Guess How Much I Love You?

Lower Elementary | Performance Guide
Guess How Much
I Love You?
I Love My Little
Photo Credit: Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
The world of the theater is where stories, music, puppets, lights, movement and
the imagination come together to help young readers learn. Mermaid Theatre of
Nova Scotia adapted two award-winning storybooks— Guess How Much I Love
You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, and I Love My Little Storybook by Anita
Jeram, into one theatrical production that can be an springboard for classroom
activities that explore storytelling and reading. Larger-than-life puppets, based
on the Baranku puppetry style of Japan, are manipulated by special handles and
rods. As carefully choreographed as a dance, the puppeteers and puppets tell the
stories through movement, narration and original music.
CCSS: RL.k.2, 6, 7 and 9; RL.1.1, 6
and 9; RL.2.2, 5, 6 and 9; RI. k.9;
RI.1.9; RI.2.1; W.k.8; W.1.8; W.2.8;
SL.k.1a and 2; SL.1.1a and 3; SL.2.1a
and 4; L.k.6; L.1.6; L.2.6
Photo Credit: Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
The Books
The Artists
The story of Guess How Much I Love You highlights the love between
Little Nutbrown Hare and his father, Big Nutbrown Hare. Little
Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him - as wide
as he can reach, and as high as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare,
who can reach farther and hop higher, loves him back even more. In
response, Little Nutbrown Hare loves his daddy right up to the moon!
What could be bigger than that? Guess How Much I Love You has been
one of the most beloved picture books for nearly ten years. Author
Sam McBratney’s warm and witty text and Anita Jeram’s watercolors
express the immeasurable bond between parent and child.
Since 1972, artists at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia have created
unique adaptations of children’s literature to delight nearly five million
young people on four continents. The company works with composers
to create original music and with professional puppeteers. Their
collaborations result in performances that have the visual impact to
tell classic children’s literature well. The company ranks among North
America’s most respected theater for young audiences. Artist educators
in Mermaid Theatre offer training in the art of puppetry to
performers who wish to develop and refine their skills.
In I Love My Little Storybook an eager little bunny lies on the grass, opens
his storybook and within moments enters a world of enchanted forests,
gentle lions, stomping giants and sleeping princesses. A favorite of
young readers, I Love My Little Storybook provides a glimpse of the many
adventures children can enjoy through reading.
A puppet is any inanimate figure manipulated by a person called a
puppeteer. Even very simple puppets are powerful in their ability to
bring stories to life. The art of puppetry begins in a good story,
imaginative use of stage space and the animation of puppets.
There are different types of puppets. Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
uses rod puppets. Rod Puppets are puppet figures manipulated by
rods. During the performance the puppeteers stand on the stage as
they move the puppets. Puppeteers wear black clothing and black
masks to be less visible. When two puppeteers manipulate a single
puppet they even use synchronized breathing to unify their motion.
Guess How Much I Love You / Performance Guide
The Artform of Puppetry
Learning Activities
Before the performance, read aloud Guess
After reading the stories aloud, assign
One of the characters Little Bunny meets
How Much I Love you and I Love My Little
one of the stories to students and ask
inside his little storybook is a giant
Storybook. Discuss the characters, Little
them to work in small groups to create a
who stomps around the magic forest
Nutbrown Hare, Big Nutbrown Hare, Little
tableau (frozen picture using their bodies as
with humongous feet. His feet are so
Bunny, Friendly Lion, Frog Prince, or any
people or object) of what happened at the
humongous, they are all we see of him.
other favorites. Talk about their relationships
beginning of the story, what happened in
• Ask students to imagine, to predict and
and adventures. How do we know the
the middle of the story and what happened
draw what they think the rest of the giant
characters care about each other? What are
at the end of the story.
looks like.
the characters feeling in the story? Do the
• Ask each group to rehearse their tableaus
feelings change as the story unfolds and
then present them one at a time to each
new events happen?
• After all the groups share, ask the
students how the tableau stories
were similar and how they were different.
Observe and Compare
After reading the story aloud and seeing the performance, discuss
differences and similarities between the performance and the story book.
> What did you see on stage?
> What did you see in the book illustrations?
> Did the play tell the story that you read in the storybook? What was
the same? What was different?
> How was seeing the performance different from reading the story?
How was it similar?
As a class think about and share all the stories you have read together
in class this year. Then ask students to recall the many places they have
journeyed together in storybooks. Let students share their memories
aloud, discussing the many different lands, characters and events
explored through storybooks.
On small pieces of paper, write a variety of opening lines based on the
illustrations in Guess How Much I Love You and I Love My Little Storybook. For
example: “Once upon a time, a little bunny dove under the water to tell
the fishes something important.” Put the slips of paper in a hat or box.
> Ask students to choose one slip of paper from the hat.
> Invite students to finish the story that their opening line begins.
> Ask students to both write and draw their story.
> Who are the new characters? Where are the new lands? What are the
new adventures? Students may share aloud with the class.
Photo Credit: Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
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Volume 10 Number 4
Colgate Classroom Series performances
help students meet Common Core
Photo Credit: Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
Reflect and Assess
Ask the following questions. Record the group’s answers on the board and discuss.
Learn more at:
>What did you see and hear while watching the performance?
>What did you already know about the stories before seeing the performance?
>Describe the characters. Who were they? What were they doing? Why?
>What did you like most about the live performance? Puppets? Set? Props? Music?
>Would you have performed the story differently? How?
Walton Arts Center
>How did the music help tell the story?
Learning & Engagement
>How did the performance make you feel?
Laura Goodwin, Vice President
>What moment in the play do you remember most?
Dr. Patricia Relph, Arts Learning Specialist
>Did you enjoy the play or the book more? Why?
Katie Williams, Manager
Shannon Rolle, Schools Concierge
Puppets can tell a story
>How did the puppets move differently to show different emotions?
This performance guide was developed in
ex. happy, sad, scared, curious, love.
partnership with Trike Theatre, a resident
>What did you think about the puppets?
company of Walton Arts Center.
>Could you make an object show emotion?
Learn More Online
> Official website:
> Kennedy Center website on Arts Integration
Walton Arts Center 2012-2013 Learning
programming is generously supported by
these funders, sponsors and benefactors:
Education Benefactors:
Jack & Mechelle Sinclair
Ted & Leslie Belden
David & Candace Starling
Dr. J.B. & Rachel Blankenship
Jerry & Brenda Walton
David & Tina Bogle
Jim & Lynne Walton
Education Grantors:
Ann & Gene Bordelon
John & Kitten Weiss
Arkansas Arts Council
Judy Boreham
Edy’s Grand Ice Cream
The John F. Kennedy Center
June Carter
Season support provided by
Carolyn & Nick Cole
Walmart / SAM’S CLUB
J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
for the Performing Arts
Walmart Foundation
Prairie Grove Telephone Co.
Joanie & Jon Dyer
Malcolm & Ellen Hayward
Arkansas Arts Council is an
Procter & Gamble
Education Partners:
Johnelle Hunt
agency of the Department of
Pruitt Tool Company
Crystal Bridges Museum of
Pat Parsons
Arkansas Heritage and the
Mark & Lynn Richards
National Endowment for the
Mary Lynn Reese
Shipley Motor Co.
Tyson Foods, Inc.
American Art
Jeff & Eileen Schomburger
Kenneth & Debra Senser
Guess How Much I Love You/ Performance Guide