Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone {The Children's Bookshelf}

What is it about rhyme that's so appealing? I'm not sure, but you can't argue the fact that books that rhyme are not only more fun for kids to listen to, but also a lot more fun to read. Rhyme is one of the cornerstones of early literacy, as it helps kids begin to isolate and identify the individual phonemes, or sounds, that comprise words. As kids become aware of sounds, and start to associate them with letter groupings, they are that much further along the road to reading. So rhyming books are more than just cute, they are educational too!

I can still recite from memory a few of the early rhyming books we read with Sprout when he first joined our family. Recently he's begun to experiment when we read a rhyming story, trying to guess from the context and from the sounds what word might be next. It's so incredible to see these pieces of the literacy puzzle sliding into place for him, and as a a result I've begun to keep my eyes open for even more library picks that incorporate a strong rhyme scheme.

Today's pick does just that, besides being a great one for developing global citizenship. In My Granny Went to Market, renowned Barefoot Books author Stella Blackstone teams up with illustrator Christopher Corr to present a colorful excursion to marketplaces all around the globe. Readers jump right into the action on the first page, when Granny buys a flying carpet to sail around the world doing her marketing. (How much do you wish you had one of those to do your errands with?)

And believe you me, Granny is getting around - Thailand, Switzerland, China, Australia and more. Each spread is bursting with Corr's folk-art infused illustrations, so vivid they'll capture the attention of anyone who picks up this title. The rhyme scheme is great here, keeping the pace moving just as quickly as Granny, who jets off somewhere new with each turn of a page. For kids who are working on their counting, Blackstone adds a nice device wherein Granny buys a increasing number of things at each stop -- the entire list is repeated at the end of the story for a great skills review. And the endpapers are also part of the fun. Kids can trace Granny's route from country to country, following the trail of colored dots as she picks up each new item.

You'll find yourself flipping back through this title when the reading is done, too. Sprout likes all the small details included in the pictures, which really add a sense of depth and texture to the story. Last time we read this, he spent quite a bit of time examining Granny's carpet in the different frames, which I couldn't quite figure out -- until he pointed out that Granny's stash of goods grows in each new picture. Smart kid, that one, but it just goes to show that kids pick up on so much more than we adults.

Next time you head out the door to market, ask your kiddos what you should bring back on your flying carpet. I'm willing to bet at least a few of Granny's goodies make it onto your list too! :)

My Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone, published by Barefoot Books
All ages
Source: Library
Sample: "She bought the flying carpet from a man in Istanbul, it was trimmed with yellow tassels, and made of knotted wool."


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Becca T, said...

This sounds like a very cute book!

Rhyming is not only catchy, but it teaches kids a lot about rhythm, poetry, and creativity. I love rhyming books. :)

Erica MomandKiddo said...

This books sounds like so much fun! We love rhyming a lot, too.