Celebrating with themes of food, family, and friends this month:
Author: Aleksei Tolstoy
Illustrator: Niamh Sharkey
Publisher: Barefoot Books, 1998
Age Level: 3-7 yrs
Themes: folklore, Russia, gardening, animals, teamwork
Opening: Long ago, an old man and an old woman lived together in a crooked old cottage with a large, overgrown garden.
Summary: (from the publisher) A hilarious retelling of the famous Russian folktale of the turnip that grows and grows and grows.. Simple vocabulary, lots of repetition, and quirky illustrations add to its overall appeal.
Why I like this book: First of all. the opening line is what I think kids will be saying about my house in the future! It’s already 112 years old and the loosening bricks may give a crooked look to the place soon enough! But many of you may know this story already since so many versions have been published. Here is my favorite spread because I love silhouettes –
Resources/Activities: plant turnips (and more veg/flowers) in the spring; create a lesson about root vegetables, which are not as commonly used anymore (pity!) – and make soup; check out Barefoot Turtle blog for a wonderful ‘chain’ craft idea; reenact the story as a play; read a Spanish/English version too.