Friday, January 16, 2015

If you had your Druthers.....

When I was growing up, I often heard my mom ask, "If you had your druthers, what would you do?"

I guess I'd read this book!

by Matt Phelan
32 pages; ages 5-8
Candlewick Press, 2014

theme: families,  imagination

opening: It was raining. And raining. 
"I'm bored," said Penelope.

That's when Dad asks Penelope the same question my mom always asked. And Penelope responds: What are Druthers? Once she finds out , she decides she'd rather go to the zoo than sit around the boring old living room on a rainy day. Dad helps her out by pretending to be a gorilla. She'd rather be a cowboy, or a pirate captain ... and as they play the toys begin to cover the floor until all of them are spread across every conceivable surface.

What I like about this book: It's fun. It's silly. I love that the dad engages with his kid - that he gets on the floor and plays. This is a wonderful book to read on a rainy day. Or a snow day. But be careful, because kids will discover, like Penelope, that if they had their druthers it would rain/snow/sleet tomorrow.

Beyond the book:
Make a list of all your druthers. Some folks go beyond list-making and compose entire songs, like this one from the musical, Li'l Abner.

"If you had your druthers" is an idiom. Idioms are phrases that have a special meaning beyond what the words themselves mean. For example: a penny for your thoughts. You wouldn't really buy a thought for a penny.... but it's something you might hear people say. Or they might talk about a book being "food for thought" - though they wouldn't really eat the pages. What are some of the idioms you hear in your neighborhood? You can find more idiom examples here and here.

Write your own story that uses an idiom. Or make a cartoon. Or just play around with it and see where it takes you.

Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) over at  Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy provided by publisher.


  1. Oh what fun a rainy day can be AND my library has this title. We may be reading it on a snow day!

  2. What a very creative book and post with all of your examples. I really love your choice and will check it out. Idioms can be such fun and your suggestions are great!

  3. What a fun Dad!! I'd druther be playing with a chewy tennis ball! Inside or out!

  4. This likes a fabulous read - and I LOVE your ideas! Great stuff, Sue! Thanks - off to request this from my library.