For this Sentimental Sunday, I chose to write about one of my most favorite childhood stories, I Love You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark. In this story, a little girl named Lily has a favorite stuffed animal that she sleeps with every night. Before falling asleep each night she says, ‘I love you, Blue Kangaroo,’ and Blue Kangaroo loves Lily too. As the days go on different grown-ups give new stuffed animals to Lily, such as Wild Brown Bear and Yellow Cotton Rabbit! But with each new addition Blue Kangaroo feels less and less loved. One night, after all the new animals have been added to the bed, Blue Kangaroo falls out of bed! He is so sad that he climbs into bed with Lily’s baby brother. The next day, Lily frantically searches for Blue Kangaroo, and, upon finding it with her brother, throws a fit. Her mother claims Lily should share, since she has so many stuffed animals to sleep and play with. Lily decides that Blue Kangaroo is more special than any of her other animals, and therefore gives her new animals to the baby, keeping Blue Kangaroo for herself. Blue Kangaroo feels loved again and falls asleep in Lily’s arms once again.
This story is great for children as many of them probably have a stuffed animal of their own that they love very much. When I was little, I was given a dog named Patchie, and to this day I sleep with it still. The pictures in this book are fantastic, and I love how each stuffed animal is named after their description (Wild Brown Bear, Two Fluffy Puppies). This book also teaches children about not taking things for granted and appreciating what you have. Even after all the new additions to her stuffed animal collection, Lily cannot handle losing her most precious Blue Kangaroo, and only realizes this once he is gone. While this is a great bedtime story, it would also be great to read in the classroom and introduce these ideas and ask children if they’ve ever gone through a similar experience to Lily.