Books Will Never Go Out of Print!

Grab a cup of coffee. Sit back. Check out meanderings about books I've loved.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Molly's Adventures in Missions - Terrific Tuesday Picture Book & KID KANDY

Molly's Adventures in Missions
Written by Joye Smith
(Woman's Missionary Union, 2009)

Molly's Adventures in Missions is a wonderful book that tells the story of Molly as she goes on her first missions trip. Molly learns about passports, trip preparation, and many of the things mission teams do when they go on missions trips in America and overseas. Molly is super excited to help others.

Molly's Adventures in Missions is the perfect book to read when you want to prepare your child to go on a missions trip. It can also be read to help your child understand what volunteer missionaries do on trips. I love how Joye Smith described the different ways we can help others - by going on trips ourselves or by supplying prayer, resources, and finances for others to go.

A missions lifestyle is embraced by Molly in this book. Just reading it makes me want to pack up and go!


Help a Missions Team

1. Find out who in your church is going on a missions trip.

2. Volunteer to help prepare for the trip. With your family, you can: gather supplies needed during the trip, collect items that will be given to help others (health items, baby things, etc.), give money to help pay for expenses, or help put together kits and materials.

3. Pray for the team member(s). Get specific prayer needs and post them at home. Let your child help you pray.

4. Get ready to hear all about the trip when they get back!

Maybe you and your family can go on a missions trip! You might have to wait for a few years, but that's ok. You can adopt a ministry in your city and do your own missions trips until everyone is old enough to go.

Or check out Familyfest, a missions experience geared towards families and children. Go to and look under ministries to find out more.

And when you go, be sure to take Molly with you! She loves missions trips.

Molly traveled to France with us.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Golden Egg Book - Easter Picture & KID KANDY

The Golden Egg Book
Written by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
(Scholastic Inc., 1947)

I love the imagination that is used by readers when they read The Golden Egg Book.

In The Golden Egg Book (though I have no idea why it is called The Golden Egg Book when there is, in fact, no golden egg at all in the story), a small bunny discovers a beautiful and interesting egg. He immediately starts trying to figure out what is inside the egg. He tries everything he can think of and eventually falls asleep, exhausted from his efforts.

While the bunny is asleep, the egg hatches. A yellow duckling jumps out. The duckling does the same things the bunny did to try and wake up the bunny (not knowing it was a bunny at all).

The old fashioned illustrations together with the adorable story make The Golden Egg Book one of my holiday favorites.


Make Mystery Eggs

~ Purchase plastic eggs (now is the perfect time!)

~ Put different items in each egg

~ Let your child use his or her imagination to guess what could be inside the egg

~ Take turns filling the eggs and guessing

~ Change the game by filling 2 eggs with the same thing and let your child try to match the ones that sound the same

~ Go crazy and brainstorm things that could be inside eggs

Angie Quantrell loves mystery eggs. Her most favorite are real boiled eggs and chocolate eggs. Happy Easter!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones
By Ruth Heller
(Grosset & Dunlap, 1981)

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones is the perfect book for spring. I love to use it at Easter as well, since Heller talks about Easter eggs in a section of the book.

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones is a wonderfully illustrated book about who comes from eggs. All sorts of animals, land, water, and sky travelers, grace the pages of loose rhyme. Heller has captured the imagination of readers who think eggs are only allowed to be oval-shaped. Which is not true!

This book, full of nature and scientific info (but shared in a fun way) is a great book for those nature lovers and inquisitive minds that you know. Learn a little, love a little. Read Chickens Aren't the Only Ones.


Spring is Egg Time!

~ Go for a walk at a local pond. Look for nests with eggs or ducklings or goslings swimming along behind mom and dad. Discuss the egg connection.

~ Get out the magnifying glasses. Search your yard (under leaves and rocks) for eggs of any type or size. Guess who will come out when the eggs hatch. Check out an insect identification book to help ID the eggs.

~ Continue the conversation in the car or on walks. Let your child list animals and put them into groups of eggs - yes or no? The discussion of egg laying creatures (oviparous animals) will naturally lead into talking about mammals who do not lay eggs. (Heller shows the two exceptions of mammals that lay eggs.)

~ Dig out the toy animals your child has at the bottom of the toy box. Sort by group - eggs or not.

Science and nature are amazing. Spring is the perfect time to notice new life. Get out there and get going!

Angie Quantrell loves to identify different eggs. She is very happy when she finds the foamy egg masses of praying mantis' and the tiny yellow eggs of ladybugs in her garden.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I See Something Red - Picture Book + KID KANDY Activity

I See Something Red, A Book About Color
Illustrated by Elissa Scott
(Hallmark Children's Editions)

Throwback Thursday Alert: This book was once loved and adored by my children (well into their 20's) and numerous preschoolers and kindergartners I've taught over the years.

I See Something Red, A Book About Color is a simple board book. The brightly colored illustrations and easy to recognize drawings attract young readers.

The words are simple and pictures are labeled. Colors of the rainbow are in order of appearance (in a rainbow). White is included on the last page, a freebie of sorts.

For all of the fun I've had and repeated readings I've participated in, I See Something Red is a bit of a classic in my home and classrooms.

And it goes to show, book publishers can come from anywhere!


Color Matching Blocks

Dig out a tub of colored wooden blocks after reading I See Something Red, A Book About Color.

Reread the book. Let your child pull out blocks that match the colors on each page.

Did you make a rainbow?

Angie Quantrell loves rainbows! Learning about rainbows and colors is a perfect theme for spring.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Counta Block - Wacky Wednesday Picture Book & KID KANDY

Counta Block
Written by Christopher Franceschelli
Art by Peskimo
(Abrams Appleseed, 2014)

Today's Wacky Wednesday pick is Counta Block. Not that this awesome counting and thinking book is wacky, but the size and heft is pretty unusual and amazing.

Counta Block, shaped like a block, is solid and will last for many readings by the younger crowd. It's a counting book from 1-10.
Counta Block then goes on counting with the 10's (10, 20, etc.). The final number, 100, is a fold out page with a 100-piece puzzle illustration.

I love this counting book! Not just for the board book quality and number cut-outs, but the thinking component. Each number begins with a certain item, and then the counting page is what those things become . . . ten pails of sand become . . . ten sand castles! Readers are encouraged to figure out what the initial objects transform into on the next page.

Love this concept book! Other than it potentially being used as a weapon (being thrown at a sibling), every family with young preschoolers would benefit from reading Counta Block.


Do Your Own Counta Block Project

1. Make it easy. To begin, do only numbers 1-5.

2. Choose 5 simple things from the home. For example:

~ 5 pieces of paper become . . . 5 paper hats

~ 2 eggs become . . . 2 Easter eggs (or boiled or fried)

~ 1 bulb becomes . . . 1 flower

3. Have fun counting and thinking about numbers!

(P.S. Take digital photos of each number set, print out pictures, and glue them to cardstock to make your own family number book.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Terrific Tuesday - Molly Meets the Missionaries - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Molly Meets the Missionaries
By Rhonda Robbins-Reeves
(Woman's Missionary Union, 2010)

Meet Molly and Mikey, friends who travel the world meeting missionaries.

Written in rhyme, Molly and Mikey (an MK - missionary kid) explore and learn about some of the things missionaries and their families do around the world to tell about God. Bible thoughts are listed on each page and relate to the service being provided by missionaries or learned about by Mikey and Molly.

Flat Molly and Flat Mikey, paper doll figures at the end of the book, can be cut out (or copied and then cut out), laminated, and taken on trips. Be sure and take pictures of both of them when you stop to sightsee! Think of Flat Stanley and his adventures, except Flat Molly and Flat Mikey travel to tell and learn about Jesus.

Preschoolers and children will enjoy international travel and fun times with friends when they read Molly Meets the Missionaries.


Make a Clay Toy

Molly and Mikey learn about MK's in Malawi who make their own toys. Let's make a toy with clay!

1. Get some modeling clay. Choose a color and start warming it up by rolling and smashing it in your hands. It might take awhile, so keep on working hard.

2. Decide what type of toy you want to make - doll, ball, car, building, animal - or anything else you think would be fun.

3. Mold your clay into the shape. Don't worry if your toy is not exactly right. Just have fun making it.

4. Play with your toy! The neat thing about clay is you can always add to or adjust what you've made. Tools make clay fun - a fork, butter knife, or spoon can help you mold clay and make designs on it.

(If you want a toy that does not change shape anymore, use play dough and let it dry for several days.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Today is Monday - Picture Book & KID KANDY - Books You Can Sing

Today is Monday
Pictures by Eric Carle
(Scholastic Inc., 1993)

Today IS Monday! What better book to read than Today is Monday by Eric Carle.

Join animals as they eat something different each day of the week. The animals are so good at remembering what they ate the day before, they repeat each day and meal for every new day. By the end of the week, the animals (readers) are working their way backwards from the current day of the week, listing both days and foods.

And, surprise, it's not really animals who are eating! Readers will find out who is eating the meals at the end of Today is Monday.

Yet another surprise is the musical sheet showing the melody for the song that goes with Today is Monday.

Children will enjoy singing the days of the week backwards and seeing all of the animals gobble their food. Don't forget to check out the page at the beginning where Eric Carle gives mealtime greetings in different languages!


Make Your Own Mealtime a Song

~ Make your own version of Today is Monday with your child.

~ For one week, write down the main dish you eat and the day of the week. Let your child do the writing or draw a little picture of the foods. (Example: Monday - pizza, Tuesday - tacos)

~ Once you have meals for Monday through Sunday, sing the song! If you are not a musician, make up any silly tune. Kids won't care. Just have fun.

Angie Quantrell loves to make up silly songs. Today she was singing "Whining doesn't work at Nana's house, Nana's house, Nana's house. Whining doesn't work at Nana's house. She loves her kids." to the tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush." The grands got the message and had fun.

Friday, March 20, 2015

What Is Your Language? - Picture Book & KID KANDY

What Is Your Language?
Song by Debra Leventhal
Pictures by Monica Wellington
(Scholastic Inc., 1999)

Musical notes are included for this book you can sing. If you can't play a piano, don't let that stop you. One can enjoy reading the book aloud just as much.

What Is Your Language? is the story of a little boy who goes on a long trip around the world to meet new friends. At each stop, he asks his new friends to tell him their language. The friends, dressed in simplified traditional clothes, answer the boy and use the word for 'yes' in their own language. After many stops and new friends, the boy must return home. Now all of the friends respond with 'no' in their language, "Don't go!"

Of course, the boy has to go home. But the reader can tell how much he learned on his international journey just by looking at his room.

What Is Your Language? is a simple and fun language book. Though readers will only learn yes and no in several different languages, they will see clothing and some of the attractions from each country the boy visits. The last page of the book gives a pronunciation guide and tells a little about languages around the world (for adults or older readers).

What Is Your Language? is a great book to introduce young children to different languages and new friends that live around the world.


Adopt a Country!

~ Let your child choose a country about which he or she is interested. Adopt it!

~ Check out library books to read more about your country.

~ Search online for tourist sites featuring your country. Find language links that let you listen to the spoken language of the country. Listen and practice some words.

~ Go out to dinner at a restaurant that serves foods from your country.

~ Collect dress-up clothes that look like traditional clothes from your country. Play dress-up.

~ Adults: Start a Pinterest board about your country. Search for pins and pin them to the board. This is a great source of images specific to countries. Show the board to your child.

~ Enjoy learning about other countries and people.

Angie Quantrell likes to use Pinterest to collect ideas and images from other countries. A few simple clicks and it's almost like you are visiting in person. Almost. Maybe she needs to prepare some of the traditional foods so it will also taste like she is visiting.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ten Black Dots - Picture Book + KID KANDY Activity

Ten Black Dots

By Donald Crews
(Scholastic Inc., 1968)

Ten Black Dots
is an oldie but a goodie.

This edition of Ten Black Dots is redesigned and revised (1986). Donald Crews has bold yet simple illustrations for this counting book.

Throughout the book, children are encouraged to consider things that can be made with black dots. Each number (and number word) are used in one or two different ways. Readers can and should add their own ideas for how the spots could be used. The end of the book shows a stair step chart from 1-10 using black dots.

Ten Black Dots is a nice picture book that ties in to kindergarten and preschool math concepts. Try it. You will like it.


Make your own black dot pictures.

~ Use paint or bingo daubers. You may need to make (any) color dot pictures. Or you could use a circle stamp on black ink, a round lid on black paint or ink, or a thumb print to make dots.

~ Brainstorm first. What do you want to make? You can use a pencil to sketch out your idea and then add dots.

~ Or do the opposite. Make a dot design first. Now what does it look like? Name your design.

~ Make a stair step chart like Donald Crews. Count the dots!

Angie Quantrell loves it when picture books can be used when teaching math concepts. She wonders how many good books about math are out there? The only way to find out is to start looking and counting. 1, 2, 3 - let's go!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wacky Wednesday - Around the World: An Amazing World (3-D) - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Around the World: An Amazing World, Photos in 3-D!

Written by Heather E. Schwartz & Tammi Salzano
Designed by Flora Chan
(Scholastic Inc., 2009)

Wacky Wednesday brings you 3-D fun!

Love to travel? See the sights? Learn a little bit about a new place? Wear funny glasses to improve the view?

Around the World: An Amazing World, Photos in 3-D! is the perfect book for you. Don 3-D glasses (included) and check out world famous international landmarks. This book includes a bit of history about each location, trivia, and tells where in the world each is found. 22 amazing attractions are included in this 48-page book. That should amuse and educate almost anyone.

Travel bugs, this is for you!


Time for a Visit

Younger children will enjoy looking at illustrations with the 3-D glasses. Older children will love the ease of internet connections to the live sites.

~ Let each child choose his or her favorite landmark.

~ Search online and find videos or additional images for your child's favorite locations.

~ Pretend you are going on a trip. What will you pack? What will you eat? See? Do?

~ Maybe, just maybe, you can go on a real adventure and visit those spectacular sites. It's worth a bucket list wish, right?

Angie Quantrell loves dreaming about traveling to different bucket list locations. Finding pictures and videos online are the next best thing to actually going in person. Maybe one day. Wanna go?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Terrific Tuesday - Linnea in Monet's Garden - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Linnea in Monet's Garden

Written by Christina Bjork
Drawings by Lena Anderson
(R & S Books, 1985)

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, when all wear green, I would like to share a book about a green space - Linnea in Monet's Garden.

Claude Monet is one of my favorite artists. My husband and I were blessed to visit Monet's home and gardens outside of Paris when we spent some time in France. I was in love, following the meandering pathways, admiring the gorgeous flower gardens, touring his home, and snapping photos like a crazy woman. Perhaps I was crazy. It's not every day one gets to view the inspiration for so many wonderful works of art.

Linnea and Mr. Bloom, a former gardener, embark on a journey to travel to Monet's home and gardens. Linnea in Monet's Garden is a wonderful book. It's part history, part speculation, part art lesson, part nature lesson, and even a gardening book of sorts. Giverny is beautifully represented as Mr. Bloom and Linnea explore, paint, have a picnic, and enjoy an outing worthy of a bucket list dream.

This book is perfect for those ready to visit France during summer break. It is also just as good for those who cannot go, but want to learn and maybe someday take a long trip to visit Monet's Giverny.


Paint a Garden or Visit a Garden

Dig out acrylic or watercolor paints. Help your child secure heavy paper to a clipboard or table. Study flowers, trees, rocks, or bushes to see the lines, colors, and shapes. Let your child experiment with ways to capture nature on paper. You could even join in the fun!

Visit a garden! Many larger cities have public gardens or arboretums. Pack a picnic and take your child on an outing such as the one Linnea went on with Mr. Bloom. Cameras are great for recording the beauty (and images can be used later for painting practice). Make sure your child gets a chance to take some shots of the nature at its best.

Angie Quantrell loves gardens and gardening. She dreams of visiting other fabulous gardens where weeds do not belong to her and beauty is a feast for the eyes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Everything Spring - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Everything Spring
Written by Jill Esbaum
(National Geographic Society and Scholastic Inc., 2010)

Think spring!

Spring has arrived early in the northwest. It's been so warm that fruit trees, bulbs, flowers, bushes and animals are about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Nest building, buds, flowers, bugs, babies, and all sorts of spring signs are in great evidence.

Everything Spring is a beautifully photographed book about spring. As I look out the windows and walk through the mild air, I have been reminded how much I enjoy spring.

The senses are very much involved in Everything Spring. "Spring tiptoes in, . . . earthy smells, . . ., color." Just reading the book makes me want to get outside and search for those signs of new life, big and small.

Children will love and identify with the many signs of spring found in this non-fiction picture book. Welcome spring by reading about the season and then exploring nature.


Go for a spring nature walk.

1. Choose a nearby park or wooded area. Walk slowly, noticing all the signs of spring you see.

2. Record your observations. Use a journal and pencils or a camera.

3. Sit a few minutes in silence. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Close your eyes and see how much better you can hear and smell.

4. Tell a friend what you saw and learned.

5. Go back to the same spot every season. Compare the seasonal differences in what you see, feel, smell, and hear.

Nature is pretty amazing!

Angie Quantrell loves living in the Pacific Northwest where four seasons makes for an abundance of beauty. You can find her enjoying the outdoors of her backyard, neighborhood, and lots of other nature areas.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

L'ecole - French Picture Book + KID KANDY Activity

Text by Micheline Bertrand and Fernand Nathan
Illustrations by Dick Bruna
(Paris, 1964f)

I love France and all things French. I love old books. I love old picture books.

L'ecole fits all three loves. Though I cannot figure out who published the book, I know it came into being around 1964 and has Paris listed in the scant information on the inside cover.

L'ecole, as you may have guessed if you read French, is a picture book about school.

Yes. School. Small children, les enfants, march happily to school, for school is a pretty place. Les enfants do the normal kid things at school - sing, draw on the chalkboard, build with blocks, celebrate a birthday, and make pattern designs.

And then, they are fini. They go home until the next day.

L'ecole is tres adorable! (Say that with a French accent, s'il vous plait!)


Listen to a language ~ any language!

They say that children who learn more than one language do better is school. Early exposure is the very best way to keep those neural pathways and LAD (language acquisition device) intact and available to pick up the nuances and sounds of languages.

Let's do this!

~ Sing some Raffi or Charlotte Diamond. Both of them have songs in English and French. Numerous recording artists sing in two languages. Check it out.

~ YouTube. I know there are basic language videos just there for the listening. Caution: View them before sharing with your child, just in case.

~ Check out a language program from the library. Your choice - Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian . . .

~ Join a language group. In my area there is at least one French speaking group that meets on a monthly basis. I haven't gone yet, but I dream of it. If only to show my lack of true language skills and taste the cheese.

~ Books on CD (or tape). Libraries and bookstores have these available. Occasionally, Costco has a series you can purchase.

Bonne chance!

Angie Quantrell loves hearing and trying to speak French. She easily massacres the beautiful words, but that does not stop her from trying.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wacky Wednesday - The Gas We Pass - Picture Book & KID KANDY

The Gas We Pass, The Story of Farts
Written by Shinta Cho
Translated by Amanda Mayer Stinchecum
(A Curious Nell Book; Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1994)

Wacky Wednesday once again tackles a bodily function - gas.

Blunt. That is the way Shinta Cho (translated from the original Japanese) penned The Gas We Pass, The Story of Farts. The illustrations are pretty comical but tie in perfectly with the subject matter. The truth about how our bodies make gas as a by-product of the digestive process is simply explained. Graphs help readers understand and visualize how much gas we pass and how normal farting is for humans and animals alike.

Bathroom humor makes this a perfect book for any age - the serious and curious minded preschoolers, the potty talking elementary boys, and even adults who love to joke about passing gas.

If toots are a common subject at your home, this just might be the book for your family.


Ok. Tough one here. Hmmmmm...

Passing Gas Household Survey

~ Make a list of all of the animals and people in the household.

~ Turn into a super sleuth to catch each one passing gas.

~ Chart the results.

1. Fart? (yes or no)

2. Smelly? (yes or no)

3. Noisy? (yes or no)

4. Diet? (What types of food does the subject eat? Cho describes the difference between meat eaters and mainly vegetarian diners.)

~ Do your results match with what you read in The Gas We Pass, The Story of Farts?

Angie Quantrell likes books that teach about how our bodies work, even if the subject matter is sometimes embarrassing. She would rather use the old saying that girls fluff, not pass gas.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Terrific Tuesday - Let's Learn About . . . - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Let's Learn About . . .
Written by Angie Quantrell
(Woman's Missionary Union, 2012)

In the world of Christian education, there are 9 concept areas that encompass all of the things that preschoolers need to explore and learn about. Those areas, while mainly guidance for teachers, leaders, parents, and grandparents, are also good for preschoolers and young children to start labeling as they experience activities in each concept area.

Let's Learn About . . . is a book about concept areas for preschoolers. God, Jesus, Bible, Church, Self, Family, God's Creation, World, and Community are the nine areas.

Molly and Mikey, preschoolers who love learning about missions and going to church, go on a journey to learn about each of the concept areas. Miss Goodwin, their teacher, engages them in discussions and activities that are perfect for exploring in a hands' on way. Which, by the way, is the most perfect way for young children to learn. (Personally, this old child - myself - best learns through actually doing activities as well!)

Miss Goodwin also shares a note to parents, Bible thoughts for preschoolers, and one activity for each concept area.

The 9 concept areas are the building blocks of Christian education for preschoolers. Mission Friends, an age level organization for preschoolers, is the perfect place to use Let's Learn About . . . But any gathering of preschoolers would benefit from the focus on these foundational concept areas.

If ever you need to know which things to focus on when you are teaching your child, or a group of littles, Let's Learn About . . . will show you the way and give you ideas.


Make Your Own Let's Learn About . . . Chart

1. Draw a chart with nine columns on poster board.

2. Print the name of one concept area at the top of each column. Let your child decorate the chart with markers and stickers.

3. Plan an activity for each area (not all at once, of course, but spread out through a month or six months or a year).

4. Each time you do an activity that ties in with one area, put a sticky note or star in the corresponding column.

5. Make a goal to do something in each area.

6. Start again!

Read Let's Learn About . . . for more ideas and explanations of Christian concept areas.

To order:

Call: 1-800-968-7301
Online:; Go to Age Levels: Go to Preschool: Go to Books

Thank you! I offer my most humble thanks and blessings to you.

Angie Quantrell loves working with preschoolers and young children. They say the most interesting things and have a zest for life. With children, anything can be fun if you are willing to be a little crazy!

Monday, March 9, 2015

One Monday Morning - Picture Book & KID KANDY

One Monday Morning
Written & Illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
(Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company, 1967)

It's all about days of the week.

On one rainy Monday, the king, queen, and prince went to visit a certain young boy. But he wasn't home.

So they came back the next day. And the next. And the next. For an entire week. Until the boy was home. By then the king's group was quite large.

The boy and the king had a grand visit.

Or did they?

The last illustration makes the reader stop to think about whether the king really visited. Or was the boy making up a story?

You will have to read to find out. (If you can't find this old book, comment below and I will tell you about the illustration and you can make up your own mind.)


Days of the Week Hopscotch

One of the goals of preschool and kindergarten is that the students learn the days of the week, preferably in order. There are many wonderful songs that help children acquire this knowledge. But what about a game?

Use chalk to draw a hopscotch board on the sidewalk. It must have 7 squares. A fun hopscotch that keeps the days in the correct order would be a circle hopscotch, where the circle continues on and on and on - just like a real week!

Start at the first square (or anywhere in the circle, which should have spaces in multiples of 7, so the week days keep going in order without leaving any out) and write Sunday. Add the days of the week in order, one in each space.

Play Days of the Week Hopscotch by hopping the days of the week, calling out the days as they are landed on. Or sing the days of the week as your child hops on the squares. Play forever and ever (as my granddaughter loves to say). Eventually, the days of the week will be down pat in your child's memory.

Angie Quantrell loves childhood games. She remembers hopscotch, Chinese jump rope, chasing boys, jump rope, building with rocks, and monkey bars blisters.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Yoko - Picture Book & KID KANDY

Written & Illustrated By Rosemary Wells
(Scholastic Inc., 1998)

Cats as storybook characters? Works just fine for this feline fan.

Yoko is perfectly happy with her bamboo wrapped lunch box filled with tasty rice rolls and chopsticks. Until kids at school make fun of her food and say it is gross.

Thank goodness for Mrs. Jenkins, the teacher of this diverse group of children, er, characters (furry mammals). Suddenly, she must figure out how to encourage children from different cultural backgrounds to respect and enjoy each other. Welcome to International Food Day!

Yoko is a wonderful example of a fun picture book that shows the importance of getting along and respecting others regardless of how different they are. I love the illustrations and the solutions offered in this timely picture book.


Make International Food Day a weekly activity!

~ As a family, or a classroom, choose one day a week to celebrate International Food Day. You could also choose one day a month.

~ On that day, prepare one meal from an international menu - stir fry with rice, burritos, hummus on pita bread, or Greek salad.

~ Or go out for a meal or snack at a restaurant that serves international cuisine.

~ Proudly display the world globe or map. Put a sticky note on each country you visit (through eating food from that region of the world). See how fast you can cover the world!

~ Make it as simple or as elaborate as you like. You can dress in clothes from different countries, check out computer images from a specific area of the world, invite friends to join you, host a neighborhood international potluck, or decorate your table to resemble décor in other places.

~ Have fun! The world is your limit.

Angie Quantrell loves international days. She will taste almost anything (unless it is moving or has six legs). Angie loves picture books that teach but don't preach.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tosca's Surprise - Picture Book + KID KANDY Activity

Tosca's Surprise
Story by Matthew Sturgis
Illustrations by Anne Mortimer
(Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Books, 1991)

Tosca's Surprise is one of those books both of my children loved. Now my grandchildren love it as well.

Not just because the illustrations of Tosca look real enough to touch and cuddle, or because they loved Tosca's Christmas, but also because Tosca has a surprise.

It's spring. Perhaps you can guess the surprise?

Without totally giving it away, Tosca spends some time nesting and looking for the perfect quiet spot. After which, well, you will have to read to see the adorable surprises.

We love this throwback to the childhood of my children. If you like cats, you will love Tosca.


Make your own nest for a surprise!

~ Dig out those stuffed animals or Beanie Babies. You can use kitties or cats or any other animals that produce surprises in the spring.

~ Provide old towels, doll blankets, and boxes. For padding, packing paper or shredded newspaper is wonderful (messy, but fun).

~ Let your child prepare the best place for his/her spring surprises. Nesting is lots of fun for humans at play.

~ Go for a walk to see who else is nesting and getting ready for young ones.

The girls, coming home at 2 1/2 months.

The gray girls, no longer this small...

Angie Quantrell loves spring and the babies that seem to pop up out of nowhere. Kittens, puppies, foals, and all sorts of baby animals are so adorably cute, it's a wonder her house is not filled with four-legged children. For now, there are only two kittens, soon to be cats on April 15.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wacky Wednesday - Everyone Poops

Everyone Poops
By Taro Gomi
(Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1993)

Everyone Poops. It's a book about potty matters.

You know it's true. Everyone does poop. The animals and the people - anyone or anything that eats must eventually, well, go potty.

Colorful yet easy to understand illustrations makes Everyone Poops a classic for potty training. Sure, potty humor hits a little later in the developmental cycles of humans, but the honest discussion of going potty is for the youngest of children.

Be warned, there are plenty of poopy pictures in this book. Read in a matter-of-fact way, young children will gain understanding of a natural bodily function. Later, you may catch the older children reading and giggling. No way around that one!

Everyone Poops - a truly Wacky Wednesday wonder.


Take a walk.

This activity will be especially beneficial in a forest or woodsy area or on a farm. There is plenty of poop in both of those habitats.

Look for poop. Kids would love to use a magnifying glass to look closer at discovered specimens. Try and figure out who did it - the cow? the horse? a bear? a duck?

Just watch where you step!

Angie Quantrell loves books that help explain nature and the way things work. Even if some people think talking about poop is gross, it is a very real topic of conversation for kids. The best way to answer questions children may have? Answer just what they ask in a matter-of-fact way. Don't worry. If they have more questions, they will keep on asking. And you keep answering by adding tiny bits of information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Terrific Tuesday - I Can Be More Like Jesus - Picture Book & KID KANDY

I Can Be More Like Jesus
Written by Angie Quantrell
(Woman's Missionary Union, 2006)

Philippe and Etienne enjoy life with their family. Journey with the two French brothers as they discover ways they can be more like Jesus. Helping others, praying for others, embracing nature, using manners, and giving help are just a few of the ways they learn to be more like Jesus.

In this photograph & watercolor illustrated book, French is the featured language. French phrases are printed on each page, along with pronunciation. Additional ideas are included at the end for families, teachers, and anyone who has or works with children.

I Can Be More Like Jesus
is the fourth book in the I Can series. I am particularly proud of this book because I took the photos, using family and friends as characters. My graphic illustrator used a fancy computer program (sorry, not my specialty) to make the photographs appear to be made from watercolor painting. I love it!


Help the Homeless

We see them at many street corners and around town, asking for some cash, work, or food. How about being prepared to hand a homeless person a specially prepared lunch sack, complete with snacks and drinks? Make several lunch sacks and keep them close at hand when you are running errands. Let your children help you make, decorate, fill, and store the bags. When it comes time for a hand-out, you will be ready to go!

1. Let your children decorate paper lunch sacks with markers. They can draw all sorts of pictures. Add a special message like "Jesus Loves You." Do not add any personal information.

2. Fill the bags with non-perishable items to eat or drink. Some ideas are:

~ water bottles
~ sports drinks
~ juice boxes or cans
~ snack crackers with peanut butter or cheese
~ granola bars
~ packages of nuts
~ packets of tuna (not cans, as they are difficult to open)
~ napkins
~ hand-wipes or hand-sanitizer

3. Place the filled sacks in an easy to reach box in your car. Now you are ready.

4. Put the kids on alert. They get to search for homeless people. You get to deliver the bags. Way to go!

Angie Quantrell loves to show children how to love others, as people in our communities can always use a helping hand or a bright smile. Ideas for ways to help others are as numerous as the number of people in your city! Go for it.

Books by Angie Quantrell:
I Can Pray
I Can Give
I Can Do It!
I Can Be More Like Jesus
Let's Learn About . . .

Find these books: (Age Level Groups, Preschoolers, Books)
Or call 1-800-968-7301.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My First Chinese New Year - Picture Book & KID KANDY

My First Chinese New Year
by Karen Katz
(Scholastic Inc., 2004)

I missed Chinese New Year! But save this title for new year. It is filled with wonderful and colorful detailed illustrations.

My First Chinese New Year
is an adorable picture book about Chinese New Year. A young girl chronicles her family and their preparation for the special day. Hair cuts, cooking, cleaning, planting, and time with family for a yummy meal are important traditions. Red envelopes containing money are special gifts from adults.

The perfect ending is the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. Dragons, drums, and drama!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Happy New Year!)


Two fun things to do around Chinese New Year ~

1. Go to a Chinese New Year parade! Many big cities have parades for families to enjoy. If you do not live close enough to attend, search online for video clips of the festive parades. Though you will have to wait for next year's parade to see one in person, a virtual visit can be just as fun.

2. Go out for Chinese food for dinner. Enjoy the smells, flavors, and décor. Ask the server and restaurant owners what they did for Chinese New Year.

Angie Quantrell loves to learn about other cultures. International traditions and celebrations both fascinate and encourage her to want to learn and see more. What traditions does your family have?