Virtual Book Club for Kids Special Series: Marcus Pfister

Baby Toddler Book Club has decided to post a special series on our blog as we participate in the Virtual Book Club for Kids throughout the year! Essentially, Virtual Book Club for Kids (hosted by Toddler Approved, Educator’s Spin on It, and Rainy Day Mum) selects an author each month. Kid bloggers from around the blogging world then link up activities related to books by the featured author. This concept was so perfectly aligned with what we do already, we couldn’t pass up the chance to share what we have already done or, in some cases, try something new with our book club! Our participation in Virtual Book Club for Kids will NOT replace our regularly planned book club meetings (you can see what we’re planning on our Book Lists page), but will simply be in addition. 

The author selected by the Virtual Book Club for Kids this month, Marcus Pfister, is probably most well known for his popular book: Rainbow Fish. None of us had particular attachments to this book, but we decided to embrace the “wave” (cheesy pun intended) of popularity and add the book to our book club’s repertoire. The story is about a fish who has shiny scales that are his most prized “possession”, but he won’t share them with the other fish in the sea. He eventually is advised to give his scales to the other fish to be happy. There’s apparently a little bit of controversy over whether this book sends the right message (the proponents say the message is: give to others and even though you won’t have as much just for yourself, you’ll be happy because everyone has a little bit. The opponents say it doesn’t translate from it’s original language well and it reads like: you have to “buy” your friends by giving them things). We chose the positive interpretation of this book and developed our activity based around a message of giving. One of the very appealing aspects of this book to young children are the shiny scales that are part of the illustrations. As we read the book, the kids, including the babies, wanted to get up close to the page and touch it!

RainbowFishReading1 copy RainbowFishReading2 copy

After reading about the value of sharing “possessions,” our activity helped the little ones share some of their possessions. Each toddler brought one or two very small toys (in value and size) from home that they were willing to give away. Many of the parents shared that they had spent time making sure the kids clearly understood that the item was to give away so that the kids weren’t upset to see it go. We then helped them wrap the gift in shiny tissue paper and cellophane that mimicked the look of Rainbow Fish’s scales in the book. After they wrapped the gift, they traded with a friend so that they each got a new toy to take home. We considered donating the toys, which would be a good option for older children or a smaller group, but we decided our group was too large and young to take somewhere that the kids could see the items being donated. Without that concrete element, we felt that the concept would be lost on them at this developmental stage. By trading, we still were able to use the language and concept of giving. The babies in our group also benefited from this activity, but in a much more tactile/sensory sort of way. They loved the shine, crinkly sound, and feel of the cellophane!

RainbowFishWrappingGifts copy RainbowFishOpeningGifts copy

Our snack was a replication of the wonderful clementine fish by IdaFrosk on Handmade Charlotte’s webpage: http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/amazing-instagram-breakfast-art-by-idafrosk. We want to be clear that this design came entirely from this artist/webpage–we just duplicated it (in a less impressive way…then again, we were trying to put it together with 6 very busy toddlers and 3 babies to tend to at the same time)! The food on the IdaFrosk webpage is amazing– we highly recommend checking it out: http://idafrosk.blogspot.com.

RainbowFishSnack copy RainbowFishEatingSnack copy

We all had a very enjoyable time at our Marcus Pfister book club meeting this morning and hopefully the kids learned a little about (a modified version of) giving!

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