Following on from an online schools event in May, Read on Nottingham, a local hub of the National Literacy Trust, organised a The Plesiosaurs Neck prize competition.
Children from Nottingham schools and nurseries were asked to send in pictures showing how they thought Poppy the plesiosaur might use her extraordinarily long neck. The picture might show how Poppy could have actually used her neck in the prehistoric ocean or take a more fanciful approach and imagine how she might use her neck today.
There were some very entertaining and imaginative entries from which plesiosaur expert Dr Adam Smith and I chose the winners shown below. Each winner will receive a signed copy of the book and a dinosaur stationery pack and the winners’ schools will each receive a Read On Nottingham book bundle.
VIAANSH from St Mary’s Primary Catholic School drew Poppy using her long neck to take breaths of air. We thought that 4-year-old Viaansh’s picture was the ‘best illustrated’ in the whole competition. And, in case you are wondering, plesiosaurs could not breathe under water like fish – so they DID need to go to the surface to take breaths of air.
OSCAR from Southwold Primary School drew Poppy as a lifeguard who used her long neck to rescue unlucky swimmers. This was the ‘most useful’ suggestion and Poppy would certainly have plenty of neck for people to hold on to – or surf on top of (which seems to be happening in Oscar’s picture).
ALIYAH from Robert Shaw Primary School drew Poppy using her long neck to perform a funny dance to attract a mate. Many modern animals, including several sea creatures, dance to attract mates (check out the ones featured in this BBC article). So we thought this was a terrific – and scientifically credible – suggestion.
AMIRAH from Robert Shaw Primary School drew Poppy letting children use her long neck as a slide at the seaside. This suggestion looked the most fun and we loved the excitement on the children’s faces.
RINOA from Robert Shaw Primary School drew Poppy using her neck to snatch jellyfish out of the water while she lazed on the beach. We loved the storytelling in this picture. The turtle and the crab’s envious comments reminded us of Alfie and Bella in the book.
We also wanted to give a special mention to Year 2W of Welbeck Primary School who tweeted photos of their children drawing Poppy. They didn’t submit any of their pictures to the competition, but Read on Nottingham have awarded them a signed copy of the book and a Read On Nottingham book bundle.
You can see all of the entries and watch Dr Adam and me announcing the winners in the video below.
Congratulations to all the winners and a big THANK YOU to everyone that entered the competition!