(And please stay tuned after the book for an update on Phyllis's World Tour and a fun activity for kids!)
Written By: Phyllis Root
Illustrated By: Will Hillenbrand
Candlewick Press, 2000, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: curiosity, behavior (stubborness), gratitude, kindness
Opening: "Mama May lived where the earth met the sky, and her house was as wide as the prairie. It needed to be. Mama May had so many children she couldn't count them all. Among Mama May's children was one called Annalisa. She wasn't the youngest, and she wasn't the oldest, but she was the most curious and the most stubborn."
Brief Synopsis: Every day, Annalisa watches her Mama milk Louella the magic cow. Magic words make Louella's milk flow. More magic words make it stop. And always, always, Mama finishes by kissing the cow. Annalisa begins to wonder. What would it be like to milk a magic cow? Before you know it, her curiosity has gotten the better of her. Against her mother's wishes, she milks Louella. But she forgets the kiss with disastrous results!
Links To Resources: Here are some Facts About Cows, All About Cows For Kids with links to video clips on cheese and butter making as well as printables, songs and poems, stories and more, and Pictures Of Cows along with links to information of all kinds.
Why I Like This Book: This book is very reminiscent of Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola in its plot and structure. As such, they are a great pair to read together so kids can see the similarities and differences. Both offer lessons in not taking things for granted. This story has a delightfully stubborn main character (if you have kids, you've probably met her :)) who learns that generosity must be repaid with gratitude and kindness, but she comes around in her own way and her own time. The art is very bright and engaging - who could resist that cow with her gorgeous long eyelashes? The rhyme of magic words is fun to read and say. Just an all-round fun book!
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
Now, before you all rush off to your weekends, I just want to let you know that everyone's favorite groundhog has been a busy girl this week! I hope you saw her visits with Beth in Saskatchewan and Erik in Philadelphia earlier this week. And in case you might have missed it since it was a non-posting day for me, she was in both Abilene, Texas with Penny and Nice, France with Joanna yesterday! Rumor has it she is back in California with Elizabeth today, as well as on her way to Maine and another location in California (apparently she loves The Golden State - she may never come home :)) so more fun posts should be on the way next week! (Especially because she is also journeying to New Zealand and Italy and who knows when she'll get there - it could be any time!!!) Here's a little sampling of the fun:
|Phyllis trying to convince Beth to let her drive the John Deere in Saskatchewan|
|Phyllis trying to convince Erik to let her ring the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia|
|Phyllis trying to convince the street player to let her have a turn with the accordion in France during her stay with Joanna|
|Phyllis having convinced Penny to let her ride off into the Texas sunset on an armadillo :)|
For any teachers who might be reading this post, there is a Phyllis dress-up activity on my website which can be printed on paper or card stock (for free download.) The Phyllis figure can be colored and cut out (don't worry about the dress up extras for this activity) and makes a perfect, easily portable (or mailable) Phyllis! She can travel with students when they go on Easter break soon, or be mailed to a pen pal class, or students' relatives all over the USA and the world to gather weather reports, photos, or any other fun activity you and your class can dream up (a la Flat Stanley.) If you do anything with her, please let me know! I'd love to share it here with other teachers. (And if you are a parent, please feel free to suggest this idea to your children's teachers!)
PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific link to the list below, and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and get to enjoy this lovely weather :) See you next week with more exciting adventures from the marmot queen :)