Books can be magically. Through their words and images they can help take us to places far and near, real and imaginary. When sharing a book with a child one has to be open to going someplace totally unplanned. Our ability to read the words may color our expectation of the story that differs from what a child takes away from the illustrations. But for me, that is part of the magic – journeying together in related world.

About a week ago I shared “If I Had a Horse” by Jonathan London in a preschool SPARKS at HPL event. Here is how I shared the story:

While going through the pages it was amazing to hear the children calling out the different places they thought they were visiting. There is nothing in the experience of a high plains toddler that can help you properly explain a mangrove. They loved the volcano. (Someone needs to create an easy to sing prek volcano song. If you know of one, please share it.) Storms and night were things to which they could relate. I was very impressed one of the children called out “Mexico” for the carnival page.

After we read the book we sang, danced and played instruments related to places the horse had been in the story. We also pretended to be horses and galloped around the room. It was a lot of fun (and great exercise) for me, the children, and the parents.

What other ideas do you have for sharing this book? Please place them in the comments below to further enrich the experience for others.

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