Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cherryblossom and the Golden Bear retold by Pamela Freeman

We have been reading fairy tales to our younger students over the last term. This began with the Princess and the Pea then Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince and Cinderella. Two interesting things occurred during these sessions. When I asked the children who had heard each of these stories before there were a small group of children aged 6 in each class who had never heard these fairly tales – this makes me quite sad. My happiness was restored, however, as I retold and then read each of these famous tales. These young children just sat spellbound. Each week the children and I enjoyed that magical moment when everyone is so caught up in a story you can hardly hear any breathing.

Moving on from the fairy tales I have begun reading folk tales and fantasy stories to Year 3 students. I started with a few favourites from our library collection. Last term we all enjoyed The Moon’s Revenge by Joan Aitken, The Minstrel and the dragon pup by Rosemary Sutcliff and the Quiltmakers gift by Jeff Brumbeau and so next term we will read Cherryblossom and the Golden Bear. Just like the best fairy tales, this lovely story has the usual elements of magic and promises and trust. Cherryblossom makes a cloak of nettles and a dress of cherry blossoms. It is this unselfish act that sets the Golden Bear free revealing a golden haired prince in his place.

Pamela Freeman explains the origins of this story on her web site.

1 comment:

Pamela Freeman said...

I'm so glad you like Cherryblossom. I was very lucky to have Beth Norling as the illustrator - and she won an IBBY award for the illustrations. I'm happy to reply to emails from the kids if they have any questions about the story.