We’re experiencing our first major cold fronts of the season in northern Virginia. We are ready to put away our short sleeved shirts, drag out our heavy coats, and throw on a heavy quilt or bedspread for chilly nights. It’s also a perfect time to do a blankets and quilts themed story time.
Many children have a favorite stuffed animal or object that they cuddle before falling asleep. When that special item is missing, sleep becomes nearly impossible. That’s the situation in which Flora’s parents and siblings find themselves. They go on an extended search throughout the home and yard, with no luck. Flora grows irritated and sleepy as time goes on; eventually, despite the loss of her blanket, she succumbs to sleep. Her weary parents shuffle off to bed, where the hiding location of Flora’s blanket is discovered. With appealing pastel illustrations and a short yet engaging storyline, Flora’s Blanket will charm both children and parents.
The children in my story time really enjoyed Baby Duck in the Rain when I read it for our rain themed story time, so including another Baby Duck story was a no-brainer. Baby Duck and the Cozy Blanket is a textured book (which don’t always work well for story times), but the story involving Baby Duck and his grimy blanket is substantial enough to include in a group setting. Not only does Baby Duck need a bath, but it’s pretty obvious that her beloved blanket has seen better days. Although she is initially resistant to surrendering her blanket, the blanket is eventually placed in the washer. Baby Duck sings about her sadness over her estranged blanket, but when Baby Duck and blanket are reunited, the world looks bright again. Most parents will be all too familiar with the attachment a child has to a beloved object, despite its desperate need to be washed. Children will enjoy the bright illustrations and Baby Duck’s adorable personality.
The Quilt Story begins in the pioneer era, but the main character’s fear about moving will ring true with many children. Abigail’s quilt has kept her warm on cold nights, comforted her when she was sick, and served well as a gown during imaginative play. Abigail’s family builds a new log cabin far from their home; the “newness” overwhelms Abigail, but the familiarity of the quilt comforts her. Abigail grows up, and the quilt is stored away. Animals find new uses for the quilt, but the quilt is found by a modern day Abigail, who is also not enjoying her family’s new move.
The Quilt Story is an excellent read aloud, complete with Tomie dePaola’s distinctive illustrations. It is a bit too long for my current toddler group; when I read it this morning, some children were not quite ready for its length. A preschool storytime might be a better fit for this tender story.
Do you have any favorite stories about blankets/quilts?
Gliori, Debi. Flora’s Blanket. New York: Orchard Books, 2001.
Hest, Amy. Baby Duck and the Cozy Blanket. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2002.
Johnston, Tony. The Quilt Story. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1985.