Listen. If you’ve never read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, rush out right now and get a copy and read it with your littles. Seriously, I tear up every time I read it. Make the world more beautiful. That’s what Miss Rumphius does, and that is the lesson here. Leave the world a more beautiful place than it was when you came into it.
Yeah yeah. That.
But this book also celebrates having a life plan, learning through travel, and planting seeds. Not just seeds in the ground, but seeds of ideas. Since this is the season for planting, I thought it would be a good time to have some fun with Miss Rumphius and your littles.
I kind of hope I’m introducing this lovely book to you. Of course, it would be better if all of us knew all the books because yeah yeah, but this one has been special to the Brison family for a long time and I want the chance to share it with new readers. Spoonbill Swamp by Brenda Z. Guiberson is one of those brilliant nonfiction stories… you know, the ones that don’t personify the animals but tell a story about their Real Lives. And the illustrations by Megan Lloyd? Oh. Yeah. They are nothing short of fantabulously gorgeous.
I’ve come up with some really cool stuff to do to go with this book, mostly inspired by Lloyd’s breathtaking sunrises and sunsets in the book, but also taken from the story itself. Let me give you a sample of these illustrations. They make me feel peaceful. We don’t have much by way of swamps here in Indiana, so this is the kind of book that fuels my imagination and makes me want to take a road trip. Just look at the pictures in this book!
Yeah. That’s the stuff. Continue reading
No way can we go through the Easter season without doing a Story Time on Peter Rabbit. That is so not a thing. So join me on a journey through Mr. McGregor’s delectable garden, and let’s find some amazing activities to go along with this classic story that every child should read at least 50 times before the age of 10.
Now, I have to tell you, these illustrations still spark my imagination. There’s nothing quite like the sweetness of them. Even more than the story itself, the illustrations speak to me. I have wandered through them hundreds if not thousands of times, both as a child myself and with my own children. I have imagined what it must have been like to be Peter, to be the cat in the garden or the bird, to be Mrs. Rabbit or Peter’s siblings. I have imagined plucking the veggies from McGregor’s garden. My boys have, too. I’m betting your littles will as well.
Easter is sneaking up on us, my lovelies. I can tell by the way the garden is greening up, the peepers are singing at the pond this morning, and the geese and sandhill cranes are calling all day long as they migrate back to the north. All these things whisper to me that it is almost time to dye eggs, make a scavenger hunt and hold on that for at least one more year my littles will be even remotely interested in the holiday. It’s hard once they’ve outgrown a basket full of water guns and candy and the like. And they found out 2 years ago that the Easter Bunny isn’t a real dude.
However, I do try to get them to hold on to some of the magic of these holidays that lose their luster when they realize I’ve been lying to them all their lives. I figure if they don’t hate me for it, they can’t hate the Easter Bunny. So we still dye eggs together every year, only now I don’t have to sneak outside somehow at 7 am to set up the hunt. It works out better for mama, anyway.
Since Easter is hippity-hoppity on its way, let’s do a story time about a beautiful children’s book, The Easter Egg by Jan Brett. I love Ms. Brett. Her poetic illustrations are even better than her sweet stories. Seriously, I’m a grown up (claimed!) and I could look at these pictures all day. I can only imagine how they effect little kids. The story itself is amazing, and watching Hoppi accidentally stumble on his own amazing version of an Easter Egg is magical. However, you are here for activities to go along with all this goodness, and I am happy to provide.