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In Palmer, Alaska, at the end of the month of August, the small town will host the State of Alaskaâ€™s State Fair. During the fair, they will have the weigh in for the stateâ€™s largest cabbage. Palmer is about 40 miles north of Anchorage, which is located in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, which is famous for its huge vegetables. The Palmer Alaska State Fair has been having the Giant Cabbage Contest since 1941.
In 2000, the record was set at 105.6 pounds. Thatâ€™s a lot of cabbage!!
On August 6, at the Maben Public Library, Ms. Mary read a childrenâ€™s book entitled The Giant Cabbage, which was donated to the library by Dottie Dewberry, who purchased the book in Palmer, Alaska this past June.
The book is about a moose who was trying to decide which cabbage to enter in the Giant Cabbage Contest. Plants in Alaska grow really, really large as they have about twenty (20) hours of daylight during the summer. As the moose was looking, he came across a huge cabbage. This was wonderful, but he had a big problem-how was he going to get it loaded up in the truck. So he asked his friends to help him: they were the bear, the wolf, the fox, the porcupine, the hare, and the squirrel, but even with all of them together, they were not all big enough to push the cabbage onto the truck. As the Midnight Sun moved across the sky, the vole stuck her head out of her hole and offered to help them move the cabbage because it was sure to win the giant cabbage prize. All of the friends loaded up into the truck and off to the fair they went. When they got there, the cabbage rolled off the truck right in front of the judges, who declared it the winner right then and there.
The friends decided to go off to the fair and have fun before they went home. When they got ready to go home, they used Old Porcupineâ€™s tools and cut the cabbage up into pieces for each of them, which they loaded up into the truck. Then they all loaded up into the truck and headed to the Mooseâ€™s house where they decided to have cabbage soup for supper. As the soup cooked, the animals danced and sang and celebrated their friendship under the Midnight Sun.
This book teaches comparisons in size: big, really big, biggest, giant, and huge. It also teaches children about the wildlife in Alaska, which are illustrated and named in the book.
This is a version of a traditional Russian folktale about a giant turnip.
After reading the book, Ms. Mary had some sheet for the children to color; the lesson was to color the small items blue and the large items red. This reinforced comparison in size.
Then the big surprise of the day: ice cream cones for everyone. YUM! YUM! Thanks, Ms. Mary!!
Before they trooped out the door, books were selected for reading. Next weekâ€™s story hour will be at ten oâ€™clock at the Maben Public Library. Children from ages three to six years old are invited to come.