Sometimes the best things in life are shared – with pests? What exactly is a pest? A pest keeps coming back no matter what you do. It might be annoying, untidy, messy, creepy-crawly, ugly, relentless, or have a mind of its own. It has its own agenda and opinion about everything, and it’s usually the opposite of yours. Do you have a pest in your life? What would that pest think about you? Maybe peskiness is in the eye of the beholder.
There’s a story in which children are seen as pests. The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde, is an old story, written in 1888, about a giant who has a garden where children love to play. The garden is full of life: birds, flowers, plants, trees, and joy. But the giant doesn’t want to share it with those pesky children, so he shuts them out with a wall and a “Keep Out” sign.
Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story and the City of Austin’s Grow Green program, Literature Live! reimagined his tale as The Selfish Giant. The giant becomes a gardener, and the innocent children are the native bugs and plants that she tries to exterminate.
We won’t spoil it for you by telling you that sharing sometimes brings us far more happiness than we could ever imagine. See how it all works out in our new puppet show, Literature Live!'s The Selfish Gardener, opening February 17 at a branch near you – see our Youth Events Calendar for locations, dates, and times for this and other great events for youth.
Keep reading for more fun resources to explore before or after the show!
Watch the trailer for this puppet show here!
If you’re interested in the original story by Oscar Wilde, check out one of the books below, or watch this read-along video of The Selfish Giant.
And here's a video of the Grow Green characters that inspired the puppets for this show.
The Austin Public Library has a great Native Texas Plants and Urban Wildlife Habitat guide, which will help you find related websites and local resources for all ages
Look for articles about natural gardening, natural gardens, and lots more at Explora for Elementary.
Here’s a fun Texas Lantana mask to print, cut out, and color from our friends at Grow Green.
And, as always, find books and resources about growing green in our catalog: