We have a new favorite book in our house - "Today Is Monday" by Eric Carle.
The culinary text is based on a well-known children's song about food and the days of the week. Eric Carle uses his wonderful portrayal of colorful, exotic animals to bring these foods to life.
Each day has a food. "Monday, string beans" reveals a large, blue porcupine chewing on string beans, with several stray beans stuck in its quills.
"Tuesday, spaghetti" pictures a beautiful, green snake struggling with a page full of slippery spaghetti noodles. And so on.
My son loves this book because of the colorful animals eating silly foods. I, also, enjoy the animals and the food, but I love this book for many other reasons.
First, it has sparked my son's imagination in exciting new ways. We have worked with my son's speech therapist for a year trying to create situations to stretch his imaginative play, with the knowledge that this was stalling his progress in speech development.
Enter this book into the scene (along with other factors, of coarse) and he becomes so excited about "cooking" in the sand box. Now every time we go out to play, he is constantly making food for us to try. And what does he make? Some yummy creation mentioned in this book. His current favorite is roast beef. What wonderfully, imaginative play!
Second, this book has enticed my son to try the foods the animals are eating. He now happily eats green beans ... if I call them string beans and mention how the porcupine likes them.
And he willingly tried roast beef because the tabby cat had some. For a kid who has serious feeding issues (and was under the care of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Feeding Team for a year), this is a huge help to us, the feeders!
Third, our three-year-old has learned all the days of the week and loves to talk about what day it is today and what day comes next.
And it encourages his love for reading!
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