Looking for something a little different to read to your threes, fours, and fives? Something a little wild and crazy and totally hilarious? “Stop That Pickle” by Peter Armour is for you.
A variation of the well-worn “Gingerbread Man” theme, this story shows how a very fast and determined pickle escapes from the deli and outruns a man, a sandwich, a donut, an apple, seventeen almonds, and more. From its implausible beginning to its surprise ending, children laugh through every page.
To “musicalize” it, I sing a “mini-song” of the refrain “Stop that pickle!” , which each person or food item repeats, but it could just as easily be chanted. The important thing is to include all the children in loudly repeating this silly refrain. It gets them engaged and involved.
My funniest memory of this story is one when a child, on seeing the page on which the pickle reads a newspaper, called out indignantly, “Pickles can’t read!” He was fine with the pickle racing all over the city, but reading – that just didn’t make sense!
“Stop That Pickle!” is the only story I read once every single year because children love it so much. Months after I read it, they still remember it and ask to hear it again! This is always a sure-fire hit!