I was so sad to hear that Anna Dewdney, author of the Llama, Llama series of books for preschoolers and young children, died earlier this month at age 50 from brain cancer.
Her stories have taught so many children about patience, kindness and the power of a mother’s love, and she was a real advocate for the importance of reading to children. She wrote in an amazing piece in the Wall Street Journal that reading to children teaches them to be better people:
When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read or instilling in her a love of language. We are doing something that I believe is just as powerful, and it is something that we are losing as a culture: by reading with a child, we are teaching that child to be human. When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I will go further and say that that child then learns to feel the world more deeply, becoming more aware of himself and others in a way that he simply cannot experience except in our laps, or in our classrooms, or in our reading circles.
This idea was so important to her, in fact, that she asked people to read to children in her memory when she died.
Llama Llama Activities
Through the years the Llama Llama books have inspired lots of people to read to their kids, to talk to them about the importance of empathy and kindness, and to create activities inspired by the books. I think it would be lovely to honor her by doing a few Llama Llama activities with your kids if they’re the right age for it.
I’m thinking about combining a bunch of these into a Llama pajama party day (there’s actually one for a group of kids linked below).
First, check out the teacher’s page at the Llama Llama website, where you’ll find downloadable curriculum connections for the books, a deskplate with space for the child’s name, printable posters and other activities.
Many of these came from the Virtual Book Club for kids, which covered Llama, Llama Red Pajama last year. Definitely check it out if you like activities related to kids’ books (you can find them on Facebook, too).
The Llama Llama Unit Study at the Curriculum Corner is another great resource, with rhyming cards, worksheets for retelling the story and talking about feelings and more.
Llama Llama Hidden Numbers/Counting Game — Preschool Powol Packets
Letter Matching Quilt — Mom Inspired Life
Quilt Color Matching — I Can Teach My Child
Red Pajama Lacing Cards — 3 Dinosaurs
Llama Llama Proprioception Activities — Sugar Aunts
Pajama Color Words and Matching Game — Inspiration Laboratories
“Pajama Party” Activities — Toddler Approved Have you ever done any Llama Llama activities with your kids? I’d love to hear about them.