As teachers, this heart-warming story of family traditions has been one of our favourite read-alouds for a number of reasons:
- a charming family connection between a grandfather and grandson is highlighted
- a button is referenced
- recycling and reusing is encouraged
- it's written by a Canadian author/illustrator
- the whimsical story-within-a-story structure (pay attention to the delightful mirrored sub-story of the mouse family living beneath the floorboards in the illustrations)
- the rhythmic repetitive language patterning which allows the kids to be actively involved in the story-telling (have the kids say the following repeated phrases and add their unique hand actions: "Grandpa can fix it!," "Throw it out," and "snip, snip, snip")
YogaButton Pose: Mouse
Kneel on your shins and sit back onto your heels. Bend your body from your waist so your tummy touches your thighs. Rest your forehead on the floor in front of your knees. Let your arms rest on the floor beside your body. Relax your face and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and relax.
This is a resting pose, excellent for some quiet time or relaxation before bed or naptime. Be as quiet and still as a mouse!
From the author, Phoebe Gilman: "Joseph's Grandpa can fix anything. He can turn a worn out blanket into a wonderful jacket, a vest into a Sabbath tie, a ragged handkerchief into a brand-new button, but when the button is lost, what's to be done? Even Grandpa can't make something from nothing.
This story is adapted from an old Jewish folksong about a tailor who makes his old coat into a jacket, vest, tie, and finally a button. When the button is lost, he makes up a song about it all. I thought, "That's exactly what I do! Anything that happens can be turned into a story."