Introducing Miss Lucy Jane

Introducing Miss Lucy Jane

Jane Johnston is an artist and a poet. She also happens to be an adored former children’s librarian who invoked a sense of wonder and whimsy while working at the library. She continues to encourage the imagination of children with her very first, independently published picture book: Miss Lucy Jane:

“The fanciful Miss Lucy Jane is “full of dreams and flap-doodle schemes” as she creates a wonderful week of amazing adventures. From building “rainbow smiles on a stilt” to “collecting one wish off a fin of each fish” to lassoing “Mars just to measure the stars,” she makes each day delightfully her own. Search every picture for a mouse that goes along for the ride! Miss Lucy Jane, told with Jane Willis Johnston’s lyrical words and Emmeline Hall’s whimsical illustrations, promises to become a read-aloud favorite for bedtimes, storytimes, and classrooms.I have invited her to share a few ways to share her new picture book, Miss Lucy Jane with you.”

I’ve invited Jane to share ways the many ways readers can enjoy Miss Lucy Jane with you here. We’ve very much enjoyed reading her book and making rainbow smiles (instructions below) during an episode of creating art early this morning.

inside Miss Lucy Jane

 More Ways to Explore Miss Lucy Jane

Thank you for reading and listening to Miss Lucy Jane.  Here are a few suggestions for exploring her world as you share her adventures every day of one wonderful week.

Find the mouse in every picture.  He is very small and can be good at hiding.  Does the mouse ever see a mouse friend?

Search each picture for something that leads to the next picture.  Sometimes the connection is very strong, other times it might seem a little bit tricky.

For example, notice what Miss Lucy Jane is carrying in her bag in the first picture.  Did you find some things of different colors?  These things connect to what she makes in the next picture, because she does something with colors, and also with what she leaves on the sidewalk in the last picture in the book.

In the first Sunday picture Miss Lucy Jane is at the ocean shore.  Do you see anything in the sky that connects to the next picture?

Some pictures may have two or even three connections.  Look at the first Wednesday picture.  What is the cat doing with her tail?  What kind of bushes do you find in the next picture?   Who else is sitting on the hat with the cat?  Where have you seen them before and where do you see them after the hat picture?

In the second Thursday picture, can you find something in the river that runs under the square trees that connects with the big Friday picture?

For the second Saturday picture, find out two names the bear constellation is called.

Make a list of the sets of rhyming words in each verse just to make sure you hear the rhymes.  Find your favorite set of rhyming words and see if you can think of a third word and maybe even a fourth word to rhyme with them.

Which day’s adventure would you choose to go on with Miss Lucy Jane and why?

Read Miss Lucy Jane at least two times, maybe even three, to feel the rhythm.


Rainbow Smiles Craft

Good Ideas for Storytime and Craft

I have had success and great fun presenting Miss Lucy Jane in a storytime setting to children from two to twelve years old and all ages of adults.  I had two teenage helpers who were intrigued by the book, as well, so Miss Lucy Jane appears to appeal to all ages.

I believe in opening many doors and windows into the books I read to children as some children are more inclined to focus on sounds, some on visuals, some on my facial expressions, some on my hand movements, or some simply to the turning of the pages of the book.

Below you will find rather lengthy description of how I enjoy reading this book to children.  You can, of course, just read it straight through and that will work wonderfully, too!

In order to be sure I keep all ages connected to Miss Lucy Jane, I start with a basket of objects to identity and to watch for in the illustrations.  Study the book and put together your own collection.  I include some sidewalk chalk, a rainbow  colored on cardstock and cut out,* a red ball, a real banana (real things are always attention-getters!), a plastic horse, a small stuffed animal cat, a fabric butterfly, a paper kite made from cardstock, a toy rowboat, a rubber fish, some paper stars, a small stuffed animal black bear (standing on all four feet, not a teddy bear)…and a small stuffed animal mouse. (*When I show the rainbow, I do talk about the arch shape, turn it over to make it a smile shape, and call it a “rainbow smile.”)

I talk about the book briefly, that it is about a girl who likes to find adventures in every day and that this book takes us along on one week in her busy life.  I say it is fun to look for things as we read the book…so then I hold up each object in random order and we all identify them.  I hold up the mouse last and say that he is too small for the children to see from so far away, but that when they check out the book and take it home to look at the pictures closely, they will find the mouse!

Before I start reading, we review in chorus the days of the week.

I announce we are going to read the book twice, once a little slowly with some extra words I will use, and once a little faster after we have heard the words once and have felt the rhymes and rhythm of the poem that makes the story of Miss Lucy Jane.

Then I read the book, stopping to ask what day of the week Miss Lucy Jane is ready for, sometimes saying all of the days of the week up to that day.  In the first picture, where Lucy Jane is on her scooter, I mention that she is carrying a bag of lots of colors of chalk and to remember that.  Sometimes throughout the reading I note other objects we talked about.   When we get to the last page and picture, I ask what she did with her chalk and we talk about the sidewalk drawings from all the things she did in her wonderful week.

We have a discussion about what were some favorite pictures and adventures and days.  We talk about some of the rhyme sets.  We try to think of more words that rhyme with the sets. Then we read it again, straight through, listening for the rhymes and being carried along by the rhythm as we watch the pictures that create the world of Miss Lucy Jane.

Rainbow Smile

Rainbow Smiles Craft for Miss Lucy Jane

Make rainbow smiles on sticks!

Supplies:  6” lightweight white paper plates, cut in half and trimmed in the center to create a rainbow curve; markers; colored jumbo craft sticks (6“x ¾”); double stick tape.

Color your rainbow, turn it upside down into a smile, and tape it to the end of a stick.  You could also make a starry night smile, or a flower power smile, or a scribble and spot smile, or a letters and numbers smile, and/or any kind of smile that makes you smile!

Use your smile to keep yourself happy!  Stand in front of a mirror and hold it up to your face.

Use it like a puppet and make it dance to music.

Use it to make up a story about anything that comes into your head!

Miss Lucy Jane

 Miss Lucy Jane by Jane Willis Johnston, illustrated by Emmeline Hall is available for purchase on Amazon or by emailing the author.

Rainbow smiles and many thanks to Jane for sharing the wonderful world of Miss Lucy Jane with us!


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  1. […] lacking the intricate stitching of a true mola, it does have the signature layering of cloth. Miss Jane Johnston assembled a great group of “Imaginators”, and it was fun to be a part of their group […]

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