof the following books:We think these books will provide your animal-lovingchildren with hours of pleasurable reading—and theseactivities will help extend their interest long after they haveturned the last page. From drawing activities to quizzes todiscussion topics to research projects and lots more besides,there is something to suit all ages, abilities, and interests.We hope you will use this pack to get your children hookedon amazing animal stories and fire up their creativity.Get more informationabout the authors hereGill Lewis atwww.gilllewis.comJulia Green Golden atwww.chegolden.wordpress.comAnd discover more great titlesfrom Oxford Children’s Books a quick activity foryour group? Here are ourtop picks for each bookSky HawkMake an osprey mask tosend children home with (p 4)White DolphinHold a quick dolphin quiz (p 6)Moon BearStage a group debate aboutanimals and captivity (p 10)Tilly’s Moonlight FoxSet children drawing theirown secret garden (p 13)Sylvie and StarPut on a group reading ofa chapter from the book (p 17)Mulberry and theSummer ShowComplete a book wordsearch (p 19)WritingDiscussionResearchReadingArt & craftDramaQuiz timeACTIVITYKEY
  3. 3. Divide children into small groups and set themthe task of discovering five interesting facts aboutthe ospreys that are the subject of Gill Lewis’Sky Hawk. Put together a collection of booksthat might be able to help them and use libraryPCs to access relevant websites. Once they havecompleted their research, ask children to brieflypresent their findings. If children need help to getstarted, here are some useful osprey topics, books,and websites.THREE OSPREY TOPICSOsprey habitatsWhere do ospreys live? Where can they be seenin this country? What sort of environment do theyneed to thrive? Where do they find their food?Where do they migrate here from, and when?Osprey featuresWhat are the features that would help you to spotan osprey? What size are they? What colour aretheir feathers? What sort of beak do they have?How big are their wings? How much do theyweigh?Osprey threatsWhy are ospreys so rare in the UK? What are thenatural threats to their environments? How doesman’s behaviour threaten ospreys? What can bedone to protect ospreys and help them breed?THREE USEFUL BOOKSCollins Bird Guideby Lars Svensson (Collins)Definitive guide to all the birds you can spot inBritain and Europe—including ospreys.A Life of Ospreysby Roy Dennis(Whittles Publishing)Tells the story of ospreys’ return to Scotland andthe efforts to protect them.RSPB First Book of Birdsby Anita Ganeri (A&C Black)A good introduction to birds, for younger childrenin particular.THREE HANDY of material on ospreys and some livewebcams from the sort of habitats featured inSky for identifying ospreys and the work that isdone to help and protect them in the site about the ospreys that return every yearto the Lake District, including latest updates andwebcams.? Research OspreysHint: A small number of ospreys can befound in England as well as Scotland.Hint: Ospreys mostly eat fish; this definesmany of their features.Hint: Think about threats to ospreys’ eggsas well as the birds themselves.3Sky HawkBY GILL LEWIS Artwork © David Wyatt
  4. 4. BY GILL LEWIS‘ Make an Osprey Mask 4
  5. 5. Sky HawkBY GILL LEWISIn her three books, Gill Lewis writes superbly about ospreys, dolphins, and bears, and ourrelationship with them.You’re never too young to start finding out more about wildlife andwriting about it; Gill herself started at an early age. Here are five of Gill’s top writing tips—discuss them with children or hand them out to take home. Write About WildlifeTIP 1: Get out there!It might seem obvious, but it’s just not thesame watching wildlife shows onTV as it iswatching the drama unfold in front of youin real life.Visit some sites like RSPB centres,or try attracting wild animals to your garden.Provide nest boxes for birds, build a small pond,or leave wild patches in the garden for nativeinsects to thrive. Our cities host a variety ofwildlife too—in London I’ve watched the twistand turn of pigeons chased by the ultimate skypredator, the peregrine falcon.5TIP 2: Learn to seeLearn to take a step back and open your eyesto what is happening around you. Learn toobserve.To write about wildlife or even humanlives, we must slow down and see the detail.TIP 3: Capture your inspirationI take a camera with me when I’m out andabout and take lots of photos. Print out theones you like and stick them on your walls orin a scrapbook. If you can, take a notebookor sketchbook with you too—or just try toabsorb wild places in your memory.That way,when you sit down to write you will be able toput all the images and feelings back into a story.TIP 4: Capture your inspirationWe humans rely heavily on our vision tounderstand the world around us, and wetend to underuse our other senses. Honeyour other senses: hearing, smell, touch, andtaste. Concentrate on those sounds near youand then further away. Build up a picture ofthe world in sound and smell.We’ll never beas good as many animals are at doing this,but adding smells (good or bad or just plaindisgusting!) to your writing gives it an extradimension.TIP 5: Develop your charactersTry to imagine yourself as an animal, usingyour observations of animal behaviour andheightened animal senses.Try to see the worldfrom the animal’s perspective. For example,what may sound like beautiful joyful woodlandbirdsong to us may sound to the birds like anaggressive riot of individuals claiming territoryand calling for a mate.Artwork © David WyattGILL LEWIS’S TOP WRITING TIPS
  6. 6. White DolphinBY GILL LEWISUse this quick-fire quiz to test children’s knowledge of the creatures described in Gill Lewis’White Dolphin.Ask for a show of hands for each question and get each child to keep trackof his or her own scores—or hand them a piece of paper to write down their answers formarking. Consider offering a prize for the child with the most correct answers—a book byGill Lewis is ideal!Take the Dolphin Quiz61 Dolphins breathe under water.FALSE: They need to resurface every fewminutes to take in air through their blowholes.2 Dolphins have almost no sense of smell.TRUE: But they make up for it with very goodsight and hearing.3 Dolphins can only swim up to 100metres under the water.FALSE:They can swim up to several hundredmetres below the surface.They can also jumpas high as 6 metres out of the water!4 Dolphins live on their own.FALSE:They normally live in groups of ten ormore.Their groups are called pods.5 Dolphins live in rivers as well as the sea.TRUE:There are five different species of riverdolphins, though there are many more—about40—species of dolphins living in the sea.6 The killer whale is actually a speciesof dolphin.TRUE: Killer whales or Orcas are the largestmember of the dolphin family, Delphinidae.7 Dolphins’ babies are called dolphs.FALSE:They are called calves. Males are bullsand females are cows.8 Some dolphins have up to 250 teeth.TRUE:Although most have around 100.Theyare all the same shape and size, and are fullygrown by the age of five months.9 Bottlenose dolphins only live for afew years.FALSE:They can often live for up to 50 years.The average life expectancy varies according tospecies and habitat, but is usually between 10and 25 years.10 Sharks are the biggest single threatto dolphins.FALSE: It is thought that more dolphins diebecause of human intervention, including fishingand damage of their habitat, than are killed bysharks.Artwork © Simon Mendez
  7. 7. White Dolphin features Kara and Felix rescuing astranded dolphin and protecting its habitat. Usethe story as a starting point for a discussion aboutthreats to dolphins and whales, and what can bedone to make things better. Use these prompts toget the conversation going.What is causing the problem?Ask children to produce as many reasons as theycan for the threatening of dolphin species, thendiscuss some of them in more detail.Background: Dolphins have very few enemies inthe sea, but are constantly threatened by humanactions. Fishing nets and other equipment arethe biggest single problem, killing an estimated300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises every year.Whaling for commercial purposes and dolphinhunts, especially in Japan, are a big threat. Otherfactors include the pollution of seas and rivers andstranding on beaches; experts aren’t entirely surewhy this happens, but it can often be because ofinjury, pollution, or unexpectedly shallow water.Keeping whales and dolphins in captivity is anotherissue.How big is the issue?Ask the group if they think any species of dolphinhave become extinct.Background: The answer is yes. More areendangered; only 500 North Atlantic Right Whalesremain, and less than 100 of a species in NewZealand.What is being done?See if children are aware of any activities aroundthe world that are helping to protect whales anddolphins.Background: Charities are establishing sanctuariesand other places where the pursuit of whalesand dolphins is strictly forbidden.They are alsocampaigning for better rights for them. Mostgovernments expressly ban hunting, but some arenot very good at enforcing it.What can we do to help?Given all the threats just discussed, can childrenthink of any ways to make a difference to dolphinand whale conservation?Background: Support can start at the supermarket,by making sure that all fish that is bought is caughtin a way that does not harm dolphins and whales;look for information on tins and packets, especiallyon tuna. Children can also support a whale anddolphin charity and talk about the issue withfamily and friends. Discuss in particular the issue ofcaptivity: is it right or wrong to keep dolphins in azoo or aquarium?More informationHelpful resources can found at:Whale and Dolphin Conservation websitewww.whales.orgBBC’s Go Wild Wildlife Fund Discuss Dolphin & Whale Conservation7White DolphinBY GILL LEWIS Artwork © Simon Mendez
  8. 8. White DolphinBY GILL LEWISIf children have enjoyed reading White Dolphin, introduce them to some more books aboutdolphins and topics around conservation and friendship. Here are our suggestions for titlesto try—add your own, and ask your group if they have any favourites to recommend too. Read On8The Flip-Flop Club:Whale Songby Ellen Richardson(Oxford University Press)Dolphin Boyby Julie Bertagna(Mammoth)The Silver Dolphins seriesby Summer Waters(HarperCollins)The Longest Whale Songby Jacqueline Wilson(Yearling)Whale Adventureby Willard Price(Red Fox)Dolphin Songby Lauren St John(Orion)This Morning IMet a Whaleby Michael Morpurgo(Walker Books)Whale Boyby Nicola Davies(Yearling)Island of the BlueDolphinsby Scott O’Dell(Puffin)Why the Whales Cameby Michael Morpurgo(Egmont)How the Whale Becameand Other StoriesbyTed Hughes(Faber & Faber)Extreme Adventures:Killer Whaleby Justin D’Ath(A&C Black)FACTS ABOUTWHALES ANDDOLPHINSDolphin: A Day in the Lifeby Louise Spilsbury(Raintree)Whales and Dolphinsby Susanna Davidson(Usborne)Sharks and Whales(Dorling Kindersley)100 Facts About Whalesand Dolphins(Miles Kelly)AND A FILM!Free Willyavailable on DVD along withbook novelisations.DOLPHIN AND WHALE STORIESArtwork © Simon Mendez
  9. 9. Moon BearBY GILL LEWISTam’s mission in Moon Bear is to help a cub return to the wild.The challenge here is mucheasier: to help children find out lots of interesting things about this magnificent animal!Hand out this checklist and get children to tick off each item as they complete it. Childrencan make notes of their answers on a piece of paper, or build them into something moresubstantial like a scrapbook—or perhaps turn the trail into a competition by challengingeveryone in your group to correctly complete it the quickest. Remind children that some ofthe answers can be found in Moon Bear. Answers are below.? Follow a Bear ResearchTrail9Answers1Theeightspeciesofbearare:Asiatic,Black,Brown,Panda,Polar,Sloth,Spectacled,andSun.2Brown.3Africa,Australasia,Antarctica.4Smell.5North.6Becauseoftheirgrizzled(grey)fur.7Medicine.8Boarsandsows.9California.10AnswersmightincludePoohBear,PaddingtonBear,RupertBear,TheThreeBears,andTheJungleBook.Therearemanymore!MY BEAR RESEARCH TRAILName: ............................................................................1 Name three different species of bear.2 Which is the largest species of bear?3 Name one continent on which bears CANNOT be found.4 Which is a bear’s strongest sense: hearing, sight, or smell?5 In which polar region do polar bears live: north or south?6 Why are grizzly bears so called?7 What are bear bile and gallbladders sometimes used to make?8 What are the names for male and female bears?9 One of the states in America has a bear on its flag.Which one?10 Besides Moon Bear, name two children’s books featuring a bear.Artwork © Simon Mendez
  10. 10. Moon BearBY GILL LEWISNo one wants to see wild animals kept in the kind of conditions described in Moon Bear.But many zoos and owners are very responsible about the welfare of animals, and there aresome fair arguments in favour of captivity.Ask for volunteers to speak for a few momentsfor and against the idea of captivity, and afterwards take a vote to see what the group thinks.Here are five arguments to help those on either side of the debate with their cases.Whatother thoughts/ideas do your group have to add to the list both for and against?w Have a Debate About Captivity10FOR CAPTIVITY1 Captivity protects animals.Some animals could not survive in the wildwithout the medical care they get in a protectedenvironment.2 Captivity helps to educate people.In zoos and wildlife parks children can learn aboutanimals they would never otherwise see—andadults can research their habits and find ways tokeep them alive in their natural habitats.3 It encourages breeding.Species that are endangered can be helped tobreed, so reducing the risk of becoming extinct.4 Animals can be content in captivity.A zoo that provides good care, food, andenvironments for its animals can be a safe andenjoyable place to live.5 Zoos help animals and conservation.The best zoos and wildlife parks spend some ofthe money they get from visitors on conservationprojects around the world.AGAINST CAPTIVITY1 Captivity is not natural.Animals cannot live as they would wish in captivity,and their life expectancy is often much lower therethan in the wild.2 Animals have rights too.It is not up to humans to decide where any animalshould live; no creature would choose to be kept ina cage.3 Conditions are cruel.There are plenty of conscientious zoos, but manyothers around the world house their animals inappalling conditions.4 Animals cannot socialize.Many species naturally live in groups, so keepingonly a few of each in a zoo makes conditionsunnatural.5 Captive animals cannot return to the wild.Even when animals are released back to theirnatural environments, they struggle because theyhave lost their instincts for survival.Artwork © Simon Mendez
  11. 11. Moon BearBY GILL LEWISWriting a review is a great way to get children thinking about books. Photocopy this sheetand hand it to each child so that they can quickly and easily set out their thoughts aboutMoon Bear after they have read it. Older children might like to write a fuller review, basedaround these questions but using their own style.If children need any help about the sort of things to write, show them reviews ofchildren’s books on the literary pages of newspapers, or have a look at websites and, or the children’s bookssections of or Write a Book Review11WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK REVIEWName: ............................................................................1 What is the name of the book you have read?2 What happens in the book?3 Who was your favourite character and why?4 What was your favourite part in the book and why?5 Was there anything that you didn’t like? Even if you love a book,it’s OK not to like some parts of it!6 What did the book make you feel and why? Happy? Sad? Excited?Thoughtful?7 Would you recommend the book to your friends? Who else do youthink would like it? Girls? Boys? What age?8 What score would you give the book out of 10?Artwork © Simon Mendez
  12. 12. Tilly’s Moonlight FoxBY JULIA GREENProducing a scrapbook is a great way for children to respond to a book they have read andengage more deeply with the subject matter.Work with your group on a scrapbook basedon Tilly’s Moonlight Fox and foxes in general. Start by getting a small scrapbook with thickpages and pull everyone together to decide what will go in it. Here are just ten of the thingsyou might include.‘ Make a Group Book121 A fox FAQEncourage children to write down as manyquestions as they have about foxes on pieces ofpaper.Then mix the questions up and divide themevenly between each child—or pairs—to research.Then add the questions and answers to the book.2 Fox drawingsGet children to sketch and colour a fox, perhapstaking inspiration from the book.3 A fox mapAsk children to use books or the internet tofind out where foxes live in the world.Thenphotocopy a black and white map of the worldand ask children to shade in the countries that havepopulations of them.4 Photos of foxesAsk if any children or parents have any photos, orphotocopy some from books and cut them out.5 Fox pros and consDivide a page into two and write down all thegood things children can think of about foxes onone side—and all the negative things on the other.Overall, do children think they are friend or foe?6 Fox habitatsUse the book as a springboard for thinking aboutwhere foxes live. List the places they are commonlyfound and what habitats they enjoy.7 Urban fox researchFox populations in towns and cities are growing.Get children to find out why.8 Fox factsAsk each child to research one interesting factabout foxes and add it to a page in the book.9 Book reviewsGet children to write a review of Tilly’s MoonlightFox, including what they did and didn’t like aboutthe book.10 Fox namesWhat would children call their own foxes?Three useful websites for researchThe Mammal Society www.mammal.orgThe Fox Website www.thefoxwebsite.orgDefra © Paul Howard
  13. 13. Tilly’s Moonlight FoxBY JULIA GREENTilly’s Moonlight Fox opens up a wonderful hidden world inTilly’s garden. Get children toimagine their own secret garden and draw it in the space below.They can draw inspirationfrom the descriptions and illustrations in Julia Green’s book—and you might provide morepointers by introducing them to the classic books The Secret Garden by Frances HodgsonBurnett and Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, too.‘ Draw A Secret Garden13My Secret Garden by .........................................................Artwork © Paul Howard
  14. 14. Tilly’s Moonlight FoxBY JULIA GREENTo encourage children to carry on reading animal stories after finishing Tilly’s MoonlightFox, hand out this reading log. It challenges children to read six animal-related books in all,including Tilly’s Moonlight Fox, and to record the things they liked and didn’t like and considerwhether they would recommend the book to a friend. Suggest other age-appropriatebooks that your group could try, or get them to choose their own from library collections.Consider offering a small incentive for those who complete their reading log. Complete the Animal Reading Challenge14My Animal reading log by: ......................................................................BookTitle Dates startedand finishedThings I liked Things I didn’tlikeRecommendto a friend?Tilly’sMoonlightFoxArtwork © Paul Howard
  15. 15. Sylvie and StarBY JULIA GREENAfter your group has enjoyed Sylvie and Star, test children’s knowledge of the book with thisquiz. Photocopy and hand out this sheet to get them started, and suggest they complete iteither during a group session or in between meetings. Perhaps offer a small prize like a bookor token to the winner, or anyone who achieves full marks.The answers to all the questionsare below. Run a Sylvie and Star Quiz15Answers1Pisa2Bookshop3Germanshepherd(cross)4VinceandMaria5Poppy6Stella7Blue8Guineapigs,cat,goldfish9MrsFrancis10ApenninesSYLVIE AND STAR QUIZName: ............................................................................1 Which city in Italy do Sylvie and her family fly to?2 In what sort of shop does Sylvie’s dad work?3 What breed of dog is Bella?4 What are the names of Sylvie’s uncle and aunt?5 What is the name of Bella’s puppy that doesn’t live?6 What is the Italian word for Star?7 What colour are Star’s eyes?8 Holly keeps three pets. Can you name two?9 What is the name of Sylvie’sYear Six teacher?10 What is the mountain range where Star runs free?Artwork © Paul Howard
  16. 16. Sylvie and StarBY JULIA GREENStoryboarding a book is a good way for children to get creative and test their skills ofunderstanding and summarising. Use this template to help them put together their ownversion of Sylvie and Star. They should start by thinking about six key stages in the book—beginning perhaps with Sylvie’s arrival in Italy and ending with Star running wild and free.Once they have mapped these out, they can sketch their own interpretation of each sceneso that it reads a bit like a comic strip. Underneath each sketch, they should write a one-sentence description of what is happening.Alternatively, children could choose to storyboarda single chapter of the book.‘ Storyboard Sylvie and Star161 2 34 5 6Artwork © Paul Howard
  17. 17. Sylvie and StarBY JULIA GREENReading a book out loud can really bring it to life and change children’s perceptions of it.Choose a chapter from Sylvie and Star to read together as a group—preferably one thatfeatures several different characters so that as many children as possible have a chance toget involved. Chapter 10, in which Sylvie gets to know Star with her family, is a good choice,with plenty of characters and dialogue to work with. Follow these tips for a successfulreading aloud session. Dramatize the Story171 Prepare in advanceIf you have the opportunity, tell your group aboutthe plan to read out loud from the book so theycan read over the chapter you have chosen.2 Write a scriptYounger readers might prefer to read from a scriptrather than the book, with their parts and wordsclearly indicated.3 Allocate partsChoose a strong reader as narrator, and ask whowants to play which part. For chapter 10, you willneed to allocate parts to Sylvie, Mum, Dad, Nonna,Gramps, and Maria as well as a narrator—seven inall.4 Find a suitable spaceTry to find a private room if you can; children willbe much less inhibited if they don’t have to worryabout noise levels.5 Adopt suitable voicesGet children thinking about how a character mightsound, and encourage them to have fun with thevoices!6 Add some expressionRather than just reading from the page, encouragechildren to put some passion into their characters,and not be shy of making some noise!7 ImprovizeIt’s fine to go off script a bit—let children add ina line or two of their own if they get into theircharacters.8 Use some propsThink about what you could add to the reading interms of accessories.A soft toy dog would be ideal,for instance.9 Get an audienceIf you have time to practise the reading in advance,think about inviting parents or friends along to listento the reading. Performing in front of even a smallcrowd can give children a big confidence boost.10 DiscussAfterwards, talk about how reading out loud canchange people’s views of a book. Did it make anydifference to what children thought about Sylvie andStar? Do they prefer in general to read silently orhave a book read out loud? What are the pros andcons of each method?Artwork © Paul Howard
  18. 18. Photocopy and circulate this sheet to give children the chance to sketch their own pony.Taking inspiration from Mulberry and the Summer Show, get them to name their pony andgive it distinctive features like mane and tail, and colourful riding accessories.The notes anddiagram of ponies at the back of the book will provide some help.Alternatively sketch ascene from the book; the illustrations throughout should be a good starting point.‘ DrawYour Own Pony18My pony is called ......................................................... by ...........................................................Mulberry and the Summer ShowBY CHE GOLDENMulberry and the Summer ShowArtwork © John Docherty
  19. 19. Once children have read Mulberry and the Summer Show, photocopy and hand out thiswordsearch to complete.There are 15 key words from the book to find, and they can runfrom side to side, up and down, or diagonally.? MeadowVale Wordsearch19w m m c q x r s l b g l t j am e I h h c i h a c j u n q hh e r s z e d m j m o z k b wm d a v s o g o u d g g l o js r a d v m x o e l m r h x ut o h c o q i n l f b s e i mi s l a d w r l i d r e o y pr e f n c u v e d e e f r b sr t b x t k g a m e f n t r eu t o t l s o m l q w p h z yp e s l b o u s u e t l y o hs e p p q s p o n i e s k s hb a p r i c o t s a d d l e rv e l v e t g g o m y b p h bp t o j j q y j d k m h d k y MeadowVale Ponies BestTurned Out Sam Grey Jumps Apricot Mulberry HackVelvet Miss Mildew Saddle Rosette Summer Show Stirrups Che GoldenMulberry and the Summer ShowBY CHE GOLDENMulberry and the Summer ShowArtwork © John Docherty
  20. 20. Set your group the task of writing their own pony riding adventure in the form of a shortstory or diary. Encourage children to imagine themselves competing in their own show, andwrite two or three diary entries or instalments building up to the event, as well as on the dayitself. Use the insights into the way Sam feels as she prepares to compete in her show—orwrite from the perspective of the pony. Here are ten top writing tips to pass on to yourbudding authors. Write About Pony Riding201 Describe your horseGet children thinking about all the small details thatbuild a vivid picture of an animal—the size, age,colour, distinguishing marks, and so on.2Think about feelingsHow might children feel as they prepare to takepart in a big event? Nervous? Excited? Scared?Competitive?Try to convey these feelings ashonestly as possible.3 Use all your sensesWriting about what you have seen is great, butusing other senses really brings a diary or storyalive. Get children thinking about the sounds andsmells of a riding event, or how a pony feels to thetouch.4 Write about friendsAs in Che Golden’s book, adding in a few othercharacters helps to round out a story or diary.5 Add some drawingsA few sketches of key scenes can bring writing alive.Look at the illustrations in Mulberry and the SummerShow for ideas.6 Use some humourThink of a few funny situations a pony rider mightfind him or her self in.7 Keep a notebookYou can pick up ideas for a diary or story at anytime, and having a notebook to hand is useful forrecording them. Scribble down thoughts straightaway and add them to your story later.8 Read out loudDoing this helps to identify which bits are good andwhich need more work. Read alone, or try yourwork out on family or friends and ask for feedback.9 Find somewhere good to writeWriting is easier when you have a quiet place towork free from distractions. Libraries are perfect!10 Carry on writingKeeping a real-life diary is a brilliant way to getbetter at writing. Encourage children to write asoften as they can, and about anything they haveseen or done.Mulberry and the Summer ShowBY CHE GOLDENMulberry and the Summer ShowArtwork © John Docherty
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