Tag Archives: Dream Activities

Some Figgy Pudding

This time of year brings some wonderful books to the foreground – How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Snowy Day, and especially (and rightfully so) The Polar Express.  But I thought that I would take this Perfect Picture Book Friday to highlight one of Chris Van Allsburg’s less recognized but equally delightful books, The Sweetest Fig.

Title: The Sweetest Fig

Author/Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg

Suitable for Ages: 6-10

Themes: Dreams, Magic, and Karma

Opening and Synopsis:  “Monsieur Bibot, the dentist, was a very fussy man.  He kept his small apartment as neat and clean as his office.  If his dog, Marcel, jumped on the furniture, Bibot was sure to teach him a lesson.”  When a patient pays the miserly dentist in magic figs that will make his dreams come true, Bibot practices controlling his dreams in order to achieve a life of wealth and grandeur.  However, before he finishes the figs, his mistreated dog interrupts his plans.

Why I like it: Even as a relatively well-behaved child, or perhaps especially as a well-behaved child, I was drawn to books with despicable villains.  Not only is Bibot a well-developed, utterly detestable curmudgeon, but he gets what is coming to him in a way that is humorous, clever and magical.  The lovable, neglected dog triumphs to make the ending deliciously satisfying.

Related Activities: The Sweetest Fig is a perfect introduction to dreams.  Dreams are as fascinating to kids as they are to adults, and there is a wide range of activities revolving around them.

-Write the story of a dream or start a dream journal

-Discuss common dream interpretations and come up with your own

-Illustrate a dream, or create an illustration in abstract dreamlike style

-Create a dream that you would want to come true if you were given magic figs

-Make dream catchers

-Here is a link with more dream activities: http://dreamtalk.hypermart.net/abstracts2006/ridberg.htm

You can find more book recommendations from all kinds of bloggers and readers and add your own at http://susannahill.blogspot.com/.  Thanks, Susanna, for the chance to share one of my favorites!

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