Jane Lind presents ...
The Cedar Glen Secret
Theme: Environment--The Ecosystem and the Creatures, Ages 5 to 8
The Cedar Glen Secret
Cathy's favourite place at her Aunt Amy's farm was the forest. Each July
when she went to visit, Cathy went for long walks and had picnic lunches in
the cedar glen.
One day she discovered that her oatmeal cookie was missing from her lunch,
and she thought a squirrel took it. But when she tried to find the squirrel,
she discovered something else instead: a whole community of tiny people
living in a stump.
To be sure of what she saw, she came back after dark with a flashlight, and
she had her first conversation with Wiley, one of the Snippets. The Snippets
were afraid of her and Wiley was not sure if he could trust her, so he gave
her a riddle. She found the answer, so Wiley felt she was trust worthy and
Cathy kept secret her discovery of the Snippets. But more than that, when
the cedar glen and the Snippets were threatened, Cathy managed to save them.
This is a story that capitalizes on the common childhood fantasy of a
diminutive people. At the same time, without being heavy handed, the author
has created a situation that can be read as a parable in which the
characters, with some thought, can avoid harm to the environment.
1. Why did Cathy never tell anyone about the Snippets?
2. Are there any other answers she could have given to the riddle?
3. What do you think would have happened if Cathy had not become friends
with the Snippets?
4. How can we protect our forests and still get what we need, such as wood
for building houses and wood for fires to keep warm in the winter?
1. Initiate a discussion about forests, why Cathy enjoyed the cedar glen,
and what her aunt got from it. Discuss why the forests are important in the
ecosystem of the globe: they contribute oxygen to our air; they provide a
home for wild life; they provide shade; they provide a resource for things
such as building materials, heat, paper for books.
2. At the end of the discussion, make a large tree chart. Let the children
draw a large tree on a large sheet of paper. Then help them label the tree
with a list of resources trees provide.
3. Let the children write their own stories about tiny creatures. Suggest a
variety of settings: the forest, a river, the ocean, under a bridge, in a
tree, in a cave. The children can develop characters, along with describing
how the creatures look and how they live. They can also illustrate their
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind