A well-crafted sentence

Pat Hutchin’s wonderful book, Rosie’s Walk, contains one sentence. The sentence has two clauses joined by ‘and’, and thirty-two words. One of the joys of the book is the way the pictures tell a part of the story never mentioned in the words. Rosie the hen walks insouciantly around the farmyard followed by a fox, whose attempts to catch her are always thwarted. As Margaret Meek says, the author lets the child reader in on a secret and allows spaces for interpretation.

Here is the entire text:

Rosie the hen went for a walk across the yard around the pond over the haycock past the mill through the fence under the beehives and got back in time for dinner.

Read it aloud and savour its rhythm. Take it as a model.

You might like to begin by listing prepositions you can think of. If you are writing with others, share your lists. Now write a sentence following that same pattern. Choose a character – animal, human or other – and take them for a walk, a run, a flight, whatever you choose across whatever land, sky or seascape you imagine. Don’t forget to bring them back home: a circular journey.

We recommend Margaret Meek’s pamphlet, published by Thimble Press; How Texts Teach What Readers Learn.


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