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 DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, an ode to cooperation and the joy of performance starring a new diva seal and the little mouse who wants to help her, but she thinks she deserves bigger help than a mouse! 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 Rebecca Gerlings’ delightful depiction of Diva Delores being showered with bouquets these tissue paper bouquets are easy to make and fun to give away.
Here are the steps for creating your own:
Read DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE and perhaps have a quick discussion about the tradition of throwing bouquets to performers on stage. Hint: It’s a way to show admiration and love.
Gather five chenille sticks, a little glue, twenty 4” squares of colorful tissue paper in assorted colors, a bit of ribbon or yarn and a small piece of paper folded in half to make a note.
For each flower, stack four tissue squares. Using thumb and fingers, pinch the center to create the base to a flower, as shown.
Wrap the end of a chenille stick tightly around the pinched base of the flower, using a tiny dab of glue to secure. Bend the stick so its upright, like a stem.
Gently fluff and the tissue paper flower, snipping the corners to make them rounded, if you choose.
Once you have five flowers, arrange them in a colorful bouquet, tying with ribbon or yarn.
Finally, add a card, then “shower” someone you love (to use the wording from the story) with the bouquet.
FOR EXTRA FUN: Take a picture of your child’s finished bouquet. 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!
NOTE: Facebook Live reading of DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books, is no longer available. But the good news is the book is still available at book stores and at your local library. If they don’t have it, you can request it, for which Delores, Fernando and I would be most grateful. And if you’d like us to come to a reading for your class or library or organization, reach out to me via the contact tab above. I’d love to hear from you.
Little Owl and I want to share with you something special that illustrator Lison Chaperon created to go with our book LOVE IS KIND – a muffin recipe with adorable muffin toppers! In addition to being absolutely delicious, this LOVE IS KIND-inspired baking activity has gotten me thinking about how wonderful it is when we pair picture books with a tasty book-themed treat.
In doing so, not only are we giving our kids the opportunity to learn some baking/cooking skills, we are helping them to connect to the story in a new and fun way. As we nibble and chat about the book, we’re also instilling in them a framework to talk about the stories we read and an opportunity to think about how picture books relate to our lives and the world. Finally, we’re fostering good critical thinking skills as we converse with our little ones about what treat would be best paired with a particular picture book.
With all this in mind, here are FIVE TIPS for PAIRING PICTURE BOOKS with TASTY TREATS. Enjoy!
TIP #1: Pick any picture book. (Better yet, let your child pick the book.)
TIP #2: Pre-read the story so you can gather your ingredients. Once you’ve selected your picture book, take a few minutes a day or two ahead of time so that you can anticipate what types of treats you and your child might want to create to pair with the story. This way you can be sure to have the ingredients in stock for a seamless and tasty brainstorming to baking to eating experience.
TIP #3 As you read with your child, ponder the treat-making possibilities.It’s most beneficial (and engaging) to your budding critical thinkers if you include them in the process of deciding what book-themed treat to create, though it’s perfectly acceptable, in my opinion, to gently lead them towards the ingredients you have on hand (see step two). As you are pondering, the treat might be obvious. For example, in my third book DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, Fernando the mouse loves gumdrops, popcorn, and cheese on try toast, so those would be obvious picks.
TIP #4: Sometimes you will have to be creative! Some picture books, however, won’t have such obvious choices. My recommendation, in these instances, is to pick a character or a defining element of the story and create a treat inspired by that. For example, on her blog, Easy Elegant Entertaining™, trained chef and cookbook author (and mom to an adorable young budding reader) used the concept of tails in GOODNIGHT, ARK to create an adorable book-themed treat.
You can also create character-based cookies for almost any book, as my daughter did for DIVA DELORES and GOODNIGHT, ARK.
TIP #5: Have fun! (Need I say more?)
And if you are interested in the link to the LOVE IS KIND muffin recipe with adorable muffin toppers, here it is.
A version of this post previously appeared on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog with a lovely review. You can review that here, if interested.
I’m delighted to announce that the winner of last week’s special giveaway, a brand new copy of LITTLE MOLE FINDS HOPE is…
Congratulations! I will be in touch with you today so we can get the book to you.
Thank everyone who took the time to comment. And thank you to Glenys for writing the book and to Beaming Books for publishing it and providing today’s winning copy. Happy reading and writing, and remember that signs of hope are everywhere. Blessings all!
Guess what? I have a new picture coming out in 2020 with Beaming Books! LITTLE EWE: THE STORY OF ONE LOST SHEEP is scheduled to release November 17, 2020, just in time for the holidays.
Here’s the scoop from Beaming Books:
“Little Ewe would rather jump on logs and investigate spider webs than follow the shepherd when he calls. But what happens when she gets lost? How will she find her way home? Told in whimsical rhyme, this humorous counting book for our littlest ones is a delightful reminder that, like a loving parent, our Shepherd will find us and care for us, even when we wander from the path.
In Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep, award-winning author Laura Sassi and illustrator Tommy Doyle tell an endearing tale of a distracted sheep and her persistent shepherd, inspired by the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15.”
Thank you, Beaming Books, for publishing this next picture book. And now for the moment you (or at least I) have been waiting for… the COVER REVEAL! Thank you, Chirping Moms for hosting. The cover reveal plus an interview (and maybe even a sneak peek at an interior spread!) can be found by pressing here.
There’s nothing quite as special as getting a surprise package in the mail – especially one that’s postmarked Australia! I knew immediately who the special parcel was from – lovely group of third grade girls and their teacher who were interested in learning the ins-and-outs of writing! Their teacher, Ms. Barry, had reached out to me in June to see if we could Skype. As it turned out, we were too far from each other to get a reliable internet connection, so instead I sent them a short video introduction with an invitation to ask me questions via email. They took me up on my invitation to ask questions and I answered each and every one. You can see my post about that here.
What fun it was, then, to receive this lovely thank you note from the girls, along with two darling koala bear stuffies. Their kind words brought me such joy that I thought you might enjoy seeing the note, too, along with my video thank you to them.
My video “thank you” note to them:
Now, in celebration of spreading my love of reading and writing with the next generation, HERE’S MY INVITATION: This wonderful visit happened because a teacher reached out to me via the contact tab in the banner above. I LOVE connecting in special ways like this. And I’d like to extend the invitation now to teachers near and far. So, in celebration of books and words, I’m offering FIVE free 2O minute Skype sessions with classes and/or homeschool co-ops. We can tailor the visit to your needs, but typically it includes me reading one of my books, talking a wee bit about how I wrote it, followed by a Q & A , which, in my humble opinion is the best part because it allows the children to interact with a real-live author! If this interests you, please reach out by using the contact tab (in the “about” section) and we’ll get something on the calendar!