Written By: Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by: Charles Vess
Explore Illustrations and Text:
Look at the cover and illustrations throughout the book. Ask your child questions about what they think will happen in the story by asking:
What do you notice on the front cover?
Why do you think the girl is called Blueberry Girl?
What do you think will happen in this story?
[Flip to a certain picture] What do you notice in this picture?
What do you like about the pictures in this book?
As You Read
While reading for the first time, consider going through the whole book and only stopping if you child asks a question. On subsequent readings, stop to discuss unfamiliar words and encourage your child to discover a word’s meaning by using the illustrations and words surrounding it. Examples of new words in Blueberry Girl include:
This story is told in the form of a poem so be sure to make the rhythmic pattern clear. Take a slight pause at the end of each line to emphasize the rhyme in the story. You can also bring your child’s attention to the rhyming in the story by saying, “See, in these two lines the words ‘night’ and ‘sight’ rhyme together. Let me know the next time two words rhyme together.” Be sure to get excited when your child engages and participates in the story.
To keep your child engaged, connect the story that you are reading with your child’s life experiences. For example, when you read “Let her tell stories, and dance in the rain, somersaults, tumble and run…”, ask your child about the last time they did any of these activities by asking, “Can you remember the last time you got caught in the rain?” You can also ask, “ What was the last story that you told me? What was it about?”
Summarize and Interpret:
Gauge your child’s comprehension by asking questions like:
What types of girls did we see in this story?
What were some of the things that the narrator wanted for the Blueberry Girl?
Who do we think was telling this story?
Who did the narrator ask for help? Why did he ask them?
Why do you think the Blueberry Girl was surrounded by all of those animals and nature?
This story was written for a friend who was pregnant with a baby girl and is a sweet request for not only the best for this little girl, but for the Ladies of the Universe to provide her with the tools to help her find her own way. You can bring this to your child’s attention by asking, “Why do you think the narrator asked to “help her to lose, and to find” instead of just asking for her not to lose anything ever? How is this better for her?”
Activity: Make Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes!
Adapted from Food Network
Here are some delicious blueberry pancakes for the little Blueberry boy or girl in your life. This fun activity is a great way to spend time together and provides you with a scrumptious reward for your hard work.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of sugar
21/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of buttermilk
1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter, plus some for frying
1 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
- Take a large bowl and add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Use a separate bowl to combine the buttermilk and melted butter. Next, beat the eggs into the bowl and mix.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix. Be sure not to over mix, as this will make your pancakes flat and heavy.
- Heat some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Then, ladle ⅓ cup of batter into the skillet and sprinkle the top with blueberries.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. For added fun, you can use pancake molds to create fun shapes and designs in your pancakes!
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and maple syrup.