Young children love to be read to. Young children love books that talk about familiar subjects.We took those two statements and decided to create a living book with our toddlers (the Piccolos) and preschoolers (the Violins). We chose the story of Bébés Chouettes (owl babies) by Martin Wadell and Patrick Benson, because it touches on the fear of young children of mom not returning. The characters in the book, Sarah, Remy and Lou (Sarah, Percy and Bill in the English version) are three cute baby owls that were easy to create out of felt.
We wanted to enhance the story by making it 3 dimensional for the children, hence the transformation of a donated play tree house into the owls’ tree. (the nest was created with findings picked up on a nature walk we took earlier in the month). The children use all their senses while acting out the story; they listen, move, talk, and feel, recalling the narrative and vocabulary faster. The children also take ownership of the story, facilitating the development of imagination. By creating an interactive book, with children going from the actual book to the representation, to the action, we further create a love of literacy and a love of language!