Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Posts tagged ‘literature’

What would Anne have called it?

Lilacs are prolific this spring.
Woodlands, roadsides and edges of fields are dotted with dark-lilac lilacs,
light-lilac lilacs and bright-white lilacs.


White lilacs? I’ve only just learned of white lilacs.

Lilac Lane 2

In nearby woodlands, I wander on paths edged with fragrant lilacs.
I’m reminded of  Anne of Green Gables, one of my favourite children’s books.
I wonder aloud,
“What would Anne have called this path?”

Would Anne call it,  “Lilac Lane?” No. Too ordinary, like Diana’s Birch Path.

Lovers’ Lane… of Lilacs? No. She has a Lovers’ Lane already.

Lovely Lane of Lilacs? No. Lovely is not specific enough. But loveliest?

Loveliest Lilac Lane? No.

Luscious Lilac Lane? It’s a luscious fragrance that wafts by. Anne didn’t use ‘luscious’ – but she she learned  ‘scrumptious’ the day of the picnic.

Lavish Lilac Lane? Luxurious? Luxuriant?  No. But. lilacs are plentiful, pretty and pleasantly perfumed…

Longing lilacs? or Lingering lilacs?

Linger. Lilacs linger – especially in warm, spring weather. The fragrance lingers. And certainly Anne likes to linger…

Yes. That’s it… Anne may have called this path, Lane of Lingering Lilacs.

What do you think?


What do you think Anne would have called the lilac framed path?

Montgomery, L. M. (1908). Anne of Green Gables.  Toronto: McClelland and Stewart-Bantam (Seal Books).

‘Spring had come once more…’

“Spring had come once more to Green Gables – the beautiful, capricious, reluctant Canadian spring, lingering along through April and May in a succession of sweet, fresh, chilly days, with pink sunsets and miracles of resurrection and growth”  wrote Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908, p. 160) in Anne of Green Gables  – one of my favourite childhood books that I still read and enjoy today.

After a cool, capricious and certainly reluctant Canadian spring…


we now have Anne’s ’empurpled’ violets…


‘grass scattered with dandelions…’

Apple blossom

apple trees ‘showered over with blossoms’


‘wild lilies-of-the-valley…’


and one flower she doesn’t mention: the pretty purple-blue periwinkle.

Later in the book Montgomery says,  “… and then, almost before Anne realized it, spring had come again to Green Gables and all the world was abloom once more” (p.246).

Happily, now, at the end of May, I can also say, “Spring has come once more…”

Montgomery, L. M. (1908). Anne of Green Gables. Toronto: McClelland
and Stewart-Bantam (Seal Books).

10for10 Special Picture Books

What are ten of your favourite picture books for your classroom or library? Thanks to @mandyrobek and @CathyMere we can share ten favourite picture books on Blogs and Twitter today: #PB10for10. Here are ten special books that I love to share with children – in no particular order.

 Jamberry by Bruce Degen (1983) is a hugely enjoyable book with rollicking rhyme and rhythm – I can’t help but ‘sing-a-long’ to the words. Children pick up on the rhythmical language and join in. Colouful, clear illustrations and expressions of the characters add to the fun. A book to read and re-read!

Boo to a Goose by Mem Fox (1996) is also rhythmical, giving children a sense of rhyming words – great for beginning readers. Bright, clear illustrations add clarity to the sentences and a repetitive refrain invites children to join in. The big print enables children to easily see the text and participate in shared reading.

All by Myself by Mercer Mayer  (1983) is one of Mercer’s many delightful, kid-friendly books that are funny and easy for developing readers. The clear, expressive illlustrations enhance the simple language and messages. All by Myself is valuable for beginning readers with the repetitive sentence starter of ‘I can…’ and child-like actions. A funny book to also help children’s writing!

Pickle Things by Marc Brown (1980) is a funny rhyming book.  The bold pictures illustrate the crazy sentences as in: Pickle things you never make… like pickle pie and pickle cake. Pickle donuts, pickle flakes. Children laugh out loud at the absurdity of the pickle suggestions and uses. Big print and few words per page also help developing readers. A one-of-a-kind book!

More Spaghetti, I Say by Rita Golden Gelman (1977) is loads of fun for children with its child-like antics and responses. The rhyme, rhythm and enlarged text make it a sought after book for developing readers. Clear, expressive illustrations add to the hilarity of the story. Laugh out loud!

Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne (1994) is a superbly illustrated storybook with bright colours, fruits and animals of hot Africa. The simple and thoughtful story in words is enhanced by clear illustrations that tell another story… which is indeed a surprise. A real gem!

little blue and little yellow by Leo Lionni was published in 1959, but notions of friendship, co-operation and tolerance are still relevant.  The message is clear – told in direct sentences and accompanying sparse ‘blobs’ of colour.  A delight!

A Fish out of Water by Helen Palmer (Suess Beginner Book, 1983) is a favourite with children because they identify with the boy’s actions that cause the problem –  starting small and getting bigger all the time. Children are enthralled by the unfolding catastrophes – in words and illustrations!

Mr Archimedes’ Bath by Pamela Allen (1980) is a funny story that makes children think, wonder and try to solve the water problem. It’s a good book to include in any unit of work or study on ‘Water’. The animals in the illustrations keep their skin/fur on but Mr Archimedes is naked, which adds to children’s guffawing and laughter. A literary book for ‘integration across the curriculum’.

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor (1974) is a favourite of mine – although a bit long for some children. Baylor gives ten apt and often amusing rules for finding your own special rock. The poetic words are accompanied by Peter Parnall’s sparse, expressive illustrations that perfectly depict the rule. An absolute joy!

On reflection, I see that many of these books are ‘old’ favourites – but still exciting and memorable picture books to enjoy with young children. Maybe you can find some of them to enjoy too!

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