News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

The Children's Bookshelf: The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before - March 10, 2024

 The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before written by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod is a delightful picture book told in rhyme from the very first rollicking illustration to the final gorgeous one.

Twins by the names of Gerald and Geraldine Grunion follow their cousin, Shelia, throughout their house to find the door that had never been opened before. Gerald, who has a secret, tapes that secret to the bottom of his shoe for later use. As the three of them summersault through the ornate house Shelia becomes very angry. She takes Great Grandma Grunion’s hammer from a picture frame and flings it at the door which had never been opened before. The hammer causes a crack in this very special door from which comes a flower and then a vine. The vine begins to swirl, move, grow, blossom, and take over as never before!

Bright red, blue and gold colors jump out from each page. The double spread of The Land of Never Before is visually awesome. The next illustration is full of 16 gorgeous, ornate, very imaginative, and interesting keys adorned with crowns, hearts, swan, hands, jewels and even a horse! All are ripe for the imagination and good old storytelling.

The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before written and illustrated by Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod is a fun-filled and eye tickling-tale for children 4-8 years of age (Union Square) 2024.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before

Younger readers: Turn to the picture of The Land of Never Before and find these items: a cat, a key with a heart, a horse, swan, a yellow sun with a lock in the middle, a flag, a yellow hand, a yellow horseshoe, a white horseshoe, and a yellow crown. Some of these images are very small. Good luck!

Older readers: Look at the final endpaper. How many keys can you find?

Which key is marked with a G? Why? What was Gerald’s secret? When did he share his secret with Geraldine and Shelia?

Older readers: If you were to write the next episode of this story what would you have these three characters find and do now that the door has been open?

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.