The Big Ball of String” by Ross Mueller, illustrated by Craig Smith (of Wonkey Donkey fame).
This book had some icons of years past in it like the “milk bar” and “post box”. Remember those? I told the children about how you used to be able to get an ice cold milk shake in a big metal cup at the milk bar. There aren’t any post boxes in Kingswood Park.
The boy in the story isn’t allowed to play ball in the house so he finds a big ball of string to kick around instead. Such a measured and joyful story. I especially liked the imagery of the magpies warbling at the park.
When we read The Big Ball of String the following week, the children were able to chime in with “And he kicked it, and he kicked it, and he kick, kick, kicked it”. Before I even started the story the children were keen to tell me what they remembered from the week before.
As promised, I brought in some string, and the children taught us the many ways they can be amused by string. We had wool at playgroup but no string, and string has a different texture. The children made balls of string, and nests, but there was no string art.