Early Childhood Education With Luchie

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Title: Tanuki’s Gift

Japanese Folktale

Author: Tim Myers

Illustrator: R.G.Roth

Brief Summary:

This is a story of friendship between a Buddhist priest and a tanuki, a small badger like animal, who visits him every winter. The tanuki brings firewood and little gifts. The priest offers him shelter and listens to his stories. But when the tanuki disappears to search for three pieces of gold, the priest discovers how much he values his friendship.

Date of first publication: 2003

Recommended age of readers: K2 children (6-7 years old)

Theme of interest: Friendship

*notes on illustration:

Mixed media includes gouche, water color, and oil pastel, ink painted on D’Arches 140 lb cold and hot press papers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Recommended Book: The Magic Gem

Title: The Magic Gem
Korean Folktale

Author: Kim So-Un

Illustrator: Jeong Kyoung- Sim

Brief Summary:

A fisherman is rewarded with a magic gem that grants him and his wife their every wish. But the fisherman’s wife is tricked and loses the gem- so their cat and dog decide to get the magic gem back. On their way home, the gem is lost again because of the dog’s thoughtless action. The cat manages to find it and she became the favourite of the fisherman and his wife. The dog is then neglected that is why up to this day dogs and cats no longer get along.

Date of first publication: 2006

Recommended age of readers: K2 children (6-7 years old)

Themes of interest: Responsibility and Jealousy

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Recommended Folktale Books

All of us in the early childhood education field are aware of the relevance of children's literature. We have to provide a rich literature to young children as it will help them to become a literate adult in the future.

For those who are not convinced of the importance of books to young children, let me state here the reasons of providing a literature rich environment to young children.

  1. Children learn aesthetic awareness, growth in literacy through illustrations and text and imaginative abilities.

  2. Children develop emotionally as they learn self-acceptance and coping strategies.

  3. Children develop multi-cultural awareness and cultural identity when they meet families, settings and cultures that are similar in some ways and or different in others.

  4. Children develop intellectuaally when they obtain new information and ask questions.

  5. Children develop socially when they explore interpersonal relationships and human motives.

With all the above reasons in mind, I am in a continuous search for good children's books in the library, especially the Bukit Timah Children's Library. It will be going to close by end of this year, but that is another story.

Nowadays, I am so fascinated again with folktales and fairy tales. I have here a list of folktale books which I greatly recommend.

Title: Why Mosquito Buzz in People’s Ears
West African Folktale

Author: Verna Aardema

Illustrators: Leo and Dianne Dillon

Brief Summary:
Mosquito tells Iguana a tall tale that sets off a chain reaction that ends in a jungle disaster. Iguana is so upset that he plugs his ears and is not able to hear Python’s greetings. Python suspects mischief against him by Iguana so he hides in a rabbit hole- which terrifies rabbit. The legend goes, until finally the chain of mishaps reaches mother owl that reacts by refusing to hoot and wake the sun. Eventually, all is resolved and jungle life returns to normal. But although mosquito learns her lesson and gives up telling tall tales, she adapts a worse habit.
Date of first publication: 1975
Recommended age of readers: K2 children (6-7 yrs old)

Theme of interest: consequence of gossiping

Awards: The Caldecott Gold Medal (1976)

*notes on illustration:

Art is in full color using watercolors applied with an airbrush in both fine spray and spatter technique, pastels rubbed on by hand and India ink. The cut-out effect was achieved by actually cutting the shapes out of vellum and frisket masks at several different stages.


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