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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cookies: Bite-size lessons

Last month, when Nana visited us, she brought a book for Ana, as usual. This is an interesting book called Cookies: Bite-size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jane Dyer.

The book attempts to teach/explain certain qualities/emotions that children start feeling at their tender age but don't know what it is and how to handle it and even what exactly it is they are feeling, like Envy, Pride, Greed. And, it also attempts to teach certain desirable qualities like Respect, Contentment, Loyalty, Compassion, Modesty, Open-mindedness, Fairness etc. And, the book does all of this with short crisp sentences and illustrations that are all cookie-based!

A few I liked:
Fair means, you get a bite, I get a bite; you get a big bite, I get a big bite.
Unfair means, you get a bite and I get the rest of the cookie.

Open-minded means, I haven't seen cookies like these before, but, uh, sure I'll try one.

Polite means, can you please pass the cookies? Thank you!

The illustrations show a little girl about Ana's age, with similar curly brown hair, and this completely captured Ana's attention.

More importantly, I got a good way of expanding her vocabulary so that nowadays, when she demands, "give me some apple juice, Amma", all I have to say is, "How do you ask politely, Ana?" and she immediately rephrases, "Amma, I'd like some apple juice, please."

Similarly, when she refuses to take a bite of some meal I have made for her, I remind her, "Open-minded means...??" and she says, "OK, I'll try a bite".

Now, I am not claiming she fully understands the nuances and shades of meaning and associated depth of emotion for each of these words, but, it is a start. It helps me expand on it further and explore her feelings when needed.

And, since we were expecting D back from his trip, Ana wanted to make cookies to welcome him home (well, more for her snack, really).

So, I decided to help her make the cookies. She followed instructions for the most part, but turns out when I wasn't looking she decided to add more stuff that messed up the proportions, but, the cookies turned out edible anyway :)

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At 7:56 AM, Blogger Subhashree said...

That is a lovely picture. I'm sure Ana is going to be a wonderful cook like you are! Hope you cook well, cos I assume from the pics from your other blog :)

I've felt many times that the brat doesn't understand the names we give to the feelings. Next time I'll explain what he feels and then name the feeling. That way he'll recognise. Thanks for writing about the book, it gave a totally different perspective.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Reva said...

Hi Sheela,

Commenting for the first time tho' I come here often. That girl in the book looks jus like Ana! No wonder she relates to it well :)

Good wishes to you and your family.. I'll comment more often from now!


At 12:44 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

thanks, subhashree!

welcome, reva!


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