Monday, 20 August 2012 07:46

"Something from Nothing"

Written by

mouse-blogSunday Night Story: "Something from Nothing" by Phoebe Gilman
YogaButton Pose: Mouse
Feel Good Message: Your story is within you. Let your imagination be the source of whatever you desire. All you need is you!


My mom and I have a lovely morning ritual at our family cabin in Whistler. In the Summer, we sit on the sun-drenched deck, take in the impressive view of Wedge mountain and wake-up with a coffee chat. The topic of discussion this morning: our first Sunday night story. Of all the fantastic books for children, what would be our first to share? We looked at each and both said with certainty: "Something from Nothing."

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

mouse-poseKneel 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."