From the monthly archives:

June 2010

Petite Rouge Riding Hood

by Vicky on June 13, 2010

Petite Rouge, by Mike Artell and illustrated by Jim Harris, was last week’s featured book.  A rhymed Cajun retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, it fit right in with our recent series of Cajun stories.  Petite Rouge Riding Hood, along with her heroic cat TeJean, vanquish old Claude the ‘gator with the help of some redhot pepper sauce.

Mr. Matt taught everyone the 3/4 waltz rhythm by having them stomp one foot on the first beat and clap their thighs on beats 2 and 3.  Then he had them stomp with alternate feet, before introducing the waltz steps.  I wish I had gotten a photo of one mother and daughter waltzing together!  I’ll want to revisit the waltz in future story-times.  All the kids danced up a storm while clapping along to the beat.

I elected to read the book this time instead of performing it as a puppet show because of its rhymed Cajun lingo.  I used my little red-haired doll and my alligator puppet and a cat finger puppet to accent the story, but it wasn’t up to my usual standard of performance.   I had been feeling like the whole thing fell flat, but then Eli latched onto the book afterwards and examined the illustrations minutely and pointed out many details that I had overlooked.  I figured that he wouldn’t want to check it out, after having spent so much time looking at it in the library, but to my great surprise he took it home with him.

For our craft, we made finger puppets of Petite Rouge Riding Hood, TeJean the cat, and old Claude the ‘gator.  I dyed the clothespins green like Easter eggs with green food coloring, hot water, and vinegar.  That worked pretty well!  The clothespin alligator was the most successful craft for the kids.  The cotton ball finger puppets would work better with older kids.  In any case, I recommend making finger puppets with a single cotton ball, instead of two cotton balls.  The kids had better success with the cat finger puppet, but trying to glue two cotton balls together was too messy and the puppets were a bit floppy and top-heavy.  Not my most successful preschool craft!  But the kids seemed to enjoy it anyway and had a jolly time menacing Petite Rouge with their clothespin gators!