Celebrating World Read-Aloud Day with Eric Carle

Eric Carle Alert: A new Eric Carle book is in the works. You can visit his website for more info. http://www.ericcarleblog.blogspot.com.au/

eric carle,friends,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Why do I mention this? Because Wednesday is World Read Aloud Day and Eric Carle picture books are perfect for reading aloud. With that in mind, and because today is Perfect Picture Book Friday (over at Susanna Leonard Hill), my perfect picture book choice today is an older Eric Carle story.

eric carle,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth

Written and illustrated by Eric Carle

Foreward by Jane Goodall

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. (2002)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Be yourself, diversity, animals of the jungle, getting along, self-esteem, enjoy life (stop and smell the roses)

Opening Lines:

“Slowly, slowly, slowly, a sloth crawled along a branch of a tree. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the sloth fell asleep. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the sloth woke up.”

Synopsis:

In a jungle in South America, the other animals question the way of the sloth. The anteater says he is boring. The jaguar says he is lazy. The howler monkey says he is slow. Finally, the sloth answers them, giving them a dozen synonyms for slow and quiet and boring. He admits that he is lackadaisical, mellow, placid, lethargic, laid-back and tranquil because he likes to live in peace. “That’s just how I am.”

Why  I like this book:

In the style of The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth celebrates our right to be who we are. Without making excuses, the sloth accepts his personna and embraces it. What a wonderful story for both parent and child to read together…what a wonderful opportunity to talk about how we are each different and how that very diversity contributes to the beauty of the world.

The illustrations are bold, a kaliediscope of color collages…exactly what we would expect from an Eric Carle book. The text is simple and effective…and the section where the sloth gives over a dozen synonyms for slow, quiet and boring is fantastic…kids will LOVE those big words: lackadaisical, lethargic, sluggish, languid…oh my, what fun…and learning all the time!

How a parent can use this book:

The story addresses friendship, diversity, pride in oneself, awareness of one’s own values and strengths. The foreward, by the famous Jane Goodall, relates some of her experiences with sloths in the jungles and rainforests of South America  I did not know that sloths sleep nineteen hours out of twenty-four…and that they are basically silent creatures who occasionally comment on life with a small sigh, ‘ah-ee’. Sleeping nineteen hours out of twenty-four…that sounds like a spa vacation to me.

Related Activities:

Eric Carle is famous for his collage illustrations. Why not do a collage with your child?

collage,www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy Melissa Iwai, author/illustrator of Soup Day and illustrator of Hush Little Monster: http://thehungryartist.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/collage-crafts-for-kids/

You will need:

One piece of construction paper, several pieces of other paper/fabric/tissue paper/giftwrap/newspaper/magazine/wallpaper swatches, glue, scissors, markers or crayons.

  1. Let your child decide what the picture will be…a person, a landscape, a jungle filled with animals. Or, perhaps your child prefers to just cut or tear and paste his own design.
  2. If your child wishes to make a specific picture, he might want to draw the picture on the construction paper first, before cutting or tearing the collage pieces.
  3. Cut or tear the paper/fabric/newspaper/etc and glue on the construction paper.

flower mosaic, crafts for kids, learning activities for preschoolers

More about Eric Carle here: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/slowly-slowly-slowly-said-sloth

And here: http://www.ericcarleblog.blogspot.com.au/

More collage activities here: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/collagesartscraftsideasprojectskids.html

And more here: http://www.artsandcraftsforkids.co.uk/collage-crafts-for-kids.html

They say good things come in threes.. .I just noticed that my blog has 300 followers. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO READS MY POSTS…AND TO THOSE WHO COMMENT…I REALLY DO APPRECIATE IT. Also, Tuesday, March 5, I am joining author/educator Susan Case for a #SpringintoEducation Google Hangout…we are going to be chatting about how educators can positively influence their students. And Monday, March 4, will be Michelle Obama’s first #letsmove #firesidechat Google+ Hangout. Individuals were invited to submit a video question for possible inclusion…here’s mine: http://youtu.be/7u1X8dOnpzc

Show Me How Build Your Childs Selfesteem, Vivian Kirkfield,parenting advice,craft activities,child-friendly recipes

Mrs. Obama’s goal is to create awareness and find answers to help our children live a healthier lifestyle. My book provides many of those answers…please check out it out…you’ll find quick and easy healthful recipes that your kids will enjoy preparing with you as well as lots of other simple activities and great picture book suggestions. Click this link to purchase a copy

Sunday Post: Plains…What Did Kids Do In Little House On The Prairie?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge…today’s theme is PLAINS.

The dictionary defines plains as: ‘A stretch of nearly level treeless country.

 

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These snow-covered plains might have been the backyard of young Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote Little House on the Prairie. When I looked at this painting, I got the feeling that if I walked around the small stand of trees, I would stumble upon her little homestead.

I used to love watching the Little House television series. I’d had a crush on Michael Landon ever since high school when Bonanza aired, with Michael Landon starring as Little Joe. I remember trading hard-won information with my best friend, Jane…how tall he was, what color eyes…all the little tidbits we could discover from pouring over celebrity magazines…there were no computers or internet or Google searches in those days.

Those old reruns are still enjoyable…and provide valuable lessons that are timely and timeless. Here are three of those:

  • Kids need routines
  • Kids need rules
  • Kids need responsibilities

Routines help everything run smoothly…like when to go to bed and when to do homework.

Rules help everyone know what is expected of them…like no phone calls or texting during dinner time.

Responsibilities help each person feel useful and valuable…like clearing the table or picking up toys.

A family is like a business that operates on love and teamwork and respect.

Watch some of these old shows if you can…you’ll see what I mean.

viv reading with jake 

Back in the day of Little House on the Prairie and Ponderosa, there were no iPads, iPods or iPhones. Did you realize that all of those begin with the letter ‘I’? One of the biggest problems today is the disconnection between people. Years ago, reading, crafting and cooking were three activities that families did together. Today, many parents and kids go shopping together, eat dinner together or sit watching TV together in the same room, but each is busy texting or checking emails or twitter on their phones. If you’d like to bring back some family time, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking  gives picture book recommendations, quick and easy craft projects and simple child-friendly recipes.  Click this link to buy a copy! Engage your child, encourage creative expression and, most of all, have fun together

 

It’s the Year of the Snake!

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http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

http://rainbowbakery.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/sunday-post-plains/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/sunday-post-plains/

http://campanulladellaanna.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/sunday-post-theme-plains/

http://imissmetoo.me/2013/02/24/sunday-post-plains/

Martha Washington: America’s First First Lady

Happy George Washington’s Birthday, Perfect Picture Book Friday (over at Susanna Leonard Hill) and The Beauty of a Woman Blogfest II (over at August McLaughlin)

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Luckily, I found a book that applies to ALL THREE.

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Martha Washington: America’s First First Lady

Written by Jean Brown Wagoner

Publisher: Aladdin (1986)

Ages: 7 and up

Themes:

Believe in oneself, be yourself, strong girls and women, follow your dreams

Opening Lines:

“The Dandridges had company. There was nothing unusual about that. They often had company, but this was someone special. Mr. Dandridges’ sister, Mary, had come from England. She had sailed across the ocean to visit her brothers in Virginia. In 1738, that was a great adventure.”

Synopsis:

This story gives us a picture of the childhood of Martha Washington, America’s original First Lady. It also gives us a picture of life in the early 18th Century…Martha’s family were wealthy colonists in the New World.

Why  I like this book:

This is a chapter book from the 1980’s. Kids learn about the men who have been president of this country…but not much is taught about their wives. This book gives a wonderful picture of the strong young girl who grew up to be First Lady. Martha Washington was a gracious hostess and, although she objected to the rigid life as wife of the president, she had been raised to fulfill her responsibilities and she stood by his side. She stayed with her husband during the harsh winter at Valley Forge and was credited with keeping up the soldier’s spirits.

The line drawings depict the life of a wealthy family in the colonies…Indian scouts interrupt dinner to relay reports and black slaves keep the plantation running smoothly.

How a parent can use this book:

We need to encourage girls to dream and set goals…whichever ones they wish. These days, girls can set their sights on any job in any sector…they can even think about living in the White House…not as a First Lady, but as the President. The book can also be used to compare life now and then…parent and child can make a list of how things were done then and note how things are different these days.

Related Activities:

MARTHA WASHINGTON COOKIES

What a simple recipe…kids will love to help prepare these yummy cookies!

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Recipe and photo from: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Martha-Washington-Cookies-Allrecipes

You will need: 2 eggs whites, 1 cup pecan halves, 1½ tsp vanilla extract, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, electric mixer, greased cookie sheet.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. Beat egg whites and salt until foamy; gradually add brown sugar and vanilla.
  3. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in pecan halves.
  4. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour.

 

More Martha Washington recipes: http://www.yummly.com/recipes/martha-washington

Some information about Martha Washington: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Washington

More information about Martha Washington: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/1stladywashing/p/biography.htm

For more quick and easy recipes and other activities that kids love to do, please check out my book. Click this link to purchase a copyshow me how build your child's self-esteem, positive parental participation

I also wanted to mention that Marilou, over at Spanish Pinay, did a special post, honoring several mommies with the Positive Parental Participation Blogger’s Award:http://spanishpinaynanay.blogspot.com/2013/02/parenting-blog-award-positive-parental.html

Sunday Post: Unforgettable

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge…today’s theme is UNFORGETTABLE. The dictionary defines ‘unforgettable’ as: earning a place in your memory whether it be a person, place or event.

unforgettable,skydiving,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Skydiving with my son: UNFORGETTABLE.

Fishing Jeremy looking up at Grammy

Every moment spent with my grandchildren: UNFORGETTABLE.

Family Outdoor Activities Horseback Riding in Colorado

Sharing rainbows and awesome times with my husband: UNFORGETTABLE.

Every day we have an opportunity to meet unforgettable people, visit unforgettable places and participate in unforgettable experiences.

What does unforgettable mean to you?

 

Show Me How,holiday gifts from show me how,parenting book,craft activities,picture books, child-friendly recipes, Positive Parental ParticipationMake unforgettable memories with your children now! Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers with picture book recommendations, simple craft projects and child-friendly recipes.  Click this link if you would like a copy! Engage your child, encourage creative expression and, most of all, have fun together!

 

Join in the fun with Jake’s Sunday Post.

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http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

Asian Festival of Children’s Content and PPBF

This post has three major parts: an update on the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, my review and activity for Perfect Picture Book Friday and the winner of the $25 check for International Book Giving Day.

Perhaps I need to give you a treat, as Susanna Leonard Hill does, to give you energy to get through this. In keeping with the Asian theme, I give you a serving of Basmati Rice Pudding with Pineapples and Grapes.

Asian Festival of Children's Content,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) brings together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians, and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children.

According to the AFCC mission statement, “It provides an opportunity for writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, distributors, parents, children, teachers, and librarians to meet, learn, develop their craft, and discover business opportunities.”

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content impacts 1.5 billion children in Asia as well as their parents, professionals, and businesses involved in their development. I’m immensely honored, extremely excited and somewhat nervous to have been invited to speak on two of the panels at the conference this May. In preparation for my trip to Singapore, I’ve been seeking out books by Asian authors and information about the Asian culture.

Today, as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m sharing The Inch-High Samurai.

Asian Festival of Children's Content,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

The Inch-High Samurai

Retold/translated by Ralph F. McCarthy

Illustrated by Shiro Kasamatsu

Publisher: Kadansha International (1993)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Self-esteem, believe in oneself, caring about others, inner strength, outward appearances are unimportant, follow your dreams

Opening Lines:

“In Naniwa, in old Japan, there lived a woman and a man who hadn’t any children, so they spent their days alone.

But every evening, rain or shine, they’d go to Sumiyoshi Shrine and pray for just one tiny little baby of their own.”

Synopsis:

A man and a woman’s prayers are answered when their little baby is born. They love and cherish this child although he never grows much taller than an inch. At the age of thirteen, he leaves his family to pursue his dream of becoming a samurai, one of the brave and noble warriors. After sailing to the Capital in a rice bowl, Inchy Bo introduces himself to the Lord of Sanjo and asks to be taken into the household. The Lord of Sanjo’s daughter is entertained, taught and protected by Inchy Bo. In the end, an encounter with a monster provides the means for the hero to realize his dreams.

Why  I like this book:

Ralph McCarthy has done a masterful job of retelling/translating this old Japanese folktale. The text is in both English and Japanese…what a wonderful resource! In the spirit of Tom Thumb, the story encourages us to discount outward appearances and look within for a person’s true worth. The illustrations by Shiro Kasamatsu are vibrant and colorful…I’ve always loved Oriental art.

How a parent can use this book:

Children will love this story…the colorful illustrations and lilting rhyme are charming. More than that, this is a story about setting a goal and facing one’s fears. The main character does not wait for success to come to him…he steps up, speaks out and is willing to take risks to get what he desires. This is good advice for all of us.

Related Activities:

Find step by step instructions with illustrations for this and many Japanese crafts at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/japan/

asian festival of childrens content,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Enchanted Learning Software’s
Origami Samurai Hat
More Kinder Crafts

You can wear this origami Samurai hat. Samurai were ancient Japanese warriors.

To make a Samurai hat wearable by a child, you’ll need a piece of paper about the size of a piece of newspaper, about 20 inches (51 cm) square.

Supplies needed:

  • A large piece of paper (you can use a sheet of newspaper)
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons

Fold1

Start by making a square piece of paper. To start making the square, fold one corner of a piece of paper over to the adjacent side.

Fold2

To finish making the square, cut off the small rectangle, forming a square (which is already folded into a triangle).

Fold3

Position the triangle so that the fold (the long side) is on top.Fold one top corner of the triangle over so that it touches the bottom corner.Do the same with the other corner.

Fold5

Fold both of the tips up (fold at the dotted line pictured on the left), so that they go to the top. For the rest of the detailed illustrations, please click on the link above.
Fold each of the upward-pointing tips outwards. Fold along the dotted line pictured on the left.
There are now two large triangles on the bottom. Fold the uppermost triangle most of the way up over the top half of the hat.
Fold the remaining strip of the triangle up and over the top part of the hat.
Fold the other large triangle up and into the hat.
Decorate your hat with crayons or markers.

For more origami projects, click here.

Perfect Picture Book Friday…come and join Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who love books and kids.

As promised, we are awarding a check for $25 to a literacy organization in honor of International Book Giving Day. Thank you to all who left comments and nominated their favorite charity…and the winner is…The Nooksack Tribe, nominated by Dawn over at Tales from the Motherland. Please email me at vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com to tell me how to make out the check and where to send it. And Dawn, if you think they would benefit from receiving a copy of Show Me How, I’d be happy to send that along as well.

All around the blogsphere, there were posts yesterday about International Book Giving Day and how others were donating books. Reading them restores one’s faith in the goodness of people…check out a few if you have the time. The first link is the one that explains all about this amazing grassroot’s celebration:

http://bookgivingday.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/press-release-international-book-giving-day-january-143.pdf

http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/international-book-giving-day-2013/

http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2013/02/celebrate-international-book-giving-day.html

http://www.alamosabooks.com/event/International-Book-Giving-Day-Nancy-Clancy

https://www.villagehealthworks.org/upcoming-events/165-international-book-giving-day-celebration

No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Click this link to purchase a copybook pic from wordpress blog

Valentine’s Day 2013…The Many Faces of Love

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that celebrates love. It began in honor of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love by Chaucer when he wrote a poem in 1382 to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.

For this was seynt on Volantynys day

When every bryd cometh there to chese his make.”

Back in college, I took a course on Chaucer and Old English…it was the only college course I ever dropped…but here’s a translation those two lines: “For this was sent on Valentine’s Day, When every bird comes there to choose his mate.”

By the 15th Century, lovers would give each other flowers, candy and cards (which were known as Valentines.

Valentine's Day,The Many Faces of Love,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Then there was Hallmark…and the rest is history!

Valentine’s Day celebrates many types of love. According to psychologist Elaine Hatfield, there are two main types of love: Compassionate Love and Passionate Love. Compassionate love features mutual respect, attachment, affection and trust. Passionate love is filled with intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety and affection. Ideally, passionate love, which is transitory and short-lived, turns into compassionate love, which is enduring and long-lasting.

C.S. Lewis, in The Four Loves, identifies four categories of love: Affection or storge which is fondness through familiarity, Friendship or philia which is the strong bond that exists between people who have a common interests, Romance or eros, which is being in love or loving someone and Unconditional Love or agape which is the love of caring regardless of the circumstances.

But what of a parent’s love for a child…what type of love is that?

Valentine's Day,The Many Faces of Love,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Last night, I watched one of the old Leave It To Beaver episodes and I witnessed the four loves described by C.S. Lewis.

In the show, little Beaver loses his lunch money several days in a row. His parents warn him that he will be in trouble if it happens again. His father gives him money to go to the barber shop to get a haircut, but when the little boy gets there, he realizes he has lost the money again. His older brother agrees to help him and, when this results in ‘the haircut from hell’, the boys try to fool their parents by wearing hats.

  1. Affection or fondness through familiarity: This is evident in the day to day interaction…Beaver’s brother is almost always willing to help him; Beaver’s mom and dad are caring and understanding.
  2. Friendship or strong bond that exists between people: Beaver’s mom, “Kids are more afraid of losing their parents’ love than of being punished.”
  3. Romance or loving someone passionately: Beaver’s dad, “The trouble with being a parent is that you love your kids so much, you scare the pants off them.”
  4. Unconditional love: Beaver’s brother, “You can come to parents with any problem and they will understand.”

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are your plans for today? If you have young children, have fun with them…why not go for a walk, play ball, sing a silly song, draw a picture together, read a book with them. SHOW them as well as TELL them that you love them…every day. It will make a positive impact on the rest of their lives.

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

There is still time to nominate your favorite literacy organization to win the International Book Giving Day $25 donation…please leave a comment on my post. Tomorrow we will choose the winner with Random.org.

And if you have the time, you can take a look at the Valentine’s Day/International Book Giving Day YouTube video I made yesterday with author/educator Susan Case: SHOW THE LOVE: INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY. We shared several picture books and crafts and ideas on helping kids celebrate Valentine’s Day and International Book Giving Day. Susan is giving away TWO copies of her fantastic Happy Mommies Handbook…don’t miss out…leave a comment on her blog post: http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2013/02/celebrate-international-book-giving-day.html

 

Sunday Post: On-Going…Picture Books and Projects

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge…today’s theme is ON-GOING.

www.positiveparentalparticipaiton.com

The seasons are on-going…soon it will be spring and the flowers will bloom.

MLK Mini-poster

Black History Month is on-going during the month of February.

Chicago, www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

On January 1st, I celebrated my first day of retirement.

Now that I am retired, I have many on-going projects which I have shared with you.

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De-cluttering the garage is a project that is still on-going.

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School classroom visits are still on-going. This semester I am reading Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems and the children are constructing their own storyboards. I enjoy working with the kids and the teachers and, as a picture book writer, I believe it is important to stay connected with young children.

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I’m taking Emma Walton Hamilton’s “JUST WRITE FOR KIDS’ online picture book writing course…this 8-week class is on-going…fortunately, you can work at your own pace…it’s been WAY more than 8 weeks. What I love most about it so far is that it encourages me to look REALLY carefully at how classic picture books are constructed. With that understanding, I hope to write picture books that kids will want to read over and over again.

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Participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Writing Challenge is on-going. If you haven’t signed up yet, please check out the link…you have until February 28 and then it will be too late to hop aboard this year. As part of the program, I submitted a manuscript this month to agent Stephen Fraser and am currently working on a new manuscript for next month’s submission. I’m excited about this new one…it’s about wildlife conservation. My local and on-line critique group work is on-going as well…reading the manuscripts of others and the comments and suggestions they make on mine is like taking a workshop class. I never realized how helpful it would be to participate in a critique group…I recommend it to everyone who writes.

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

The chance to win $25 for the literacy charity or organization of your choice is on-going. Simply leave a comment on last Friday’s post. Next Friday I will pick one of the comments using Random.org and that person’s choice will receive a check for $25…$25 is not a fortune, but it can purchase a couple of books…who can say what a difference those few books may make in a child’s life.

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Nancy Hatch’s Writer’s Desk Competition voting is still on-going. If you would like to vote, you can go here. All of the entries are great…I am honored to be among them with my piece…I Write, Therefore I Am.

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My desire to provide quick and easy activities for their kids is on-going. Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers with picture book recommendations, simple craft projects and child-friendly recipes.  Click this link if you would like a copy! Engage your child, encourage creative expression and, most of all, have fun together!

What’s on-going in your life?

 

sunday-post-logo-2013-gifCheck out Jake’s Year of the Snake logo!

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