When my first two children were younger, we followed the delightful alphabet path of Elizabeth Foss. We had a wonderful time following the story of Michael and Mrs. Applebee. It is time for another young one to travel the alphabet path, but this time we are doing it a bit differently. I knew that the story we had enjoyed a few years earlier would not be enjoyed so much by this little boy, and somewhere along my search for a more boyish version of the alphabet path, I decided to write one especially for him. From the many forums I searched and blogs I read in my quest for a boy’s alphabet story, I saw that there was a definite need for something solid, yet gentle. Something that could be used for any boy or girl who enjoys an adventurous story. So, here is the beginning of the spinning of an alphabet path story. My goal is to give a visual representation of each of the letters of the alphabet. The story will be broken up into at least 8 parts, with 3-4 letters introduced in each section. As I complete them, I will share my book lists, learning ideas, and drawings to go along with the story. This is not meant to be a curriculum to follow specifically, though you are welcome to do so. Instead, I hope that you can use it to inspire your own little learners on their alphabet path. I plan to allow as long as we need to follow the alphabet path. Some weeks we will work through three letters, and at other times, it will take us two weeks to enjoy the letters shared in the story. We will flow with the learning that it taking place. Today, I share part 1 and my booklist for letters A, B, and C. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave me a comment. I love feedback and the sharing of ideas!
Part 1: ABC
Long, long ago, there was a tiny village at the bottom of a mountain. Everyone in the village was kind and generous, as were the king and queen who lived in the castle at the top of the mountain. Sadly, the king and queen’s daughter had fallen ill. So, the king called for the royal doctor and for the priest to come to the castle. Together, they all sat around the young girl’s bed discussing what should be done. The doctor examined her and the priest led them all in a prayer for the little girl to be made well. Long in to the night, they sat there. Finally, the royal doctor looked at the king and queen and said,
“Our only hope is to go to the keeper of healing. He alone will be able to give us just the right remedy, but who will go?”
The royal doctor, the priest and the king and queen sat silently, looking at each other, not knowing what to do. After some time, the king said,
“It is a long journey. We need someone who is strong and brave and kind-hearted. I will send my most trusted squire into the village to find someone who can help us.”
The king called for his squire and gave him careful instructions to find someone who was strong and brave and also kind-hearted. The king knew that without a kind heart, the journey would be impossible to complete.
Immediately, the squire left for the village. As he walked along the wooded path from the castle to the village, he came upon a bear. The bear stood up tall on his hind legs and roared at the squire. Suddenly, out of nowhere came a young boy with a basket full of berries. Quietly he began to sing to the bear and offered up his basket of berries. Slowly, the bear sat down, and taking a handful of berries, filled his mouth so that the juice dribbled onto his fur.
The squire looked at the boy. He knew at once that he had found the one the king was looking for. This boy was strong, brave and kind-hearted.
“What is your name, young boy?” asked the squire.
“Russell Henry,” said the boy.
“And why did you give the bear those berries? Most people would have tried to scare him away or hurt him,” said the squire.
“I could tell he didn’t want to hurt you,” said Russell. “He was just looking for berries like I was.”
Russell’s answer reassured the squire that he had made the right choice.
“Russell,” he said. “The king is in need of your help. Will you please come to the castle with me?”
“Yes, I will. I would be happy to help the king in any way that I can.”
So Russell and the squire made the journey back up the mountain path to the castle. Once they were inside, they went to the king at once. The king and queen were seated on their thrones praying that their daughter would be healed.
When they saw the squire and Russell standing before them, their faces lit up with hope.
“Is this the one who will bring us the remedy for our daughter’s healing?” asked the queen.
“Yes,” said the squire.
“Is he brave and strong and kind-hearted?” asked the king.
“Yes,” said the squire, and he went on to tell the king and queen the story of the bear in the woods.
“If what you say is true,” said the king. “Then he is indeed the one for the task.”
Then the king turned to Russell.
“My boy, if you agree, then you will have a long journey to take. You will travel far and along the way you will meet many challenges. Your first job will be to find 5 golden keys. Keep these keys safe until you find the silver gate marked with a silver X. Behind that gate sits 5 boxes. Use your 5 keys to unlock those boxes. In each one you will find a special treasure that will help to heal my daughter, the princess. Bring these back with the 5 golden keys as quickly as you can. We will anxiously await your return.”
“I will do just as you have said,” replied Russell.
And so, the king handed him a beautifully embroidered pouch in which to gather the keys and the treasures.
“It is late and the sun is setting,” said the king. “You will rest here tonight, and in the morning you will depart.”
Russell and the squire bowed before the king, and the squire led the boy to his room for the night. A maidservant brought Russell a tray of delicious foods and a parcel filled with food for his journey. After eating his fill, Russell settled into his bed. So much had happened that day that Russell fell asleep quickly.
As the moon rose higher in the sky, an angel came to Russell in his dreams.
“Russell,” spoke the angel. “I am your guardian. An angel whose wings will always protect you. I will be with you throughout your journey just as I have been by your side since you were a little baby. Whenever you need me, sing out, “Angel, Angel, spread your wings right here. Angel, Angel send away my fear.” And so you remember that I am with you, I will leave you a golden key.”
And then the angel became quiet. The moon made its way through the sky and soon Russell was awakened by the sound of a cat purring loudly as it curled up on his pillow. And there next to the cat was a golden key with the letter A on it. Russell could tell that it was a special key, but he didn’t know yet just how special it was. He carefully placed it in his pouch remembering the angel from his dream. Gathering the parcel of food, he set out on his journey.
The Beginning of the Booklist…..This booklist is small, on purpose. I believe in sharing a few good books and enjoying them thoroughly, rather than rushing through a long list in an attempt to “fit it all in.” I will be back later with a list of the Alphabet books we will enjoy throughout our journey along the alphabet path.
A-Angels & Apples
How the Apple Blossom Came Back-Outdoor Secrets
Brother Bartholomew and the Apple Grove-Jan Cheripko
How Do Apples Grow-Betsy Maestro
Johnny Appleseed-Reeve Lindbergh
Angels, Angels Everywhere-Tomie dePaola
B-Bear & Berries
Blueberries for Sal-Robert McCloskey
Peter in Blueberry Land-Elsa Beskow
Christopher’s Harvest Time-Elsa Beskow
Little Red Cap-Grimm’s
The Cat in the Hat-Dr. Seuss