I kept several of my childhood books because I loved them and I hoped to share them with my own children. Maybe I was an odd child. I loved the Brothers Grimm and wonder what I did with the collection of their terrifyingly terrific stories. My mother gave me a new copy of Babar several years ago. I loved Leo LIonni's The Greentail Mouse. It's kind of a scary read. Mice meet mouse who tells them about Mardi Gras. The mice get so carried away with their costumes they forget they are mice and fear each other until the mouse comes back and says, hey, you are all mice! Oops.
We've read a number of Lionni's books (Frederick, Fish is Fish, Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse). This week, our favorites are An Extraordinary Egg and Swimmy.
An Extraordinary Egg is silly for lots of reasons including the names of the principal characters: Marilyn,
It feels less a book about lessons than many of Lionni's books except that it asks the question How Do You Know? How do children know learn and know what things are and mean? Is their information accurate? Who is a trusted source (and what do you do when you're wrong, although that doesn't come up in An Extraordinary Egg)?
During last week's snowstorm, we spent the afternoon first looking at toys at a local store, then at the bookstore checking out coloring books and then reading a stack of selections. Carver's all came from the bottom shelf.
We haven't been buying as many things in general, including books, because we don't have a lot of room. Given we check out a dozen or so books at a time from the library, we're not lacking in new reading material. Still, it's nice to cultivate favorites and Swimmy is fitting in nicely, thanks to the snowstorm bookstore visit. Swimmy is the last of his school of fishttp://www.juliakriley.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/swimmy.pdfh to survive, the others being slurped up by a giant tuna. (Tuna, when allowed to reach maturity, are massive. They seem so innocuous when slabbed up on a chunk of rice.)
Lionni's artwork is exquisite and interesting in Swimmy.
There are a number of activities for Lionni's books. I thought these about Swimmy could be fun, especially with Juniper. The State Theatre NJ put together this very cool packet of questions for several books as well as fun activities that could be done at home or at school.