Monday, September 21, 2009

The Apple Doll, by Elisa Kleven - a sweet story that speaks to young kids (ages 4 - 7)

School has started and the apples are ripening on the trees.  How is the adjustment to school going for your children?  Some bound into the classroom each day, but others want to make sure they get an extra kiss to keep with them for the day.  The Apple Doll, by Elisa Kleven, is a sweet story that speaks to young children making the transition to a new school or class.
The Apple Doll
by Elisa Kleven
NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007.
ages 4 - 7
Lizzy loves her apple tree in all seasons - she finds comfort in its branches, daydreaming and playing throughout the seasons. But now it's fall and she's very worried about her first day at school. For comfort, she makes a doll, Susanna, out of an apple from her tree.  She brings Susanna, her apple doll, to school but other kids tease her and the teacher tells her that she can't have food during class time. Lizzy felt like crying, she was so alone.  The school days wore on, and Lizzy left Susanna at home.

One day, as Lizzy watched her family prepare applesauce and dried apples, she had an idea: could they dry Susanna?  Her mama showed her how they could dry the apple and make a granny-doll.  Now Lizzy's doll Susanna would last all winter.  She brought Susanna back to school for sharing day, and her teacher and classmates were fascinated.  Lizzy ended up showing the whole class how they could make their own dolls.

This is a lovely, loving book that really speaks to young children starting a new class.  It celebrates their imagination and resilience for making new friends.  It's perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners studying apples in school, or anyone feeling shy in a new school.

The review copy came from my public library.  Find this at your local bookstore or public library.  You can also find it and other books by Elisa Kleven on Amazon.

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