Emma Chichester Clark
Lily loves Blue Kangaroo but when she’s given new toy animals for her birthday, he feels neglected and forgotten. When Kangaroo finds a new friend in Lily’s baby brother, Lily realises just how much Blue Kangaroo means to her. I love you Blue Kangaroo! is a story of a child and her favourite toy which makes connections to all kinds of childhood relationships, (with parents, siblings and friends) as Lily experiences feelings of affection, jealousy and sibling rivalry.
Share the story
Before beginning the story, talk together about the title and the cover. Is there anything unusual about a blue kangaroo? Read the story aloud, stopping to talk about the pictures, what’s happening in the story and how Blue kangaroo might be feeling.
There’s lots of repetition in the story as Lily repeats descriptions of her presents.
As you re read the story together, encourage children to join in with the repeated phrases and follow the words on the page.
Talk about the story
The book offers many opportunities for children to think and talk about their own favourite toys and how they feel about them. There’s also an opportunity to talk about presents, why we give them and the presents you can’t buy. What do children think of the ending?
Tell the story
Using the pictures in the book, children can turn the pages, telling the story in their own words, perhaps using a stick puppet, see below.
Watch the story read aloud
We loved this book, Orla (aged 3) has a special pink bunny who is her 'favourite toy' and so this book particularly struck a chord with her because she spends a good ten minutes searching for pink bunny every evening so she can go to bed! Orla loved making a poster of her pink bunny and the book really helped her with describing her favourite toys. She said her pink bunny was 'soft and cuddly' and her ballerina toy has 'shiny shoes and a sparkly tutu'.
Things to make and do
Make a book
Children can make a zigzag book with drawings of their favourites toys and describe them like Lily does ‘Wiggly Green Crocodile’. Children might have a go at writing themselves or you might help them by writing down what they say and reading it back to them.
Take a photo, make a poster
Take a photo of your child with their favourite toy. Stick it on paper. Children can describe it and write who gave it to them, where they keep it, what they like doing together and what is special about the toy.
Make a stick puppet
Children can make a simple stick puppet using a kangaroo template to retell the story from Blue Kangaroo’s point of view.
Play the ‘It was my birthday’ game
Parent: It was my birthday, my aunt gave me a blue kangaroo…
Child: It was my birthday, my aunt gave me a blue kangaroo and my uncle gave me a yellow rabbit….
Sing a counting song
Lily ends up with lots of toys in her bed. How many altogether? Sing the song Ten in a Bed together. See here for an animated version.