Monday, October 6, 2014

Halloween Costumes for Kids

Halloween is upon us (ok, and my last post was from July - can everyone say "life got busy"?!).  There are tons of costume ideas floating around the net already.   Some impressive ones compiled by BookRiot here:  14 Amazing Bookish Halloween Costumes.  They look a bit pricey.

If you want to go a less expensive route, check out my suggestions back in 2012 Last Minute Halloween Costumes  or some great book related outfits I found on the net in 2013 here Book Character Halloween Costumes.  Lots of ideas!  

BoooOOOoOOoOooOoooo

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ninja! by Arree Chung





Are you ready to be a Ninja?!  Maxwell can show you the ways. 



Arree Chung's first novel is a treat to all would-be ninja's out there.  Full spread illustrations add to the punch and the wow.  Join Maxwell in his adventure and meet his soon to be ninja sister, Cassandra.



For more ninja fun, check out Chung's webpage at:  http://arree.com/

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back to School Books for Kindergarten

Yes, it is still summer, but this is the time of year that new “back to school” books start to hit the shelves.  Here are three that you just have to see:

Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea

The fantabulous dinosaur is at it again – this time he’s up against SCHOOL!  Can dinosaur win?!  Why yes, I think we all can with this great introduction to an early elementary school day.   If you have a new kindergartener this year, check it out!

Dog Days of School by Kelly DiPucchio

Charlie was tired of school – of practicing letters, of drawing pictures and of trying to explain himself to the teacher – so, he did what any young child would do:  wished upon a star that he could be a dog instead.  Come Monday morning, Charlie and Norman his dog had switched places! 

The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen

Much loved Mr. Fish is back in a new book which takes place a long time ago when Mr. Fish was very small and headed off to his very first day of school.   Mr. Fish gets very discouraged that he cannot do what so many other fish can do, like draw and write.  He was ready to just give up, but then the teacher from the Brand New Fish room finds Mr. Fish and reassures him that it is ok that he doesn’t know everything yet – they are there to learn together!   Wonderful book for your brand new fish!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pardon Me! by Daniel Miyares

Often times after I read a book, I will check online reviews to see if my initial reaction was similar to the reactions of others; that's not always the case, but at times, yes.  In the case of Pardon Me! by Daniel Miyares, what caught me by surprise was not necessarily the comments made by reviewers, but the fact that many of them were comparing this, and specifically Miyares, to Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back.

I do see the similarities to Klassen - the bold illustrations, great use of space, rather gruesome end - but when I read Pardon Me! other stories came to mind:  Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson, Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira, and The Mitten by Jan Brett (or the Mushroom in the Rain by Mira Ginsburg) .  This is not to say that Miyares tale is unoriginal, it is, and a nice twist on the surprise ending, but it also contains familiar elements that lend themselves well to pairing up for storytimes or group readings.  That's a bonus!

If you have not read Pardon Me! yet, then please, do so!  There is actually very little text - so much is expressed in the illustrations.  After you have pondered it for a bit, tell us, what did you think?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

 
When I realized that Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio was basically a baby switching scandal in picture book format - with dogs - I was not exactly sure how to react!   Then, I read the book again.
 
Yes, two puppies had been switched, but that's not the heart of the story.  The story is about family and loving your family.  Period.  Unconditionally. 
 
Great story to read aloud, or snuggled up with your Gaston.   The illustrations by Christian Robinson are superb and his pups will definitely win your heart.  

Pair this with Widget by Lyn McFarland

Friday, June 27, 2014

Baseball Storytime

Batter up!  Do you have some little ones who love baseball?!  Here is a plan you can use!  (ok, I was really going to attempt to fill my post with cool baseball terms, but yeah, that's not going to happen.  I'm just not that up on baseball lingo!)

As it turns out, there are quite a few picture books on baseball, even one featuring the lyrics to the great "Take me out to the ballgame" song.  There are also quite a few picture book biographies on popular players from every decade, as well as some great informational books on game play.

I chose to read Bats at the Ballgame by Lies and also Pete the Cat Plays Ball! by Dead with one backup (Randy Riley's Really Big Hit).

I wanted to read Who's on First? though it really takes two people in order to be done right, or someone who can do two really different voices, but I can't do that, sooooo  I found the DVD for Abbott & Costello's skit and it was great!




A fun activity - kick ball!  I cut simple bases from regular paper and taped them onto the floor (playing inside - outside, use anything for the bases!)  Kick gently :)


A very simple craft - print off a picture of a mitt from the internet (I just googled "baseball mitt" and that image was one of the first ones that showed up).  Cut out white circles and decorate for baseballs.  Glue the ball on the mitt.

I decorate my baseball with red marker lines and then used red fingerprints for the laces.  The kids' versions are much more creative!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Frog Storytime and Preschool Craft

 
There's nothing like a good froggy book on a rainy, summer day!  Well, even if it's not raining!  Check out a few of these books if you have a little one interested in frogs, or who just like good, fun books!  Beware of the Frog is a hilarious book about a little old lady who lives next to a scary forest.  She has a cute little frog on her porch, protecting her house!  Warning, it's a bit gross, but fans of books like  "Bark, George" will definitely chuckle.
Frog in the Bog is also a little borderline, though it is one of my favorite frog books, and makes me laugh and laugh!  I love the rhyming text; it flows very well and has a great beat. Check it out!
 
The last one in my top three is Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira, the cute story of a pig who is found by a family of frogs, sitting on a rock in the middle of their pond practicing "ribbits".  This really throws off the frogs - what is a pig doing in a pond ribbiting?!?!  Beautiful illustrations and a fun story about friendship.
 
 


If you want to check out other stories about frogs, I recommend these:  The Frog Prince Continued, Froggy goes to Hawaii (or any Froggy book really), and Jump, Frog, Jump!
For a fun craft, activity try making this hopping frog!  You just need two plastic cups (firm plastic works better than Styrofoam or paper), a rubber band or two (any size), and a picture of a frog (or any other hopping character). 




Decorate the frog and tape it to a cup (upside down).  Put a rubber band over the cup.  Push that cup on top of the other upside down cup (stretching the rubber band) and let go.

See your frog jump in the air!  Try to catch it if you can, or see who can make their frog jump the highest.  Try different size rubber bands, or two or three instead of one. 

If you're lucky when trying to get a photo of your jumping frog, you might get a picture that looks like one cup is balancing on the edge of the other!

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