Sunday 17 June 2012

Summer Virtual Book Club - Mo Willems

Goblin is not keen on trying new books. He has about three books that he likes at bed time and anything else is considered an impostor and will result in tears and tantrums if we attempt to read it. However reading the same book week in and week out is driving me slightly loopy so I decided to join in the Summer Virtual Book Club to introduce some variety to our reading.
The Author the book club are looking at for June is Mo Willems. Goblin liked his book 'Don't let the Pigeon drive the bus', so I thought we'd try a different one. Our first attempt at reading 'Knuffle Bunny'  was not a huge success. We didn't get past page three before Goblin was in tears and telling us to stop. I've discovered the only way to introduce new books to Goblin is to read them to him during the day while he is play. Once he's heard the book once all the way through he no longer considered it a threat. So we finally managed to read the book to him while he played with his diggers, and by the time I had finished reading it he was sitting looking at the pictures and asking me to read it again.
I have to admit that while Knuffle Bunny is definitely a children's book I enjoyed it for its parental appeal. The story is about a little girl called Trixie, who goes with her Dad to the laundrette. She takes Knuffle bunny with her and he gets accidentally put in the washing machine. Because she can't talk yet she can't tell her Dad what she is unhappy about. The descriptions of her attempts to tell him are hilarious and every parent will recognise their child's pre-verbal communications in the detail. Hublet and I particularly like the description of Trixie going "boneless" - who hasn't had a child do that when they try to pick them up in the midst of an 'episode'.
Reading this book was timely because Goblin has been showing an interest in the laundry recently. Yesterday I caught him half way inside the washing machine and only last week he tipped an entire load of clean washing onto the floor so he could play hide and seek in the laundry basket! Or as Mo Willems describes it in Knuffle Bunny, Goblin was "helping Daddy with the washing".
After reading Knuffle Bunny I made Goblin his very own washing machine out of a giant cardboard box sprayed silver. Goblin had fun collecting dirty clothes to wash (including blankets, play silks, hats and some random items of cloth lying around the living room). I suggested his favourite toy Lamby might need a wash (like Knuffle Bunny in the book) but Goblin didn't think this was a good idea. Last time Lamby was washed he came out slightly pinker than he went in due to Mummy's ineptness at basic household chores. 
Once the clothes were loaded and the door shut Goblin added soap powder - A mini cereal box which I filled with a grated bar of soap. After he used all the actual soap up Goblin wanted to carry on filling the little draw I'd made, so we refilled the box with rainbow rice.
Then he turned the dial to select the right setting for the clothes, and pressed the buttons. Goblin and I made some interesting washing machine noises. And then it was time to fill the draw with soap again - apparently this has to be repeated frequently during imaginary washing machine play.

The Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids (the brainchild of Toddler Approved) is a place for bloggers/parents/teachers, etc. to explore some fabulous authors and new books! Each month we will study a new author and each participant will choose a book (or more than one) to share on their blog by that author. Each month we will have a link up where we can share any book-related activities, projects, etc.
Here are the authors for this summer and linky dates:
June 18th- Mo Willems
July 16th- Don and Audrey Wood
August 20th- Kevin Henkes

And here is the first link up. Have you read a Mo Willems book and done a related activity? why not link up.

I'm sharing this at
Cheerios and LattesI Can Teach My Childabc button


  1. Wow!! Loving that washing machine...what a wonderful way to interact with the book. I love to be inspired.

  2. That's a brilliant washing machine!

  3. All of that interactive play! How awesome!!! Have you read Pigeon Wants a Puppy yet? That is our household favorite Willems book! He also has a web site where kids can post pictures they have drawn of his characters and a bunch of other stuff too.

    1. No we haven't read that one, I'm off to the library today, I'll see if I can find it. I found the Mo Willems website though, isn't it fab

  4. Love the washing machine- and the idea of using colored rice as soap!

  5. love love love your homemade washing machine!

  6. So cool! I loved these ideas! Thanks for sharing this great post on Saturday Show & Tell @ Cheerios and Lattes last week! :) Hope to see you again this weekend! :)

  7. this is brilliant! and it looks like Goblin thinks so too! and that's so precious about his love for a few books. do you have a library that you can go to to let him explore? pinning this to several boards! thanks so much for linking it up to tip-toe thru tuesday!


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