While on a trip to the beach, Ella May is fortunate to find an extra special stone – a stone that has a white line all around it. Certain that her extra special stone has the power to grant wishes, Ella May decides that her first wish should be to show the stone to all of her friends. Before long, Ella May’s friends have gathered ’round her, hoping to touch the magical stone. When Ella May refuses to let them hold it, they decide to find their own special stones. Although the children find all sorts of interesting stones, none is equal to Ella May’s.
“You’re not nice,” Manuel said. He put his stone in his pocket and tromped down the sidewalk to his own house.
Ella May watched him go, “Hey,” she said, “I wanted Manuel to go home and he did. Thank you again, wishing stone.”
Unable to find their own wishing stones, Ella’s friends come up with a creative but short-lived solution to the problem. Unfortunately, nothing resolves the conflict amongst the children; Ella May wants to be the only person with a wishing stone and she wants to keep her friends. The other children are resentful of the stone and of Ella May.
When Ella May finally realizes that having a wishing stone is not nearly as special as having friends, the stage is set for a happy and imaginative solution that reunites the group.
A great choice for children aged four and up, Ella May and the Wishing Stone is a (32 page) story that invites readers to think about what it means to be a friend, how best to share treasured items and imaginative ways to solve problems.
Note – illustrations and children’s names depict a racially diverse group of friends.
When young Ella chances upon a talking frog, she is not altogether sure that kissing his puckered froggy lips is a good idea. For Ella, the idea of a talking frog is much more appealing than the prospect of kissing him and turning him into a boring frog prince. Ella is a fan of play – she likes basketball, swimming and Simon Says. Ella’s reluctance to kiss her new froggy friend means that he has a chance to enjoy traditional childhood games and to behave in some ways that are not at all royal. Eventually, representatives of the palace arrive. The royal frog is returned to a life of fencing and studying but not before Ella’s ideas have made a lasting impression. The frog negotiates with his parents for more playtime before returning to ask Ella for a magical kiss so he can join the neighbourhood baseball team.
An enjoyable read aloud for children aged four and up, Kiss Me! (I’m and Prince!) provides many opportunities for children to make predictions and also invites comparisons with other versions of The Frog Prince.
It is rare to find a parent or child who does not feel overscheduled. Balancing (school)work, chores, sports activities and lessons seems to be a national pasttime. In our household we are enjoying a bit of a ‘breather’ from sports this week. Usually we are racing from school to gym to hockey rink to home. I always joke that my boys never ate in the car when they were toddlers or preschool age but these days I frequently load up a tray and wait to refuel one or both of them. If only I could clone myself… or my husband. Life would be so much better – or would it?
Orverscheduled Leo’s ‘To Do’ list is growing by the minute. One day it occurs to him that if there were two of him, all those jobs might be manageable. It is not long before one Leo becomes two and two becomes three. Soon there are nine extra Leos busily working, rushing, delivering, organizing, carrying and making To Do lists…
Leo awoke to nine other Leos ataring at him. “What were you doing?” they demanded.
I was dreaming.” Leo said softly.
“Dreaming was NOT on the list!” they roared.
Leo discovers that adding more Leos to his world doesn’t solve his problem. He learns that, even when one feels over scheduled, making time to dream can make all the difference. Leo decides to do less but do his best.
Peter H. Reynolds illustrations and message are a joy. Be sure to make time to enjoy this contemporary fable with your family and friends.
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