A Free Victorian Christmas Script

We all know Charles Dickens’ famous ‘A Christmas Carol’. Nothing beats a good ol’ Victorian Christmas, right?


Here is an instant, easy-to-use 3-page script adaptation which could not be simpler; you could do this in a day!

The flash-back and flash-forward sections are left open for devising. This allows flexibility to accommodate as many or as few pupils as you need, and it also means you can send a group of pupils off to sort out those scenes independently while you rehearse the main storyline with the others. Suitable P4 (keeping it simple) -S1 (with bells on). 

Feel free to print the document below – the original is old enough to have no copyright, and I adapted it myself, so no issues there. Enjoy!


A Christmas Carol


The Ultimate Kidlit Quiz

Stuck for what to do with youngsters during #BookWeekScotland?

I devised this QUIZ (suitable for upper primary/lower secondary school) based on classic and recent children’s titles.

It takes around an hour and a half to run (it helps to have another adult in the room to help with marking!). From The Hungry Caterpillar to The Hunger Games, this quiz should be accessible to all, while still challenging the most devoted of bookworms! The quiz itself is in Powerpoint format, while the solutions are a simple Word document.

The Ultimate Kidlit Quiz

Ultimate Kidlit Quiz Solutions

There are eight rounds, with ten questions each.

I’d suggest handing each team of 4 pupils a sheet for each round. Get groups to think up a group name and nominate a scribe. After each round, collect them in and run through the answers (your helpers can mark the sheets) before issuing the paper for the next round. 

Have fun!



Punch event with Barbara Henderson @scattyscribbler @cranachan books

What a lovely write-up of my Edinburgh launch! Thank you Joanne!

Portobello Book Blog


I was at the Edinburgh Princes Street branch of Waterstones on Saturday for an event about Punch, the latest children’s novel by Barbara Henderson. It’s a really exciting story about a boy on the run with a travelling show in Victorian Scotland. (You can read my review here). It was a packed house on Saturday as Barbara Henderson entertained the crowd with readings and puppetry for the best part of an hour. I took my seven year old nieces and they loved it! They enjoyed getting to be puppeteers and holding the cloth in the makeshift Punch and Judy stall. They also enjoyed getting to scream loudly as they pretended to be a frightened puppet! There was a lovely atmosphere in the shop as members of the public were still browsing when the event was on. I have to say that a slightly worried hush fell when…

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#GuestPost Animals in Punch by Barbara Henderson @scattyscribbler

Catching up with my own blog tour! Here goes for my thoughts on animals in children’s fiction, and specifically in #Punch! 🙂 Thanks to the Quiet Knitter!

The Quiet Knitter

As part of the blog tour for her new book Punch, the lovely Barbara Henderson has written a piece on “Animals in Punch”, so without further ado, let me hand over to Barbara.

Punch cover inc. quotes

I once had a one-to-one with a commissioning editor for a big, mainstream publisher. She had taken a look at a manuscript of mine which still sits unpublished and unloved in my drawer, but one thing she said stuck in my mind:

‘It’s good that you have a dog in it,’ she said. ‘If you can put a dog on the cover of a children’s book, it’s proven to sell more. It sells most if you have a Retriever on it.’

Really? Irrespective of subject, the story itself and countless other factors?

Needless to say, the dog alone didn’t sell her my manuscript. After a polite and non-decriptly positive-ish fifteen minutes, she walked away from me…

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Barbara Henderson ~ #AuthorFeature #GuestPost @scattyscribbler @cranachanbooks #KidLit #Historical

Dancing bears! A dancing bear just had to feature in Punch, once I knew there was historical precedent for it!

Love Books Group

Today on the blog we have our spot on the Punch blog tour with an exclusive author feature with Barbara Henderson.

PUNCH last oneBook Synopsis 

Wrong place. Wrong time. A boy on the run.

Smoke belches out through the market entrance.

And me?

I turn and run.

Inverness 1889.

When 12-year-old Phin is accused of a terrible crime, his only option is to flee. In the unlikely company of an escaped prisoner and a group of travelling entertainers, he enters a new world of Punch and Judy shows and dancing bears.

But will Phin clear his name?

And what can he do when memories of a darker, more terrible crime begin to haunt him?

PUNCH is good proper storytelling, packed with colourful characters, shifting settings and real tension. Like Punch’s nose I was hooked and with Phineas, every fleeing, hiding, performing page…

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