Self Development & Learning
Pip & the Big Apple
In the valley is a forest where Big Apple stands tall and strong. He is the most popular of all the trees. His branches spread high and wide and provide a safe home for birds and squirrels to raise their families. Mother Deer rests happily with her fawn in the shade beneath his limbs. In spring his leaves are fresh and bright and green. Busy little bees love to fuss around his bright, white flowers, called
blossoms. In summer everyone from miles around flocks to gather the hundreds of sweet, red apples which he drops for them to eat. 3
A rope swing hangs from one of his branches, and children come every day to play and laugh and have fun. Sometimes they all climb up into his arms, but he can easily carry their weight. In fall everyone gazes in wonder when his leaves turn from green to red and orange. Everyone loves him and he is the most popular tree in the forest.
Hi, Iâ€™m Pip
This is you, a little sapling called Pip. You are so small that no one really notices you on the floor of the forest where you live. Surrounded by other young plants, you are very hard to find. No one rushes to see you. No one plays in your little branches. No one even seems to know you are there. If you were tall and strong like Big Apple, everyone would want to be with you. Then, you have a neat idea! Maybe you could grow some apples, then you would be popular too! So, when the snows of winter melt away, you decide to grow some blossoms and make your own apples!
The spring sunshine warms your leaves, and when it rains, you grow a little taller. Soon you have a small bunch of blossoms growing at the end of your longest branch. You love the way the bees tickle as they buzz around your tiny flowers.
A bud develops, and slowlyâ€”little by littleâ€”a tiny apple starts to grow. It is only one apple, but you feel very proud to have made it. The days are sunny and warm, and your apple gets heavier and heavier with each day that passes. 7
One day the sky turns dark, and the wind howls through the forest. Your forest friends scamper off to their homes. Every creature runs to hide from the heavy rain which splashes onto the forest floor.
Night falls and the wind gets stronger and stronger. It tugs and pulls and snatches at your precious apple. You must hold on! You will not let the wind steal your apple! But the wind does not give up. You desperately cling to your apple as the wind blows harder and harder. You are bent over in the storm, and your little roots are starting to pull out of the ground. 10
Suddenly there is a huge CRASH. All your branches shudder as a large tree is blown down by the wind. If you donâ€™t let go of your apple soon, you will be torn from the ground and lost in the piles of dead leaves. With a sad sigh, you know you have to let your apple go. It falls into the bushes below with a soft thud.
The next morning, the wind has gone, the air is still, and the sun is shining again. Big Apple looks down at you. “Hey Pip, what happened to your apple?” “I wasn’t strong enough to hold on to it when the wind came,” you say in your smallest voice. “I just want to be popular like you. I want the children to come and play with me. I want to be a safe home for squirrels and birds. I want to be useful to others.” Big Apple explains that there are some important secrets you need to learn first. Like how to grow 12
roots that will hold you up in the wind and how to make your arms strong enough to carry many apples. When you have learned these secrets, you will be able to help your friends, and everyone in the forest will want to be with you. So, Big Apple promises to teach you a little every day. In your first lesson, he teaches you how to send your roots deep into the ground to make you strong enough to stand up to any storm.
Next, you learn how to
bend in the wind and spring back again, getting stronger every time. Then he shows you how to grow your branches high and wide and how to make fresh green leaves to catch the sun. He tells you the secret of turning apples from green to red. He even teaches you how to make your leaves change color in fall. The next year you grow two apples. The year after that, you grow four apples. As the years go by, you learn all of Big 14
Appleâ€™s secrets and you grow strong and tall. From time to time the winter wind comes to test you. Sometimes the wind is too strong and you lose some apples, but each year you try harder and become stronger.
As the years pass by, more of your apples grow to become big and juicy and red. It feels good to see all the forest creatures gather round whenever you drop ripe apples from your branches. 15
One day in early springtime, two small bluebirds ask if they can nest in your branches. You are so happy! If you had legs instead of roots, you would jump for joy! You show them a sheltered spot on one of your strongest branches, and the birds happily get to work. A young squirrel family lives in your branches, and the birds sing in your long arms.
Big Apple is old but he is always there to help you grow. He makes fewer apples now, but yours are fresh and sweet. Bees swarm around your blossoms. Squirrels and deer, hedgehogs and children, all feast on your fallen apples.
Download your FREE audiobook of Pip & the Big Apple here: www.humanbean.com/extras
Then one day some children arrive and build a tree house in your branches. You have become the center of the forest, the place where everyone comes to meet and the most popular tree in the valley. You are so grateful to Big Apple for teaching you how to be better and stronger.
One day you hear a faint voice from the floor far below. You look down to see a small young apple tree struggling to peek above the brambles. “Hello, Big Tree,” he says. “Will you teach me how to grow apples like yours?” “Of course I will,” you say with a smile, “but first there are a few things you’ll need to know...” The End
Why did Pip drop his first Apple? He didn’t want it anymore He wasn’t strong enough to hold on to it when the storm came
How did Big Apple help Pip? He told Pip the secrets to being stronger He gave Pip some of his apples
Can you make it to the Golden Apple? Start here
What did Pip do? Pip didn’t need anyone telling him what to do. It was all the storm’s fault for stealing his apple. He learnt all of Big Apple’s secrets and grew strong enough to stand up to any storm
What would you do if you needed help with something difficult? Ask someone to teach you how to do it, then practise until you get really great at it Give up the difficult thing and find something that’s easier to do
What’s so great about being good at something? You can help yourself do great and exciting things You can help yourself do great and exciting things AND you can help others
How did you do? 1st Apple: Hmm, you didn’t read this story did you? 2nd Apple: OK, so you read page 1 and then watched TV? 3rd apple: Not bad, try again 4th apple: I know you could get to 5, go again! 5th apple: You are great!! The Golden Apple: Awesome! You learn real fast! Keep it going and you will become great just like Big Apple
Reading age 7-11 yrs
If you liked these stories, you’ll love The Star Dragon!
In The Star Dragon, we build on the themes in this story, and introduce your child to more attitudes and behaviors which build self confidence (dreaming big dreams), increase self-belief (setting & achieving goals) and help them work and play better with others (teamwork). The Star Dragon teaches these life skills directly to children through an exciting ‘quest’ style adventure. It works as a standalone book or you can support the learning using the Parent/Teacher notes included at the end of the book.
Life Skills in this book: • Teamwork • Goal setting • Self belief • Self confidence • Listening skills • Self development
About The Star Dragon Hidden deep in the mountains of Tibet is the Eye of Draco, a huge, sparkling gem which is the source of all the color and light of the world. But then the crystal is stolen by a gang of greedy men and the world is plunged into endless gloom. In a world without color it’s a race against time to find the crystal and save the world from eternal darkness. Do you have the skill and courage to bring light back into the world? Are you the hero the world has been waiting for?
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David Machin Author of The Star Dragon series
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Key Principle: Self development: As a tiny sapling lost on the forest floor you long to be big and strong and popular like Big Apple. You think that if you can just make apples then everyone will notice you. But you discover that there is more learning and growing to do first. With the help of Big Apple, you learn how to grow your roots deep into the ground to resist the storms, how to turn your leaves to the sun and make blossom grow, and how to make your branches strong enough to carry a ton of apples! Soon you are the most popular tree in the forest and everyone wants to know you. We hope this story helps your child understand the benefits of learning and growing.