Today I’m delighted to feature SIX AUTHOR-CREATED EXTENSION ACTIVITIES in celebration of the release of Christian picture book author Denette Fretz’s adorable new picture book, I WANT YOUR SMILE, CROCODILE, published by Zonderkidz and illustrated by Jacki Urbanovic. Not only is Denette a skilled children’s author, with a gift for creating stories that are fun and thought-provoking, she’s also a teacher – so her extension activities, many of them faith-based, are teacher tested and approved!
As you will see from the book trailer, I WANT YOUR CROCODILE SMILE is a clever tale of self-acceptance, starring Jack, the Meerkat, who covets all the things his zoo friends have but ultimately discovers that true contentment is only found when we accept and embrace that we are each created beautifully according to God’s perfect, purposeful design. Enjoy the book trailer, then treat yourself (and your kids) to Denette’s rich offering of extension activities. Zonderkidz is also offering a GIVEAWAY so be sure to check out details for how to enter at the end of the post. Take it away, Denette!
SIX Extension Activities for I WANT YOUR SMILE, CROCODILE
Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Laura! I hope your readers and their children enjoy these activities together.
1. Become a meerkat expert. I Want Your Smile, Crocodile follows a spunky meerkat, Jack, who thinks he would be happier if he were more like his zoo friends. With an adult’s help, follow these video links to begin learning more about meerkats:
2. Print and complete a meerkat word search. Now that you know more about meerkats, can you solve Jack’s clues to find thirteen meerkat words? If you get stumped, the words you are looking for are printed at the bottom of this post.
3. Read about animal features. In I Want Your Smile, Crocodile, Jack wants a crocodile smile, polar bear fur, and an elephant’s “hose nose.” What if you had animal teeth? Animal hair? An animal’s nose? Discover amazing animal facts by reading these fascinating picture books by Sandra Markle:
What if You Had Animal Teeth?
What if You Had Animal Hair?
What if You Had An Animal Nose?
4. Design an imaginary animal. Jackie Urbanovic illustrated I Want Your Smile, Crocodile and did a fabulous job giving Jack the Meerkat jellyfish swish, porcupine spines, or an elephant’s trunk. What animals would you combine to create a new one? Print and use the template below to draw your imaginary animal. I thought this would be fun to try…and drew a “piggock!”
5. Follow the zookeeper. Start at the beginning of I Want Your Smile, Crocodile, and follow the zookeeper through its pages. What is he doing? How is the zookeeper acting like Jesus?
6. Discuss scriptures about God’s design. Below are the “foundation scriptures” I kept in mind when writing I Want Your Smile, Crocodile. Read each scripture. How does each scripture relate to the story? Most importantly, how does each scripture relate to YOU?
- Genesis 1:31
- Psalm 139:14
- Ephesians 2:10
Thanks so much for these WONDERFUL extension ideas, Denette! Enjoy another I Want Your Smile, Crocodile activity next week, when the Blog Tour stops by Rebecca J. Gomez’s site for a “Read, Discuss, Do” activity…and another chance to win a book!
Answers for Word Search:
1. MONGOOSE 2. SENTRY 3. MOB, CLAN, GANG 4. BURROWS 5. KALAHARI 6. CLAWS 7. INSECTS, SPIDERS, SCORPIONS, SNAKES 8. PUPS
BIO: Denette Fretz is an elementary art educator and picture book author who desires to craft humorous, inventive, and memorable parables that engage imagination and encourage life-application of biblical principles. She is the author of PIRATES ON THE FARM (Zonderkidz, 2013), CONRAD, THE COWGIRL NEXT DOOR (Zonderkidz, 2014) and I WANT YOUR SMILE, CROCODILE (Zonderkidz, 2018
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!
If you’d like a chance to win a FREE copy of I LOVE YOUR SMILE, CROCODILE, written by Denette Fretz and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic, let me know in a comment below. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident with a street address (as opposed to a P.O. Box and at least 18 years old to enter.) The giveaway ends Thursday, 5/10/18 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced on Friday 5/11/18! THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. WINNER POSTED HERE.