Sunday Post: Vehicle

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is VEHICLE.

I always try to tie in the theme with something related to parenting.

The dictionary first defines ‘vehicle’ as a means of transportation.

 But the dictionary has another definition for the word…a vehicle can also be a medium for communicating, expressing or accomplishing something.

  Art is certainly a vehicle through which we communicate and express our thoughts and emotions.


Books are another vehicle through which we learn information and discover things about ourselves and the world around us.

If you have young children, are you reading with them every day?  Studies reveal that children who are introduced to books at an early age are more successful in school.  Please join us in the Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge and let us know what books you are reading with your children.

In my Friday post, I listed the 20 libraries that will be receiving a copy of Show Me How!  If you didn’t see that article, please click on this link.  I’ve asked the people who nominated their library to email me at so I can mail them a copy to present to their library.

Please don’t forget about Jackson’s Birthday-Earth Day Water Wishes page…your children are invited to draw a picture for the project…and your donation of $6 will move them closer to their goal of providing clean water for an entire community.  This is a wonderful opportunity to help children become involved in the world around them.  We are never too young (or too old) to learn the importance of sharing with others and reaching out to the community.


Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post? 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

PPBF: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes



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. 

Some picture book points to remember:

  •        Having picture books available for young children to look at and listen to is almost as important as having air to breathe and food to eat. 
  •         Set up a bookshelf for your child’s collection. 
  •         Books can be expensive…check out used book stores and consignment shops for discounted picture books. 
  •         The library is an amazing resource for children’s books.  You can speak to the librarian about recommendations and story programs.
  •         Read to your child every day.

This last reminder reminds me that we need to announce the WINNER of the March Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge.  Marcy, over at Orples, is a hands-on grandmother.  We’ve connected through Jake’s Sunday Posts and she often writes about the activities she and her grandchildren do together.  I know she will enjoy sharing a new picture book with them.  Congratulations, Marcy!


National Library Week is April 8-14.  To help celebrate, visit the library with your children at least one day next week if you can…and make it a habit to go often.  Does your child have a library card yet?  Find out how old your child has to be…if he doesn’t have one yet and is old enough, help celebrate National Library Week by signing him up. 

A child’s library card is a passport for learning about the world.

Do you want your library to win one of the 25 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking (MoneyPenny Press, Ltd. 2010)?


Many libraries are very limited in what new materials they can buy for their collections because of reduced revenues.  Another way to celebrate National Library Week is to nominate your library to win a copy of this great parent/child activity book?  It’s easy!  If you haven’t done it already, just leave a comment on this post, naming the library and telling why the people in your community would benefit from having the book available to them.  At the end of the month, twenty-five libraries will be chosen through and the people who did the nominating will get to present the book to their local library. 

Do you tweet on Twitter?  Are you a fan of Facebook?  Have you pinned anything on Pinterest yet?  Please help me spread the word by tweeting, posting and/or pinning about the Show-Me-How Library Project.

Thank you, thank you, thank you…and now…are you still there…here is a really special picture book, just in time for Easter.


The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

Written by Dubose Heyward

Illustrated by Marjorie Flack

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (1939)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Mastering tasks and skills, goal-setting, holidays (Easter), overcoming gender discrimination, family, working together.

Opening Line:

“We hear of the Easter Bunny who comes each Easter Day before sunrise to bring eggs for boys and girls, so we think there is only one.  But this is not so.”


A young country bunny sets a goal for herself of becoming one of the five Easter bunnies who deliver Easter eggs all over the world.  It seems her dreams will not be realized as the little bunny grows up and becomes the mother of twenty-one baby bunnies.  Using ingenuity, common sense and lots of determination, she trains each of her children to master certain skills. 

Will Little Cottontail Mother prove that she is the kindest, wisest and fastest bunny in the whole world?  Can she complete all of her tasks?  Does she win the golden shoes that will enable her to fly?  Read this charming story to find out!

Why I like this book:

This book was written over seventy years ago…yes, you know how I love these old classic picture books…and is still relevant today!  This is a very modern feminist tale…twenty-nine children and she still has a dream that she realizes…overcoming gender discrimination and economic hardships.

Little Cottontail Mother is a loving and caring mom…but that doesn’t stop her from expecting her children to be responsible and helpful and courteous.  She teaches them the life skills they will need as adults. 

The illustrations are from the ‘illustrious’ Marjorie Flack…need I say more! 

Related Activities


I’ve made this craft with kindergarten classes…they really love it!  This is a lovely keepsake because it is made from your child’s handprints.  Hang on the refrigerator or use as an Easter door decoration.  The picture here is from Artists Helping  They have lots of great ideas and instructions on their website.

You will need: Construction paper, tape, glue stick, crayons or markers, scissors

1.      Trace at least 8 hands for each basket (these are the handle).

2.      Cut out a basket shape and cut a slit in the top (the eggs will slip in here).

3.      Lay out the handprints, overlapping slightly, to form a handle shape.  Tape them while you are arranging them and then glue in place.

4.      Cut out a bunch of Easter egg shapes.  Your child can decorate them before sliding them into the slit.  Glue in place when they are in the right place.

Gail Terp has an awesome blog post with craft ideas and more here.

Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac did a lovely in-depth review here

Book Reviews for Kids did one here.

Talk with your children about the tasks that Little Cottontail Mother taught her bunnies.  What tasks can your child help with at home?

Make a goal chart…Little Cottontail Mother had things she wanted to accomplish…help your child make a chart of tasks and skills he or she wants to master.

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. 

And please, don’t forget to leave a comment, nominating your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!

Sunday Post: Light…Do You See It?


The dictionary has many definitions of the word “light”…usually we think of a lamp that illuminates a room…or the moon and sun that shine outdoors.

 But when we say someone sees the light, we imply a mental understanding or spiritual insight. 

As a student, I had many instances where I “saw the light” after a particularly helpful professor explained a difficult concept to me. 

As a teacher, I observed many pupils “see the light” when something I had been teaching them finally made sense. 

And, as a parent and now as a grandparent, I’ve been privileged to watch hundreds of “see the light” moments.

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is LIGHT.


Last summer we went fly-fishing with our twin grandchildren.  Are you looking for a great intergenerational activity?  Try fishing!  Children love it…our grandchildren listened attentively while we showed them what to do…their faces were alight with joy as they cast their flies into the water.

And, have you ever watched the faces of children as they listen to a picture book story?  Intent…attentive…joyful…alight with curiosity!


Or, put some arts and crafts supplies into the hands of young children and watch their faces light up with joy as the spark of creativity ignites!



There are so many things we can do with young children that will help them to “see the light”…reading, crafting, fishing, doing puzzles, taking a nature hike, going for a walk…just engaging them in a conversation.  What are some things you enjoy doing with your children?

We only have one more week for the March Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge!  Please leave your comments and share with us the books you are reading with your children.  Also, please spread the word about the Reading Challenge…a promise to read every day to a child…someone will be winning a new picture book at the end of every month!

Just a reminder…are you looking for picture book recommendations and other activities that will build self-esteem and reading readiness skills?  Please check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking…endorsed by parents, teachers and national organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  There is also only one more week for the March special: free shipping on my website Continental US only (an additional $5 off the price of the book for participants in the PPP Reading Challenge) or you can purchase the book on Amazon.


 If you’d like more information about Jake’s Sunday Post: 

1.     Christine:

2.     Judy:

3.     Isadora:

4.     Marcy:

5.     Rois:

6.  Marilou:

7.  Natalie:






13. Kate:

14. Jo: 

I’ll add more links when more are posted.