I did this activity with Marzipan and she loved it to bits! If you have the time, you can make a felt story board or draw some pictures to accompany the tale. I just read with a lot of drama and had an apple and a knife ready! It worked just fine!
As with most resources I purchase or find online, I have adapted the content by injecting an Islamic flavour.
The Little Red House With The Star Inside
There was once a little boy named Ahmad who was tired of all his toys and tired of all his play.
“What shall I do?” he asked his mother.
And his mother, who always knew beautiful things for little boys to do, said, “Dear Ahmad, you shall go on a journey and find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside.”
This really made the little boy wonder. Usually his mother had good ideas, but he thought that this one was very strange. “Which way shall I go?” he asked. “I don’t know where to find a little red house with no doors and no window.”
“Go down the lane past the farmer’s house and over the hill,” said his mother. “Then hurry back as soon as you can and tell me all about your journey.”
So Ahmad put on his cap and his jacket and started out, saying the du`aa for leaving the home. “Bismillah. Tawakaltu `allallah wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.”
He had not gone very far down the lane when he met with a merry little girl playing in the sunshine. Her cheeks were like pink bloom petals and she was making dhikr, like the pretty robins in the trees.
“As salaamu `alaykum! Do you know where I shall find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?” asked the little boy.
The little girl laughed “Wa `alaykum as salaam! Ask my father, the farmer,” she said. “Perhaps he knows.”
So the little boy, went on until he came to a great brown barn were the farmer kept barrels of fat potatoes and baskets of yellow squashes and golden pumpkins. The farmer himself stood in the doorway, looking out over the green pastures and yellow grain fields.
“As salaamu `alaykum! My name is Ahmad. Do you know were I shall find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?” the boy asked the farmer.
The farmer laughed too. “Wa `alaykum as salaam, young man! I have lived a great many years and I have never seen one.” He continued, “Ask Granny who lives at the foot of the hill. She knows how to make molasses, taffy and popcorn balls and red mittens! Perhaps she can direct you.”
Ahmad said, “JazakAllah khayran!” to the farmer who cheerfully replied, “Wa iyyakum!”
He then went on farther still, until he came to the Granny sitting in her pretty garden of herbs and marigolds. She was as wrinkled as a walnut and as smiling as the sunshine.
“As salaamu `alaykum! I am Ahmad,” said the little boy, introducing himself. “Please, dear Granny, where shall I find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”
Granny was knitting a red mitten and when she heard the little boy’s question, she laughed so cheerily that the wool ball rolled of her lap and down the little pebbly path.
“Wa `alaykum as salaam, ya Ahmad! I should like to find that little house myself,” she chuckled. “I would be warm when the frosty night comes and the starlight would be prettier than a candle ma shaa Allah. Why don’t you follow where the wind blows? Perhaps the wind can direct you, in shaa Allah.”
So the boy bade salaam to the Granny and went on up the hill rather sorrowfully. He wondered if his mother, who usually knew almost everything, had perhaps made a mistake.
The wind was coming down the hill as Ahmad climbed up. As they met, the wind turned about and went along, singing beside the little boy. It whistled in his ear and pushed him and dropped a pretty leaf into his hand.
“I wonder,” thought Ahmad, after they had gone along together for awhile, “if the wind could help me find a little red house with no doors and no windows a star inside.”
The wind cannot speak in our words, but it went singing ahead of the little boy until it came to an orchard. There it climbed up in the apple tree and shook the branches. When Ahmad caught up, there at his feet lay a great rosy apple. He picked up the apple.
It was as much as his two hands could hold, it was red as the sun had been able to paint it, and the thick brown stem stood up as straight as a chimney, and it had no doors and no windows.
Was there a star in side? The little boy said, “Alhamdulillah,” thanking Allah for his find and made his way back home.
Upon reaching home, Ahmad greeted his mother with a cheerful “As salaamu `alaykum Ummi!” and gave her the apple. With a wide smile on her face, his mother took a knife and cut the apple through the center.
(AT THIS POINT, START CUTTING AN APPLE CROSSWISE)
Oh, ma shaa Allah! How wonderful! There inside the apple, lay a star holding brown seeds.
“SubhanAllah… It is too wonderful to eat without looking at the star, isn’t it?” Ahmad said to his mother.
“Yes indeed,” answered his mother.
[Image of apple and jar from Pexels