Holidays recognized beyond our immediate borders fascinate me. Traditions carried through the present are mysterious. Consider the Easter Egg. In a Russian folktale, Rechenka’s Eggs, the ornately decorated egg is taken to the Easter Festival by Babushka. Patricia Polacco recreates the historical event through her story valuing friendship and kindness.
This is a book review for Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco. The ISBN is 0-399-21501-8. To gain the most from the reading of this book, I present to you some simple steps.
- Read the book quietly and alone for your own enjoyment first.
- Then, choose a time and place in which you wll have your child’s attention.
- Be prepared to engage your child in a conversation about your values concerning traditions and Easter.
The Summary of this book: Babushka treats the wild animals with kindness. An accident occurs in which all her beautifully painted eggs are broken. However, a special goose gives something with even more beauty back in return.
When reading a book to children there are three opportunities to learn about your child’s understanding of the book. I have suggested a prompt for discussion before the book is read, during the reading, and after the reading. Asking your child a question before the reading helps set the expectation of the book’s message. Asking the child a question during the reading helps the child focus on the ideas being presented. After the reading allows the child to connect the story to themselves more directly.
- Before reading: What do you know about traditions?
- During reading: What do you notice about the behavior of the animals?
- After reading: Why is kindness to others of value?
Challenge for Parents: Help your child recognize the many traditions in which your family participates. And, discuss how many of these actions involve kindness toward others. Stretch the thinking beyond the events of the holiday currently near on the calendar.
During Easter many messages are being sent to your child. While this story tells about the tradition of the Easter Egg in Russia, what do you want the most important message to be? To be an influence in our children’s values and beliefs, conscious steps must be taken to guide our children. Why not use a beautifully written and illustrated book?
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