The YELLOW CANARY –
There’s a beautiful children’s book, Pet Show, by Ezra Jack Keats…
The kids excitedly talk about their pets. Matt says that he’ll be bringing his ants, Roberto brags that he’ll be bringing his pet mouse and Archie plans to bring his cat.
On the day of the Pet Show, Archie’s cat is no-where to be found. Willie, Susie and Peter search up and down the street. Archie’s mother looks, too, and assures Archie that the cat will show up… but the Pet Show is ready to begin and the kids head there with their pets.
When Roberto reaches the entrance to the show, his mouse runs away and a chase ensues. Willie chases the mouse, Roberto chases Willie, Peter chases Roberto and Susie chases Peter.
All of the other kids line up with their pets and the judging begins. Prizes are given to each pet… noisiest parrot, handsomest frog, friendliest fishes, busiest ants, brightest goldfish, longest dog, softest puppy, slowest turtle, YELLOWEST CANARY and many more.
At the last second, Archie shows up with a paper bag… and at the same moment, Archie’s cat shows up just as an old woman walks by.
A judge mistakes the cat for the old woman’s pet and pins a blue ribbon on the woman’s coat for the cat with the longest whiskers prize.
Archie looks surprised, but opens his paper bag. It holds a jar with a germ in it… Archie’s pet! The judges give Archie’s germ the quietest pet award.
When all the kids begin to leave, the old woman approaches Archie and says that he should have the blue ribbon for his pet cat. But Archie tells the woman to keep the ribbon.
She thanks Archie for the ribbon and Archie smiles.
What we discover in the book Pet Show is great imagination, great ingenuity and great kindness. All the ribbons in the world couldn’t have made Archie happier than having the old woman proudly wear the blue ribbon on her coat.
There are lots of other pets in Pet Show. But what about the only bird other than the parrot… the Yellow Canary. What is the real tweet-tweet on the Yellow Canary in real-life ? Here are a few little tidbits to pass along to your kids and grandkids to combine literature and life:
– Yellow Canaries have been domesticated as pets for years.
– Canaries are small birds (3 – 6 inches) and are members of the finch family.
– Canaries were originally brought from the Canary Islands.
– Domesticated Canaries come in a variety of colors, but Yellow is very popular.
– Wild Canaries are greenish-yellow.
– Male Canaries are known to sing better than females, but all Canaries love to sing.
– A Yellow Canary can live for 10 years or more as a pet.
– Canaries do not mind being alone is a cage, but the cage should be tall/big enough to allow the Canary to fly for exercise.
– Canaries enjoy perching.
– Canaries eat seed mixtures, but can be fed fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, strawberries and bananas, and vegetables such as corn-on-the-cob, raw spinach, cucumbers and squash.
– Canaries lay 3 – 7 eggs in a clutch that hatch within 2 weeks.
– Canaries enjoy toys such as swings, bells and mirrors.
– Canaries like to be near windows enjoying the sunshine, but should not be left in direct sunlight.
Ah. The Yellow Canary in real-life.
Reading the book Pet Show with your kids and grandkids, with a little knowledge of the Yellow Canary in real-life, gives you so much to discuss… and your kids so much to think about as they embrace the literature.
The story gives us a great opportunity to talk with our kids about pets of all kinds and the care that pets need to stay happy and healthy. It seems the owner of the YELLOWEST CANARY must be taking very good care of his pet if its feathers are so yellow and healthy!
The story also gives us a reminder that kindness and generosity are more important than any blue ribbon or prize.
Join me here each day in August for AUGUST TWEET-TWEETS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! A little fun, a little learning and a bit of “tweet-tweet”!