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The Paka Mdogo Books

Buy at YPD Books

To purchase in or through the U.S.

Buy at Pathway


Exciting stories... Amusing characters... Comprehensive literacy resources...
The Series

“Three delightful adventure stories set in Africa… Illustrated brilliantly…reminiscent of Kipling's 'The Jungle Book' - sometimes allegorical, always entertaining. Another place, and another culture, but young children will delight in having these stories read to them, and older children will find them a perfect read.” Books Monthly

All three of the Paka Mdogo stories are charming. The moral lessons are present, but subtly presented and deftly handled and though the animals seem to have some very human concerns, in the end they are animals, still. Author Toshack is working on additional books for this series and new adventures for Paka Mdogo. An increasingly long line of children can hardly wait.” January Magazine
“This series of books is creative, clever, and fact-filled.” Eileen Granfors, Amazon ‘Vine Voice’ Reviewer
I love the Paka Mdogo books, which so wonderfully transport me into their exotic world that I lose all track of time.” Allison's Book Bag Reviews


Although they fall into the category of stories for children and young adults, the books hold considerable appeal for people of all ages, and if you have not already bought a copy of one or other of them, we hope you will do so - if not for yourself, then for a young reader you know. (You can always borrow it back from them...) 

The stories are very entertaining; but they are also, in their own distinctive way, serious: they raise, indirectly and gently, a range of issues of great importance to us all as members, young and old, of the human race. They will thus appeal not only to younger children but also to older ones, who want to be entertained but who at the same time are beginning to think about some of life's difficulties.

Good children's literature appeals not only to the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.”  

To place an order, use the 'Buy at YPD Books' or 'Buy at Pathway' buttons above. To read a sample chapter from any of the books, go to the appropriate Resources page (see below).

The Themes and Topics  
The Paka Mdogo books were written not as classroom texts but as children's fiction, and they are available through the normal channels (high street and online bookstores, libraries). They are rich in ideas, and schools that organise their literacy teaching around themes or topics may therefore find it helpful to have an indication of the ideas each of the three books carries. These are listed on the appropriate Resources pages (with, of course, some repetition between books).
The Resources 
UK National Curriculum         IB Primary Years Programme
  US Common Core State Standards
“I can't believe the amount of work which has gone into this! Absolutely fantastic for the IB PYP programme. Great chapter-by-chapter and whole-book activities, linked to UK curriculum as well as PYP.” Times Educational Supplement Review Comment
The main purpose of this extension of the site, however, is not to publicise the series but to provide support to teachers who wish to use one or more of the books in the classroom.
We have developed a complete set of materials to amplify the effectiveness of the texts as a classroom resource. They principally take the form of study tasks linked to each of a book's chapters. The tasks are challenging, engaging, and tied in to both the UK's National Curriculum, Key Stage 2, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. The language skills they promote are in addition closely related to the objectives of the US Common Core State Standards. They are presented in tabular form so that teachers can easily identify the skills they will help strengthen, and match them to the needs of individual students, groups, or whole classes.
The study tasks are designed to be used on a page-by-page basis, and are wholly flexible, so that they can be employed in a variety of ways and settings:
o Students reading a book independently can be directed to the tasks best matching their level of language skill, as a way of supplementing what they have taken from the reading process itself.
o Teachers adopting a book for whole-class Novel Study will find that they can use the materials to fully open up the possibilities of the text for their students, across a wide range of ability levels. The study tasks give attention to reading and comprehension, language awareness, thinking skills, individual writing (both creative and expository), open discussion, dramatic presentation, and simple literary judgement.
o At a practical level, and since the study tasks are page-linked, the teacher can ask students (individually, in groups or as a whole class) to read a particular page and then respond to the matching study task. Responses can then be self-assessed or teacher-assessed, and discussed as appropriate.
o The fact that the resources are provided in digitised form means that they can be accessed by students on computer, and also displayed (and worked with) on smartboards.
o The materials can be safely recommended to parents who wish to assist their children with reading and general language development.
(Parents: if you would like to help your son or daughter gain maximum enjoyment and benefit from reading the Paka Mdogo series you may also wish to use the resources - selectively, of course: the last thing we would want to have happen is for a young reader to miss out on enjoying the stories as stories, because they've become homework instead. If your child's school is using a book in the classroom, you should consult the school before making any use of the additional materials.)
The website will shortly 'go independent' of; and as part of that we hope practising teachers and other educators will make suggestions for its development, and contribute materials they themselves have produced to support their work with any or all of the Paka Mdogo stories.
In the meanwhile, we are pleased to offer, through the links below, the resources we have put in place to help students explore and enjoy the books, and to assist teachers in their lesson preparation.
Paka Mdogo Synopsis and Resources
 The Gradual Elephant Synopsis and Resources
The Meerkat Wars Synopsis and Resources

Bespoke advice about how to make full use of both the books and the resources. We are very happy to enter into dialogue with teachers about how to make the Paka Mdogo reading experience enjoyable and profitable for pupils. This could include advice about the practicalities of making the resources available in the classroom (e.g. which version to use?), discussion about particular study tasks, and suggestions for cross-curricular activities. We're delighted to receive ideas from teachers about how to modify or expand the materials, and also samples of outstanding student work in response to the personal writing tasks.



     5+ copies of any one book - 25%

     1 book pack (one copy of each of the three books) - £17.95

     5+ book packs - 25%



Thank you for considering adopting the Paka Mdogo stories for your classroom. If you have already purchased one, thank you for that, and best wishes for your work with it.


We'd be pleased to have your feedback on either the books or the resources:


To place an order, use the links beneath the book covers at the top of this page.

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