By David Kirk
I remember reading Miss Spider's Tea Partyto my younger brother when we were little. We had the same board book version of the original Miss Spider's Tea Party that I read to my sons today. Still written in rhyme, the shortened verses count with younger readers up to twelve by the end of the story. My brother had me read it so many times that he had it memorized. He would anticipate his favorite page "Two beetles gasped. . ." and open his mouth wide in a gasp before I would even begin the story.
"One lonely Spider wished to play . . .Read It
. . . We won't come in the four bees said.
In the original story a kind spider invites all her bug friends over for a tea party. Unfortunately, being a spider causes all of her bug friends to be afraid--they will not come to her tea party for fear of being eaten! She is left alone with her tea cups and tea cakes. Her bug friends' fears subside towards the end of the story as they discover her kindness when she helps a little moth left out in the rain--then the party begins!
I am such a sucker for a book with good rhymes, especially when reading to little kids. The rhythm of a poem really holds the attention of young readers and helps them participate in "reading" the story as they can anticipate the rhyming words. Usually when I find a simple rhyming story like this, we read it a few times and then as I read I will say the whole verse but leave out the last word and let Big Stuff fill in. In this way he feels like he is "reading," making reading fun and something he wants to learn how to do. Kirk's vibrant pictures are chock full of bugs and critters and colors and plants that you can count and talk about with your little readers. What I love about picture books is that you can read the story, but the illustrations also tell a story of their own that you can also talk about and discuss with your children.
Make It Come to Life
As you probably noticed from the pictures above, we decided to have a tea party like Miss Spider and invite all of our animal friends. It was so much fun! Pretend play is a great way to learn, and it was a fun way to talk about themes in the Miss Spider book--like being a friend, sharing, being kind, taking care of our friends. We also got to count. Can you count how many friends came to our tea party? Happy tea-partying!
|First we wanted to get dressed up for the occasion, so we|
put gel in our hair. :) Then we laid out a blanket.
|Next, we invited all of our friends . . .|
|. . . and served everyone a cup!|
|Big Stuff really got into it, helping his friends eat . . .|
|. . . he got so excited he went inside and brought|
out his own idea of something to serve. So cute!
|Ooops! Maybe we should get a plastic|
tea set for next time!