This quick little post is to remind you to send me your pictures of the rock creatures you paint. I know Jane would love to see them and so would I!
Now, as promised in my story time, here is my completed ladybug painted rock, inspired by illustrator Jane Chapman’s delightful rendering in the end pages of our book GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014).
Here are the other rock creatures I painted, inspired by Jane’s art.
And if you missed the story time, it’s still available for a limited time. Here’s the link to Tuesday’s post which includes instructions for the rocks and the story time!
Hooray for summer mornings, good books and cozy porches – perfect for story time! With that in mind, each Tuesday throughout July I will be hosting Summer Story Time on the Porch (and a Craft!) on my Facebook Author page. Here’s the schedule:
This week’s story time features GOODNIGHT ARK, my rollicking, yet ultimately soothing story about Noah trying to put the animals to sleep on at the ark! I do hope you will join me! You can get there by clicking my Facebook picture in the sidebar of this blog.
Now for the craft:
Inspired by Jane Chapman’s delightful renderings of the animals aboard Noah’s Ark, these painted rock animals are easy to make and fun to display.
Here are the steps for creating your own:
Read GOODNIGHT, ARK and marvel at all the different kinds of creatures that illustrator Jane Chapman has included the illustrations.
Have your child find an unclaimed rock. Examine that rock together with creative eyes. Then look through the illustrations in GOODNIGHT, ARK again. What animal could it be transformed into?
Using acrylic paints (so you can display your rock outside and the paint won’t wash off in the rain), let your child paint their rock to look like their chosen creature. Tip: Apply paint without diluting with water. Let one color dry before adding another.
FOR EXTRA FUN: Take a picture of your child’s finished painted rock and send it to me. With your permission, and I will double check to make sure I have it, I will share the pictures on Facebook and my blog so we can all enjoy each other’s creativity!
And here’s the story time (just in case you didn’t get a chance to watch it live.
THANK YOU for joining me for the LOVE IS KIND Puppet Challenge! I just finished live streaming on Facebook and thought I would take a minute to share the challenge with you here. Please find the video of the Facebook Live stream here, or simply scroll down for the instructions below. (The video is just for extra fun.) I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Inspired by Little Owl, who extended love and kindness everywhere he went – and in very creative ways – the goal of this challenge is for children to extend love and kindness by creating a fabulous one-of-a-kind Little Owl puppet. They will then use that puppet to make someone else feel special and loved. Here’s what you and your child need to do:
Read LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) and think about all the ways Little Owl was kind and loving.
Using materials found at home have your child design their own, original Little Owl puppet. Possible construction materials include: brown bags, construction paper, felt, newspaper, fabric, Legos, an old sock or mitten, a yogurt tub or milk container, feathers, sequins etc. Be creative and have fun!
Once the puppet is finished, spread joy by using the puppet as a side kick (like I do in my story times) to share LOVE IS KIND (or another story of your choice) with a special person in your child’s life – either in person or virtually!
FOR EXTRA FUN: Take a picture of your child’s puppet or you and your child reading with the puppet and send it to me. With your permission, and I will double check to make sure I have it, I will share the pictures on Facebook and my blog so we can all enjoy each other’s creativity!
INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A COPY? LOVE IS KIND is available wherever books are sold, but if you live locally, and want to show support for an indie bookstore — Anne, at The Town Bookstore if Westfield, NJ is offering 10% off any of my books (for a limited time only). Simply mention that you watched my Facebook Live Story Event. If you’d like the books signed, mention that to Anne and we’ll make it happen! The phone number for The Town Book Store is (908) 233-3535. You can also email Anne, at email@example.com
Did you know that February 8th is Opera Day! Delores knows and she’s dee-lighted that she and Fernando are featured today over at Celebrate Picture Books, a wonderful blog that pairs picture books with holidays. DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE (Sterling, 2018) is a perfect pick and we are so happy to be featured today.
To get you in the mood for opera, enjoy the DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE book trailer…
There’s a new TRUCK-LOVING picture book that recently roared onto bookshelves everywhere, just in time the new school year. It’s called TWO TOUGH TRUCKS (Orchard Books, September 2019) and it’s co-written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez, with illustrations by Hilary Leung. Using two big trucks as stand-ins for two kids, it’s the perfect story to calm back-to-school nerves and set the wheels in motion for a terrific school year. Written by two of the best rhymers around, it’s also full of fun word play that will tickle the engines of young readers everywhere.
Now, to celebrate reading in general – and this book in particular – here are six book-themed extension activities perfect for 3 – 6 year olds. So, invite your kiddos to find a good spot to read… then extend the fun with one, two, or all of these activities (which rhyme, by the way, just because).
Take a local truck tally! After reading TWO TOUGH TRUCKS, have each child grab an index card and pencil, then take a little drive to look for trucks of all sizes. For younger kids, simply tally the number of trucks you spot. (This is a good opportunity to teach them how to tally- a wonderful counting skill.) For older children, consider having them list the different types of big trucks they see, then make tallies for each of those categories.
Have a mini-truck rally! Inspired by Rebecca’s and Corey’s truck-racing text and Hillary’s wondrous setting, grab your favorite toy trucks (and/or cars) and head outside to the sandbox, playground, or even your backyard. Rev up your engines for some good old-fashioned races, challenges, and maybe even a few stunts.
Take a picture read through. After reading TWO TRUCKS, let your littlest ones re-read it to you using the pictures as clues. Reading the pictures is a great pre-reading skill because it encourages interacting with the page. So, snuggle up and enjoy being “read” to. (Older kids who can read on their own, can also enjoy investigating the illustrations ways the pictures also tell part of the story.)
Do a “Read. Discuss. Do!” Author Rebecca Gomez has created a delightful reading extension initiative called Read.Discuss.Do! Here’s one she created for this book. To find others for a wide variety of favorite titles, search the hashtag #ReadDiscussDo on social media.
Have a truck-themed book fest. After reading the story, your kids might be inspired to read more truck-themed books. If so, head to the library and have a truck-themed book fest! Your librarian can help you find some good books.
Painting truck tracks is the best! Mess and grime and MUD are part of the fun when it comes to trucks (at least in my opinion). That’s why I’ve selected this messily adorable craft for post-reading artsy fun. Be sure to spread out some newspaper or a vinyl cloth before running those trucks through the paint! Smocks also advised. Afterwards, simply rinse the trucks off in a bucket of water -which also becomes an activity in and of itself that your kids will LOVE!
I found many renditions of this craft online. Here’s the one I thought had the clearest instructions:
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope these extension ideas inspire you and your littles to extend the conversation and the fun after reading TWO TOUGH TRUCKS. If you enjoyed this post, please help me to grow my audience (and ensure that you’ll be among the first to know about new posts) by following my blog or liking my Facebook Author Page. Thank you.
Now for the GIVEAWAY! If you’d like a chance to win a FREE copy of TWO TOUGH TRUCKS (Orchard Books, September 2019) simply post a comment below. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) The giveaway ends Thursday, 10/3/19 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced that Friday!
There’s a new NATURE-LOVING picture book on the trail, just in time for spring hikes and summer explorations with your child. It’s called FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Kids, March 15, 2019) and it’s written by Vivian Kirkfield with illustrations by Mirka Hokkanen. It’s a beautiful read and perfect for sparking thoughtful conversations with your little ones about nature – and especially about endangered species.
Here’s the description from the inside flap:
“Water wakes. Wildlife greets the day and finds shelter, safety, and fun on the river in this lyrical, ecologically oriented counting book. One willow flycatcher, two dragonflies, three kit foxes, and more thrive in their habitat. As kids count, the day turns from dawn to dusk, and the character of the water changes as quickly as a child’s moods. Animals sing, leap, tiptoe, toboggan, hoot, hunt, flit, flutter, and hover. They ride out a storm, bask in waning rays, and tuck in under the silver moon.
Filled with modern wood engravings, Four Otters Toboggan celebrates wild beauty, encouraging readers of all ages to preserve and cherish our planet. After the story is finished, children can read more about each species in the back of the book, conservation efforts, what causes animals to become endangered, and what people can do to protect wild habitats.”
Now, in celebration of the book’s release, and in the hope of sparking some good conversations with your children, here are SIX extension activities for FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN!
1. Take a counting hike. After reading FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN, take your child on their own nature walk through your neighborhood or at a local preserve. Bring along a notebook so they can keep a counting list of what animals, insects etc. they see. With each creature they spot, stop an marvel at what a wondrous gift it is to able to see these animals in the wild.
Here are some creatures my kids and I have spotted over the years:
2. Make your own animal counting book. Inspired by Vivian’s delightful text and Mirka’s wondrous illustrations (and using the counting list they tallied in the hiking activity), challenge your child to create their own nature counting book.
3. Visit a local nature center. Extend the lessons of the book by visiting a nature center or museum in your area. For example, all within an hour radius of our our, I have taken my kids to a nature museum by the sea, in the woods, and along the marshes. Some of these museums are tiny, but what they all have in common is that they celebrate and teach about the local species in each of those habitats.
4. Watch the illustrator create one of the engravings from the story. One of the standout features of this delightful book are illustrator Mirka Hokkanen’s amazing modern wood engravings. With that in mind, older children might enjoy hearing and watching the illustrator herself as she describes the process using the very engravings that appear in the story! Her presentation has three parts. I’m sharing the second part because it shows her actually engraving the owls from the story!
Here it is:
5. Create your own simple engravings. After watching Mirka describe her process, you children might be inspired to try their own engravings. Here’s a link to a simple block printing project from Art Class Curator that even the youngest child can do.
6. Download the “Otterly Awesome Companion Activity Book for Four Otters: A Counting Book”. This eleven page booklet includes crafts, coloring pages, puzzles, a hands-on idea page for how to care for endangered species and more! It will provide several sessions of wonderful follow-up conversation and thought.
CUTE! Time for STOP FOUR of the LOVE IS KIND Valentine Tour and it’s craft time! This VALENTINE BOOK INSPIRED CRAFT FOR SIBLINGS makes a great valentine, but is also fun any time of the year. And the precious conversation that she suggests to accompany the craft is priceless. Head on over to Glitter on a Dime for more on the craft as well as details regarding their book giveaway.
Saturday, February 2, 10:30 am. Join me for an interactive LOVE IS KIND story time. Simple Valentine craft to follow. Watchung Booksellers, Montclair.
Thursday, February 14, 6:30 pm It’s a special Valentine’s Day Pajama Story Time at the Kenilworth Public Library featuring LOVE IS KIND and a book-themed craft! Registration required – call or stop by the children’s desk.
Sunday, February 17, 2 pm. Join me for an interactive LOVE IS KIND story time. Simple Valentine craft to follow. Tottenville Evangelical Free Church, Staten Island, NY (Little Owl’s first Staten Island Appearance!)
Saturday, March 9, 10:00 am. Join me and DIVA DELORES at the Cranford Public Library for its 2nd annual Picture Book Palooza! Picture book authors and illustrators will be sharing books and crafts. This event, for children ages 4-8 and their families, will provide young readers with an opportunity to meet the creators of some truly amazing stories!
Sunday afternoon, I participated in a very special Girl Scout story time at The Book House in Millburn, where Fernando, Delores and I got to share our story, DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE! Our goal was to help the girls earn their “Respect Myself and Others” Petals.
First, after an animated reading of DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, I asked the girls several respect-focused questions about the story. Here they are, if you’d like to do the same with your class or troop:
What did you think of Delores? Of Fernando?
Were they respectful to each other? How or how not?
Were they respectful of themselves? How or how not?
Did they learn from their mistakes and become better seal/mouse because of it? How?
Next, I had the girls think about their own lives. How can they show respect for the themselves and others? As they brainstormed examples, I wrote them down on a master list so we could all refer to them during the craft. Here are their responses:
Finally, for the craft, I had the girls make Respect Fans. The fan craft was a twist on the Feathered Fan craft below created by picture book author Rebecca Gomez. If you choose to do this activity, you’ll definitely want to follow this link to get the details on creating Rebecca’s charming feathered fan.
Our added twist was to write examples showing respect for self and others in each blade. (This is where the master list was helpful, especially since the girls were still beginning writers.) Each fan needed to include at least two examples that related to self and two that related to others.
I think all agreed that the lesson and craft were fun and successful in getting the girls thinking about respect and the many varied ways that it can be shown.
Thank you The Book House for having me, and thank you Daisies, for being such thoughtful, engaged participants. Finally, thank you Delores and Fernando for letting us learn from your experiences! Happy Reading, all!
TEACHERS AND PARENTS: This post is a treasure that should be book-marked. It contains a wonderful activity kit offered by Zonderkidz and created by my illustrator Lison Chaperon. The not-to-be-missed kit has an assortment of LOVE IS KIND-themed printables – including coloring pages, an adorable Little Owl mask craft and a post card activity!