Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children.
Can you stand some really good news? Actually, two good newses…is that a real word?
GOOD NEWS NUMBER ONE: Julie Hedlund, founder of 12×12 in 2012, put together a cornucopia of amazing prizes to reward the people who are participating in her picture book writing challenge.
The prizes ranged from manuscripts critiques to autographed picture books to query critiques to helpful books on creative writing to…Emma Walton Hamilton’s 8-week online picture book writing course. This last is something I have been wishing I could take…tongue hanging out as I visited the “Just Write For Kids” website and scrolled down the awesome list of lessons.
Can you imagine how thrilled I was when I saw my name as winner of the gift certificate (provided by the generous Emma Walton Hamilton) that entitles me to take the course FOR FREE? I don’t think you can…my husband came running downstairs, sure that some terrible catastrophe had befallen me, as all he heard was me yelling at the top of my lungs (and I have a pretty healthy set there), “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!!!!!
I’ve already connected with Emma and have downloaded the first week’s lesson…Hooray!!!!
GOOD NEWS NUMBER TWO: Kathy Ellen Davis is having an October challenge…31 in 31 . She is encouraging everyone to read 31 picture books during the 31 days of October. Needless to say, Kathy had me from ‘read picture books every day’. If you are interested, you can click on her link or on her cute ’31 in 31’ button on my sidebar…I know she would be thrilled to have more people participating.
To date, I’ve read “Neville” by Norton Juster, “Cloudette” by Tom Lichtenheld, “The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff” by Laura Numeroff and “Knuffle Bunny Too” by Mo Willems. It’s been a lot of fun reading the newer books…and I just put two dozen more on hold at the library…all published in 2012! I do have to say that there is a BIG difference between the classics of years ago and the new generation of picture books. I notice that many of the newer books have humor that probably goes over the head of the young child…I guess parents are really having a great time while they read these stories to their kids…and that’s a good thing!
Since October is National Bully Prevention Month, I want to continue to highlight some amazing books and other resources that address this important issue.
If you stopped by last Friday, you might have seen my spotlight on a new anti-bullying app: AWESOME UPSTANDER. Here’s the link: http://www.awesomeupstander.com for those of you who might have missed it.
I encourage anyone who is involved with kids to visit the website at http://www.awesomeupstander.com. There are free downloadable info sheets for parents and teachers that address positive action plans for kids and adults. You can follow Awesome Upstander on Twitter or on Facebook.
The game identifies the participants to a bullying problem…the bully, the target and the bystanders. The key to the game (and perhaps an important key to putting an end to bullying in real life) is to turn the bystanders into ‘Awesome Upstanders”…people who get actively involved to help the target or victim and stop the bullying.
And, as with my Perfect Picture Book Friday pick last week, the concept of group dynamics brings me to today’s choice.
Hooway For Wodney Wat
Written by Helen Lester
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Ages: 4 and up
Bullying, teasing, self-esteem, creative thinking, cooperation, group dynamics, being comfortable with who you are
From Amazon: “Poor Rodney Rat can’t pronounce his R’s and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney’s class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them. Until our unwitting hero, Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully.”
Why do I like this book:
I love books that celebrate each individual’s uniqueness! We each bring special gifts to the table of life…and Rodney Rat seems to embrace that concept. Every child will understand how difficult it is to be different. Rodney had a strong positive self-image and this helped him triumph over the bully. The illustrations show us how each character is feeling…even I wouldn’t want to cross paths with Camilla Capybara! What a wonderful story to read to a class during National Bully Prevention Month…or to a child who is having a hard time feeling good about himself.
RODENT PAPER BAG PUPPET
Photo from www.EnchantedLearning.com
Role playing with puppets is a fantastic way to help kids express their feelings.
Here’s an easy paper bag hand puppet that even the youngest child can make!
You will need: 1 brown lunch-size paper bag, 1 brown oval piece of construction paper, 1 smaller pink oval, 2 small white circles, 2 smaller black circles, 1 small red circle, 1 black rectangle, scissors, glue and a marker.
1. Cut the brown oval in two pieces and paste each at the top of the paper bag for the ears.
2. Cut the pink oval in two pieces and paste each on top of the brown ears.
3. Paste the white circles for eyes…then paste the smaller black circles on top for the pupils.
4. Paste the red circle for the nose.
5. Cut the black rectangle into six strips and paste on for whiskers.
6. Draw in the mouth.
7. Now read the story again and let your child use the puppet to speak Rodney’s words.
Play ‘Simon Says’…this is a wonderful game to help a young child learn to listen carefully and follow directions!
Lovely lesson plan from Scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/hooway-wodney-wat-lesson-plan
A lesson plan for second and third graders: http://www.drforgan.com/Adobe%20files/Hooway_For_Wodney_Wat_sample.pdf
This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities. This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.