|Click here for a Milo knitting pattern|
When asked what she wants for her birthday, Tallulah responds that she wants a "pink, fluffy rabbit." Turns out, a pink, fluffy rabbit wasn't that easy to find, so, try as they may, her parents couldn't come through for her. Grandma steps in to save the day when she decides she could KNIT (are you starting to see why I was drawn to this book?) a pink, fluffy rabbit for Tallulah. But alas, she runs out of pink yarn and has to wing it, so to speak. The result? Milo Armadillo. Tallulah respectfully responds, "That's great," so as not to hurt grandma's feelings, but my students picked up right away that she wasn't feeling grateful at all. Nope. Tallulah wanted a lovable pink, fluffy rabbit, not a makeshift critter. How would things ever work out?
When I read this to a group of 40 first graders, you could have heard a knitting needle drop as they paid attention and predicted, wondered and worried. Not only is this a wonderful friendship treasure, but you can also use it as a springboard for what to do when two character values collide. Was is dishonest for Tallulah to hide her feelings about the rabbit or should Tallulah have told her parents how she's feeling? Let students talk about a time when they weren't feeling grateful for a gift. What was that experience like? What happened?
Milo Armadillo is a tale which unravels so beautifully that you are going to want a copy for your collection. But be warned; it's filled with compassion and caring, acceptance and appreciation, longing and love.