Anisha: Accidental Detective! With Serena Patel 

Write your own funny adventure story  
with Anisha, Accidental Detective: Holiday Adventure! 

Watch the event here: 

Download the resource here: Serena-Patel-1

Download the extract here: chapter-1-Anisha-Holiday-Adventure

P3–P5 / KS2 

Explore themes of: 
√ Comedic Writing √ Adventure Stories √ Mysteries √ Exploring Identity and Representation 

Subject Checklist: 
√ Expressive Arts√ English Language √ Social Studies √ Creative Writing √ Health and Well-being 

At a Glance 
Before watching Serena’s event or reading the extract!  

  1. What skills and qualities make a good detective? 
  1. How might someone be an ‘accidental detective’? Have you ever found yourself accidentally investigating something? 
  1. Who and what would you expect to find in a detective series?  

Book Cover Activity: A Hero You Can Identify With . . . 
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes but, as a child, Serena couldn’t identify with the heroes of books that she loved. Look at the cover of Anisha, Accidental Detective: Holiday Adventure! Consider the following: 

  • Who can you see on the book cover? 
  • Which character(s) do you identify with and why? 
  • Why is it important to see yourself represented in books and stories? 

Create your own hero character that you identify with. Who are they? What are their interests and skills? What do they look like? Sketch your hero and write a brief description of them. 

Read the Extract 
Taken from Chapter One of ‘Anisha, Accidental Detective: Holiday Adventure!’.  

Discussion Questions 

  1. Where are Anisha and her family going on pages 5–6? What ‘is not’ Anisha’s idea of fun?  
  1. What is your first impression of Anisha? Why does she make a great hero for the story? 
  1. How does the rest of Anisha’s family feel about their holiday? What is your idea of a perfect holiday and why? 
  1. Who are Milo and Manny? How are they described on pages 6–7? 
  1. What do you learn about Granny Jas on page 9? Why is she not ‘your average granny’? 
  1. Who is Delilah? Why is she described as ‘the most unexpected thing’ on page 10? 
  1. What jokes do Granny and Milo exchange on pages 11–12? Why is this funny? 
  1. Which pranks does Dillon play in Chapter One? What do Anisha and Mindy think about Dillon on page 16? 
  1. How do the illustrations bring characters to life and add humour throughout the chapter? Can you give any specific examples? 
  1. What kinds of hilarious adventures do you think might lie ahead for Anisha and the other characters? Can you make some predictions? 

Get to Know the Author and the Book! 

Solving a Mystery 
Serena’s books are mysteries that Anisha must investigate and solve in different settings – her most recent being a vandalised mascot at a holiday park! 

  • Start by thinking of your own holiday setting for a mystery! Create a travel brochure page for this destination. Think about what people can see and do on this holiday. Which adjectives could you use to describe it? Which colours and illustrations could make it look appealing and eye-catching? 
  • Next, look at some of the ingredients below that make Anisha, Accidental Detective an action-packed mystery to be solved:  
  • Use the ingredients above to start planning your own mystery that your hero character will solve.  
  • Create a timeline for your mystery including events building up to the crime, your hero’s investigation with the gathering of evidence, and how the mystery is solved with the guilty person(s) revealed! 
  • Take it in turns to run through your timeline with a partner without revealing the ending; can they investigate and solve the mystery? 

Your Turn: Writing a Funny Adventure Story! 

Injecting a Story with Humour 
Humour is very important in Serena’s stories – her series is full of laugh-out-loud moments that keep her readers coming back for more! Create your own funny adventure story inspired by ‘Anisha, Accidental Detective’… 

  • Look over your timelines in pairs. Discuss and make a list of how you could inject humour into your mystery to make your readers laugh. Consider the following questions: 
  • What could be silly or funny about the crime committed?  
  • What pranks might characters play on one another? 
  • Which mischievous characters might make a joke or two? 
  • What other mishaps could occur on the holiday? 
  • Could you inject some physical or slapstick humour into your story?  
  • In another colour, add your hilarious ideas to your timeline and remember there is no such thing as too silly! 
  • Share your story timelines in pairs, emphasising the funny moments – and even acting some of them out if you have space to do so! 

Reflection and Further Questions 

Reflection Activity  
Think over all that you have learned. Perhaps you have been inspired to find other characters and stories you identify with? Or you’ve thought about other ideas for a funny adventure story . . . 

Make a list of FIVE everyday places and activities. For example, walking your dog at the park or riding your bike to visit a friend. For each one, note down how this could go disastrously wrong and turn into a hilarious adventure.  

Lastly, do you have any final questions you would like to ask Serena if you got the chance? Try to think of at least two and make a note of them.  

Keep your eye out for more awesome books from Serena Patel, as well as the other authors from the Edinburgh International Book Festival!