This month’s Baby Book Club meeting has us all seeing red. Not the angry annoyed-kind, but the sweet, juicy, finger-licking good kind of red. It’s strawberry season—and what better way to acknowledge such a delicious time of year than to read a book about strawberries—enter the June Baby Book Club selection: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood and Audrey Wood. This story, unusually told in the second person, is the story of a mouse who picks a strawberry and then tries to hide it after he is warned by the narrator that a Big Hungry Bear will come after it. In the end, the narrator and the mouse keep the strawberry out of the clutches of the Bear by sharing it and eating it “all up. YUM.” (my toddler’s favorite part). Several moms this month shared that this book quickly became a favorite with their little ones.
We are fortunate to live close to a pick-your-own berry farm, so this month, we took a field trip to pick (what else?) strawberries! I had a hard time narrowing down all of the pictures from this activity, so I am going to let the pictures in the slideshow below tell much of the story. My experience suggested that this was the PERFECT age for berry picking. The kids are getting old enough to follow simple instructions (i.e. pick the red ones not the white ones) and love to fill containers up (just check out how many photos are of the kids looking at their strawberry containers). I also think allowing kids at this age to pick food that they can eat directly off of the plant helps them understand that food comes from somewhere other than the grocery store. If for no other reason, I encourage everyone to go berry picking because fresh-picked, in-season, ripe strawberries taste DIVINE.
The strawberries were so delicious that some of the kids didn’t wait until we finished picking, but as soon as we were done and paid (for those berries in the containers AND in little stomachs), we found a shaded spot to spread out blankets, and eat our pickings. While we ate, we read our book. I noticed that my son got a big smile on his face and held up his strawberry when he realized that he had picked a strawberry just like the mouse. I love bringing books to life for the kids. It is one of the driving purposes of Baby Book Club.
It was clear that there may not have really been a Big Hungry Bear as the narrator in our book suggested, but there certainly were eight Little Hungry Bears on our picnic blankets! Join us next month as we search for another bear and read: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! by Micheal Rosen.