This month’s author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Julia Donaldson. This was a new author for us, and I’m so glad we had the chance to discover her books. We checked out as many as we could from the library, but there are still a few titles I am eager to get my hands on.
Throughout the month I let my daughters select the books they wanted to read from our Donaldson collection. Although they enjoyed nearly all of them, the one that they both seemed to go back to over and over again was Where’s My Mom? The book is also published under the title Monkey Puzzle.
In this story a little monkey can’t find his mom, so a butterfly tries her best to help. Time and time again the monkey shares a detail about his mom, but butterfly leads him to the wrong animal. My daughters loved seeing which animal they butterfly would show the monkey next. After a while the monkey is frustrated and shares that none of these animals even look like him, but then he learns that butterfly’s babies don’t look like her. With this new discovery, the butterfly finally reunites the little monkey with his family.
Rhyming and a lyrical nature seem to be evident in most of Donaldson’s story. In this story the butterfly’s part can be sung to the tune of “Hush Little Baby.” This is a song my girls are very familiar with, so they enjoyed singing and humming along.
We went through our toy bins and our collection of Safari Ltd. Toobs to see if we could find all of the animals from the story. After a little digging through the Halloween decorations to find a bat, we were able to closely represent all of the animals in the story. If you don’t have all of these animals at home, your child could draw some, or you could print out some pictures of the animals.
We used our collection of animals to talk about the characteristics of the real animals in the jungle. We also sorted them by various characteristics:
- Number of legs
- Body covering
- How they move
- Wings or no wings
- Number of eyes
What other ways would you sort this group of animals?
We also used the animals to retell the story. As we read the story we would place the animals in order and predict which animal would come next. Tinker’s favorite part was hugging the monkeys when they were reunited at the end of the story.
After a couple of readings, Lovey (age 4) was able to sequence the animals in the order they were shown in the book without looking at the book. As she did so, we talked through the clues from the story that helped her remember the sequence of events.
There are also some terrific activities and resources to go along with this book at Teaching Ideas. Find out more about this author at her official website. Picture Book Plays also has a lot of great resourced to go along with Julia Donaldson’s books.
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