Bella and Stella Come Home

Tips for "Bella and Stella Come Home"

As You Read: 

Talk to your child about how it feels to experience something for the first time. Bella is nervous about the move to her new home because things are different and it doesn't feel like home. Ask your child about a time when s/he felt nervous about something new, like the first day of school, trying a new food, going to a new place, or even your own move to a new home. Discuss why s/he felt the way that they did and make predictions about what will happen to Bella in the story. Ask, "Do you think Bella will get used to her new home? How?"


Extending the Story:

If we are always afraid of change, then we can miss out on some great opportunities and experiences in life. This is a lesson that this book can help teach your child, as Bella and Stella come to find that their new home may not be so bad after all! Encourage your child to try new things, even if it's just trying a new food or talking to a new child on the playground, reminding them that they may end up liking it like Bella and Stella ended up liking their new home. Be sure to tell your child that it's perfectly ok to be nervous, but that it can help to talk about the things that make them nervous so that they can hopefully find ways to resolve those feelings. 

Other Useful Tips

Before You Begin Reading, Preview the Story and Discuss

Take a moment to explore the cover and illustrations and give your child a chance to make observations and predictions before beginning the read-through. Throughout this guide, there are several questions and prompts that you can use as you read, so feel free to spread them out across multiple readings. Use prompts and questions like:

  • What is happening on the cover?

  • What do you think the story will be about based on the title and the cover?

  • {Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?


As You Read, Explore New Vocabulary

Whether you're reading the story or your child is reading it him/herself, take time to stop whenever s/he comes across a new word. Read the word slowly several times as you underline the word with your finger. Then, ask your child what s/he thinks the word might mean. Instruct him/her to use the words and illustrations surrounding it to try and glean the meaning. Work together to discover the word's meaning, and then try to integrate it into your daily conversation to help reinforce these new vocabulary words. 


After Reading, Make Connections

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who were the main characters, and where were the primary settings? What happened and why did those things happen in the story? Ask your child the following questions to further explore his/her understanding of the book:

  • Did you like that story? What was your favorite part? Why?

  • What lesson do you think the main character(s) learned?

  • What does {vocabulary word} mean?

  • {Discuss alternatives to the storyline} What would have happened if...?

  • I wonder why...