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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Cropsey

Breadcrumbs Best Book: Love, I Love You All the Time! By Emma Dodd

(2016) Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

For some months now, I’ve been enjoying piloting a “Breadcrumbs Basics” curriculum for the very young—children between the ages of 2-4.  I never fail to delight in the lessons these little lights have to offer… Just last week I was reminded of what Maria Montessori observed and wrote of so eloquently:  “The child is a well-spring of love.  Whenever we touch the child, we touch love.” (Montessori, Maria (1995).The Absorbent Mind, Henry Holt & Company, New York, NY,  p. 289.)

In honor of Valentine’s Day I had selected Emma Dodd’s dawn to dusk tribute to the unconditional love and companionship shared by a pair of bunnies.  This book highlights the simple love-connections experienced throughout the day in the company of our loved ones.  As we enjoyed each page the children were quick to recall those treasured bonds with mommy, daddy, grandma… On the very last page of the book, where the two nestled-down to rest, I had taped a surprise cut-out valentine, right between the bunnies’ noses, as a symbol of their “love-connection.” My goal was to highlight the, almost palpable, loving energy that unites the two bunnies on each page.

After a brief discussion, I flipped to another page of the book and invited one of the children to come forward and tape a heart where he perceived the “love-connection” to be.  I fully expected that he would place it, as I had, right between their noses. But NO! He placed the heart on the tip of the big bunny’s ear!?! This led to an extraordinary discussion about the soothing sound of a loved ones voice, lullabies, kind words, and how grateful we are for our ears, and the ability to hear and communicate with those we love! To my delight, the next child placed the heart right on the big bunny’s eye. Here again, we focused on the gift of eyesight, the feeling of delight and relief we feel upon reconnecting with a loved one after a period of separation… and that special sparkle in our eyes, that may just be the window to our hearts! Naturally, an exchange about noses and the smells we associate with those we love ensued. A simple story and discussion turned into a surprise, sense-around, gratitude, love-connection-fest! Thanks to the children, I realized we had tapped into the well-spring!  We had touched love.


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