Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Spring

Having grown up in the Midwest, the seasons hold special memories for me. I will never forget the look and feel of the first snow of winter or the beauty of the leaves in autumn. In Central Texas, the seasons are much more subtle. I try very hard to make Emmy aware of what is happening in nature on a daily basis. Now that spring is upon us, we are noticing that the trees that were bare in winter are blooming! This causes much excitement on our nature walks. The best part of spring in our area are the wildflowers that slowly take over the hillsides - absolutely gorgeous!

With the spirit of spring running through our veins, I introduced Emmy to the book It's Spring by Samantha Berger and Pamela Chanko. To quote the back of the book, "The robin tells the rabbit, the rabbit tells the deer, the deer tells the bunny, and before long, everyone knows...It's Spring!" This story was originally published in 2000 as a paperback and is now a charming board book. The whimsical animals help create the stir of excitement of all the newness that the season of spring brings with it. The rhyming text is great for very young children and since it is so easy to chime right in, perfect for those children who are beginning to read.

Another wonderful read for springtime is the clevery written board book Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by Cathy MacLennan. Onomatopoeia abounds in this story featuring chicks, bumblebees and kittens as they go about their adventurous day. "Pitter, patter. Pit. Pit. Patter. Splitter, splatter. Wet. Wet. Wetter. CRASH! BANG! WALLOP!" is an example of MacLennan's use of sound words that just need to be read, sung and shouted all at the same time.

What I love best about my newly turned three year old is her absolute joy in the sounds that words make. I hear Emmy making use of words she has heard and creating her own rhymes to sing along to. One of Emmy's favorite songs is Kookaburra. She has been humming and singing this song so often lately, I thought I would share it with you.

Oh, and in case you are wondering:
*a kookaburra is an Australian bird
*a "gum tree" is what is also known as a eucalyptus
*the "gum drops" that the kookaburra eats in the song are beads of the resinous sap

Kookaburra (written in 1936 by Marion Sinclair)

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
Leave some there for me

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
That's not a monkey that's me

Check out KIDdiddles for the tune!

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