Monthly Archives: March 2012

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew

TGIF! ūüôā

Today I would like to share a book that I have been reading to my Kindergarten students all week. I think it is a perfect selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill!

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew

Written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry

Publisher: Blue Sky Press 2003

Audience: Ages 6-12

Themes: gardening, sharing, teaching, science

Opening: Little Groundhog was hungry.¬† “Beautiful! Scrumptious! Irresistible!” he exclaimed as he crept into a neighbor’s lovely vegetable garden. He was nibbling on some fresh green lettuce when Squirrel rushed down from her tree. “Little Groundhog!” Squirrel scolded. “This food does not belong to you.¬† If you take food that belongs to others, you will not have a friend in the world! Why don’t you plant your OWN garden?”

Little Groundhog admits that he does not know how to plant a garden, so Squirrel decides to teach Little Groundhog how to plant a fabulous garden filled with a variety of delicious vegetables. Little Groundhog learns about root crops, perreneals, vegetables that grow on vines, seedlings, and pollination. He is overjoyed as he watches his very own garden burst into life.  Squirrel even teaches Little Groundhog how to cook his vegetables, and together they host a feast for all the animals of the forest.

Curricular Link: http://users.manchester.edu/Student/JLCollins/LitBlockLiteracyActivity/index.htm

This website includes activities for journaling, learning vocabulary from the story, sequencing events, and writing postcards to Little Groundhog.

Why I like this book: I paired this book with a nonfiction book about gardening for my Kindergarten classes this week.  My students are learning about plants and vegetables, and they are planting a vegetable garden in our outdoor learning center.

This book is beautifullly illustrated. Lynne Cherry’s illustrations in How Groundhog’s Garden Grew¬†are similar to those of Jan Brett’s in her many animal books. The book includes miniature pictures of vegetables and insects¬† around the borders of several of the pages, and each two page spread is realistically¬†drawn with attention to every detail.¬†

The themes of this book also appeal to me. Squirrel teaches Little Groundhog to garden, and Little Groundhog learns how to be self-sufficient. He is so proud of himself at the end of the story, and he shares his feast with the other animals from whom he had previously been stealing vegetables. The book sends a great message to readers and it also includes a lot of gardening vocabulary.

Meet me at the Moon

Happy Friday!¬†It’s great to be back on the blog. Life and work have kept me busy.¬†¬†¬†I am very excited to have a Spring Break next week!

Today I would¬†like¬†to share a wonderful picture book with all of you. Visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Page to see a full list of perfect¬†picture books contributed by authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, and parents.

Title: Meet Me at the Moon

Written and Illustrated by: Gianna Marino

Published by: Penguin Group 2012

Themes: African savanna, elephants, love, water, mother/child

Audience: Ages 3-7

Opening: Beneath the shade of the baobab tree, Little One sang the calling song, and Mama came with a loving nuzzle.¬† “The land is dry, Little One,” Mama said.¬† “I must climb the highest mountain to ask the skies for rain.”

Synopsis: The dry season has arrived and Mama elephant must leave Little One to ask for rain. Little One does not want her Mama to leave and needs reassurance.  When Little One asks Mama how she will know she still loves her, Mama tells her that when she feels the warmth of the sun, she will be loving her baby. When Little One asks how her Mama will find her again, Mama tells her to meet her at the moon when the sky is bright. Mama leaves, and the earth cracks from drought. Finally rain comes, and Little One sits in the grass and sings the calling song to her Mother.  She sees Mama Elephant in the distance and they reunite under the bright moonlight.

Resources:  This book was recently published, and I was unable to find online activities for it. I think that the book could be paired with non-fiction books about the African savannah and elephants.  When I introduce a non-fiction subject in the library, I always pair it with a strong picture book.

Why I like this book: This book tells a heartwarming tale of a mother leaving her child for the first time.¬† Like most young children, Little One needs lots of reassurance that her Mama loves her and will return for her.¬† I don’t have a¬†child of my own, but if I did, I think I would read this story to¬†him/her before leaving for a significant period of time. (Which,¬†for a child,¬†could just be an afternoon) ¬†I can¬†imagine it being a book that we would return to again and again.