Learning Resources

Vivian French Learning Resources - Robe of Skulls, Captain Crankie, and The Adventures of Alfie Onion

Below you'll find three resources: one to help explore Vivian French's award-winning chapter book The Robe of Skulls, one to help explore her picture book Captain Crankie and Seadog Steve, and one with activities inspired by The Adventures of Alfie Onion.

The Robe of Skulls is the first book in the fantastically weird Tales from the Five Kingdoms series by Vivian French. The book is a perfect opportunity to dive into the world of fantasty, magic and odd creatures, and this resource is here to help with suggestions to get you started. Activities include:

  • Writing dramatic monologue poems;
  • Creating a Robe of Skulls website;
  • Researching local castles and building your own.

Captain Crankie and Seadog Steve introduces children to the issue of looking after the environment in a fun tale about a mariner and his canine pal who decide to have a clearout one day and dump their rubbish on the sea bed. When Millie the mermain and her sea creature friends complain about the state of their sea bed, Captain Crankie hatches an ingenious plan to sort out the rubbish once and for all!

The Adventures of Alfie Onion is a funny tale that champions the underdog, and our resource will help you use the book to inspire some fun writing and art activities.