Hi everybody! I went to the farmer's market this past weekend, and there waiting for me was my all-time favorite spring time treat - strawberries! There is nothing like an in-season strawberry. The smell, the color, the sweet taste - perfection! Today's book pick - The First Strawberries - is a Cherokee folk tale retold by super talented Native American tale specialist, Joseph Bruchac. Bruchac has written tons of books all focused on preserving Native American culture and folklore.
In this book, the world's first man and woman are created and live together happily until they have their first argument. The woman marches away, saying she will not live with a partner who uses angry words. The man is immediately regretful for the argument and chases after her, but she is too fast. He can't catch up to her to apologize. The sun sees the man struggling and tries to help by shining on the earth causing berries to grow in the woman's path and possibly distract her. She refuses to stop for the raspberries, then the blackberries, but when she spies the strawberries, they just look too delicious to pass up. She stops to pick them. The man catches up to her. They both apologize and share the sweet berries.
"To this day, when the Cherokee people eat strawberries, they are reminded to always be kind to each other; to remember that friendship and respect are as sweet as the taste of ripe, red berries."
Storytime conversation starters:
- This is a story about people who lived a long time ago. What ways are their lives different? What ways are they the same?
- Have you ever used mean words and hurt someone's feelings? Has someone ever hurt your feelings? How was the hurt resolved?
- How many different berries are in the story? Which one is your favorite?
- Strawberries became a reminder to be kind in the story. What is something that could remind us to be kind?
Folk tales are such a wonderful window into other cultures, and they can teach us so much. What folk or fairy tales do you read with your kids? Do you have any favorites?