As the dog days of summer approach, we’re going to try a fun new project here at the Youth Services Bulletin: from time to time, we’ll feature one of our favorite stories, along with some fun activities to go along with the themes of the book.
Eventually, we hope to cover picture books, Easy Readers, and J fiction and non-fiction for different reading levels. Today, we will start with a great picture book: Jamberry!
Book: Jamberry, by Bruce Degen
Jamberry (E DEG), tells a fun story about a little boy and a bear who are, as the text says, "looking for berries, berries for jam." Beautiful illustrations accompany the whimsical rhyming text as Boy and Bear search for blueberries, blackberries, and more, all while having adventures along the way.
The story includes waterfalls, strawberry ponies, jam-skating elephants, and much more! It makes a good, short read-aloud for everyone from infants to Kindergarteners.
Activities: One of the best ways to enjoy a good book like Jamberry is to read it together! The more animated the reader’s voice, the more exciting the rhythmic verses become for little ones. You might also read it in a silly voice, too. WARNING: Extreme giggles and general hilarity may result from reading in silly voices. You have been warned.
(serves 4; can easily be doubled or even tripled.)
One great recipe to go along with the story is this one for Berry Parfaits! These are super easy to make, and even the smallest hands can help make them. They are a delicious treat for snack or dessert.
2 c. of your favorite vanilla- or berry-flavored yogurt
2 pints each of the yummiest berries you can find (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all good choices)
1 c. of your favorite granola or crushed graham crackers
4 glasses or bowls
Directions: Take turns layering berries, yogurt, and granola or graham crackers in the glasses or bowls. Your only limit is what the container will hold! Variation: grown-ups might like to add a few mint leaves for a pretty garnish.
Jam, Jam, Berry Game (Like Duck, Duck, Goose)
Everyone sits in a circle, and one person is declared It. It goes around the circle tapping each person on the head while saying "jam, jam, jam…" and finally picking someone to be the Berry. The Berry gets up and chases It around the circle, trying to tag him or her. It, in turn, tries to go all the way around the circle to the Berry's old spot. If It makes it, the Berry becomes the new It. If the original It is tagged before reaching the Berry's spot, he or she has to go sit in the "Jam Pot" in the middle of the circle, until someone else is tagged. The Berry then becomes the new It, and the next round starts.
There you have it: a great book and some fun, berry-themed activities for a rainy day! If you ever need more suggestions, the librarians are always happy to help! Have a great summer, and don't forget to drink plenty of water.