Sunday 28 June 2015

Two Speckled Eggs

A friendship story.....
Written & illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann
Walker Books Ltd 2014
Reviewed copy-library book


AT GINGER'S PARTY, her classmates spoil all the games and hardly even touch the silver-and-gold birthday cake.Poor Ginger! But then the best present of all comes from a quite unexpected direction.....

The story:

Ginger has BIG plans for her birthday- a silver-and-gold birthday cake, party games and invitations for ALL the girls in her class...except Lyla Browning. ...

'Lyla Browning was weird:she smelled like old leaves, she didn't talk much, and she even brought a tarantula in a pickle jar for Show-and-Tell. But Ginger's mum said she had to invite all the girls in her class- or none of them.'

The party day arrives- but, oh fiddlesticks, things just don't go to plan! Lyla arrives WAY to early, no-one eats the fab cake and everyone ignores Ginger when she tries to make the rules during the party games!  

This book has bright, colourful illustrations and a heartwarming message about accepting difference and finding friendship in unexpected places.

More from Missus B:

This is a nice read to help develop discussion about friendship & social behaviour.
Lyla doesn't seem to be part of a social circle. As Ginger and her buddies group together, we see Lyla in the background, chasing down insects with her magnifying glass. When Lyla presents her 'curly hair tarantula' at Show-and-Tell, the children recoil in collective disgust. 

The independent Lyla doesn't care though, she appears un-phased by the groaning and teasing from her class mates (or, maybe it bothers her but she doesn't show it?) 

During Ginger's party, we see Lyla in the background busily watching a ladybug. Is Lyla simply not bothered with the party games? Is she happy playing by herself? Is she lonely? Does she feel left out? Is she shy?

Poor Lyla,no-one wants to know about the 'curly-hair tarantula' she brought for Show-and-Tell   :(
Lyla seems to be on the edge- when the girls compliment each other about their dresses and hairbands, the brown-clad Lyla doesn't participate in the niceties, but stays in the background, playing with her magnifying glass
'You're finally here!' says Ginger with excitement when her friends arrive. Lyla was there first-but it seems she doesn't count as much
There are lots of feelings represented in the book-mainly from  Ginger. We see her disappointed, glum, face when her Mum rightly says EVERYONE must come to the party-including Lyla. While she is giddy and excited early in the day, later she's frustrated and angry when her friends dont play as she'd like. 

In sharing this story, there's plenty to discuss about the interactions and feelings in the group setting. Children can reflect on peer relationships and consider points of view. How does it feel when your birthday party doesn't go the way you'd like it?!

"You're spoiling all the games!" yelled Ginger.

But the girls had already started the three-legged-race.

Of course, there's also Lyla. Mainly playing by herself, how might she feel during the party activities?  When she spots Ginger feeling grumpy, she reaches out to her with the little ladybug she's found.

And a new friendship begins...

By the end of the story, Ginger has learns that, 'weird'  might actually be quirky, interesting and fun. 

I love this story and it's sweet message about friendship- it offers a great opportunity to reflect on and discuss friendships and all its complexities. 


Happy Reading,

  Missus B

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