Written by: Russell Hoban • Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
As you prepare to read about Rosie and her Magic Horse, discuss what your child predicts the story will be about based on what s/he sees in the illustrations. Here are several tips and questions to help you begin your conversation:
What do you see on the cover?
Flip to the Illustration of the Pirates.
What do you see here? Do you like pirates? Why or why not?
Why do you think Rosie and her horse are going to find the pirates?
Where do you think they are going?
Why do you think the horse is magic?
As You Read
The ice-pop sticks have thoughts and feelings, just like any other character in the story. Allow your child to stop and distinguish the feelings of the sticks, either from the text or their expressions in the illustrations.
For example, when the ice-pop stick is tossed to the ground, ask your child, “How do you think the stick feels? How can you tell it feels that way?” When it is united with the other sticks in Rosie’s box, ask, “How do you think it feels now? Why?” You can also inquire about the sticks’ wishes by asking, “Why do you think the sticks wanted to become horses? What else could they have wanted to become?”
This story is all about dreams coming true: Rosie wishes to find a treasure to help her parents pay their bills and the sticks wish to find purpose again by becoming horses and one night when Rosie falls asleep, it all comes true.
Ask your child about his/her own dreams with questions like, “Has something you’ve dreamt about happened in real life? If so, what was it? Do you have a dream that you wish would come true? If you could be anything other than a little boy/girl, what would it be? Why would you want to be that?”
Summarize and Interpret
To ensure comprehension, take some time to discuss the story once you are through. Ask questions like:
Did you like that story? Why or why not?
What was your favorite part?
Why do you think Rosie liked to collect ice-pop sticks?
- How did Rosie and her horse get the treasure?
Activity: Create a Popsicle Stick Horse
Inspired by: Parents Magazine
Supplies: empty toilet paper roll, a plain Dixie cup, brown felt, glue and a black marker
Create a popsicle stick horse and have one your child's favorite dolls or figurines go on a wild adventure just like Rosie and her Magic Horse.
- Cut two slits about an inch apart into the roll on opposite sides. Begin gluing popsicle sticks to the outside of the toilet paper roll but be sure not to glue over the slits you have cut.
- Now get your brown felt and cut a strip out that can line the diameter of the edge of the roll. Cut slits on one side and then glue it the to inside of the roll. Set the body aside to dry.
- Create the head by drawing two eyes with a marker. Then cut off the tips of a popsicle stick and glue them just above the eyes to make the ears.
- Repeat what you did before with the brown felt and glue the strip of brown felt to the inside of the Dixie cup, creating the lining that will be the horse's mane.
- Once the body and head have dried, glue the head onto the top of the body and slip four popsicle sticks into the slits to make the legs.
- Now it's time for your child's favorite doll or figurine to hitch a ride and fly away!