(I am not given books to review. All books are chosen by me for the early literacy skills they possess. If you click on the picture you will be redirected to Amazon where I do make a small commission if you make a purchase.)
A retelling of the classic Yiddish tale I had an overcoat, Maya’s Blanket tells the story of a much loved blanket that Maya’s grandmother made for her. She loves this blanket so much it begins to wear out so her grandmother transforms it into a dress, skirt, shawl, scarf, ribbon and bookmark. She loves the blanket in all its many forms and is sad one day when she can’t find her special bookmark anywhere. Maya finds a creative way to keep her much loved blanket close to her for the rest of her life.
This book is rich in VOCABULARY, NARRATIVE SKILLS, PRINT MOTIVATION, PRINT AWARENESS, LETTER KNOWLEDGE and PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS. It is a great book to hit all the early literacy skills your preschool child has developed throughout their childhood. He will be introduced to layered language in the spanish and english text. There are many words to explore throughout the pages. The book also has vibrant and beautiful illustrations which will engage your child reading after reading. The way the story is laid out will highlight how readers follow a story and draw meaning from the pictures. The Spanish word is named first and then the child will derive meaning from the pictures and following text to understand what that word means and how it is used. Spanish words are in italics which draws attention to the letters. Lastly the mulilingual book is perfect for hearing letter sounds and putting together words from those sounds. The book teaches sequencing in story from the repetition of the transformation of the blanket to each of its next forms.
This is one of those rare books that engages children in every early literacy skill. I love it for its diversity and focus on universal themes of love between family members and those mementos every child keeps with herself to feel safe and secure.
What skills your child practices?
Questions to ask will reading the book:
- What is your favorite toy or blanket. What could you do to reuse it if it got old and frayed like Maya’s blanket?
- How do you think Maya felt when she lost the bookmark? What would you do if you lost your favorite toy, book or blanket?
- Can you tell me the story using the pictures?
Take it further:
- Create a storybook about your child’s favorite toy, book or blanket. Write down special memories, draw pictures and read the completed story together.
- Go to the library or favorite bookstore and find other retellings of the Yiddish tale or other books that are strong in narrative skills like Maya’s Blanket. Joesph had a little overcoat by Sims Taback is a Caldecott Honor book. The bag I’m taking to Grandma’s or any of Shirley Neitzel’s wonderful books.
- Make your own special blanket together. Go to a fabric store and pick out fabrics in your child’s favorite colors. Explore the store while there and point out the signs your see and the objects he may not be familiar with.