Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

10-30-08 Countryside

 

Abby Sunshine Entertaining the Students

Abby Sunshine Entertaining the Students

Where do I begin. . .well, how about a sequential approach, much like in the book A Day with Abby Sunshine.  I arrived at Countryside School in Edina, followed the marked animal print sidewalk to the entrance of the building.  I was greeted by a very professional 5th grade class president who welcomed me to the school, introduced herself and escorted me to the classroom.  Along the way we talked about the international flair of Countryside and I admired the flag lined hallway.  We found the classroom, students already beginning the day, conducting important morning business–lunch plans, etc.  The ambience of the classroom was very comfortable.  I could already tell this was going to be good!  Mr. Beverage introduced me to the class and told me about some writing they have been doing . . . I saw some very creative work lining the walls.  We gathered together and read.  The group was exceptional in polite listening and appeared to be genuinely interested in the story.  This jumpstarted a discussion that I think could have lasted the whole day!  We talked about writing and inspiration.  The kids asked very thoughtful questions-(The illustrations look like pictures, but also artwork–how did you do that?  What inspired you to write the book?  What other book ideas do you have?  Would you consider writing a book about your cats?  What is your favorite picture of Abby?)  They would also remember a page in the book and ask a very specific question-(That page where it looks like Abby is on the bus, how did you do that?)  They also shared observations about the book that I found particularly complimentary-(I like that you used the word “zonk” and the photos and illustrations blend together well.)  The vast majority of students in this classroom had a pet and all seemed quite comfortable in the dog discussion.  Next we did a creativity sheet where they could write about something to teach Abby, or they could mind map their own idea for a book about an animal.  They got busy right away and watched the three short video clips while writing.  This gave them a sense of what Abby is like . . . when it seemed like I would be departing, Mr. Beverage made the announcement that we had a special guest–Abby Sunshine was here at the school!  The gasp of astonishment and excitement sent a shiver down my spine!!  Abby had been waiting nicely in her kennel–outside.  We all went to the school yard and Abby got to dazzle the students with her tricks and general demeanor.  The students treated Abby respectfully and she did her thing!  Thanks, Countryside for a super visit.

 

Abby Catching the Ball

Abby Catching the Ball

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10-23-08 Abby Sunshine’s Fall Photos

Today Abby and I had a back yard photo shoot –attempting to capture some of the beautiful colors of this season.  It was difficult to choose which photo to include.  Abby is reflective in this picture.

However, Abby is very fast here.  She was running –full blast!  Very playful!!  These cooler days bring energy to Abby–energy that she longed for on those hot summer days.

Though after all of that fast sprinting, even little Abber had to stretch–had to do her Yoga “down dog.”  She is very good at this position.  She does it many times throughout the day.  She takes care of her body.

How can I resist including this “posed” shot with Abby and the leaf.  She is wondering why we aren’t playing with the ball, but is patient for the photo.  Abby Sunshine-what a dog!!

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10-10-08 The Pouncer

What is Abby thinking about?

Abby looks like she's read this post and is thinking about it with great concern--or is she thinking about sausages or possibly chasing a squirrel? Hard to say.

 

This morning as I was peacefully at rest, I was greeted by a giant thump on the head.  This is not the quiet solitude and dreamy state in which I like to awaken!  No, not at all– What was it?  It was Abby Sunshine pouncing on me.  Can you believe it?  Renae had woken up earlier than I, greeted Abby at her kennel, and let her out for a potty break.  Well, Abby did her duty, and came into the house full of energy.  This isn’t unusual.  She has an admirable zest for life and a lot of spunk first thing in the morning.  She ran (blasted) down our hall and in one single bound, hopped from the floor onto my head, while I was in bed.  This did not feel good.  It was not only that she was heavy, the jolt was mildly painful, her paws felt scratchy and her claws scraped my face–but she was also wet from the damp ground outside–did I mention that it had rained last night?  It wasn’t the most fun way to wake up in the morning.  I do admire her jumping ability.  She’s a great jumper.  That little rascal.

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10-09-08 Kenwood

Yes, back again at Kenwood School–this time reading to a super class of 1st graders.  This particular book reading session brought back a lot of happy memories for me.  It was in the very room where I used to teach first grade-Room 141.  The room was much more updated (new windows, redone wood floor with carpet, etc.).  Though these physical things were different, the one constant is the first grade students themselves.  I’ve always found first graders to be open and creative.  This doesn’t change.  We worked on a page about new things they could teach Abby Sunshine.  Without hesitation, the students begin to write their thoughts–first graders understand the big picture.  They go for it!  Upon departure, it was nice to run into friends in the office I hadn’t seen for years.  Our eyes met and we didn’t miss a beat!  It was as natural as if I had still been seeing them regularly!  I enjoyed catching up with them.  Then, I departed–a few blocks away and discovered I did not have my purse.  Of course, I found it on a chair in Room 141–just where I left it.  As reminded by the teacher, it’s a good thing first graders are so honest!  A good ending to a good time at school. . .

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Abby Sunshine with a ball in the pool

Abby Sunshine loves her pool!

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