It’s…SUPERWORM! Oct. Fiction Review + Activity!

It’s…SUPERWORM! Oct. Fiction Review + Activity!

Hi-Ho Book Buddy!

It’s OCTOBER! Time for ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. If you are scared or feel like you’re in danger, NEVER FEAR! SUPERWORM IS HERE!

Superworm by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler is a rhymer that tells the story of the brave Superworm, who helps his animal friends daily with life’s big problems. But OH NO! The evil Wizard Lizard (with help of his servant’s crow) kidnaps our hero and puts him under the spell of a magical flower. Cute, I know!

What is Superworm going to to? How will he get out of this hot mess? Well…that’s what friends are for!

The subtext of this book is equally charming: you get back in this world what you put into it. It’s a valuable moral camouflaged as a quirky action-packed tale. You don’t want to miss this one!

The bold illustrations and the bouncing, fast-paced rhymes in this story will have your kids cheering Hip! Hip! Hooray for Superworm!

Activity Guide for Superworm by Julia Donaldson:

If you have very young children, have them color in these cool Superworm pages.
Superworm Color Me #1
Superworm Color Me #2

If your kids are older, check out this whole list of SUPER fun wormy activities! Click HERE.

You can get Superworm from your local library for free, or you can purchase it here.

Happy Reading!
Birdy

 

Artist to Know: Pamela Zagarenski – Sleep Like A Tiger

Artist to Know: Pamela Zagarenski – Sleep Like A Tiger

Hi-Ho Book Buddy!

Oh yummy, yum! The reason I love picture books SO MUCH is because you get art as well as story. ART, PEOPLE! And I’m so excited because I tripped over this beautiful gem last week. Now it’s your Artist to Know.
Sleep Like a Tiger illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Mary Logue.

Just look at these illustrations. It’s like Gustav Klimt decided to become a whimsical, dream-like picture book artist:

I know, right! GORGEOUS!
Sleep Like A Tiger is about a little girl who doesn’t want to go to sleep, so she asks her parents if other types of animals sleep. We’re whisked away through the beautiful illustrations that will lull your child into a peaceful (and fanciful) dreamlike state. Sleep is a beautiful thing, especially if you have a kiddo who likes to resist the bliss!

This book has rightfully won the 2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award. That’s the award for prestigious images in children’s stories. So head over to your local library and get this beautiful book, or click HERE to buy it. It definitely belongs on your bookshelf.

Now that everyone’s eyeballs are delighted, let’s get to some activity-time!

Activity for Sleep Like A Tiger: 
Let’s cut out and color a sweet, sleeping fox. Download the PDF HERE. 
Next, talk to your kids about different animals and how they sleep. Every living animal must take time to sleep. A horse locks out its knees and sleeps standing up! A sea otter floats on its back. Leopards can sleep on a tree limb without falling off! Remember to use rich language when discussing this topic with your child. Don’t edit your vocabulary!

Use this article link to gather more ideas and to WATCH a video of resting animals:

Happy reading and nighty-night!
Birdy

Blossom Plays Possum, now available for those shy kiddos in your life! Complete with a parent’s guide to helping kids with shyness via the American Psychological Association. BUY NOW!
It’s Only Stanley – Sept. Fiction/Activity

It’s Only Stanley – Sept. Fiction/Activity

Hi-Ho Book Buddy!

This month we’re starting off kooky with “It’s Only Stanley” by Jon Agee. 
Now, I don’t know if you’ve been following Mr. Agee’s books, but they are AH-MAZE-ING! He has a way of twisting the absurd into heartwarming tales. It’s like watching Weird Science where you’re like, “What is going on???” But then you find yourself smiling as you take the journey.

It’s Only Stanley is about a family that just wants a little shut-eye but their dog, Stanley, keeps doing weird stuff that keeps them awake. What is he up to? Why is he acting so strange? Why does the family cat, Max, keep getting the brunt of Stanley’s episodes? (Add bizarre techo-music here). The ending is totally not what you expect!

I really dig Mr. Agee’s illustration style, too. It’s simple, bold, and he’s not afraid to let the pictures tell you the rest of the story.
This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of the little strange.

This book has been recognized by all the bigs:

Booklist Editor’s Choice 2015
Washington Post Best of 2015
Miami Herald Best Books of 2015
Kansas City Star Best Books of 2015
Huffington Post Best Picture Books of 2015
News Tribune Best Books of 2015
News Observer Best Books of 2015
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book
The 2016 Irma Black Award
Junior Library Guild Selection

So head to your library or HERE to see what the heck Stanley is up to at all hours of the night! And head over to Jon Agee’s website to learn more about his works. You won’t be sorry!

And now we are gonna get ALL UP IN SCIENCE with this next activity that will have your kids remembering Stanley’s shenanigans!

Activity for It’s Only Stanley:

Let’s make our own rocket-ship toy out of cardboard!
Click HERE for the full details and pictures of how your rocket ship should look.

Here’s the materials you will need:

Materials:

  • Cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Mod Podge and brush (to protect your paint job)
  • Packing tape
  • Straw

Directions:
This was a really quick and simple toy to make.
1.  Cut out your spaceship, moon, and two small rectangular stopper pieces out of cardboard.
2.  Paint your spaceship and moon.
3.  Once the paint dries, protect your paint job with Mod Podge.
4.  Cut your straw in half.  Tape it to the back of your spaceship.
5.  Fold your long piece of string in half.  Tape the middle of the string to the back of your moon.  Then, string your two strands through the two straws.  Tape the ends of  string to your cardboard rectangles so that the spaceship doesn’t fall off.

Happy Reading!
Birdy

Blossom Plays Possum, now available for those shy kiddos in your life! Complete with a parent’s guide to helping kids with shyness via the American Psychological Association. BUY NOW!

And if you’ve bought it, YOU’RE THE BEST! Please leave an Amazon review and I’ll think of you kindly at least 2 times a day!

Everyone Is Yawning! August Artist to Know

Everyone Is Yawning! August Artist to Know

Hi-Ho Book Buddy!

This month I have a fun, flappy-flap book for your littles!
EVERYONE IS YAWNING by Anita Bijsterbosch.

My son absolutely LOVES this book. It’s a perfect, interactive bedtime story that lets your kids make “yawning” sounds while learning about cute lil’ animals. I notice my son is sleepier after reading this because he’s doing the yawning sounds for the animals, which must subconsciously make him sleepier. I’ll take what I can get at that point of the night!

I picked this book for Artist to Know because the pages are bold, cute, and the there is a flap on the mouth of the animals that opens and closes, showing the inside of the animal’s mouth while it’s yawning. Kids love opening and closing it and seeing the cute (and sometimes very sharp) teeth and tongue inside. But don’t worry — cute commentary helps reduce any anxiety one may have about seeing sharp teeth….”Look how funny those teeth look!” etc.

This is a fun one that will surely put your child to bed…if you don’t fall asleep first!

Activity Guide for Everyone is Yawning:
Kids need some soothing, down-time activities before bed to help them get to sleep. Lavender is a great scent that will calm your littles before bedtime. Making lavender scented rice is a cool way to relax your child while they play with the rice! (Note: You can also scent homemade playdough with lavender essential oil to make it more relaxing, as well!) ZZZzzzzz….

How to Make Lavender Rice: 

Bedtime sensory tub: lavender dyed rice

Homemade Playdough recipe, scented with lavender oil:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2-4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  1. Combine water, oils, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour.
  3. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don’t have it on hand.
  4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.

Happy Reading and Snoozing!
Birdy

The Milkman – August Fiction Review & Activity!

The Milkman – August Fiction Review & Activity!

Hi-Ho Book Buddy!

This month I have a fun, reminiscent book for your littles!
THE MILKMAN by Carol Foskett Cordsen, art by Douglas B. Jones.

Now before you start inserting “adult” jokes about milkmen, hear me out! (I was totally guilty of this…)
This book has such charm. Short, punchy sentences. Great illustrations that really capture the era, and a welcoming, community feel that leaves you all warm and fuzzy inside.

This is what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it:
“With its cheery, 1940’s retro art and its small-town nostalgia, this good-humored tale about a helpful milkman is as fresh as dairy cream.”

It is a rhymer that features lovable characters from a lovable town. In a weird way, it was totally refreshing to read it. I think because it is a callback to everyone having each other’s back. Where there are no strangers, only friends. And that’s comforting!

I hope you like this one, it’s a heart warmer!

Activity Guide for The Milkman: ROCK AND ROLL BUTTER!
In the book, Mr. Plimpton, the milkman, delivers all kinds of dairy. Now you and your child can make your own butter! It’s pretty simple, actually. Spread it on some crackers or bread and have the snack while you read this story! You can even color in the activity guide. Download HERE. 

Happy Reading!
Birdy