Initially, I thought I'd make a cardboard cut-out of an umbrella which Eden could paint and decorate with stickers and patty pans, and she could stick blue/clear cellophane strips under the brim (to simulate rain), but I thought this was a little bit 'meh', so instead Eden wrote her own story based on the format of 'Molly's Jolly Brolly'.
In the book, Molly meets someone (a neighbour, an old lady, etc) who says to her "What a jolly brolly!", and Molly responds with "This is no ordinary brolly! My brolly and I have.... [been to the moon/ sailed the seas with pirates, etc.]". So we decided to follow the same essential format BUT we needed an item that rhymed with Eden. Yeah, good luck with that. The best I came up with was "Eden's Needin' Readin'". I know, it's a bit.... well, we decided to try something else. One of her nicknames is Eden-girl, so we called our story 'Eden-Girl and Her Pretty Pearls'.
I got my string of pearls (which she couldn't wait to get her little hands on!), and we cuddled up together with my iphone - to act as a dictaphone. I explained that we were going to make up a story like 'Molly's Jolly Brolly' and that we'd record it, in case we forgot what had been said. It went something like this:
Me:"One day, Eden-girl and her pretty pearls went for a walk to...."... and so on. When she was napping, I took the recording and wrote the story out onto some A4 pages (in a sensical way, omitting things like "what's your phone doing Mummy? I see myself in there, it's like a miwwor [mirror]!"). I also sketched out some VERY basic, light illustrations on each page.
Eden: "the shops!"
Me: "where she met...."
Me: "Santa said, 'Eden-girl, you have such pretty pearls!' Eden-girl replied 'These are no ordinary pearls! My pearls and I have..."
Eden: "flown away away away to a smagic [magic] castle where I wazza Princess for a day!"
Once Eden was awake, we read over the story together and she coloured in the pages - and in many cases changed the illustrations - which is exactly what I was hoping for.
Now we have a lovely book which I'll be keeping in the family Memory Box, for sure. Eden's first story, and unsurprisingly, one of her favourites.
Thanks for reading! ~ L.