top of page
  • simpsonrd

The Woodcutter and The Snow Prince - Ian Eagleton, ill. by Davide Ortu

It's got a shiny, sparkly, gorgeous cover.

It's got a beautiful map (guaranteed win - see below).

It's by Ian Eagleton, who wrote last year's brilliant 'Nen and the Lonely Fisherman'.

Do I need to say more to convince you that this is worth getting?

Would some ideas for using it in the classroom help? Read on, then!

It's a beautiful tale of love and friendship, set in a frozen winter and Christmas landscape, beautifully depicted by Davide Ortu's illustrations. It shows the journey of Kai, a lonely Woodcutter, as he desperately strives to find and save his friend from entrapment in ice and loneliness. there are lots of message here - acceptance, love, determination, loneliness and friendship.

This would be a brilliant text to use with children at this time of year, and luckily, that's exactly what Ian Eagleton himself has provided for this stop on the blogtour for the book!

Enjoy this early Christmas present of some brilliant ideas for activities you could complete in the classroom with this Christmas cracker of a tale:

Bring Poetry to Life with The Woodcutter and the Snow Prince

I was a primary school teacher for thirteen years before I became a children’s author, so one of the

best parts of my new career is seeing my books being used in the classroom. Teachers are so

creative, and I’ve already been sent some messages about how you are using The Woodcutter and

the Snow Prince in your school!

I’ve put together a few poetry ideas today that might link in well with our LGBTQ+, wintry fairy tale

and inspire the next generation of writers!

Instructions and Recipes

I love these types of poems and they can be adapted so easily! You could encourage your children to

write an instructional poem about how to create a fairy tale, or how to create a magical kingdom, or

even one on how to save a cursed Snow Prince. I’ve written a quick example below, but you could

also use ‘Instructions for Growing Poetry’ by Tony Mitton as a template! The poem can be found

Recipe For Saving a Cursed Prince

First take a pinch of loneliness and mix it with grim determination.

Next, sprinkle in a teaspoon of bravery. You’ll need this when you venture through haunted caves and climb rugged mountains.

Afterwards, stir in a handful of resilience. This might come in handy when the winter wind howls, andyou feel like giving up. Don’t! Your Snow Prince needs you!

In addition to this, crumble in a cup of adrenalin and daring. As the ice palace shatters and daggersof ice fall around you, you’ll need a shot of energy to escape.

Finally, carefully swirl in a tablespoon of love and hope. You might wish to add some more of this in.

You can never have too much.

List Poems

This kind of list poem was always a favourite in my class! Again, it can be used in a variety of ways,

but the poem below was inspired by a poem called ‘Ten Things Found in a Wizard’s Pocket’ by Ian

MacMillan, which you can find here:

class before you set the children off on their writing journey. If thinking of ten items is too much, you

could just call the poem ‘Things Found in the Snow Prince’s Pocket’. Children can also be challenged

to include similes and other examples of figurative language.

Ten Things Found in the Snow Prince’s Pocket

A handful of snow.

A sharp dagger of ice.

A carved statue of a mighty polar bear.

A photograph of a hot, summery day.

A folded map showing a magical kingdom.

An icy feather, delicate and fragile.

A golden pocket watch, frozen in time.

The first page of a book called ‘The Wolf Wilder’ by Katherine Rundell.

A thermos of delicious hot chocolate.

A letter for Kai.

The Snow Prince Crept

My final idea for how you can use The Woodcutter and the Snow Prince to inspire some poetry

writing in your class is to use the beautiful poem ‘Winter’ by Judith Nicholls, which can be found

It’s a gorgeous, mysterious poem which explores how winter moves through the land, casting its

frosty spell. Of course, I’d always advocate for reading and performing the poem first and this poem

lends itself perfectly to a performance. Encourage the children to think about the speed at which

they perform the poem. Would they perhaps read the poem out a little faster when winter races

down the frozen stream? What about volume? Could the children whisper when winter creeps

through a silent wood?

You could use this poem as a jumping off point to describe the movement of other seasons, but here

I’ve used Judith Nicholls’ poem as a template to think about how the Snow Prince might move

around his magical kingdom! I’ve also referred to the maps on each of the endpapers to develop my

ideas further and you could encourage children to identify the rhyme scheme and its effect. I’ve not

worried about a rhyme scheme here, mainly because I have an energetic two-year-old who needs

my immediate attention!

Watch out!

The Snow Prince crept

through the Forest of Darkness;

crushed each fragile leaf and froze flapping feather

but never a word he uttered.

The Snow Prince prowled

over the Mountains of Terror

lifting boulders and rocks;

pinched each swooping creature –

and then moved on.

The Snow Prince raced

Across the Lake of Sorrow,

Sadness catching at his breath;

On his lips were hope and love,

At his back was destiny.

I hope these ideas might inspire you to try writing your own poems based on The Woodcutter and

the Snow Prince! Of course, there’s plenty more you could do, these are just the kernels of some

ideas. You could give the children illustrations from the book and ask them to write any type of

poem they wish. What a lovely display that would make! You could perform a selection of wintry

poems for each other, such as ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost and ‘Lady

Winter’s Rap’ by Grace Nichols. Perhaps some hot chocolate to sip on whilst listening to them and

battery powered candles strewn around a darkened classroom might add to the ambience too!

Please do tag me in any of your children’s writing – I honestly love to see it!

The Woodcutter and The Snow Prince by Ian Eagleton, illustrated by Davide Ortu, is published by

Owlet Press. Out now, £7.99 paperback.

Thanks to Ian for this great resource for the book - you can follow him on Twitter as @MrEagletonIan, and the website for this book is:

Thanks to Owlet Press for the copy of the book to review (see website details above), and to Catherine Ward ( Instagram: @caffwardbooks) for the spot on the blogtour.

See what others think and find some other great blogposts from Ian and Davide about the book at these stops on the tour:

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) November 2022.

Please buy from an independent bookshop!

203 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page