Open This Little Book

Written By: Jesse Klausmeier

Illustrated By: Suzy Lee

What will you find when you open this little book? A fun story? Sweet characters? Enticing pictures? Yes! But much more. Open this book and you will find… another book… and another...and another. Author and illustrator craft a seemingly simple book about colors from the very youngest readers, an imaginative exploration of the art of bookmaking for more sophisticated aficionados, and a charming story of friendship and the power of books for all.

Before Reading

Enjoy looking at the cover with your child before opening the book. Bring your child’s attention to the different animals by saying, “Look! There is a bunny rabbit. Do you see the bunny rabbit?” To further engage your child, ask “Can you point to the bunny rabbit in the picture?” This can help make a connection between the child and the book before reading the story. If your child is very young, point to the different elements on the cover and tell him/her about what you see. For example, point to the bear and say, “Look. This is a bear. The bear is reading a book.” Also, point out the sizes of the pages and how they get smaller by saying, “I wonder what is inside each of these books? What do you think is in the smallest book?”

As You Read

The vibrant colors and different sized pages make this book really interactive and captivating for children of many ages,  so help your child get the most out of it! Let him/her help you turn the page once you’re done reading each page. For older children learning how to read, it is of course good to engage them with words they know as you read both aloud and together.

By using a dynamic voice and reading with excitement, you can further enhance your child’s reading experience. Doing so will also build the anticipation as you go through the pages from one size to the next, and back again. When you get to the center of the book, direct your child’s attention to the array of colors on display. This is a great time to review the names of each color with your child by saying, “Let’s name these colors. Purple, red, green,” and so on. For older children, let them join in and name the colors with you, or, if they are learning letter sounds, ask them to identify the starting letter sound for each color. “Guh- guh- Green,” for example.

After Reading

Make sure to ask your child questions when you’re done reading. Questions might include:

Can you show me your favorite picture or “book”?

Did you enjoy this story?  Why or why not?

What is your favorite color?  Was that also your favorite book?

An important theme in this story is friendship, so it is good to bring your child’s attention to how the giant’s friends helped her open her small rainbow book. Be sure to comment on the friends’ helpfulness, “Wow, that is so nice of the giant’s friends to help her when she needs it!” To make a real life connection, ask your child about a time when s/he helped a friend or family member. For younger children with fewer words, you can start by telling them the ways in which they are helpful to you and others.   If your child is not yet verbal, you can still engage him/her by repeating the different colors and animals that you came across in the story. Point to each animal or color and repeat the name slowly so that your child can mimic you, or tell you the sound the animal makes. Also, for those learning colors, try showing them other things in the room that are the same color as the different little books to make the connection.

Activity: The Color Hunt


Make practicing colors with your child fun by using this clever Color Hunt. [Source: ToddlerActivities]

Start by creating different colored cards with the name of that color on each card. Then, gather objects that match each color and place them around the room. These objects can be anything from a lego to crayon, or something small that your child can transfer easily. Then, ask your child to find each object and place it with its corresponding color. To make the activity more challenging for older children, try putting out colors like orange, purple, and green, and only lay out primary color cards.  Then, they can place the objects in between when appropriate, to identify which colors must mix in order to make those.

Another fun activity that you can try is to create your own version of the Open This Little Book! The author of this book, Jesse Klausmeier, actually came up with the idea for this story when she was five years old and just trying to squeeze in an extra story at bedtime!   She would insert smaller books into larger ones, and you can do the same to add more stories to your bedtime reading just like Jesse did when she was younger!