Tuesday, November 17, 2015
By Christopher Myers
(Disney - Hyperion, 2015)
My Pen perfectly captures the artist imagination of Christopher Myers.
Within the black and white pages, detailed illustrations point to the power of expression that is held in the hand of someone with a pen. Oh, the dreams, ideas, and worlds that can be drawn with a pen.
Imagination is a big thing. Readers will love the creativity and ideas found in My Pen.
Draw With a Pen
Materials: sketch pad or paper, pen
Go ahead. Do it. Doodle. Draw. Scribble. Create. Imagine. Tell a story with your drawings.
It's ok to not be perfect. Even Mr. Myers says his work does not always do what he wants. Just turn those mistakes into something new.
P.S. What is your favorite drawing?
Thursday, November 12, 2015
The Bear in the Book
By Kate Banks
Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben
(Frances Foster Books, 2012)
Who doesn't love books about bears?
The Bear in the Book is a story of a boy, a book, and bedtime. Oh, and of course a big black bear features prominently in this tale of a mother convincing her child to go to sleep.
As the mother reads about the bear in the book, the little boy learns all about winter and hibernating bears and seasons. Winter turns to spring and the bear awakes, ready to cross the pages of the book to get into sunshine.
But the boy has fallen asleep.
Young readers will love the muted illustrations (though brightly colored), the snoozing bear, and all that goes on outside the den while the bear sleeps away the winter.
Make a Den
Bears spend winter hibernating in caves or dens. Make your own den.
Use a sheet or blanket (or several). Spread it over a table and let it hang over the edges. Or you can push furniture together to make the walls and use the sheet over the top. Clothespins will help hold the edges down.
Turn yourself into a bear. Creep around on your hands and knees. Pretend to eat lots of nuts and berries and fish to get fat for the winter (bears don't eat all winter long!). Fat enough? Now it's time to hibernate.
Crawl into your den. Make a cozy nest with pillows and blankets. Scooch around until you are comfy.
Shhh. Good-night, little bear. Good-night.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
By Carol Antoinette Peacock
Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
(Albert Whitman & Company, 2004)
Did cats travel on the Mayflower?
Explore the lives of pilgrim travelers on their journey to the New World. Meet Faith, a fictional character based on historical documents. As she waits to set sail, Faith notices a cat chasing a mouse. Both end up on the Mayflower.
Faith adopts the cat and calls him Pounce. Pounce is her constant companion by the end of the journey - through storms, illness, winter, and life in a new country. One day Pounce disappears. The surprise ending of what happened to Pounce will delight cat lovers.
Historical facts are woven into this tale of settling the New World. The story is based on research done at the Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Enjoy Pilgrim Cat with young readers as you learn and use your imagination.
Visit Plimoth Plantation
Not everyone lives close enough to visit the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But almost everyone has access to a computer or electronic tablet.
How about a virtual field trip?
1. Ask a parent or older child to help you.
2. Visit plimoth.org/virtual-tours and http://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/thanksgiving-virtual-field-trip.
3. Go on a virtual tour of the Plimoth Plantation. Explore the website to find other interesting information.
4. Compare the illustrations and information found in Pilgrim Cat to what you viewed on the website.
What did you learn that was new?
What was most interesting to you?
Would you like to live back in the days of the Pilgrims? Why or why not?
Can you think of one thing you would like to try to do like the pilgrims?
Did you find out? Did cats travel with the pilgrims to the new world?
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Square Cat ABC
By Elizabeth Schoonmaker
(Aladdin, Simon & Schuster; 2014)
Square Cat ABC is the story of Eula and her friends, Mouse and Porcupine.
Mouse finds Square Cat digging in dirt. After discovering that Eula is planting a garden, Mouse begs Eula to plant spinach. Eula detests spinach and resists, only to find that Porcupine loves it as well. After finally being convinced to try the spinach, which Eula deems yucky, Mouse suggests that zucchini is included in the garden.
This story is told over the course of the alphabet. Giant letters on each page (beginning and middle of words) highlight which letter is being included. The alphabet is not the focus (though it really is), but the story is what is totally fun and engaging.
Readers will love meeting Square Cat Eula and her friends. Simple, bright and clever illustrations add the perfect touch to Square Cat ABC.
Chalk Alphabet Song
Materials: sidewalk chalk and a sidewalk or driveway (cement)
Write the alphabet letters in order along a sidewalk or driveway. Give plenty of space between each letter. Make sure you don't forget any letters!
Sing the "ABC Song" as you jump from one letter to the next. You can also be creative as you sing the song. You can:
~ ride a bike or tricycle
~ skip or gallop
~ jump on one leg
~ hold hands with a friend and go together
~ kick a ball between your feet
~ toss a beanbag to the next letter as you go
~ use a stick for a pointer
OR you can make up your own way to move along the alphabet.
What did you do? I'd love to hear.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
I Love Dogs!
By Sue Stainton
Illustrated by Bob Staake
(Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins Publishers; 2014)
There is so much to see in this delightful picture book! Packs of dogs doing doggie things and tons of great words to build language fill the pages of I Love Dogs! Occasionally repetitive, just a little bit rhyming, and bright and colorful, this book caught my eye and led me to pull if from the shelf for a quick read.
If you are a teacher, this book will resonate with students. If you are a parent, with or without a dog at home, your child will love finding out about the things dogs do. If you are a kid, then you definitely want to search for your favorite dog. If you are a dog, well, then you will just have to bark and slobber and get ideas of things you want to do.
Dog lovers of all ages will want to read I Love Dogs!.
Warning: You will probably want to go out and adopt-a-dog after reading this book.
Make a Play Dough Dog
1. Dig out the play dough. It's always fun to make sculptures of animals. (A sculpture is like a statue.)
2. Start with the body. Make a ball. You may have to knead the dough to get is warmed up. Roll the ball on the table to stretch it out to the body shape you want.
3. Make 4 smaller balls. Roll them gently to stretch them into the legs you want. It's better to make thick legs to hold up the body. Skinny legs will squish. Carefully set the body on the legs and kind of rub the edges together to make them stick.
4. Roll another ball between your fingers to shape the head. Use a pencil tip to poke eyes and nostrils and draw mouth lines. Attach to the top of the body and rub the connecting edges.
5. Roll 2 tiny balls and flattern them to make ears. Stick them on the head.
6. What kind of tail do you want? Make it with play dough and place it opposite the head.
7. Use a pencil tip to carefully draw lines to make the dog look like it's covered with fur.
How did you do? Now you get to name your dog and make it some food to eat!