Stories In Art. This time we investigated "found objects" and Jim Dine. Unlike every other time we have attended the program, this time Froggy was in the group that visited the sculpture before reading the story. I don't know if that is what made the difference or it was Acorn's presence keeping me from sitting up front with Froggy, or just a bad day but she was not interested in participating in the discussion about the sculpture. The Gate, Goodbye Vermont. Personally I thought it was pretty neat and could see the gates closing behind Mr. Dine as he left Vermont and moved to Connecticut.
Froggy became entranced with the program when we moved into story time. The docent was a sweet kind young lady who seemed unable to read more than two sentences without making significant commentary. And yet the fascination of the story captured Froggy and many others. She did lose some of the children with her interruptions and a few even left the program.
The story is about an old man who lives in a garbage heap and all alone except for his books and his dreams. He spends his daytime hours trying to clean up all of the garbage and his nighttime hours dreaming about tropical forests. One day, he gets the idea to create a forest from the junk with which he is surrounded. He builds trees and flowers, birds and frogs, even a striped mechanical kitty to keep him company. Then something magical happens--a real forest begins to grow. The illustrations make the story come to life. In the beginning, only the man, his books and his fire are in color. Gradually the forest unfolds in amazing color and detail. We missed a great deal of the detail during the reading at the program. Luckily our library had a copy and Froggy likes to hear stories many times. We enjoyed going back and pointing out details, like the mechanical cat winking.
The last part of the program was to make a forest of your own. Froggy was thrilled with the idea but had trouble with the implementation. Her imagination took hold and I think she saw a forest ready to grow on the ground provided, a piece of floral foam. However her little hands had real trouble giving branches and leaves and flowers to her forest with the pipe cleaners provided.