Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Picture Book Month

 Thank you all who stopped by! I hope you found a new book or two to read or maybe even rediscovered an old favorite. Picture Books have the ability to transport and build iomagination. I encourage you all to invest in a quality book every now and then. I have often found many wonderful titles from my local thrift stores, library sales and BookCloseOuts. If you have access to a public library, make sure to sign up for a card! To rifle through the titles and projects, you can visit my flickr set here. Happy reading!

Picture Book Month: Swami on Rye

Published by Viking Juvenile, 1995

Swami on Rye is one of my most favorite picture books (what's not to adore about cricket games, red herrings, vampires and a father-to-be flying about on a magic carpet?) Maira Kalman is one of my most favorite people ever. She is a visionary and secretly I liken myself to being a kindred spirit with her. Though she is probably much more interesting than I.  Truthfully, any of the Max books are a good choice. People can be very particular about their favorite Max book, I happen to like this one best. Max books are lyrical and slightly nonsensical. They are not even close to being linear and quite difficult to read out loud to a large group (I speak from experience). One on one however, they are perfect and full of whimsy and wonder and quirk. They are probably more suited for us grown-ups yet I know oodles of kiddos who adore Max as much as I do. Don't miss out on Max or Maira, there is sure to be something for everyone in her wonderful world.

Don't forget, November is picture book month. Check out the official
blog here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Picture Book Month: Mary's Penny

Written by Tanya Landman
Illustrated by Richard Holland
Published by Candlewick Press, 2010

Mary's Penny is a retelling of a traditional tale with all the markings of a fairy tale as well (save for any fairies). Mary is the daughter of a farmer and sister to two brother's. One day her father gives each son a penny and tells them that whomever can fill the house with something purchased with their penny will get to run the farm. Mary, being a girl, is not included. At least, not at first. Richard Holland's collaged illustrations are wonderful and the story is so simple and lovely I urge you to pick up a copy. This is one for my bookshelves.

Don't forget, November is picture book month. Check out the official blog here!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Picture Book Month: Tommaso and the Missing Line

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2008

In a nutshell, this is the story of a boy searching for his line. Yup, HIS line. He once drew a picture of his favorite view that showcases the most lovely of arced lines. One day he pulls his picture out of his pocket to find the line has vanished! Tommaso then sets out to find his missing line. Told with simple words and creative illustrations your kiddos may find themselves inspired to draw their very own picture with a very orange line. Enjoy!

Don't forget, November is picture book month. Check out the official blog here!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Picture Book Month: Bonnie's Blue House

Written & illustrated by Kelly Asbury
Published by Henry Holt & Co., 1997

Bonnie's Blue House is one in a trilogy of nifty picture books by Kelly Asbury. With a retro feel and simple dialogue, you and your kiddos will delight in Yolanda's school day. The other two titles are Rusty's Red Vacation and Yolanda's Yellow School.

Don't forget, November is picture book month. Check out the official blog here!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Picture Book Month: Song & Juniper

by August Hall
Published by Big Kid Books, 2005

I know, I'm sorry, another out of print title but you can find these used and at your library and really, libraries are the best things so make sure you have a card if you are able. This lovely book has absolutely gorgeous illustrations. The simple story details a day spent with Song & Juniper. Simple and very pretty. I hope you get a chance to check it out!

Don't forget, November is picture book month. Check out the official blog here!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Picture Book Month: Supermoo!

Written & Illustrated by Babette Cole
Published by Mammoth, 1994

Supermoo is a story about a super cow. I know! Back in my nannying days, my kiddos LOVED this book. So sit down, give it a read and set your kiddos to creating their own super hero personas.

November is Picture Book month, check out the blog here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Picture Book Month: Thank You Bear

Written and Illustrated by Greg Foley
Published by Viking, 2007

This is such a sweetie, sweet book of friendship. The illustrations couldn't be any sweeter. It is the story of a bear who finds the greatest thing ever to give to his friend, mouse. 

To tie in a project with your kiddos, have them paint up a perfectly perfect box just for fun 9or to gift). 

*empty box or carton
*paintbrushes and/or markers
*glue and gluey bits
*tiny toy (optional)

Juice boxes work great for this. To make it a home for a tiny toy, cut out the front or back of the box with a kinfe/blade. This is NOT something for your kiddo to do. YOU can prep the box by cutting first.

Set up craft area with a splat mat or table cover and hand your kiddos a large(ish0 paintbrush and some white paint.

Paint up boxes and set aside to dry. The white paint will prime your box so your kiddos will have a blank canvas.

Once dry, hand your kiddos smaller paint brushes, markers and or collage bits and glue and let them go to town.

November is Picture Book month, check out the blog here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Picture Book Month: Penguin

Published by Candlewick, 2007

Penguins books are quite popular, they are fun and penguins are adorable, right? Penguin is not your average penguin story. True, it is fun and the penguin in question is adorable but there's a sneaky sneak twist at the hands of a very blue lion. Hysterical! Polly Dunbar is also one of my favorite illustrators so if blue lions aren't your thing, make sure to pick it up for the pictures alone and don't forget to check out her other titles.

November is Picture Book Month! Check out the official blog here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Opposite

Written by Tom MacRae
Illustrated by Elena Odriozola
Published by Peachtree, 2006

It goes without saying (at least for me, ahem) that a picture book written by a fella who writes Doctor Who episodes would be unique, witty, and so very clever. The Opposite is just that and if I had more wits about me I would present my recommendation oppositely but my wits have gone off on holiday so all you have is this picture and my word. Oh, and if the story itself doesn't convince you, please take some time to soak up Ms. Odriozola's unique illustrations. They are amazing!
Create your own Opposite with a little paint and a toilet paper tube.

*empty toilet paper tube
*white acrylic paint plus other colors
*permanent pen
*glue stick
We're going to create our own Opposite in the style of Ms. Odriozola's amazing illustrations. First thing you need to do is have your kiddo(s) paint their tube white. They can of course paint it another color but make sure it is a light color. Let dry.
 Once dry, cut the top of the tube in a curve to create your Opposite shaped head. 
Next, draw a circle at the top for the face and draw the face. Look at the illustrations in the book and emulate the same style. Keep it simple.
Hand yer kiddos a paintbrush and have them paint up their bodies. Set aside to dry.
While drying, cut two strips from white paper and have yer kiddos paint up the arms as well. When they are dry, affix to your Opposite with a swipe of glue stick. Ta-da!

November is Picture Book Month! Check out the official blog here

Monday, November 21, 2011

Picture Book Month: Sleepy Pendoodle

Written by Malarchy Doyle
Illustrated by Julie Vivas
Published by Candlewick, 2001

Another great read aloud, Sleepy Pendoodle is a sweet book about a young girl and her new puppy. Julie Vivas' illustrations are an absolute favorite of mine and the silly-sweet stumbles as the little girl does her best to wake her puppy with the magic words will have your kiddos smiling, smiling, smiling.

November is Picture Book Month! Check out the official blog here

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Red Lemon

Published by Golden Books, 2006

Oh how I adore The Red Lemon. The rhyme, the story, the's all delightful! Click on the author link for more information on the book. For fun, click here for official Red Lemon games and if you have any lemons on hand, whip up a batch of red lemonade (six times as sweet)! Save one of your lemons for some red lemon printing and enjoy your day!

*red paint
*white paper

Set out a shallow tray or plate with red paint on it. You can use liquid watercolor or acrylic or tempera. I used three different shades of red.
Slice lemons in half and have your kiddo dip their lemon half in the paint and then stamp it onto their paper. 
Use different paints and/or shades for variety. I think this would make an awesome giftwrap, don't you?
 November is Picture Book Month! Check out the official blog here

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Picture Book Month: Elizabeth and Larry

Written by Marilyn Sadler
Illustrated by Roger Bollen
Published by Aladdin Paperbacks, 1992

No longer in print,  I am sorry to say, Elizabeth and Larry is well worth the hunt. check your local thrift stores and library sales. People often donate their old paperback picture books. Boo for them but yay for you! This is a simple story of two friends enjoying their time together with the added element of kookiness by having one of the characters portrayed as an alligator. Elizabeth, Larry and Ed is also fun. If you find that one instead, pick it up!

Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. check out the blog here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Picture Book Month: Moosetache

Written by Margie Palatini
Illustrated by Henry Cole
Published by Hyperion, 1999

Published more than ten years ago, Moostache was way ahead  of the current mustache trend. It is utterly ridiculous and completely amusing to young children. If you can, try for the other two books in the series; Mooskitos and Mooseltoe.

For a fun project, have your kiddos create their own silly mustaches from construction paper. Affix to face with a dab of flour and water or a store bought glue dot and make sure to take oodles of pictures. Or, pull out the felt, popsicle sticks, or pencils and whip up a 'stache or two a la scrumdilly-do!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Picture Book Month: Our Friendship Rules

Written by Peggy Moss and Deedee Tardif
Illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis
Published by Tilbury House, 2007

Our Friendship Rules is a lovely read for school aged children, both boys and girls, though the feminine content might influence your young ladies a wee bit more. We've all experienced that moment when suddenly our best friend has discovered someone new and Our Friendship Rules does a wonderful job of illustrating the emotions and after-effects. The illustrations are perfectly sweet (and I may be a tad bit biased here) and the story itself, matter-of-fact, whimsical and heart breaking. I would recommend this read especially to second and third grade classrooms. To accompany, why not whip up a milkshake with bananas, chocolate and cinnamon mixed in like Alexandra and Jenny enjoy or you can make a hand puppet (and NOT from anyone's favorite shirt!) check out Julie Voigt's puppet project on her blog Art for Small Hands.

*1 cup milk
*2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
*1 large frozen banana
*2 tablespoons cocoa powder
*1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Toss all the ingredients into a blender, place lid on top and give it a mix until thick and milkshakey. Add more milk or less ice cream as needed. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. Check out the blog here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Genie in the Jar

Written by Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Published by Henry Holt and Co., 1998

This title for me is full of freedom and movement, whimsy and song. The title may be a little misleading but don't let that keep you from reading this aloud to your child. A lyrical poem that can be interpreted in a number of ways especially with Raschka's sweet illustrations, The Genie in the Jar is a celebration of family, love and community. To accompany a reading, I would ask the children to draw a picture of themselves as if they were a part of the story, using crayon and watercolor on a brown paper bag.

Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. check out the blog here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Old Man and His Door

Written by Gary Soto
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Published by Puffin, 1998

The Old Man and his Door spins a delightful story of misunderstanding. Too busy to listen to his wife remind him to bring el puerco (the pig) to the party, the old man in the story misunderstands and instead brings la puerta (the door). With colorful illustrations and loads of subtle humor, I have found this to be a wonderful read aloud for both group and individual settings. Please check it out if you can!

November is Picture Book Month! Check out the official blog here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Little French Whistle

Illustrated by Emilie Chollat
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2002

This is a story of a boy and his french whistle. Louie plays too loud and without a care for others and will not share with his cousin. What will the fate of the whistle be?

You can make your own candy box whistle to play just as loud as Louie does. All you really need is a small, flattish candy or gum box. This chiclet box is perfect...oh and small raisin boxes work perfectly.
All you have to do is enjoy your sweets. Once empty, flip top flaps open and over outside edges of box. Place mouth over opening and....B L O W ! ! !

What do you hear? Is it loud? Is it funny? You can try painting your box and letting it dry thoroughly before playing, or draw on a small piece of paper trimmed to fit around your box, wrap and attach with glue stick or double stick tape. Have fun!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picture book Month: Moosey Moose

Written and Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Published by Hyperion, 2000

Moosey Moose is but one awesome title in a series called Thingy Things. I'm sad to say I believe they are no longer in print but you can still find them used through Amazon and other sellers. I picked Moosey Moose to share with you because every single time I read it to kids, young and old, I am delighted by the giggles and shouts that float about as I help Moosey Moose sort out his anger over his missing long pants.

After you read  Moosey Moose, you can have your kiddo write out their own story about a favorite animal and what makes them angry. Do you have a Catty Cat, Fishy Fish or a Ducky Duck? Oh, the possibilities!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Picture Book Month: new socks

Written and Illustrated by Bob Shea
Published by Little Brown, 2007

If I had a nickel for every time I was interrupted during storytime so a kiddo could tell me that he or she got something new (I got new shoes!) I could be a slightly not-so-broke blogger.  new socks not only embraces the new appeal, it celebrates it! The illustrations are bold and simple and the read aloud effect has kiddo appeal. I adore new socks.

To go along with the book, have your kiddo create their own happy, chickie with new socks!

*white paper
*white crayon
*paintbrush and water
*construction paper
*glue stick
Prep white paper by having your kiddo draw a series of squiggles lines or loops in white crayon over the bottom half. See cover of book as a guide.
Paint over white lines with chosen color of watercolor paint and set aside to dry.
Cut out chickie shape from construction paper. Any color would be great. Glue to the painted paper once that paper is dry and have kiddo draw features of their choice with a black marker onto their chickie (aka jelly-bean) shape.
Cut out sock shapes from white paper and have your kiddo paint, color, collage however they choose to make the most fantastic pair of socks ever! 

Once dry, use a glue stick to assemble and stick all the pieces onto their "cover page" and viola! They too now have new socks!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Picture book Month: a bear and his boy

Written by Sean Bryan
Illustrated by Tom Murphy
Published by Arcade, 2007

a bear and his boy is the story of a bear on the go, busy, busy, busy but for the boy on his back. The story is told smoothly and sweetly through rhyme. The illustrations have a vintage appeal. If you enjoyed this title, make sure to check out this duo's other two; a girl and her gator, and a boy and his bunny.

Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. check out the blog here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Picture Book Month: Bing Make Music

Written & Illustrated by Ted Dewan
Published by David Fickling books

I discovered the Bing books back when I was teaching a toddler art class. Myself, I was fond of the colors and illustrations of the single Bing book I had. Once I read it to my toddler group I recognized that Bing was a bunny totally worth reckoning with. I picked up all but one Bing title from new and used sellers on Amazon and haven't looked back. Kiddos LOVE Bing and I do as well. My favorite thing about Make Music is that Bing and Flop make music much like our kiddos do, using everyday objects such as keys and such. To accompany this book, why not have your tots make their very own rice shaker?

*uncooked lentils
*small beads and bobbs
*empty plastic water bottle
*glue or packing tape
This goes without saying that you know your kiddo better than anyone else. If your child is in danger of choking on any of the above materials, please take precautions and adapt as you will. We recently did this activity with our toddler class without a hitch. Instead of rice, we used popcorn kernels and pumpkin seeds. The beads added a pop of color. I have also done this with Plastic Easter eggs or sturdy paper plates.
Set out empty bottle, sans lid and have your kiddo fill (about one-quarter is good) with beads, buttons, bobbs, and rice.
Screw lid back on and affix with glue and/or tape. Once dry, hand over to kiddo and make some music! Don't have beads and bits? Hand your kiddo a wooden spoon and an empty box and enjoy!
Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. check out the blog here

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Publishers Weekly: Top 11 Picture books of 2011

Written and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson 
Published by Harper Collins, 2011 

 Click here for the Publishers Weekly picture book list.

Picture Book Month: Guess Again

Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Adam Rex
Published by Simon & Schuster

Guess Again is a fantastic read aloud for school aged kids. Absolutely, rip-roaring fantastic! Full of humor and quirk, this may become your kiddos favorite. I would tell you more but this is a spoiler free post.

Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. check out the blog here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Lion and the Little Red Bird

Written and Illustrated by Elisa Kleven
Published by Puffin, 1996

Painting with homemade paints would be a fun project to go along with this book. Check out Elisa Kleven's website for project ideas and questions.

Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. Check out the blog here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Picture Book Month: Bling Blang

Written by Woody Guthrie
Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Published by Candlewick, 2000

I love Woody Guthrie and I love Vladimnir Radunsky. The two paired together make a perfect cup of tea. If you can, make sure to have your kiddo give a listen to one of Woody's recordings of Bling Blang. It is folk music at its best. If you find you like this one, please check out Howdi Do as well!

*popsicle/craft sticks
*paint and/or markers

There are numerous ways for kiddos to create houses. If I had a group of kiddos with me after i read this book, I would let them choose their own materials. But, since I don't, here is my wee suggestion and project.
Set out cardboard and paint. Paper is fine if that is all you have. Ask your kiddos if their house is going to be in the city or the country or perhaps outer space? Once they decide, have them paint up their background and set aside to dry.

Once dry, bring out the craft sticks and have your kiddos "build" their house using the glue to stitck their sticks to their background.
They can use paint and or markers to color their house. Play Bling Blang while they work. once they have finished, ask them about their house and write down or record what they say, it will make a wonderful story!

Don't forget, November is Picture book Month. check out the blog here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Picture Book Month: the art of shapes

by Cindy Estes and Margaret Steele
Published by Fotofolio Inc, 1997

Not really a picture book in the classic sense but I do really like the art of shapes. The board book format makes for a unique display and kiddos of all ages will be intrigued by the colors discovered within. Adults will enjoy the array of artists and if they are anything like me, they will hit the net to research the artists they have never heard of. Other titles in this series include the art of the body and the art of colors.

Shape projects:
*take a walk and go on a shape hunt 
*draw shapes on sandpaper with crayon and have kiddos trace with their fingers
*roll a dice (die?) and ask your kiddo to draw a shape with corresponding sides
*make cookie shapes
*pick up a pack of foam shapes, toss in an empty tissue box and see how many tries is takes to draw a match
*have kiddos paint on paper cut into shapes

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Picture Book Month: The Adventures of a Nose

Written by Viviane Schwarz
Illustrated by Joel Stewart
Published by Candlewick Press

The Adventures of a Nose is a picture book about a Nose looking for a place to fit in. The illustrations are BRILLIANT! I adore this title.

To go along with the fun and quirkiness of The Adventures of a Nose, I have a fun collage project you and your kiddos might enjoy.

*Paper or posterboard
*Glue Stick
*Markers, Paint or Crayons

Have your kiddo go through some kid friendly magazines in search of their very own nose. They may cut out their nose with a pair of scissors.

Taking a cue from the book, have your kiddo collage, draw or paint a background for their nose. Keep in mind the goal is to create a face from an everyday scene. 

Once they have their background ready, paste the nose into place and add legs. Ta-da! Or, as an alternative, they can create a paper doll of their nose and take it on its very own adventure via a walk outside or through another magazine. If you do this, I would LOVE to see your Nose! Enjoy! 

I didn't have time to create my own collage for you but I do hope you'll keep reading, more fun to come! 

November is Picture Book Month, check out the blog!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Picture Book Month: 1000 Times No

Written & Illustrated by Tom Warburton
Published by Harper Collins, 2009

When it comes to kiddos, NO is a universal language, is it not? 1000 Times No makes for a great read aloud. Mr. Warburton has delightfully illustrated a child in the throes of No!  From your average obstinate negative declaration to your fancy-pants multi-lingual Nu-uh, this book will be sure to delight.

Oooh and lookie, there is video on vimeo as well!

November is Picture Book Month, check out the blog!