Lesson plan support and educational theory is explained throughout The If Odysseyby author Peter Worley as readers use stories from Homer’s Odyssey to stimulate philosophic dialogue in contemporary classrooms. This is the second book in The Philosophy Foundation‘s flagship series.
Using my undergrad philosophy background, my intimate knowledge of the original text, sourcing foundational designs on archaic pottery from the British Museum and basing characters on modern Greeks in my social circle, I got down and dirty with the grain quality of a variety of papers and the various depths of black inks for this project. Altogether, I put my classic pen and ink style to an accessible interpretation of the ancient Greeks and their epic adventures.
Not only was I honoured to be involved in this project but I got double honours by receiving a round of applause in the British Museum. A book launch in the British Museum? Being applauded? By publishing and educational professionals, academics, journalists, family and fine art curators? Couldn’t help but feel this little girl from Alaska has come a long way!
From tri-heritage roots through a labyrinthine professional route to a union based on creativity, philosophy and globalisation, one might call my journey a particularly modern odyssey. Thus I identified with this book and illustrated it with all my heart.
After a warm philosophic discussion session, Peter Worley revealed to the whole room that my partner was Odysseus (when you have a bearded Greek model to hand, you use what you’ve got at home).
We moved to the grandiose sandstone lounge and I revealed in a whisper to interested parties that our Greek friends provide the most entertaining models as they’re already named after ancient characters. For example, in this book Menelaos Prokos featured as Menelaos King of Sparta (Helen of Troy’s cuckolded husband). In the end, I embraced author Peter Worley. We were all delighted to accompany an ancient Odysseus to the modern bookshelf.


Using Homer’s epic tales as inspiration, this book offers lesson plans and storytelling tips to facilitate philosophical discussions with children aged 8-16. The If Odyssey draws out the philosophy that lies behind each story in Homer’s epic tale to introduce children not only to the exciting fables of Odysseus but also to that other great Ancient Greek tradition, philosophy. Explore with Odysseus the value of happiness, non-existent entities, moral dilemmas, the philosophy of prophecy and the nature of love among many other philosophical issues.

Online you’ll find maps of Odysseus’ journey, and the words of Tiresias that provide clues for the children as to Odysseus’ progress and an Ancient Greek language workshop with accompanying worksheets. You can use the ‘Storykit’ section, which provides hints and tips on storytelling skills to bring the tales of The Odyssey to life and stimulate independent, critical thinking with your children or class.

The If Odyssey was shortlisted for the Education Resources Award, Educational Book 2013 and was awarded the Bronze Prize in the Primary Teacher Update’s Annual Awards 2013.

Concept and content by Peter Worley. 
Cover by Tim Bradford. 
Content illustrated by Tamar Levi. 

You can read about how I researched the illustrations using Ancient Greek artefacts at the British Museum in my blog here
And you can buy the book here: 


You can buy this book directly from The Philosophy Foundation 
Or on Amazon


A one-stop shop with puzzles, lesson plans, discussion starters and stories to tap into young people’s natural curiosity and get them thinking deeply. 

Professional philosophers contribute the most stimulating ideas, thought experiments, activities and pictures to get young people thinking philosophically. This book can be used as a classroom tool, a gift for family thinking, a workout for the brain or when just browsing big ideas around The Philosophy Shop. 

Edited by Peter Worley. Illustrated by Tamar Levi. 

The Philosophy Shop won Book of the Year in 2012 for Philosophy, the 2013 Educational Book of the Year award and was the winner of the Compilation/Anthologies category of the 2012 New England Book Festival Competition. 

You can buy this book directly from The Philosophy Foundation 
Or on Amazon


Poems with stimulating philosophic content for pupils and families.

On the back cover: “Thoughtings is a poetry collection with a difference. The name ‘Thoughtings’ was inspired by a 5-year old who, when asked to explain what thinking is without using the word ‘think’ said ‘It’s when you’re thoughting’. Children love pondering big philosophical questions like ‘Does the universe end?’, ‘Where is my mind?’ and ‘Can something be true and false at the same time?’. These verses capture that impulse in the growing mind and feed it further. These are not poems or, at least, not in the traditional sense of the word… They are a kind of poem specifically designed around a particular puzzle or problem that might be thought more philosophy than poetry. Here’s to the joy of puzzlement!”

Authors: Andrew Day and Peter Worley. Illustrated by Tamar Levi.

Thoughtings has been awarded as the “Best Teaching Book” by the 50 Best Books list and Teach Primary Magazine.

You can buy this book directly from The Philosophy Foundation
Or on Amazon


Each tried and tested session in this practical book offers an imaginary situation followed by a series of questions to encourage children to challenge key philosophical ideas such as values and ethics, gender and identity, existence and beauty. The If Machine also includes key sections on the philosophy behind the experiments and an online teacher’s resource.
Author Peter Worley has over 15 years’ teaching experience and is the founder of The Philosophy Foundation, a Community Interest Company that specialises in philosophy in primary schools. Tim Bradford provided the cover illustration while Tamar Levi edited the content and provided illustrations to go with the stories. 

The If Odyssey was shortlisted for the Education Resources Award, Educational Book 2013 and was awarded the Bronze Prize for Primary Teacher Update’s Annual Awards 2013. 


You can buy this book directly from The Philosophy Foundation
Or on Amazon