Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Posts tagged ‘Reading’

The sea is galloping…

I feel like Christopher at the beach today,
in A.A.Milne’s ‘Sand-between-the-toes’…


with the shouting sea…

and the galloping sea…

with sand in the hair…

and sand between the toes…

and nobody else is out!

It is a super dooper poem to read with children
and with thanks to All Poetry, here it is:


I went down to the shouting sea,
Taking Christopher down with me,
For Nurse had given us sixpence each-
And down we went to the beach.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of

The sea was galloping grey and white;
Christopher clutched his sixpence tight;
We clambered over the humping sand-
And Christopher held my hand.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of

There was a roaring in the sky;
The sea-gulls cried as they blew by;
We tried to talk, but had to shout-
Nobody else was out.

When we got home, we had sand in the hair,
In the eyes and the ears and everywhere;
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is found with

© A.A. Milne.  All rights reserved

Good Grief! Where has Mrs Goose gone?


Saturday, June 1st: A Canada Goose sits on her eggs
on a thin, log ‘island’ in the river.
How long has she been there?
… through wind and rain and ‘a terrible storm’.


Friday, June 7th: Mr. Gander stands on guard whilst Mrs. Goose sits …


and sits and sits and sits…
just like Horton, in Dr Suess’ Horton the Elephant.

Monday, June 10th: Good grief! Mrs. Goose has gone…
Where are the geese and their goslings?
I hope they are safe…


One egg is left.
Is it The Ugly Duckling?
Will she be shunned by her brothers and sisters?
Will she become a beautiful swan?

Children’s books:

Horton Hatches the Egg, Dr Suess, 1962, London: Collins Clear-Type Press
The Ugly Duckling, Fairy Tale, Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark. First published, Nov 11th, 1843

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).

The birds are back…

The birds are back.
For spring and summer.

Water birds. Land birds.
Familiar birds: Geese. Mallards.

Unfamiliar birds.
Bobbing on the river that runs through town.


Black and white heads against choppy, blue water.
‘Hooded Mergansers’? Not sure…

On the way out of town,
Stop at calmer waters.

More ducks.
Black and white. Grey and white.

The ducks dive for food.
Re-surface. Anywhere!

Camera: Press. Focus. Click.
Duck:  Dives down. Out of sight.

Left with a photo of calm, cold water,
With a squiggle on the top!

Drive home. Download photos.
Beautiful black and white heads.

Google ‘Hooded Merganser’ to check.
Black head. White hood. But brown on the body? No…

View another picture.
Black and white head.

Bufflehead? Bufflehead?
Check google photos with my photos.

Could be…
Male. Black head. White wrap around patch. Yes…

Then, a telling factor:
“… buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds.” Yes…


A male Bufflehead


Later, we see a male Hooded Merganser.

The birds are back!

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