Book + Play: Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman

The Book: Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman

ย What’s It About?

Cinnamon was a princess with pearl eyes, a long time ago, in a small hot country, where everything was very old. Cinnamon did not talk and could not see. Mango trees, a parrot, and a beautiful room in the palace do nothing to help the teachers who try to make her to speak. Can a man-eating tiger do so, and exactly who will end up in the belly of the beast?

Who’s The Author?

Neil Gaiman is probably one of those authors that you don’t know you’ve heard of. He’s fairly prolific, being the brains behind Vertigo’s Sandman, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Stardust, a couple of the best recent Doctor Who episodes (The Doctor’s Wife amirite?), American Gods and way too many others to mention.

Why Is It Awesome?

Gaiman has written a number of books for young children and teens and what I love about all of them is he never talks down to his audience. His customary humour makes it incredibly fun to read aloud with sentences like ‘ He was huge and fierce, a nightmare in black and and orange. He moved like a god through the world, which is how tigers move.’

Another thing I love is it’s not a typical picture book – it sort of trails off at the end, which can lead to some fascinating discussions with your child about what they think Cinnamon did next.


The Play: Tiger Stripe Bubble Wrap Painting

Since we were going for Cinnamon’s idea of what a tiger might look like, I wanted something a little more abstract. I saw this craft over at Red Ted Art and I loved the texture that the bubble wrap gives the tiger stripes and decided to give it a shot!

What You Need

  • Paper/Canvas (something to paint on)
  • Cereal Box
  • Orange, black and white washable paint
  • Large Cardboard Tube (like from inside a alfoil box)
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Sticky Tape

What To Do

  1. Use the sticky tape to secure the bubble wrap around the cardboard tube, leaving a hand hold at either end.
    cinnamon by neil gaiman bubble wrap painting bubble wrap tiger stripe painting
  2. Open up your cereal box to make a sort of tray. This is to pop your paint into before rolling.
    neil gaiman cinnamon cinnamon by neil gaiman bubble wrap painting bubble wrap tiger stripe painting bubble wrap toddler bubble wrap painting toddler craft
  3. Squirt the paint in the box in thick lines, alternating colours. You want this to be approximately the same width as your bubble wrap.
    cinnamon by neil gaiman cinnamon neil gaiman tiger stripe bubble wrap painting toddler craft toddler tiger craft toddler bubble wrap painting
  4. Take your bubble wrap roller and roll it in the paint. Gently roll it onto the paper/canvas.
    toddler tiger stripe bubble wrap painting toddler bubble wrap painting toddler tiger craft
  5. Repeat until you are happy with the result!
    toddler tiger stripe painting abstract tiger painting cinnamon by neil gaiman toddler tiger craft
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  1. The Doctor’s Wife is one of the best Doctor Who eps, I completely agree! Neil Gaiman is such a talented and eloquent man and his wife Amanda Palmer is pretty damn awesome too (I follow both of them on twitter!)

  2. I haven’t read any Gaiman yet but wanted to offer a serious shout out to the illustrator of that book – amazing images!!

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