Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rhyme Time: Sharing a Shell

My daughters and I are big fans of the author Julia Donaldson. Her whimsical, rhyming stories always share a valuable lesson. Sharing a Shell (Pan MacMillan Ltd, July 2005), illustrated by Lydia Monks, is one of my favourites. Three sea creatures become friends and 'roommates' until they outgrow their home, driving one another crazy. It's only after attempting to live on their own, alone and sad, that one is able to convince the others how important it is that they reunite. They've become interdependent and their friendship and well-beings depend on it.

Incidentally, if you enjoy Julia Donaldson's stories, you'll likely also get a kick out of her CD of songs, The Gruffalo Song and Other Songs: All Join in for a Monster Singalong (Pan MacMillan Ltd, January 2006). This is a compilation of some of Donaldson's stories sung to music as well as a few other songs. Donaldson performs the songs herself and the lyrics are quite catchy, even to an adult's ears. Be forewarned, however, these are the types of songs that are bound to get stuck in your head. One of the best is the song version of the book, A Squash and a Squeeze. I find it impossible now, after having listened to the song, to read the story without singing the words. Drives my girls crazy but so long as I am the chief reader they're going to have to deal with it.

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