Sep 4, 2015

Flannel Friday: Isadora Aspires (a guest post by Rebecca Pettyjohn)

 (Many thanks, once again, to the amazing Rebecca Pettyjohn, who created this flannel story (original poem and artwork) and was kind enough to name the heroine after my own daughter. Enjoy! -- Carissa)
With the summer reading theme of Every Hero Has a Story, it was a natural progression to have a storytime about community heroes. Besides, stories of doctors, firemen, and astronauts are action packed and crowd pleasers. But here we hit a dilemma. Again, we found ourselves without an interactive story of flannel board to present as a part of our storytime. There was one option that included a series of hats, but the lines were exactly what you would expect and not exactly riveting. There seemed to be a lack of the imagination in what one could do when talking about community heroes, which is a little silly. 

To me, a distinctive part of childhood was remembering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would imagine myself grown up and independent and saving the world one overly dramatic veterinary emergency, law case, or press conference at a time. I would be very important and very good at my job and do worlds of good. I am unsure of where these ideas came from, since most imagery I remember as a little girl involved princesses, but they were definitely there. I wanted to create that story. One of imagination and dramatic effects and a little girl imagining jobs with no concern of her gender. 

So I made Isadora. Isadora has big dramatic dreams, and while her concept of what she may be doing in her job is slightly pie in the sky, her desire to make a difference is not. Her mother is encouraging and inspiring, but realistic. Not in doubting her success, but bringing her goals back down out of the clouds, or out just out of her imagination. She aspires to be a doctor, a firefighter, and an astronaut. A solid collection of community heroes with enough information to let our audience know what they do, but with an imaginary element to keep the poem engaging and silly and invite audience commentary and participation. 

The poem is included here, with pictures, and a scanned version of the felt pieces to make your own pattern. Enjoy Isadora in your own story times about community heroes, monsters, or future jobs! 

Isadora Aspires
by Rebecca Pettyjohn © 2015
My mom says,
and she knows her stuff
I can be whatever I want
when I grow up! 
I think I'll be a doctor
who heals the sick! 
Take care of people
and fix them up quick! 
And then when the Zombies
come creeping to my door 
I'll have the antidote!
They'll be Zombies no more! 
“That sounds great Isadora,” mom says,
“…except for one thing.
There's no such thing as Zombies...
or ghouls... or swamp thangs...”
Hmmmm. Then I guess I'll be a Fire Fighter!
That's work that's worth doing! 
I'll save cats from trees
and stop buildings from burning!
And when Godzilla comes
to eat Madison for lunch, 
I'll use my fire hose
to deliver a watery punch! 
“Wow!” says mom,
“What dedication and drive. 
But Godzilla's made up,
He was never alive.”
What? No monsters to defeat
or Zombies to cure?! 
Well, maybe not on this planet,
but how can you be sure…
There aren’t creatures on other planets?
I’m sure there are lots!
That’s it, I’ve got it!
I’ll be an astronaut!

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