This blog post has a free printable for the The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say. The PDF opens at this blog post.
Allen Say’s picture books for children are based in Japan, and are all very moving and deep, especially The Boy in the Garden. The stories are partly fantasy and require guidance for children to understand. They are great books for inferring lessons in primary grades.
If several of Allen Say’s books are read, they make for quite interesting text-to-text charts and discussion. They are worthy reads regardless of being followed by a lesson as they help expose children to the wider world and higher levels of thought. The Boy in the Garden Q and A work page, answer key, and compound word poster FREE PDF (just read the questions out loud to children if you don’t want the children to write answers)
The Boy in the Garden begins with a one page myth that a Japanese mother reads to Jiro, her son and the main character in The Boy in the Garden. The rest of the story combines the myth and imagination, and ends with him waking from a dream. The mix of genre will encourage children to ask and then help answer many questions, so this book would also be good for an asking questions reading strategy lesson.
Jiro and his father are visiting a man with a beautiful and famous garden in the book, and Jiro is to mind his manners. I would think Jiro would be between 4 and 6 years old, although the story doesn’t say. They are visiting on New Year’s, and Jiro is given a money envelope as is the custom in many Asian countries. When the men begin talking, Jiro wanders to the garden as he sees a crane statue and thinks about the myth his mother told him.
From there a magical story similar to the myth happens in a garden building. Jiro feels the crane becomes a woman who visits with him and makes him some soup. Jiro wants to take care of the woman, and goes out into the snow to buy things to eat, but finds nothing. Why could he find no firewood? Would he be using his New Year’s money to buy food? Why was there snow and dark skies when the garden was so green and it was a sunny day?
Free Printable for The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say
See my FREE PDF for questions to ask, although the questions of the children should also be recorded. There is also a chart of the compound words in the story just to post in the classroom.