Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Books

Advent Calendar with Emmy's
elf Graham Cracker
Opening book #1
As the seasons change, so do the books in the basket we keep in the living room.  We have collected books about autumn, winter, spring and summer.  As a holiday approaches, one of our favorite things to do is to display our collection of holiday books in a separate basket.  Last Christmas we decided to made an advent calendar using our books.  Emmy chose 24 books from our collection of Christmas books and then wrapped each one.  We numbered each book as we wrapped and put them into a basket in numerical order.  Each night we opened a book at bedtime and read it together as a family.  We enjoyed this advent calendar better than any other that we have tried and plan on doing the same thing this Christmas.

We recently added two new books to our Christmas collection and Emmy asked that I share them with you.  So here it goes...
Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke (2010)
Emmy and I first fell in love with Fletcher, or Ferdie as he is known in the United Kingdom, when we read Fletcher and the Falling Leaves. Rawlinson has created four Fletcher stories - one for each season.  Each of these stories about Fletcher and his forest friends has an underlying theme of true friendship and how giving brings just as much joy as receiving.

In the story Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas, Fletcher is worried that Santa Claus will not be able to find the rabbit family's new home and so he works with his friends on creating a stick path leading from their old burrow to their new burrow. They are invited into the Rabbit's home to share blackberry pie and sing Christmas Carols.  While they are enjoying the Christmas Eve festivities, snowflakes begin to fall and the sticks are buried under the snow.  Fletcher worries all the way home and decides that there is only one thing a true friend would do - stay awake all night to tell Santa the news.  Fletcher settles down to wait but can't help falling fast asleep.

When Fletcher wakes up on Christmas morning and sees the gifts left for him under his tree, he rushes to the Rabbit's burrow to apologize only to find them opening their Christmas gifts.  Santa found his way!

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea (2011)
It's no secret that Emmy and I LOVE Olivier Dunrea whose series of books about some adorable goslings are still read around our house (read our post about Ollie the Stomper).  We admire his illustrations that are simple yet full of emotion.  When we came across A Christmas Tree for Pyn, we knew that we had to add it to our Christmas book collection.  This book isn't about Santa Claus or presents, it's about the true emotion of the season ~ that Christmasy feeling that we all look for. With each rereading, this book endears itself to me and Emmy more and more.
Oother, and his small daughter Pyn, live in a cottage "on top of a steep, craggy mountain." Oother is a "big, gruff man" who doesn't say much and when he does, it usually sounds like this,"Umphf." Oother loves his daughter very much, but he is a "bearlike mountain man who did not soften for anyone.  Not even Pyn."  Pyn's "Good morning, Papa" is always followed by "My name is Oother."  And so she would correct herself and say "Good morning, Oother."  Pyn is cared for and is happy as is evident in the work she does around the cottage as Oother goes into the woods to work, but you can sense a loneliness admist the text and illustrations.  Dunrea enlightens us to this feeling when Oother thinks to himself, "How very much like her mother she is."  There is no mother around and it is now evident that Oother is still adjusting to her absence.  When Pyn suggests getting a Christmas tree, Oother gruffly responds, "No Christmas tree."  

With gentle determination, Pyn keeps asking until she gets a "We'll see." response.  Pyn finally sets out on her own to chop down a tree, but finds herself stuck in the snow.  Oother is there to rescue her and they then set off together to find the perfect tree. Emmy and I both love how Oother and Pyn bow their heads to give thanks to the tree before they cut it down.  Once the tree is home, Pyn dashes around the cottage finding all of the special things that she has been collecting from the forest (acorns, berries, abandoned birds' nests and birds' feathers) and adorns the tree with her treasures.  Reluctantly, Oother begins to help Pyn place the items amongst the tree branches and when they are finished they stare in amazement at their beautiful tree.  

The finishing touch...Oother goes into the cellar and brings up a small package and says "For your Christmas tree.  It belonged to your mother."  Inside the package is a beautiful handmade bird for the top of the tree.  Now that space has been made in their lives for Pyn's mother, Oother's heart softens and when Pyn thanks him "Thank you, Oother." He corrects her and says "My name's Papa."
Emmy admires Pyn's determination to bring a Christmas tree into her home and calls Oother "A big softy."

This very gentle reminder of the spirit of Christmas is just what Emmy and I need.  With all of the hustle and bustle, the meaning of Christmas is often forgotten.  We will pause and appreciate the beauty of the season from the twinkling lights to the smell of pine to the festive music.  And we will be mindful to bring peace and happiness to those that we meet.  With that thought, we will end this post with these words from Longfellow's poem Christmas Bells.

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thank You, Sarah

The pen is mightier than the sword."  
Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Emmy and I recently discovered a very persistent woman in history who helped to save Thanksgiving for all Americans - Sarah Josepha Hale.  This discovery was thanks to author Laurie Halse Anderson and her funny and inspirational book Thank You, Sarah The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving.  Anderson has written many children's and young adult books based on American history with an upcoming book in the works about one of her heroes Abigail Adams.  With lively illustrations by Matt Faulkner that often resemble caricatures, the story of Sarah Hale comes to life as a woman who means business.

"Way, way back, when skirts were long and hats were tall, Thanksgiving was fading away.  
Sure, the folks up in New England celebrated it.  They'd roast a turkey and invite 
the relatives when the harvest came in.  But not in the South, not in the West, 
not even in the Middle Atlantic states.  More and more, people ignored the holiday.  
Thanksgiving was in trouble.  It needed...A SUPERHERO!  No, not that kind.  
Thanksgiving needed a real superhero, someone bold and brave and stubborn and smart.  Thanksgiving needed Sarah Hale."  

I love the message that putting pen to paper is a way to create change by getting others to hear your point of view and perhaps persuade them to change their way of thinking.  It took Sarah Hale thirty-eight years and thousands of letters to persuade our top leaders to declare the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving.  Four presidents denied Hale's request, but not Abraham Lincoln.  In the year 1863, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
If you are interested in reading Hale's letter to President Lincoln, you can find it here

And so Emmy and I give thanks this Thanksgiving to Sarah Hale for using her pen to stand up for what she believed in and creating change.  Sarah Hale's life has made a tremendous difference in the culture of our country.  Both Emmy and I have enjoyed getting to know who she was.  These are the facts that Emmy would like everyone to know:
*  She was the first American female magazine editor.  The Ladies' Magazine was where she published fashion, household and educational articles alongside poems and short stories that she wrote as well as some of the most famous authors of her day...Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Nathaniel Hawthorne to name a few.  She then went on to become editor for the magazine Godey's Lady's Book where she worked for forty years.
* She wrote the popular nursery rhyme Mary Had A Little Lamb in the year 1830 after a lamb followed one of her students to school one day.
* She pushed hard for the education of girls and for women's colleges and helped found Vassar College
* She strongly believed in play and physical education and helped to build playgrounds
* She raised money to preserve and build monuments honoring historical figures and events such as George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation and Bunker Hill in Boston, MA.

We both highly recommend the book Thank You, Sarah as it helped Emmy to realize that children have a great deal of influence.  By writing letters to the head of school, the city council, the mayor and newspaper editors, she can make her opinions heard and perhaps create change.

To give you a little taste of the book, here is Emmy reading the first few pages.  Enjoy!

To read our other posts about Thanksgiving click on the following:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Amazing Sunflowers

"Keep your face to the sunshine 
and you cannot see the shadow.  
It's what sunflowers do." 
Helen Keller

Emmy and I recently explored an amazing sunflower field at Colby Farm in Newbury, MA. This field is planted annually and tended to by the Colby family.  The sunflowers were absolutely gorgeous.  Emmy couldn't believe how tall the flowers were and how many of them were in the field. We estimated in the 1,000's.  There were so many honey bees busy at work collecting pollen to take back to their hives and beautiful butterflies resting on the sunny heads of the flowers. We spent a long time exploring this field taking in the beauty and relishing the quiet.

After our visit, I was inspired to show Emmy Vincent Van Gogh's paintings of sunflowers.  This allowed us to talk about Van Gogh's technique of using vibrant colors and swirling brush strokes (post-impressionism) as well as still life painting.  Emmy and I will be working on our own still life paintings of a vase of sunflowers and will share them at a later time.
Still Life: Vase With Twelve Sunflowers 1888

Emmy has always been interested in Van Gogh's paintings especially his most famous work The Starry Night (1889).  In a previous post, I talked about how we kept a picture frame in Emmy's bedroom that held a different postcard each week of a famous painting. She always wanted The Starry Night to be in the frame.  With our renewed interest in Van Gogh, we decided to check out a book about Van Gogh from our library.  I had learned of a series of books by Laurence Anholt (Anholt's Artists Books For Children) that focused on stories of real children who had actually met famous artists. There are nine books in the series and we would like to read them all, but we began with Van Gogh and the Sunflowers.  This story focuses on Van Gogh's time spent in Arles, France. A young boy named Camille befriends Van Gogh when he moves into the yellow house at the end of his street.  Camille brought sunflowers to his new friend and watched him paint.  Others in the town thought that Van Gogh was odd and that Vincent and his paintings didn't fit in with the town.  Emmy and I appreciated Camille's father's explanation,
"People often laugh at things that are different, 
but I've got a feeling that one day 
they will learn to love Vincent's paintings." 
Not only are Anholt's illustrations wonderful to look at, but the book also includes reproductions of works by Vincent Van Gogh.   For another recommendation of a book about art, check out this post.  

A wonderful book celebrating sunflowers is Eve Bunting's Sunflower House.  This story shares the lifecycle of the sunflower beginning with a boy planting sunflower seeds into a circle which creates a sunflower playhouse to the flowers wilting and the seeds dropping to the ground.  The story is told in rhyming verse and the illustrations, by Kathryn Hewitt (who also illustrated Bunting's book Flower Garden), are exquisite. Emmy's favorite part is when the boy and his friends sleep in the sunflower house.  She is determined that she will plant a similar house and have her friends over to sleep among the giant flowers.  

Whenever the topic of gardening with children comes up, I always suggest Sharon Lovejoy's books as resources. In her book, Sunflower Houses: A Book for Children and their Grown-Ups, the pages are filled with terrific suggestions of flowers to plant and projects to make and also with Lovejoy's beautiful drawings and whimsical poems. I remember making clover chains and firefly lanterns when I was a child.  I also remember picking dandelions for my mom. Emmy and I enjoy stringing dandelions together to make crowns to wear and bouquets to give.  Gardening is not something that is easy for us as we live in an apartment building in town, but I am determined to create an indoor garden with Emmy.  If you are interested in other books about gardening, check out the following posts:

Here's a song that Emmy and I have been enjoying since our visit to the sunflower field...
Sunflower ~ written by Neil Diamond and recorded by Glen Campbell in 1977.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Celebrating Poetry and the Outdoors

Being outdoors has always been Emmy's favorite thing to do.  From a very young age, her curiosity led her to explore nature in wide open spaces and in little nooks and crannies. Today Emmy still enjoys being outside, but I am starting to see a difference in how she relates to nature.  The magic of fairies and gnomes hidden amongst the flowers and leaves is disappearing and in its place is more of a scientific approach to life around her.  I hear things like, "Did you know that sand is made up of millions of tiny rocks?  Did you know that the anther is the part of the flower that produces pollen?  Did you know that there are more than 1,500 active volcanoes on Earth?"  I know that these facts are important and am grateful that she is interested in learning these things, but I am a believer that life is magical and will continue to encourage her to look at things in a variety of different ways (not black or white).  For example, we know that an orb web is made of spirals and is used to catch prey, but seeing an orb web in the early morning mist is magical as the first rays of the morning sun hit its spirals and creates shimmers of gold.

Emmy has attended a Montessori school for the past six years (pre-school through second grade). Going out and exploring nature has always been a part of her school day.  It is understood that fresh air along with children's natural desire to explore their surroundings is beneficial to their growth and learning. Montessori believes that to delight in the wonder of the natural world at a tender and impressionable age is to become a steward to the earth in the years to come. I will be forever grateful to all of her Montessori teachers for gifting Emmy with the awareness that nature doesn't belong to us, but rather that we are responsible for its care.  

This past school year, Emmy spent a lot of time immersed in poetry.  It wasn't just a unit to teach, a box to be checked off, but rather a time to delve into the beauty of words - sweet, juicy, interesting words.  Through read alouds, the poems came to life begging Emmy to dive in.  Through writing, poetry became a way for Emmy to express herself.  By using mentor texts, Emmy began to understand the different ways that poets put words together. Through reciting poems, Emmy realized that the rhythm and rhyme of poetry was a fun way to play with words.  Through drama, Emmy took her love of poetry to a dramatic level by creating little skits to go along with the poems.  In the spring, the children helped to organize a Poetry Tea as a celebration of all that they had learned.  From the invitations to the set up of the classroom, the children were involved in the process.  It may have been lacking a smoky atmosphere and the adornment of berets, but it felt very "beatnik" anyway.  The children each took a turn reading from their hand sewn poetry books where they had written five types of poems such as a couplet and a diamante.  The look of pride on their faces as they stood before a large group of adults and read their poems was a joy to witness.  Also part of the Poetry Tea was food and drinks.  When we arrived, Emmy greeted us and showed us to our table.  She then went and got the snacks and served us hot tea with honey, lemon and/or sugar.  It was such a sweet celebration.  Emmy continues to find poetry wherever we go from noticing words that rhyme to making very poetic remarks such as, "Doesn't the color of the sun have a shade as deep red as a beautiful Poppy in spring."  When she carries what she has learned in school into her day to day life, I know that learning has really occurred. A love of poetry has truly been instilled in her being and I, again, thank her teachers for helping to facilitate this love.  Please take a moment to watch this video of Emmy as she reads her poems at Inn Street Montessori's Lower Elementary Poetry Tea.


Ever since her work with poetry at school, Emmy has become interested in books that hold collections of poems.  We have quite a collection of poetry books including Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Shel Silverstein and Mattie Stepanek.  Stepanek has been described as a peacemaker, a philosopher and a prophet.  He suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy and died in 2004 at the age of thirteen. His poems are full of messages of peace and love.  Stepanek called his poems heartsongs.  
"A heartsong doesn't have to be a song in your heart, " he said.  "It doesn't have to be 
talking about love and peace.  It can just be your message.  It can be your feeling.  
Some people might even call it a conscience."  
At a very early age, Stepanek developed his personal life philosophy summed up in the following quote,                                              "Remember to play after every storm."  
You can read more about Mattie Stepanek and his books of poetry and essays titled, Heartsongs, (all NY Times bestsellers) on his website.  

With Emmy's love of the outdoors,  I searched for poetry books that focused on nature. These two books stood out as winners.

The first one is A Stick is an Excellent Thing (poems celebrating outdoor play) by Marilyn Singer with illustrations by LeUyen Pham.  
This book of poetry celebrates universal types of play that are timeless and engaging no matter what generation is participating.  From organized games like jumping rope, hop scotch and hide-and-seek to imaginative games like making mud soup and turning sticks into magic wands, the poems held within these pages invite children to join in the fun.

A Stick is an Excellent Thing

A stick is an excellent thing,
If you find the perfect one.
It's a scepter for a king,
A stick is an excellent thing.

It's a magic wand, It's yours to fling,
To strum a fence, to draw the sun,
A stick is an excellent thing,
If you find the right one.  

(Click HERE for our post about the book Not a Stick)

The second one is Outside Your Window (a first book of nature) by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld.  Hearld's juicy layered collages bring the poems to life.  Davies, a zoologist and best known for writing books about science, finds a way to bring amazing facts and fun things to do in her poetry writing. The book cycles through the seasons with a good number of poems focused on each one.  I like that the poems do not always follow a rhyming format, but instead bring about vivid images through colorful language.  
Buzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz
It's coming from the beehive
It sounds like sweetness
And the sleepy, sleepy summer

Hmmmm mmm
The bees bring nectar from the flowers
For miles around and in the hive,
They make it into honey.

Buzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz
Hmmmmm mmm
The sound of sweetness and the smell of flowers
Of sunny, sleepy summer -
The sound of honey.

Emmy and I hope that we have inspired you to enjoy the poetry of nature!  I leave you with a quote by one of my favorite philosophers and the person that my Emmy is named after, Ralph Waldo Emerson.    
"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit." 

Sunday, July 27, 2014


It's Summertime!
Plum Island ~ Massachusetts

What Emmy loves about SUMMER...lazy days, flip flops, 
chocolate ice cream, juicy watermelon, swimming pools, walks in the woods, bike riding, 
the ocean:  the smell of the warm sea breezes, the sound of the crashing waves, 
the warm sand between her toes and so much more.  SUMMER!  

With more time spent outdoors during the summer, we find ourselves working to create moments in the day for reading and creating indoors (quite different from wintertime when we work on creating moments to be outdoors).

When we first wake up and right before bed seem to be the best times for reading and creating in our household. I recently restocked Emmy's paint supplies and set up her art table with an "invitation to paint." When she woke up the next morning and saw her table, she was so surprised and very motivated to get back to painting.
Emmy's art table and her painting of a sailboat at sunset 
inspired by the view outside of our living room window.  

We've also been motivated to keep reading thanks to our local bookstore and library.  Both have fun summer reading programs going on right now.  At The Book Rack, children are given a passport to Find Waldo in Newburyport.  Local businesses have a small cutout of Waldo hidden somewhere in their store and it's up to the child to find him. Emmy is much better at this seek and find game than I am. She gets so excited when she can ask the shopkeeper to sign her passport.  We have two more Waldos to find and then we can enter our name into the grand prize drawing (a set of Where's Waldo books).
The library's Fizz, Boom, Read program has Emmy reading books for prizes like a coupon to her favorite frozen yogurt shop - Orange Leaf, a free book (she choose Gingerbread Friends by one of her favorite authors Jan Brett) and a free Topsfield Fair ticket!  Emmy fractured her wrist six weeks ago so I've been helping her to fill in her reading log with the titles of the books.
Here are a few books that we've been reading to celebrate the season of SUMMER! (books are listed from a more difficult reading/listening level to an easier one)

Time of Wonder, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, won the Caldecott Medal in 1958 for the gorgeous illustrations which depict the Maine landscape in summer.  This is McCloskey's second Caldecott award the first being for Make Way For Ducklings. Time of Wonder revolves around two sisters who spend the summer with their family at the seashore.

When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant illustrations by Steven Gammel  You can just feel the family love as soon as you open this book about distant relatives coming to stay for the summer. Many people will relate to the connection one has with relatives that you only see once or twice a year ~ you make the visit worthwhile filling each other up to last until the next gathering.
Summersaults and A Summer Day by Douglas Florian...the first is a collection of poems that shares the joys of summer and the not so joyful things - annoying flies! The second is the story of a family that leaves the sweltering heat of a summer day in the city to spend time exploring in the country.  Emmy and I love it when a book shows a family that lives in an apartment since that is home to us.
Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee  I love the nostalgic feel of this sweet story. Emmy loves that the main character is the same little girl from one of our favorite winter books Tracks in the Snow (check out our post here).  Yee creates a summer day that is full of wonder and magic from sun up to sun down.  

I See Summer by Charles Gigna, better known as Father Goose, thrills us with his lyrical rhymes. This book is one of four in a series of books about the seasons. Emmy's favorite part is when the children are chasing fireflies in the dark. Such fascinating little creatures.

Summer by Gerda Muller - This book is one of four in a series of wordless picture books about the seasons.  We have enjoyed this set of books since Emmy was a baby first talking about what we saw as we slowly turned the pages to telling a different story each time we opened the book using the beautiful detailed pictures.  Now we use the books to inspire creative writing about the seasons.  Here's an example of a recent poem inspired by the book...
by Emmy
hot and sweaty, sunny and rainy, 
biking and swimming, chilly and juicy
splashing and diving

We wish everyone a summer full of fun adventures and relaxing days!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Raffi is the most influential children's entertainer of all time.  He has created top notch music for kids and their parents since the beginning of his career as a musician for children.  It was his commitment to honoring his young fans that changed the way we came to view music made for children.  Through his own record label, Troubadour, Raffi recorded quality music that resonated with parents.  Four decades later, Raffi continues to inspire millions of families worldwide through his music.  His lyrics spread messages of love and caring with infectious melodies.  From Raffi's songs grew a purpose much larger than performing music for children.  Raffi has worked to create a philosophy of living called Child Honouring.  This is a children first approach to healing communities and restoring ecosystems.  It views how we regard and treat our young as the key to building a humane and sustainable world.  

Raffi's music has touched my life both as a parent and a teacher. When Emmy was a baby I would sing Baby Beluga to her during feedings and diapering.  As she grew, she joined in and together we belted out our rendition of this very popular song.  Whenever a good laugh was in order, I would start singing Shake Your Sillies Out and before you knew it the two of us would be dancing all over the house.  I used both of these songs in the classroom.  Baby Beluga was always a favorite song when we learned about ocean life and whenever we needed to get up and move, Shake Your Sillies Out was our go to song.  No matter the age, children (and adults) always LOVE Raffi.  

Here is Raffi performing Baby Beluga.

A wonderful way to connect music to reading is by sharing books based on familiar songs, such as the Raffi Songs to Read series.  Of course we owned the board book Baby Beluga and Emmy always enjoyed turning the pages in the book as we sang the words together. As she became more aware of frequently used words and letters and their sounds, she began to actually read this book with great enthusiasm.  
When Emmy was around two years old, she was obsessed with trains.  We sang many songs about trains including Little Red Caboose.  I created a book for her using a three ring binder.  I typed the words to her favorite train songs, added some clip art, printed them and slid them into plastic sleeves and then added them to the binder.  Voila - we had a homemade book.  We also took this idea and used it for gift giving.  We would find out the child's favorite song and either buy the corresponding book with the CD and a trinket to go with it (like a stuffed beluga whale to go with Baby Beluga) or we would create our own.  Several years ago we put together a tractor gift for a boy in Emmy's class.  We included the book Otis by Loren Long (a wonderful book of friendship), a toy tractor and a plastic cow.  We happened to have the song Driving My Tractor so we made a CD of the song and typed out the lyrics into a little book.  All of this was placed into a drawstring bag.  This gift was a huge hit.  
Back to Raffi...It's been 12 years since Raffi recorded an album for children!  No need to wait any longer as he just released a brand new album Love Bug and it is awesome!  

Here is a video of the single Love Bug.
You can download this song for free from his website by signing up for his newsletter.  Check it out HERE.

I am going to end this post by using Raffi's words...
"Beauty. Tranquility. The Arts. In these may your life be rich."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Too Many Frogs

Rabbit lived by himself in 
the hollow of an old tree.
He cooked for himself.
He tidied up after himself.
And at the end of each and every day, 
he read himself a story.
It was a simple way of life - 
No fuss, no clutter.
And Rabbit liked it.

Or did he?   Sandy Asher and Keith Graves have paired up to create the book Too Many Frogs, a heartwarming tale of two unlikely friends, a loner rabbit and a pesky frog, that celebrates the joy of reading aloud.

This book was given to Emmy on her birthday several years ago and is one of the most read picture books in our home.  Too Many Frogs begs to be read aloud with funny voices for the characters and funny sounds for the actions.  From Froggie's knock-knockety-knocking on the door followed by his croak "It's Froggie!" to his goodbye, "Thanks for your kindness. Toodle-oo!" readers will love the interaction between the two characters.

Emmy laughs and laughs as Froggie brings noise and clutter to Rabbit's quiet and tidy world.  She especially enjoys when Froggie makes the two of them a snack.

Rabbit opened the door, "I was about to read myself a story."  
"I know!" Froggie cried, and hopped right inside.  
"Love to listen!  But first, let's fix ourselves a snack - or three!  
Don't mind, do you?"  "I suppose not," Rabbit said.  
So Froggie hopped - and popped - and whipped - and flipped - and mixed - 
and fixed a snack.  Or three.  Too much fuss! Rabbit thought.  

Graves' illustrations are full of color and seem to pop right off the page.  Whoever heard of a bright blue bunny, Graves did and it's PERFECT.  There are many fun details to find on the page spreads. Emmy's favorites...the ladybug lamp, the umbrella with a crooked handle and the rug that looks like grass.  But most especially, Emmy likes the facial expressions on Rabbit.

We both highly recommend this book!  Such fun to read and talk about.  Emmy often interrupts me when I am reading so I will remind her of Froggie and Rabbit.  She just giggles and offers to go get us a snack or three!  We have been on the lookout for these two follow up books that are sure to entertain us as well.