In our MOP program, we try to read aloud a wide repertoire of stories from across different cultures to the children to immerse them in all kinds of genres. This month I read aloud two stories which were loved by children across all the MOP sites. Coyote and the butterflies, retold by Joe Hayes and Illustrated by Theresa Smith. It speaks about why butterflies flutter around. And the other story was Library Lion, written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawker. This is a story about a lion who loves to listen to stories in a library.
“Coyote and the Butterflies”:- The context of this story was very new and foreign to the children as many children felt that it was an Indian story as it is mentioned as a Pueblo Indian Folk tale. We introduced this tribe by giving some information and showing the children some pictures about the tribe. We proceeded to speak about the two main characters from the story i.e. a coyote and butterflies. The children were familiar with the butterfly but the coyote was a new word for them. They thought that it was a fox. The story presents the coyote as a lazy animal and how the butterflies play a prank on him for fun. The children appreciated the humor and kept expecting the coyote’s wife to punish him. Initially the children felt that the butterflies were bad but towards the end, they were happy to realize that the butterflies had played a harmless trick on the coyote and were in fact kind hearted as they helped him at the end too. The children had a remarkable discussion on this story and later very enthusiastically created a craft paper butterfly.
“Library Lion”:- This is my all-time favorite book. I read this story in Cacra and it had a marvelous impact on the children. Most of the children here have been to the Central Library and are aware of what it is all about. They shared their experiences with me regarding a library and knew the general rules about not damaging, stealing a book etc. They also mentioned that there is usually a ‘Silence’ sign put up in a library. When I enquired if pets were allowed in a library, most children said no but one child mentioned that there was no sign anywhere that mentioned any such prohibition.
It is a stunning story book with breathtaking illustrations and the children loved the lion that enters the library. They realized that the lion loved to listen to stories and loved being with children and was very helpful and caring. They noticed that the lion would come early to help around in the library. And when the lion realized that he had broken the library rules and decided to go away, not only the characters from the book missed him but even the children who were listening to the story felt sad. The happy ending had everybody in smiles. The children made lion masks as an extension to this story and enjoyed this session.