Books Will Never Go Out of Print!

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Whisper ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Enchanting picture book where the reader gets to help tell the stories.
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

The Whisper
Written and Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

The Whisper is a magnificent book that encourages readers to use their imagination.

A young girl who loves stories borrows a special book from her teacher. Once she gets home, she discovers that the words have disappeared! Encouraged by a whisper, she rereads the book and imagines the stories told by the illustrations. A surprise visit from Mr. Fox tells where the words have flown.

Told through minimal text and delightful illustrations, The Whisper allows readers to concentrate on the images and after a short introduction to a possible story line, complete the tale to their own liking. Each two-page spread offers the opportunity to make up a new story.

Readers will love the colorful illustrations and creating their own tales when they read The Whisper.


Look at Art and Make Up Your Own Stories

1. First, look at paintings, sculptures, or works of art. Really study them. You can even look at calendar pages, book covers (without reading the story inside), or photos.

2. Next, ask some questions.

- Who is in the art?
- Do you see people or animals?
- Where does the art take place? Outside, inside, at dinner, bedtime?
- What is happening?
- Why is it happening?
- What feelings can you see or feel when you look at the art?
- What problem is going on?

3. Now, make up a story about the art.

For example, I have a calendar page of a large rabbit, beautiful flowers, and a dragonfly. It almost looks like the dragonfly is friends with the rabbit and one is whispering to the other. Why? I think perhaps the rabbit has lost a friend and the dragonfly is helping to find the friend. "Look, over there," he flutters, "see those purple flowers? I think I see shiny eyes and long ears." Maybe the eyes and ears are not a friendly rabbit, but a wily fox!

And then I could keep imagining the story of the rabbit and the dragonfly, adding problems and adventures and changes.

Look around you. Choose a picture you can use to imagine a story. Go ahead.

Tell me. I want to enjoy your story, too!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rude Cakes ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Funny book about manners
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Rude Cakes
By Rowboat Watkins
(Chronicle Books, 2015)

I cracked up when I read Rude Cakes.

Seriously, talking cakes? Yes. There are even cakes that have good manners and those who need lessons in being polite and friendly.

Youngsters will enjoy the antics of rude cakes as they read Rude Cakes. Readers may even learn about some of the social graces. The important question is: Do rude cakes ever change?


Rude Kid Role Play

Wouldn't it be fun to act like a rude cake?

Allow your child to pretend to be the opposite of a well-mannered child by acting rude through role play. Emphasize that it is fun to pretend, but for real situations, it is never kind to be rude.

If you want to keep it contained to the make-believe in Rude Cakes, take turns acting out the different characters as you read the book together. That makes role playing a win-win activity.

Question of the Day: What is the hardest 'good manners rule' for you to remember to do?

Maybe it is remembering to say please and thank you, covering your mouth when you cough, or picking your nose at the table (ewww!).

I'd love to hear about your most difficult rule.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Gardener ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

The Gardener
By Sarah Stewart
Pictures by David Small
(Farrar-Straus-Giroux, 1997)

Lydia Grace Finch had to go and live with her uncle in the city when times were rough and her parents were out of work. She lived during the Depression times. She traveled to help at her uncle's bakery, but she didn't go alone.

Lydia Grace Finch carried along a great variety of seeds. She loved planting and gardening with her grandmother. She planned to carry on her gardening tasks in the city.

Lydia did plant seeds, bulbs, and plants. Pretty soon, people were not calling her Lydia Grace (like her grandmother). They called her The Gardener.

The Gardener is a lovely book told completely through letters. The illustrations perfectly fill in the gaps and tell the story along with the words. I loved this book!


Plant Seeds

Be like Lydia Grace Finch and beautify the area around your house, yard, or apartment.

1. Buy or ask for some seeds and potting soil. You can grow flowers or vegetables or anything else that comes from seeds. I love growing kale, radishes, and green beans. They are yummy.

2. Fill containers with soil and plant seeds. Or find some dirt and plant seeds. Make sure to keep them damp while they are getting ready to sprout.

3. Continue to water and watch the seeds sprout and grow.

Now we can call you The Gardener!

P.S. What did you plant? Did the seeds grow? I would love to hear about your gardening adventures!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

You Nest Here With Me ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

You Nest Here With Me
By Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
(Boyds Mills Press, 2015)

You Nest Here With Me is the perfect picture book for a bedtime story that allows readers to learn about birds and their nests.

I love this book! The illustrations are adorable. The story is told in peaceful rhyme and shares details about common birds.

You Nest Here With Me is a lullaby and a gentle learning tale.


Make a Reading Nest

Materials: pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, books

1. Curl the blankets into a nest shape.

2. Add pillows and stuffed animals to make the nest soft and cozy.

3. Curl up in the nest and read books.

When I was little, I loved building a nest of toys and books all around me as I played. How about you? Where do you like to read books?

Good-night, little bird.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sunflower House ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Sunflower House
By Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt
(Voyager Books, 1996)

I have been reading tons of picture books lately. At least my back considers the weight of them to be tons as I haul them back and forth to the library.

Sunflower House is a colorful story about a child who plants a sunflower house with his parents. I suppose that is where the name for the book comes from, right?

Father and child first removed grass to make a large circle, leaving the middle of the circle grassy. Seeds were then planted in the soil and the waiting began.

Once the sunflowers began to grow tall, the child invited friends to play in the sunflower house. Eventually, the sunflowers grew so large and wide that the parents no longer fit inside and the flower house became a kids-only place to enjoy nature.

I love the idea of creating a fun space for children by planting sunflowers. I am considering it for this summer...if I can find a place that my husband won't mind too much if the grass is removed and seeds upon seeds will eventually fall and resprout next spring!


Plant a Sunflower House

Materials: sunflower seeds, large area to plant, yard tools

1. Read Sunflower House. Once you see the pictures you will know how to plant one.

2. Choose a sunny location for your sunflower house. They love the sun. Remove grass to form a ring of dirt around a circle of grass. Make your ring at least 4 feet in diameter. Sunflowers get HUGE!

3. Plant seeds in the dirt. Water them and wait.

4. Once the seeds have sprouted, watch them grow. You can pull weeds but only after you make sure you are not pulling up sunflowers.

5. After the sunflowers are as tall as you, the house is ready for play. Of course, it will keep growing, especially if you have planted JUMBO sunflowers.

6. What to do inside a sunflower house?

- rest on your back and look at the sky
- watch birds that flock to eat the seeds
- listen to the bees buzzing as they pollinate the flowers
- have a picnic in the sunflower house
- invite friends over to play
- campout overnight in the sunflower house
- look for insects that live in and around the flowers
- draw your sunflowers or the sunflower house
- use a magnifying glass to look really close at the plants and animals
- take photos of your house

Isn't that a fun project? What will you grow next summer?

Thanks for reading!