Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets


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Summary of the Story

Gilberto finds that the wind is a playmate. The wind plays with Gilberto and his balloon, the clothes on the wash, and an umbrella. The wind blows the grass and leaves, blows apples out of the tree, and helps fly a kite, sail a boat, spin a pinwheel, and carry away pretty soap bubbles. Sometimes the wind is fierce and sometimes it is a gentle friend.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to each word as you say it. Repeat the title with the child.
  • Point to the picture on the cover of the book. Say: This is a little boy named Gilberto, and he plays with the wind. Ask: Where do you feel the wind blow? (You feel the wind blow outside.)

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the book, pointing to the words as you read. Give the child plenty of time to look at the pictures. Help the child understand that Gilberto talks to the wind as if it were a person, and that the words the wind says stand for the noise the wind makes. You might emphasize the words the wind says as you read.
  • Ask: How have you played with the wind? Has the wind ever blown a balloon away? What have you seen the wind blow around?

Reading the Book Again and Again

  • Each time you read Gilberto and the Wind, leave more of the "reading" or retelling to the child. Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture? What is Gilberto doing?
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What is the little boy reaching for? (He is reaching for his balloon.) How did the balloon get in the tree? (The wind blew it to the top of the tree.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask the child to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help in answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book. Good words to ask about are listed in the vocabulary section below. Be sure to talk about objects and actions the child brings up, too.
  • You may wish to discuss the prompts shown below.

Building Literacy

  • You and your child might blow bubbles outside and let the wind carry them away, or you might play with a kite or a balloon on a string. Talk about what the wind does to the bubbles and the balloon or kite.


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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!


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