Red Knit Cap Girl and The Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop is a sweet story for inspiring a love of reading and libraries. It features a little girl and her forest animal friends. The language is measured and compelling. These book extensions are the perfect companions when reading this story to your children or students!
In the beginning of Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree, Squirrel leads them to a huge oak tree with a hollowed out trunk.
Squirrel says. “It’s called a nook.”
“What is it for?” says Bear.
Two pages later, Red Knit Cap Girl has an answer.
“I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it.”
Soon, the other animals follow her lead. Beaver builds bookshelves, and the little collection grows. There’s a small complication with a thieving fox. Owl makes them a sign that says “Library”.
In the end, the Fox returns the stolen book, and Red Knit Cap Girl reads it aloud to the group.
On my first read aloud I found the name “Red Knit Cap Girl” to be an awkward tongue twister. However, my daughter and I both otherwise liked the story. So I read it to her again the next day – and found it rolling off my tongue much more easily the second time around.
Parents Can Talk About
- All the animals, except Sly Fox, are helpers. Discuss how your child is a helper at home.
- Ask your child what books she’d like to share with friends. Consider making it happen!
- Encourage your child to make a pretend library for their stuffed animals.
Teachers Can Talk About
- Explain how your classroom library is like the library in the story.
- Discuss why students should always return books to the classroom library.
- Use the story to jump-start a conversation about taking care of shared books.
Librarians Can Talk About
- Explain who uses your library and how many children share the books.
- Discuss why students should always return books to the library.
- Use the story to begin a discussion about taking good care of library books.
Reading Tree Book Extension Activities
This simple craft can be pre-cut more for younger children, or completely made by older kids. You can make it as shown here, with paper and glue. You also might like to cut these pieces out of felt for an interactive flannel board activity. Or, if you’re a teacher, you can adapt this to a wall display or bulletin board. Have students choose books they want to “share” and write those titles on the spines.
I made the sample shown here with 9”x12” construction paper, and the books ended up being pretty small. If you can, I recommend using 12”x18” paper for the trunk and sky.
- Construction paper – brown, green, plus assorted scraps for book spines, blue for background.
- Brown marker for nook, or you can cut it out of black paper
- Pencil (optional)
- Pen or thin marker
- Cut out each piece as shown.
- If you’re having the kids color in the nook, also cut out a template for them to trace around.
- Write the word “library” to make the sign.
- Assemble and glue collage to background paper.
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree is a winner for teachers, librarians, parents … and especially for children. The book extension activities just give you time to reinforce the message of literacy.
More Read Aloud Ideas
10 Read Alouds for Celebrating Differences (The Kindergarten Connection)