So one of the next projects for our little yard is to make sure that we have an adequate climbing tree. We've got a lot of very tall bushes in the back, but only one tree. Unfortunately, the lowest branches are about seven feet from the ground. Maybe we'll have to find a way to make some steps up the trunk. Otherwise it's the cherry trees by the driveway.
The little girl in Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree, by Jan Peck and illustrated by Valeria Petrone, doesn't let anything get in her way. As she climbs she encounters a variety of tree dwellers.
One thing I especially appreciate about this book is the inclusion of some very unique animals you might not get to talk about unless you see them at the zoo. Along with the familiar butterflies, bats, and birds, our little climber encounters an ocelot, a kinkajou, and a gecko.
The catchy text gives some great descriptors, like "Way up high in a tall green tree, I spy a tree frog winking at me. Hello, tree frog. Google-eyed, tree frog. See you later, tree frog. Climb away."
At the top of the tree, she finds the moon. Climbing back down again, she finds Daddy. "Guess what, Daddy? I climbed to the top of a tall green tree!" Just as you're wondering where this little girl lives that she would see all of these animals, you find that she has actually been in her bed all along using her imagination (Are those real animals or stuffed?)
Early Literacy Tip of the Day
I read an article recently in a parenting magazine espousing the benefits of play for children. TV, Gameboys, and organized sports don't count. Kids need to use their imaginations. One of the suggestions is to take your kids outside, rain, shine, or cold. Looks like we're doing pretty good in that department.
Even babies learn this way. The author noted that when babies and toddlers drop things over the side of their high chair, they're learning. Looks like we're excelling in that department.