Reading stories over the seas
The children at Central Manor, Pennsylvania, were back on Skype recently. Two students read out stories to me, and we spent some time talking about each others countries. Chris read out a story called ‘If Mom Had Three Arms’. Thank you Chris, for not only reading out the story so nicely, but also holding up each page for me to see on the web cam. Lovely illustrations!
Sometimes as one juggles with a pen in one hand and a book in the other, and a mobile phone wedged between the ear and shoulder, one really wishes there were more hands and arms!
Topanga (ah, what a lovely name!), a 4th grader, read out from the book ‘Milking Machines’ by Hal Rogers. The book tells readers how machines help to get milk from the cow-shed to our kitchens. One thing led to another, and since we at Pratham Books love to tell stories, I told Topanga about Nandini, the mythical wish-granting cow.
A cute little thing sat on Topanga’s shoulder to listen to the story too—a pet rat called Sophie! The school has a pet snake that lives in a class downstairs. Hamsters and guinea pigs too stay on campus. Last year, the school had a service dog that was also trained to work with the handicapped people. Now, isn’t that a really animal-loving school!
The best part about our Skype sessions is the learning that happens on both continents. A quick Net search after my talk with Chris threw up the fact that Karen Kaufman Orloff, the author of ‘If Mom Had…’ is an animal lover whose family includes an iguana named Lizzie and a guinea pig named Toby. Pete Whitehead, the illustrator of her book has been a illustrating for 20 years. A visit to his site shows that he loves to carve wood and eat French fries.
If you like animals, books, French fries or witty illustrations, do drop a comment!