In order to conclude the month of celebrations of International Children’s Day, we would like to give special review of a classic children book that had been awarded as the Newberry Medal recipient in 1955, The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong.
This heartfelt lovely tale took place in Shora, a little fishing village in
The story began with Lina writing a composition about storks and reading it to the class. She was initially astonished by the fact that the storks went to all the villages all around but Shora. Her opus then raised the question between the children as to why the storks came and built their nest in the
They discovered that the roofs on their village's homes were pitched so steeply that the storks could not find space to nest on the sharp ridges. So they had to place a wagon wheel on each roof ridge to give storks a place to nest. The task of finding a wagon wheel in that tiny village proved to be difficult. But during their search, the children met several interesting personalities and learned valuable things from their encounters.
The Wheel on the School is a happy story, written with freshness, beauty, humor, tenderness, and understanding of children. The simple, yet compelling plot, teaches that if we think and wonder why, things will begin to happen and dreams will come true. There is also this conversation that stated “In order to figure out what stork would want, we should try to think the way a stork would think”, which is a wonderful thing to say to children.
And when the children were getting desperate because of facing a dead lock, the teacher boosted their spirit by saying “There’s where things have to start: with a dream. Of course, if you just go on dreaming, then it stays a dream and becomes stale and dead. But first to dream and then to do, isn’t that the way to make a dream come true?”. A simple logic thought also being taught here as the follow-up to the dream premise “Now we are getting to something that we can do. Now do you see? We wondered why and we reasoned it out. Now we must do”.
As you see, The Wheel on the School is more than the story of school children trying to bring storks to their village on the
The book serves intergenerational tale of love and friendship. It also suggests that you could find help and providence in the places you might least expect them.
This is a timeless story with appeal to all ages.
Reviewed by Begy