Kinder Book Club: Wanda’s Roses

If  you’re ready and waiting for thoughts of spring, check out Wanda’s Roses by Pat Brisson, illustrated by Mariann Cocca-Leffler.

Follow Wanda on her mission to help one lonely, thorny bush in an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot become a blooming rose bush. Though her friends warn her the bush cannot possibly be a rose bush, Wanda teaches them that dedication, optimism, and friendship truly can turn a forgotten corner of the neighborhood into a rose garden.

This book is full of room for discussion, as you read as well as after.

  • What does Wanda hope will happen?
  • Why does she continue to believe in the rose bush after all of her neighbors warn her that it might not bloom?
  • Why don’t some of the characters want to tell her the bush is not a rose bush?
  • How would you feel waiting for the bush to bloom?
  • What could you do to help Wanda if you were her friend?
  • How did Wanda help her neighborhood? (don’t settle for one answer here!)
  • How do you think her friends felt when Wanda invited them to her rose garden party?
  • How would you have felt? What would you have done?

At one point in the book, Wanda decides to help the thorny bush along by decorating it with paper roses. Once you’ve read the book together, consider making paper roses to spruce up winter-bare branches to brighten your neighborhood.

(Of course, be sure to gather up the paper bits when the surprise has worn off and you’re sure you’ve made a few people smile.)

This tutorial from Dozi Designs is incredibly simple and striking.


About Sarah

Sarah Aadland is striving to make family volunteering a meaningful habit for her family of five. Join the conversation as she ponders what they may (or may not have) learned and looks for helpful information about raising compassionate kids.Though she plans to one day put her Masters in Public Policy back to work for social justice, she sees family volunteering as a way to build a stronger community, a better world, and a more connected family. In addition to her children, Sarah tends a large garden, a small flock of chickens, and a habit of mindfulness amid the necessary rituals of parenting.

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