Anything that stimulates questioning is a useful resource to present as a stimulus for enquiry. You may consider using artefacts, music, poetry, works of art, newspaper or magazine articles or natural objects. Try presenting an empty bottle labelled “drink me” or an empty treasure chest.

Make collections of fairy tale or story book toys, puppets and characters and build up a bank of picture resources that can be used to engage pupils in questioning and dialogue.

Below is a list of tried and tested picture books that come  recommended. All books are available from our local independant bookseller Marilyn Brocklehurst at Norfolk Children’s Book Centre. There is a link below the pictures of “But why?” on the home page.



Picture book resources for philosophy in the primary years.


Duck, death and the tulip, Wolf Erlbruch- (Gecko press)

Magpie’s Treasure- Kate Slater- (Anderson press)

No-David McPhail (Francis Lincoln)

Good little wolf-Nadia Shireen, (Jonathan cape)

Magpie magic April Wilson (Templar)

Little Red Hood- Marjolaine Leray (phoenix yard)

Sweets- Sylvia Van Omen

Death in a nut Eric Maddern,  Paul Hess (Francis Lincoln)

Leon and the place between.. Angela McAllister, Grahame Baker-Smith (Templar)

Tadpoles Promise-Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross- (Anderson)

Denver-David McKee- (Anderson)

Mother knows best- Jill Murphy..(Puffin)

The Princess who had no kingdom. Ursula Jones Sarah Gibbs (Orchard)

Boys are best. Manuela Olten (Boxer books)

Supposing.. Alastair Reid , Bob Gill (New York Review Books)

Castles- Colin Thompson (red fox)

Would you rather?-John Burningham (red fox)

The saddest King- Chris Wormell (Random house)

Tusk Tusk-David McKee- (red fox)

When we lived in uncle’s hat- Peter Stamm & Jutta Bauer (winged chariot)

The very Persistent gappers of Frip- George Saunders and Lane Smith (Bloomsbury)

Cloudland-John Burningham (red fox)

Aldo- John Burningham (red fox)

The night Shimmy- Anthony Browne (Picture Corgi)

The Flower-John Light & Lisa Evans (Child’s Play)

Into the forest-Anthony Browne (Walker )

Horray for Diffendoofer Day- Dr Suess, Jack Prelutsky & Lane Smith (Collins)

War and Peas-Michael Foreman (Anderson )

The grey boy-Lluis Farre (trans Judith Willis ) (Winged Chariot)

Wolves – Emily Gravett (Macmillan)

The short and incredibly happy life of Riley- Colin Thompson & Amy Lissiat (Lothian)

Zoo- Anthony Browne (red fox)

You choose-Pippa Goodhart &Nick Sharratt (doubleday)


Sara Stanley 2011

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