Imagination Library Book Activity for Pretend

Dolly Parton’s Imagination LibraryBOOK TITLE: Pretend
AUTHOR: Jennifer Plecas

SUMMARY OF BOOK: Jimmy and his father use their imagination and creativity to play ‘Pretend’ in their living room. They imagine they are on a boat traveling to an island, forming a strong bond between father and son. Download this Activity Sheet in PDF.


Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.

  1. Look at both covers of the book together: “What do you think this book might be about? Where is the boat?”
  2. What kind of mood do you think is in this book (happy, sad, serious, funny?)? What gives you that idea?


  1. Track the father’s expressions to see how they change throughout the book; does he start having fun?
  2. Relate what Jimmy and his dad do to things your child has done: paddle, fish, cook over a fire, climb, build a fort.
  3. “What real things is Jimmy making pretend things out of?”
  4. Periodically ask “What do you think will happen next in the story?”
  5. Try adding actions with your child to your reading: pretend fishing, eating, stepping on crabs.


  1. “If you got to be the leader and I had to follow along, what adventure would you take me on?”
  2. “Did the dad learn something new from Jimmy? What did he learn?”
  3. “Look around, what things can we pretend are something else?”
  4. Take 5-10 minutes and play a game of Pretend. Let your child pick the setting, the characters, and the action.

Compliments of: Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
Created by: Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage

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