This Flannel Friday has been on my back-burner for a long time. It’s one of my all-time favorite picture books.
Then, a few weeks ago, Sarah at Read It Again! posted her awesome flannel board version of Pig’s Picnic by Keiko Kazsa (I love the lion’s mane!), and I immediately dug around my flannel board to-do files to find this buried treasure.
Unfortunately, it is so out of print, the only newish copy available on amazon costs $180. Our ILL system only has 1 copy, and it’s pretty worn. But even setting condition aside, the b&w illustrations and overall design of the book is ridiculously outdated (I’m talking monkey-wearing-bellbottoms outdated). I scanned and printed a copy of the book for our storytime collection. But the one time I used it in storytime, it was a total dud.
Still, I don’t think it’s the story. After all The Pigs’ Picnic by Keiko Kazsa is always a big hit. Now, don’t get me wrong I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, but I have to say, I think it’s quite possible that Kazsa “borrowed” the concept from Frank Asch. And in a side-by-side comparison, I think Monkey Face is the better written of the two books.
First of all, the text is very lean, and not overly expository. It suggests the concept, without spelling it out. The dialogue is just sweet enough, but not sing-songy. Most importantly, the scenario is familiar to all kids and parents. All kids draw pictures of Mommy, and no matter how crazy looking the picture turns out, Mommy loves it.
Anyway, here’s my flannel version (I’ll even provide a template MonkeyFace Template):
One day at school, Monkey drew a picture of his mother.
On the way home, he stopped to show it to his friend, Owl.
“Nice picture,” said Owl, “but you made his eyes too small.”
“How’s that?” asked Monkey.
“Much better,” said Owl.
Monkey continues on his way. As he walks, he runs into more friends. Each one loves the picture, but offers advice on how to make the likeness “better”.
A while back, on the last day of a session, one of my storytime kids gave me huge novelty pencil as a present (I love my job!) It’s been sitting with some other chotchkies on the window sill by my desk. I spotted it as I was putting this flannel board together, and thought this would go really well with this story.
When it’s time to “alter” the drawing, I could turn the board away from the audience, and make like I am drawing in the big eyes, mouth, ears, etc. Then, I’ll turn it back around to show the new picture. So I’m putting it in the bag with the other pieces.
Also, I was thinking of making felt pieces for the each Monkey’s friends. That way, I can ask the kids to predict which trait the new animal will want to enhance. Mary pinned this adorable collection of animals to the “Flannel Board Template” board on the #FF pinterest page. I think I’ll use this for the giraffe, elephant, and lion. And I think I can find some images of rabbits, alligators, and owls that will mix in well with these to complete the set.