The morning of the 15th (NZ time) Vivian and I headed for Pt Chevalier School for Vivian to read to one hundred 6year olds. After a beautiful assembly where children sang the National Anthem in both Maori and English, and also in sign language, awards were given out for achievements and acts of kindness and creativity. Children here are encouraged to be inclusive in all things. Vivian was introduced and welcomed by the Headmaster. Then in the library the children sang “Happy Birthday Four Otters” with Vivian and the reading got underway. I was impressed to see Vivian in action unruffled by such a large group. Often Vivian stopped to answer questions from the children and it was so lovely to see how enthusiastic and attentive they were. The reading was followed by more questions and a spelling craft on the whiteboard. Afterwards Vivian and I were invited for a lovely morning tea in the staff room put on by the teachers. It was a very rewarding session and I literally had to drag Vivian away. She would have stayed all day given the chance.
FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN –
Written by: Vivian Kirkfield
Illustrated by: Mirka Hokkanen
Published by: Pomegranate , March 2019
Ages: 4 – 8 years
Theme: counting, nature, animals
Opening Lines: Water waits. Dawn breaks in a chorus of bird song. ONE willow flycatcher whistles as the night slips silently away.
Synopsis. The animals find shelter, safety and fun in the river and as dawn turns to dusk they sing, leap, toboggan, flit, flutter and hunt, riding out a storm, bask in the sun’s rays and tuck under the silver moon. A counting book filled with modern wood engraving illustrations, celebrates the wild beauty and the natural environment around us.
Why I like this: As the opening lines demonstrate the beautiful lyrical language captures the mood. When I first read the early drafts of this story I fell in love with the way the words whisked you away in a dream-like state to a place of stillness yet busy, silent yet noisy, and the world as we know it miles away. Almost poetry-like Vivian paints vivid imagery from dawn to dusk of the animals at play. Mirka’s wood engraving is perfect for this book and gives the illustrations texture. I also love the glossary about the animals and questions that ask the children to study the illustrations.
It’s also lovely to see a teacher’s aid and activity book available.
Free download of the colouring/activity book….. https://viviankirkfield.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/otter-coloring-book.pdf
Author’s website: https://viviankirkfield.com/my-book/
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGANING.
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