Sheri Fink has done it again. If you loved her first book "The Little Rose" you will love this one too. Beautifully bound and illustrated, this is one of those books that you read again and again, treasure, tape if needed (hopefully not, but if you have kids you understand), and pass on to the next generation. Destined to be one of those books that our children remember as one of their favorites from childhood.
So what is this book about anyway? As the title suggests, it is all about a Little Gnome . He lives in a Victorian garden graced by summer and is quite happy, until things start to change. First the leaves fall. Then the snow comes. He does not like these changes, no not at all. Eventually he learns that it is all part of the normal process of life, and that summer will come again. And even more importantly, that there is always something to be thankful for, even in the dark and cold of winter.
Book for Children Ages: 3 years old and older (although even a baby would love to look at the pictures)
Family Reading Time: This book has some words that would be a little too advanced for the beginning reader to read to a younger sibling. But that also makes it a great book to read with your older child to expand their vocabulary.
Related Discussion Questions:
- Why was the Little Gnome sad?
- Are you ever sad when things change?
- Can you think of a time when something seemed bad at first, but you were able to find something good about it?
- What is your favorite season? Why?
- Whatever season it is, make a list of some of the things that are simple to find outdoors during that season and go on a scavenger hunt together to find them.
- Create a collage of your favorite season. Draw a tree trunk and then tear construction paper of the color leaves (or white paper for snow) to glue to the top of the tree. Find pictures of the animals you might see in a magazine and cut them out, or draw your own. (Note: tearing is a great fine motor activity for young children and this is a way for them to do it that is constructive rather than destructive!)
- Make a "something good" jar. The next time your child (or you) are feeling sad or upset, see if you can think of something good. Write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. When you can't think of anything, pick one paper out of the jar to read and cheer you up. And of course decorate the jar.
Cultural Diversity: The Little Gnome is the only human character in the book and is very light-skinned. I would love to see more diverse characters in Sheri's next book. However, I loved that though she did have lights up during winter, it was left very broad so that anyone who celebrates during the holiday could enjoy the book and it was not limited to one particular cultural or religious celebration.
Children's Book Review Rating: 5 Stars - Beautiful Book*