Here it is! Our first ever listen-along audiobook challenge.
Starting on Sunday 24 October, we invited YA readers to listen to a section of the Zed and the Cormorants audiobook, every day for a week. Each day we release exclusive Zed-inspired creative activities – from word searches to author videos, book club questions to crafts.
Bookmark this blog post and follow @ArachnePress on social media for extra content too.
Day 1 – Sun 24 Oct: Listen to Chapters 1 – 4 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
- Head over to our Instagram account to watch a video of author Clare Owen introducing the novel and its eerie setting
- Imagine you are Zed when she first moves to Cornwall. Use our Writing Challenge worksheet to write a postcard to the friends you have left behind.
- Zed loves making origami figures – to help her relax, as gifts and as decorations. An origami cormorant like the one below is quite a challenge, but you could try making some paper butterflies, using this simple YouTube tutorial.
Day 2 – Mon 25 Oct: Listen to Chapters 5 – 11 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants. While you are listening, pay particular attention to the descriptions of the cormorants.
“Zed watched it untuck its neck and raise itself up through an ‘S’ bend to form one almost straight line from yellow beak to glossy black tail. Then, with a little shudder, its wings unfolded and started to pulse: huge black wings with three layers of feathers, the bottom ones spreading out like a fan. And it was off too, raising itself vertically before flattening out and beating its way across the river. One long black wing angled down to the water, where with every stroke it seemed to brush its grainy reflection.”
“Its body was so sleek it looked like it had been painted in jet black oil, with a sheen of metallic purple or green, depending on the way the light fell when it twisted his head. Its eye was definitely green though, a shiny emerald bead.”
- Draw or paint a picture of a cormorant, using our Pinterest board of images for inspiration.
Day 3 – Tues 26 Oct: Listen to Chapters 12 – 16 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
- Try baking a recipe from the book! Bread, buns, cakes and scones abound in Zed and the Cormorants as Zed’s dad tries to establish his own bakery. Here are some simple recipes to recreate similar treats to those mentioned in the book:
- Pay attention to the conversations between Zed and Tamsin in these chapters of the book – particularly noticing how their dialogue is evolving from when they first met. Can you recall what you spoke about when you first met your best friend? Try and remember, or imagine, what the conversation might have been like and write a short dialogue scene.
Day 4 – Weds 27 Oct: Listen to Chapters 17 – 22 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
- Read a blog post by author, Clare Owen about Writing Fear in Zed and the Cormorants
- Log on to Twitter this afternoon and take a look at our book club questions. Discuss them with your friends or family, think about the questions yourself or join in with the conversation by tweeting us your thoughts!
Day 5 – Thurs 28 Oct: Listen to Chapters 23 – 28 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
- Head over to ReadingZone to watch a video of author Clare Owen and pick up some Gothic Writing Prompts from Clare, to help you write your own scary story.
- Think about what Zed learns from Tamsin about beach pollution and coastal erosion. Use our Writing Challenge worksheet to create your own blog post about protecting the environment in your area.
Day 6 – Fri 29 Oct: Listen to Chapters 29 – 34 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
- Find a jam jar and some craft supplies to make a decorative chalice like the one Amy and Zed take down to the boathouse, or colour and decorate the jar on our drawing challenge worksheet. Visit our Instagram page to see a chalice we made earlier!
Day 7 – Sat 30 Oct: Listen to the final Chapters of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
- Imagine you are Zed at the end of the novel. Use our Writing Challenge worksheet to write a postcard to your old friends. How will it differ from the postcard you wrote at the beginning of the week?
- Watch a video of author Clare Owen to get details of your final challenge! Take five photos inspired by Zed and the Cormorants – keeping Amy’s attitude towards photography in mind. Have a look at our Pinterest board for inspiration.