TEACHERS, PARENTS, LIBRARIANS: Extend your story time with this printable DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE coloring page created by Sterling Children’s Books. After coloring it in, make it super special by adding pink feathers and glitter. For extra, extra fun, use the coloring page as a jumpstart to write your own story about what you think might happen when Diva Delores and Fernando star in their next opera production. Have fun!
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.
What a delightful surprise to have this bright pink yarn-bound book arrive via special delivery right to my doorstep (Thank you, Mrs. Timberlake!) from the cute, hardworking kindergartners in Mrs. DeVestern’s classes at the Ben Franklin School in Edison, New Jersey.
It seems they’ve been learning all about authors, illustrators, picture books, and the magic of putting words and illustrations together. And do my delight, after reading DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, they decided to write and illustrate their favorite parts of the story. The teacher gathered their responses in a book and had them delivered to me!
Thank you, Mrs. DeVestern and thank you, kindergartners! You did a wonderful job picking the most important and best parts of the story. I shall treasure each and every one of your responses. And now, I’d like to share just a sampling. The last picture is, of course, my thank you note back to them! Aren’t their illustrations and sentences wonderful?
Happy reading, all!
Thank you, Rebecca Gomez, for creating this fabulous feathered fan craft to go along with DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE. The activity also includes thoughtful suggestions for a “diva-themed” discussion with your child as well as ideas for using the fan to re-enact parts of the story. You can check it out here or by clicking the image above.
A children’s author, poet, and fan of all things creative and fun, Rebecca enjoys sharing helpful tips and inspiration for readers and writers, occasional book reviews, and random musings about life. Her picture books WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? (Atheneum, 2015) and HENSEL AND GRETEL NINJA CHICKS, (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016). Check out her wonderful website/blog to learn more.
I am adding the activity to the DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE extension activities tab above. Please check back periodically for more fun book-themed activities.
This week DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE received a LOVELY stamp of approval from longtime Colorado teacher and dear friend, Jeananne Wright. Thank you, Jeananne!
Now, with her permission, taking excerpts from her note, here are SEVEN THINGS KIDS CAN LEARN FROM/ BE ENGAGED WITH as they read DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE:
First, the tactile gold glitter on the front and back covers are the perfect intro to the book. The kids can feel that and know that something wonderful will be found inside!
Second, kids might not know a thing about opera or classical music or even what a diva is!
Third, the story teaches how to rely on friends and how to be a good friend.
Fourth, it also portrays forgiveness, humility and perseverance.
Fifth, after reading, it will be loads of fun for kids to think of other things that go together, like carrots and peas, salt and pepper etc. So the book doesn’t end on the last page.
After reading the story parents/teachers and kids can also discuss the cover, author, illustrator and on the back the captions, ISBN numbers etc.
Finally, after all that, they can even practice their tra la las in an operatic voice. Or how about taking in an opera? What fun!
Thank you for these wonderful ideas, Jeananne, and for giving DIVA DELORES your teacher stamp of approval. =)
Happy Reading, all!
This week I’m delighted to share with you Susanna Leonard Hill’s ADORABLE new board book WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman and published by Little Simon. It’s the third in her WHEN YOUR… series and just as cute as the first two. Now, to celebrate reading in general – and this book in particular – here are six book-themed extension activities perfect for 2 – 4 year olds. So, invite your darling little ones to find a good spot to read… and then extend the fun with one, two, or all of these activities (which rhyme, by the way, just because).
WATCH A LLAMA CLIP! CLIP!! After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, you and your little ones might be wonder what it looks like when a real llama gets a hair cut. If so, grab your tablet and watch some llamas getting hair cuts with this short but fun youtube video from Galloping Winds Ranch in Florence, Texas:
2. TAKE A HAIRY FIELD TRIP! After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, you and your little one may decide it’s time to get your own buzz or trim. Take along the book and read it while the stylist snip, snips.
3. CREATE A SNAZZY HAIRDO (without scissors)! After enjoying all the snazzy llama hair-do possibilities, you and your little ones may decide you want to give each other hair-dos. Make sure there are no scissors in sight, but do encourage gentle combing to remove the tangles. A spray water bottle will add lots of styling options and help the hair-dos to stick. Barrettes, ribbons, mousse and gel, optional. Afterwards, pretend it’s picture day – just like in the story – and say “Cheese!” for the camera.
4. DO A PICTURE READ THROUGH… After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, your child may want to 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.
5. HAVE A LLAMA BOOK FEST! After reading the story, you and your little ones may decide you want to read more llama-themed books! If so, head to the library and have a llama-themed book fest! Your librarian can help you find some good books.
6. LLAMA CRAFT TIME IS THE BEST! After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, you and your little ones may want to do a llama-themed craft. There are oh, so many, possibilities on Pinterest and elsewhere. Here are a couple of links to get you started. Enjoy!
Llama Drawing Project: http://www.smallhandsbigart.com/llama-drawing-project/
Make a Llama Vase: https://abeautifulmess.com/2018/01/make-your-own-llama-vase.html
Last week, I picked up the much anticipated Ezra Keats’ THE SNOWY DAY stamps from my local post office and spent the LOVELIEST little while searching for the spot in the book where each stamp appears.
Afterwards, I thought what a great activity this would be for kids – one that engages young readers with the story, builds visual matching skills, and is just plain fun.
So… if you want to give it a go with your kiddos, here’s the step-by-step:
- Gather your supplies. Purchase a set of THE SNOWY DAY stamps from your nearest post office and check out a copy of Ezra Keats’ THE SNOWY DAY from your local library (or purchase a copy).
- Explore the stamps. Spend a few minutes with your child, examining the images in the stamp collection (there are eight, that then repeat.) Have your child describe what Peter, the boy in each stamp, is doing. This might also be a good time to explain what a stamp is. What is it used for? What does the “Forever USA” mean? Have they ever used one? (Maybe later on they can help you affix one of the stamps to an envelope with a note or picture enclosed, and send it to someone they love.)
- Go on a SNOWY DAY picture hunt. Now get cozy with the book and stamps close by and READ!!! As you read, see if your children can find the spots where each stamp image appears. (It’s fun! Enjoy!)
- Make your own SNOWY DAY stamps. After reading, extend the experience even further, by letting your children pick their own favorite snowy day moment and make their own pretend stamps (on small paper).
Happy SNOWY DAY all!
This week I’m delighted to be a part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s multi-picture book blog tour with eight extension activities to celebrate this month’s release of Susanna’s ADORABLE new board book WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman and published by Little Simon. My kids would have loved this story at bedtime – simple, sweet… and FUNNY! And I love the board book format – just the right size for little hands! Now, without further ado, treat yourself the book trailer created by Susanna! (She is so multi-talented!). Then help yourself to a rich serving of book themed extension activities perfect for 2 – 4 year olds.
EIGHT Extension Activites for WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES
1. Pretend YOUR stuffie has the sniffles. Little ones love extending a story through play. So, have them grab their favorite stuffy, or stuffies, and pretend they have the sniffles. What antics will they go through to keep their sniffly stuffies from sneezing!
2. Create your own shadow puppets. One of the fun ways the child in the story entertains her elephant is by showing him how to make shadow puppets. After reading the story, you, too, can create shadow puppets. All you need is a flashlight, your arms and hands, and a blank wall. Don’t forget to dim the light so you get good shadows.
3. Cover your sneeze, please! Use this fun, playful story as an opportunity to teach your little one about how sneezes spread germs. Then, together, pretend you are elephants. Using one arm as your trunk, pretend to have a great big sneeze, but instead of spreading that sneeze around, catch it in the crook of your trunk (arm).
4. Make a SNIFFLE list. After giggling over all the ways the little girl cares for her elephant when he has the sniffles, have your child list – using words or pictures – all the things he/she likes to do on quiet, stay-at-home sniffly days.
5. Decorate elephant cookies. I found an elephant cookie cutter at my local kitchen shop, but making your own template out of tagboard would be easy enough. Then mix up your favorite sugar cookie and icing recipes and decorate some elephants. The question is, do your cookie creatures have the sniffles?
6. Make and send a “Get Well” Sniffle Card. Does your child know anyone who has the sniffles or who is sick? Extend the story experience and foster kindness by taking out the markers and creating a get-well card for that special someone.
7. Make elephant crafts. The internet is full of elephant-themed craft ideas. Here’s a great post from the lifestyle and parenting blog Living Off Love and Coffee to get you started: 25 Cute and Easy Elephant Crafts for Kids.
8. Let your child “reread” the story using picture clues. Reading the pictures is a great pre-reading skill because it encourages interacting with the page. With that in mind, let your child “read” the story to you, using the pictures to tell the story.
To learn more about Susanna Leonard Hill, visit her website.
Finally, a little reminder from Susanna: Don’t forget to share this post using #whenyourbooks! Every time you post with #whenyourbooks you get an entry in her end-of-tour raffle for a Special Prize!
HAPPY READING ALL!
This week my author friend Rebecca J. Gomez (WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? (Atheneum, 2015) and HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016)) shared with me a wonderful new reading campaign she and her co-author Corey Rosen Schwartz are working on called Read. Discuss. Do!
Read. Discuss. Do! (hashtag #ReadDiscussDo) celebrates reading beyond the book by creating sharable images that give simple ideas for book related discussions and activities. Rebecca got the the idea after creating an image specifically for their co-authored book WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? (pictured above) in the hopes that it would encourage people to think beyond the story when reading with kids. However, when Corey saw the original image, she and Rebecca decided it would be fun to take the idea further and include other authors and their books!
That’s when Rebecca contacted me to see if I’d like to create a short #ReadDiscussDo activity for GOODNIGHT, ARK. I replied, yes, of course. And so Rebecca created an image for my book as well. Thank you, Rebecca. The format is similar to her original except she’s replaced her website address with the hashtag #ReadDiscussDo.
Rebecca hopes this fun reading initiative and social media campaign will really take off, reaching parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians and more.
How can authors, parents, teachers, or librarians get involved? By tweeting and retweeting and sharing on Facebook, Pinterest etc. using the hashtag #ReadDiscussDo. We can also post story time tips using that same hashtag. Rebecca will also be creating more sharable images for other books. If you’d like to learn more, contact Rebecca via the “School Visits” tab of her website.
Finally, I’ll end with a little hashtag hunt. Head on over to Twitter or Facebook, type in #ReadDiscussDo and see what you find. Have fun!