Conejito, retold by Margaret Read MacDonald, is based on a folktale from Panama. It’s a fun story with lots of repetition and, of course, a happy ending. I have been sharing this story with the preschoolers as part of my Bunnies storytime, and they’ve been enjoying it – even those who don’t speak any Spanish (there are Spanish words throughout, but they’re all explained and easily understood in context).
We start with conejito (little bunny) talking to his mother, and preparing to go up the hill to visit his Tia Mónica (Aunt Monica). When he gets there, she is going to feed him “cakes, cookies and every good thing” until he is gordito, gordito, gordito (fat, fat, fat!).
Conejito heads up the mountain, singing…
I have a sweet old Auntie,
My tía Mónica,
And when she goes out dancing,
They all say “Ooh la la!”
…until he runs THUNK into a Tiger. Señor Tigre.
Señor Tigre wants to eat conejito for lunch, but conejito convinces him to wait until he returns from Tía Mónica’s house because he will be gordito gordito gordito. Right now he is too skinny – flaquito flaquito flaquito!
Tigre agrees and conejito continues on his way singing and dancing until he runs smack into Mr. Lion – Señor León.
Conejito also convinces Señor Leon to wait to eat conejito, and he continues up the hill until he runs THUNK into Tía Mónica.
Conejito spends the summer with her, dancing, playing, and eating cakes, cookies and every good thing (but also fruits, vegetables, and fresh mountain water so he will be strong, strong, strong!). But when it’s time to head back to his Mamá, he tells Tía Mónica his problem.
Her solution is this: He will roll down the hill in a barrilito (little barrel). If Lion or Tiger stop him, he will tell them the mountain is on fire (Tía’s made a fire to make smoke) and they’d better run for it.
Conejito DOES meet Lion and Tiger, but tells them:
The mountain’s on fire,
conejito is too,
you’d better run Señor León
or you’ll be barbecue!
They, of course, run away so conejito is able to continue rolling down the hill until he reaches his mamá. All’s well that ends well!
I’m going to learn this story so I’ll be able to tell it without the book. It shouldn’t be too hard to learn. I won’t know it perfectly, but well enough! I think this would make a fun readers’ theater too! The book contains the notes for singing the song about Auntie Monica, but I ended up making up my own tune. The kids liked chiming in on the “ooh la la!” The book also has a fox in addition to tiger and lion, but I decided to shorten the flannel version a little.
Today’s roundup will be hosted by Katie at Recipe for Reading. To see all past flannels, click the icon to the right.