The Apple Doll, “Oh, Sweet Susanna”

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Recently my daughter started climbing trees and even naming them. I can’t imagine childhood without a tree to climb. We love this book because the main character captures something special from her tree to keep forever. . . something YOU can make with your kids too.

Introducing Our Featured Friend: The Apple Doll
by Elisa Kleven

“The day Lizzy started school, she picked her favorite apple of all . . . She told the apple a secret. ‘I’m scared to start school,’ she whispered. ‘What if I don’t make any friends?’
‘I’ll be your friend,’ Lizzy pretended the apple whispered back.”

Lizzy gave her apple a twig body, named her Susanna, and took her school. Susanna helped Lizzy get through the first day of school, but after some of her classmates poked fun of Susanna’s twiggy body and apple-seed-brains, she decided to only play with Susanna at home.

While the family was busy canning apples for winter and peeling apples for pies, Lizzy was wishing she could keep Susanna forever. Mama remembered that her grandma made a dried-apple doll, and she began to make one with Lizzy. Lizzy and Mama peeled Susanna, soaked her in lemon juice and then let her dry out for a week. Susanna’s face got smaller each day, but she stayed fresh. At the end of the week, Lizzy gave Susanna “cotton hair, blue bead eyes, a lacy shawl, and a bendable new pipe cleaner body” . . . just in time to take her for sharing day at school.

“So Susanna returned to school. ‘This is my apple doll,’ said Lizzy . . .
‘Your doll is very intriguing, Lizzy,’ said Miss Maxwell. ‘How would you like to teach us all how to make apple people for our art project tomorrow?’  . . .

The next morning, an apple sat on every desk. Apple people soon danced through the classroom.”

And during every season, Lizzy and Susanna had each other. . . forever.

Inviting You To Become FRIENDS with Lizzy and Susanna:
A Little Lesson Plan for School, Home, or Story Time

Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share

F- How do you feel on your first day of school or first time to a club meeting?

R- Can you relate to Lizzy when she was nervous about making friends? What helps you feel comfortable when you are meeting new people?

I- Imagine you could make a doll out of any kind of fruit and it wouldn’t rot. What kind of doll would you make? (I’d make a strawberry faced doll with a banana body)

E- Explore how to preserve apples. What is the science behind peeling and drying apples to preserve them?

N- Navigate your way through a local park and find a good, strong tree to climb!

D- Develop your own apple doll by following the directions below AND

S- Share the fun of making an apple doll by doing it with friends:

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Making Our Own Grandpa and Grandma Apple Dolls with Friends . . .

2011.June 021 2011.June 024

Illustrations by Elisa Kleven:

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1 Response to The Apple Doll, “Oh, Sweet Susanna”

  1. Pingback: Exclusive Kidsbook Friends Author Interview: Elisa Kleven | kidsbook friends

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