Sunday, March 16, 2014

Feeling argumentative to zestful!

I had earlier complained that people in India are not so generous with their smile and I hadn’t the faintest idea as to why! Well, I had to eat my own words as I thereafter experienced the not-so-welcome side effects of smiling at a perfect stranger in India! :-(  Anyway, off late I found that the same reluctance to break into a smile has rubbed off on my little one too! The other day his paternal grandpa (who picks him from his school bus)noted that Abhay is always grumpy as he gets off his school bus in the evening whereas his schoolmate getting off at the same stop is always cheerful and smiling!  I am not sure what’s going on in his mind as he gets back home or from where he picks up his “moody” attitude of his (Oops….mea culpa!), but I realized that it is important to help our kids develop a cheerful disposition as this will go a long way in cultivating a positive attitude towards  life in general. It goes without saying that children learn a lot by imitation and this means as parents we must exhibit and exude positive energy ourselves and of course …smile a lot more…….…even if it means returning home from work to find the whole house a mess, all thanks to your little one’s experimental play! J

After much prodding, Abhay now understood what his paternal grandpa meant ….and now when he gets off the school bus, he flashes his most brilliant smile! J So today Abhay read “The Grumpy Bird” by Jeremy Tankard, of the "The Boo-hoo bird" fame. It got me nostalgic as we won this book at summer reading challenge organized by the Hillsboro library two summers ago and I now seek to feature this book for the 30 books in 30 days challenge promoted by Bubble ink, with today’s reading prompt being “feelings”. Bird woke up with a grumpy mood – too grumpy to eat, play or fly (sounds familiar?). So what does he do? He decides to walk  and soon other animals like the sheep, beaver, raccoon and the fox join in and lighten up bird’s mood  and making him forget all about his grumpy mood. A great book for toddlers and alike and an ideal read when they wake up with a foul mood!

For older kids, I found another wonderful book on feelings (a chance find actually!) titled “A is Amazing”,  edited by Wendy Cooling and illustrated by Piet Grobler. This is a unique anthology of poems by famous poets on various feelings presented in an alphabetical order, some of them being - amazing and argumentative for A (featuring the poem “Argumentative” by Carol Ann Duffy), B for bored (“To pass time” by Richard Edwards), D for dreamy(“An Owl flew in my bedroom once” by Jan Dean), I for inquisitive (“An Enquiring Mind” by Douglas Houston), M for magical (“Isn’t my name magical" by James Berry), N for naughty (“A song about myself” by John Keats), O for original (“Celebration” by Ann Ziety), P for Puddle-wonderful (in Just by E.E.Cummings), S for secretive ("Secret" by Emily Dickinson), U for unpredictable, ("Sun is laughing" by Grace Nichols) and  Z for zestful ("Who is de girl" by John John Agard) and so on. This book features a poem for every feeling that is also brought out beautifully by way of simple yet vivid illustrations. Though some of the poems may be a little advanced for your young reader to relate to, each of the poems however are little gems you’d not only love to read and reflect yourself but also read aloud to your young reader. I am not a great poetry fan but this collection was truly a delight to devour!  Whatever is it that you are feeling...chances are that you'll find a poem that best describes how you feel! Guess which was Abhay’s favourite poem ? R for rotten featuring “I’m in a Rotten Mood” by James Prelutsky! J

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