What a way to begin a rainy Monday! It might have been dismal and gray outside, but our storytime group was as vibrant as a rainbow. We did our storytime stretches, some “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” then learned all about colors: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet/purple. Our book for the day helped us to remember these colors, as well as encourage us to make some really cool train sounds:
by Donald Crews
This Caldecott Honor book became a classic of children’s literature almost immediately after its release and for good reason: Crews’ narrative and illustrative style is deceptively simple, but encourages complex, creative thinking in its children readers. Kids learn colors, but also about motion, movement, and the passage of time. The illustrations, the font, and the minimal text all mimic the steady, constant rhythms of a train heading down the tracks.
If reading this with your children, have them pick out the colors and mimic the sounds and movements of a train. Ask them what they think might be inside the train, where the train might be headed, and where the train might have been. Basic questions allow them to build a larger story out of simple details.
Also, if you and your kids have been exploring iPad picture book apps, the Freight Train app is particularly good, fleshing out the original story with sounds, songs, hidden pictures and games, and animation:
Want more Donald Crews? Check out some of his other titles:
Storytime is every Monday at 10 am and is intended for all ages.