One of the best parts of my job as a nursery teacher is that I get to enjoy reading children's books, of course I have my favourites and it's always good when the class enjoy them too! And sometimes the books we have read become a big part of play, the old classics like The 3 little Pigs etc. are always going to be incorporated into play but I love it when a more obscure book catches their imaginations and becomes part of their real life too!
This week we read 'Snip Snap' by Maria Bergman & Nick Maland, this is one of those books with a repeated refrain that the children can join in with and the illustrations are fabulous too. I have been reading it for many years and I can honestly say this is the first time any class has used it later for a role play scenario.
This year I have a class who are very detail driven, they notice the smallest things in lots of illustrations and this book was no exception. The alligator comes up onto the street through an open manhole cover and some of the children really honed in on this detail. "From under the street?" they asked me, "under where we walk?" asked another, "it's just a book isn't it, it's not real though?" asked another. This last question was probably prompted by the fact that I have reassured them before reading any books about witches or monsters or trolls by reminding them it is book and not real life.
So, lo and behold, two days after we read the book, I brought out the chalks and showed the children that they could draw anywhere on the ground or tyres around the playground, one child was chalking on the ground and discovered a manhole cover. He quickly drew a pattern on the cover and said "That's to keep the alligator from getting up". Others gathered round and a whole discussion began on whether there was an actual alligator down there under the playground. They concluded, that whilst there might well be one (or several) down there, that our manhole cover was fixed so tightly in place that no alligator was ever going to come up through it!