One of last week’s posts inspired my choice this week. If there is anyone who comes close to writing an unending series of perfect picture books, in my opinion that person is Eileen Spinelli. I was fortunate to hear her speak at a NJ-SCBWI conference where she talked about her writing process. It was good to know that although the final product looks effortless, she works as hard at her craft as the rest of us and (hard to believe) still gets rejections.
|The image is dark-trust me, the mouse is adorable!|
Title: Three Pebbles and a Song
Author: Eileen Spinelli
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers, 2003
Audience: Ages 4-7
Theme: Self-esteem, cooperation
Opening:"Across the moonlit fields crackly old leaves twirled and skittered. And so did Moses." (the mouse)
What I LOVE about this book: Writers are often admonished not to have messages or get preachy. Ms. Spinelli has masterfully crafted a story that demonstrates in a concrete way how members in a family can all contribute and be important to the family unit. This is a story where practicality and artistry find common meeting ground. There is no preaching, just a beautiful, lyrical story told with enough repetition to make the descriptive language easily grasped by young readers.
Activities/Resources: I couldn't find anybody who had already posted activities specific to this book. I think the book lends itself to talking about what three things a child would want to have with them if they were trapped in the house during a blizzard-- appropriate with the upcoming weather forecast! For older readers, this might be a chance to explore juggling! A family activity could involve having everyone list one way each other family member is important. The story takes place in a harvest setting, so an outdoor scavenger hunt could be fun.
I hope folks who haven't read this book will give it a look!