To Market! To Market!

Written By: Anushka Ravishankar

Illustrated By: Emanuele Scanziani

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Look over the colorful cover and illustrations before you begin your read-through. Use these questions to get your child to making predictions about the story. If your child is not yet verbal, answer these questions for him/her. This demonstrates great reading habits and exposes your child to language and vocabulary:

What do you see on the cover?

Who is the little girl going to the market with?

{Flip to a certain page} What do you think is happening in this picture?

What can people buy at a market? When we go to the market or the grocery store, what do we buy? What do you think the little girl will buy?

As You Read

The little girl has many things on which she might spend her money on at the market. Ask your child to help you find some of those things in the illustrations as you read. For example, when the girl says, “I don’t know what to get: a cheap and tiny pet? A mouse? A fish? A pigeon? Or a cat?” ask your child to help you find the cat or the fish in the illustration by pointing to it. If your child is on the younger side, point each element out as you read about it. Occasionally repeat the label for each to be sure that your child can associate the word to the label.

Vocabulary Building

Assist with vocabulary acquisition by encouraging your child to pause the reading when s/he comes across a word that is unfamiliar. Help him/her pull out new words by asking, “Do you know what a _____  is?” Allow him/her to discover the meaning of the word using the other words and illustrations surrounding it. Examples of new words in To Market! To Market! include:



Making Connections

Make the story more engaging by promoting participation from your child. This will help him/her connect with the story as you read. For example, as the little girl explores the market, she comes across several mirrors and begins making funny faces. Ask, “Can you make funny faces like the little girl? I like to make this face. Can you make this face too?” This is sure to get some giggles out of your little one and make the reading more fun.  Again, for younger children, you can just make the faces to your little one and see how s/he reacts. 

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

To gauge your child’s comprehension of the story, ask questions like:

Did you like that story? Why or why not?

What was the little girl going to do with the money her mother gave her?  

What did she do at the market?

Did she spend the money? Why not?

The little girl made full use of her imagination as she explored the market, so much so that she completely forgot to spend the money her mother gave her! For older children, ask “How did the girl use her imagination to have fun at the market? Do you use your imagination when you play? How?

Activity: Paper Bag City

Adapted from Kids Activities Blog

Supplies: Brown paper bags, paint, paintbrush, markers, small dolls, cars and other toys.

This great activity will let your child explore his/her imagination just like the little girl in the story! Dolls and toys can be used to navigate his/her own little town, and can perform an endless number of activities like going to school, going to the doctor, etc. This is also a fun exercise in role playing.

  1. Let your child decide what buildings s/he wants to have in the town (or, to keep in line with the story, a market!) and begin painting each bag to look like those buildings. On one side of the bag, paint the facade of the building and on the other, paint the inside of the building. For example, a bag used for your house would have the house’s facade on the front and then different rooms on the back.
  2. Let your child’s imagination take it from there! S/he can use dolls, trucks and cars, and other toys to create different scenarios and bring the town to life!

For younger children, you can build the city yourself and have your child interact with it afterward. S/he can rearrange the city or drive a car through the pretend streets.