Leo Lionni is probably best know for his book Swimmy which is a classic on the value of being unique. While I love that story, I also really love the story It’s Mine! with the three fabulous frog characters named Milton, Rupert and Lydia. I picked up this copy at my local World Market, YES they have books!!! They are all super selfish and quarrel all the time until circumstances force them to learn to share and get along, thanks to a giant toad. Lionni is one of my favorite authors becuase his stories are ones that can reach all kids. Kids of all abilities are able to decode and gain visual insight from the fabulous bright illustrations and ways in which he used art media. He used nature and animals that kids love. IN this book and his others, the important values of friendship, cooperation, sharing, individuality, and peace are the focus.
Teaching kids about sharing and getting along is so important. Creating stick puppets to act out the story is super fun and offers an opportunity for kids to connect to the story. Here is how I made them. Using watercolor paper, I cut the three frogs out using one of my dies from the Pet Shop collection that I designed for Ellison Education. I used the large frog die from the Calendar Collection to make the toad.
Because Leo Leonni’s artistic style is one of collage and bright colors, using watercolors is perfect for the creatures. If you kiddos use crazy colors, let them! The colors are not important but the creative process sure is. Once the frogs and the toad are done, create a pond by tearing up blue papers and gluing them to a paper plate. If you want to make a bug too, the dragonfly is on the same die with the frog!
Now you have the pieces to act out the story.
I put together a little activity sheet too. If you kiddos are too little for this, it might be a great activity for when older “buddies” come to visit. You can download it FREE here.
If you love this die from Ellison, you might like this activity too! You can get the details about it HERE.
Cheers to literature, art and learning!