Author: Alma Flor Ada

24 to 35 Months Storybooks

This simple book about a little boy and his unusual pet will keep your child engaged with colorful pictures and a surprise ending. The story is bilingual, so it provides rich vocabulary-building opportunities.

Before, During and After Reading

Phonological Awareness

You might begin with a familiar song. As you show your child the animals on the front cover of the book, sing a verse or two of Old McDonald. Remember to be expressive and have fun!

You might say:

Come look at this book, Sara. What do you see in this picture? 

Yes a cow!  What does a cow say?  Moo, moo. We can sing a song about the cow!  Sing with me! 

 Old McDonald had a farm, E, I, E, I, O.  And on his farm he had a cow, E, I, E, I, O.

With a moo, moo, here.  And a moo, moo, there. 

Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo, moo!

Old Mc Donald had a farm, E, I, E, I, O!


Oral Language

Does your child have a pet? Talk about your family pet or a friend’s pet. Ask questions and listen carefully to what she has to tell you. If she answers with a one- or two-word response, repeat what she has said, adding words to model answering in a complete sentence. After your discussion about pets and a review of the picture on the front cover, invite her to tell you what she thinks the book might be about.    


Oral Language

Gather some farm animal toys or farm animal picture cards similar to the animals in the book. As you read, encourage her to touch the picture of the farm animal you name. Have her find the toy or picture card that matches each one in the book. Engage in a short conversation about each animal. Be sure to ask questions that allow her to express her thoughts and feelings.    

Letter Knowledge

Gather some plastic eggs and magnetic letters that spell your child’s name. Insert one magnetic letter in a plastic egg; repeat for each letter in her name. Place the eggs in a basket, bowl or an egg carton. Explain that you are going to play a game. Say a little chant to encourage her to choose an egg. Open the plastic egg to see the letter inside and have her place the letter on the refrigerator. When she has opened all the eggs, put the letters together to spell her name. Say the letter sound and the letter name and encourage her to say it with you.

You might say:

 Look, can you tell me what these are? Yes, eggs. We saw eggs in the story. I wonder what is inside of these eggs?   

Chicky, chicky, chick, chick! Which little egg  will __Sara__ pick?  Open the egg and see what’s inside. Look it’s the letter _A_! Can you say /a/ /a/ A. Put the letter A on the refrigerator and let’s try another egg!   

Chicky, chicky, chick, chick!  Which little egg, will __Sara__ pick?   You found the _S_.  /s / /s / S.  Say it with me, /s/ /s/ S.  Your name begins with the letter S. Can you put the /s/ /s/ S on the refrigerator?

Chicky, chicky, chick, chick, chick!  Which little egg will __Sara__ pick?

Continue until all the eggs are open, and arrange the letters on the refrigerator to spell her name.


Use the theme or characters of this story to adapt and enjoy the at-home activity Golf Ball Painting: substitute the plastic eggs with the golf balls. 

Explore more recommended children's books for two-year-olds, or find another at-home activity to help build important pre-reading skills