Category Archives: Book events
Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources. Parents and teachers can find the best of the best in picture books…a little synopsis, a thoughtful review, and an activity and/or resources to extend the learning experience. This is a great way for parents and teachers to preview a book before they take it out of the library or spend money buying it.
World Read Aloud Day is coming up on March 7th and I thought that Crow Boy would be a perfect choice to get us all in a global awareness mood.
Written and illustrated by Taro Yashima
Publishers: Viking Juvenile (original edition 1955), Picture Puffins (1976)
Ages: 4 – 8
Themes: Celebrating the uniqueness of each individual, bullying/teasing, mastering tasks and skills, positive attitude, goal-setting, fitting in.
Opening: “On the first day of our village school in Japan, there was a boy missing. He was found hidden away in the dark space underneath the schoolhouse.”
Synopsis: Many years ago, in a small village school in the countryside of Japan, a young boy attends school. Chibi is always perceived as stupid and is treated as an outcast by the other students. When Mr. Isobe, the new teacher, observes Chibi’s strengths and talents (the boy is a wonderful artist and is also the only person with perfect school attendance even though he has to walk seven miles to school each day), he encourages the boy to participate in the school pageant with an imitation of the voices of crows. Does Chibi’s performance have any effect on how the children perceive him? Remember the talent show in Oliver Button is a Sissy.
Why do I like this book:
Wonderful illustrations give the reader the sense of the small rural area in Japan…I love books that give young children a window on the world. The story addresses many important issues as well…bullying/teasing, teacher recognition and encouragement of a student’s gifts and talents, overcoming obstacles in order to achieve one’s goals…as relevant today as it was almost sixty years ago when it was first published.
Black and White Painting
Although Crow Boy had a difficult time expressing himself verbally, he was able to do so more easily with his artwork. Painting is a wonderful way to allow a young child to express his feelings and to encourage his creativity.
You will need: Paper (construction paper or grocery bag cut open), black and white non-toxic tempera paint, brushes (or Q-tips) and coverups to protect work surfaces and clothing.
1. Cover the work surface and your clothing to protect from splatters.
2. Pour a small amount of black and white paint into two separate containers.
3. Let your child paint several pictures using different size brushes and/or Q-tips.
4. When dry, hang up this amazing art.
5. Tip to parents and teachers: Art is one thing…crafting is another. Art is pure expression. Crafting is following certain rules or steps to produce a particular product. This activity is art…the child is creating whatever he or she desires…if you ask, “What is this?” or you inquire, “Didn’t you forget the dog’s tail?”…you are passing judgement on your child’s creative voice…I beg you, please don’t! You can engage with your child by asking, “Please tell me about your art.” In praising, it is more empowering to say, “I’m so proud of how hard you worked making thick strokes and thin strokes. Was it difficult?” instead of just saying, “That’s nice!”
Crayola official website with lots of arts and crafts activities and print-outs for kids.
Website for the Japanese American National Museum where you can purchase the documentary narrated by Mr. Yashimo, Golden Village.
This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.
SAVE THE DATE:
WORLD READ ALOUD DAY…MARCH 7TH
Do you have anything special planned?
You can go to LitWorld’s website to get more information and/or register…there will be events online and in different locales around the world.
They are a global literacy organization that aims to help entire communities through books. We all that that, I know! According to their website:
“LitWorld’s mission is to use the power of story to cultivate literacy skills in the world’s most vulnerable children through Education, Advocacy and Innovation. Lit World creates resilience building reading and writing experiences which connect and fortify communities.”
- 2012 Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge Comment Page for February (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- New Picture Book Expert (natashawing.wordpress.com)
I spent this past Saturday and Sunday at the DoubleTree Hotel near the World Arena in Colorado Springs.
Sponsored by the Ecumenical Social Ministries, the Festival of Trees Family Fun Days was a many-splendored event.
In the main ballroom dozens of vendors with beautiful tables filled with amazing items provided gift-giving purchase opportunities to the people strolling by.
Gaily decorated Christmas trees were displayed and offered for sale.
Santa-land had volunteers doing awesome craft projects with the children…and kids had the opportunity to meet Santa, as well as the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Hundreds of door prizes had been donated by area businesses and the Ecumenical Social Ministries volunteers called out names every half hour…centerpieces, candles, hand-made quilts and gift certificates for free meals at local restaurants were among the wonderful prizes awarded to the lucky recipients. When my name was called, I was thrilled! My prize…the most beautiful handmade Christmas quilt.
On-going live entertainment added to the up-beat party-like atmosphere and we enjoyed bell choirs, drum groups, singers, dancers and more. The entertainment alone was worth the $5 per person entry fee…children 12 years old and under got in for free!
I had a wonderful time at the Show-Me-How table…talking to parents and children about building self-esteem and literacy skills with picture books and how easy it is to spend a little quality time with your child…reading, crafting and cooking. Parents who picked up my book were impressed with how many activities it provides. They loved the easy-to-use format with the picture book summary and parenting tip on the left and the quick craft and child-friendly recipe on the right.
Speaking with hundreds of people in a two-day period can be somewhat exhausting, even when you are passionate about the subject. I’d like to share some of my reflections and observations.
- There are lots of parents out there who really care about their children.
- Many parents are doing an awesome job of teaching their children important skills, such as saying “Thank you” when someone gives you something. We were giving a free gift to every child who stopped by the table…a fancy new pencil and a bookmark. I was impressed with the parent who told her child, “You need to look at the lady when you say thank you.”
- I fear we are moving away from a time when a child would be excited about receiving something new…no matter how small. Most of the children were delighted to come over and pick the pencil of their choice…but a few shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads…perhaps if I had been offering an iPad they might have thought it was a worthwhile gift.
- It doesn’t matter how beautiful or uplifting the atmosphere…some people will always bring their negative attitude to a situation. I don’t know whether you will want to laugh or to cry when you read this. I chatted a moment with a woman who stopped at the table to look at the book and after I told her that the book had quick and easy activities to help build self-esteem and literacy skills, she replied, “I’m already an excellent parent!” To me, that is kind of sad…I know how to cook, but that doesn’t mean I will never look at another cookbook in my life or enjoy getting a new recipe from a friend. And I’m always excited when someone gives me a new approach to teaching or a fresh tip on parenting. Life is a journey of constant learning and we need to be open to acquiring knowledge, even on subjects we may have expertise. Another woman looked at the book and when I said it’s for anyone involved in the care and education of young children, she replied, “I hate children…this is definitely not the book for me!” I guess not. :}
If, however, you think this might be the book for you…or you know anyone who might enjoy having 100 picture book recommendations, each paired with a quick and easy craft project and a simple child-friendly healthful recipe, please pass along the information. Show Me How! available on my website: $19.95 for a brand-new copy…and personally inscribed for the holidays if you wish! After observing the children at the Festival of Trees event and those of friends and family, I can tell you that many children have too much STUFF already…they don’t need the latest toy or gadget. What they do need is their parents’ time and attention! Buy the book and give them the gift of your positive parental participation that will last forever.
- Holiday Stress and How to Renew, Relax and Rejuvenate (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- Children and Art Activities: Some Observations (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- The Best Children’s and Picture Books of 2011 (brainpickings.org)
- Small Investment = Big Rewards (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
Once a month, our local Family Christian Store hosts the Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program. I read a picture book story and do a related craft project, chosen from those recommended in my book. This is the same program that I provide to District 11 kindergartens and Pre-K’s during the school year.
Yesterday, the program’s topic was: How to Stay Healthy This School Year. I read Stan and Jan Berenstain’s, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food. In the story, Mama Bear realizes that the bear cubs and her husband are eating too many sweet and junky snacks. She removes the junk food from the pantry and refrigerator and the entire family goes grocery shopping the next day where they purchase healthy foods: vegetables and fruits, whole grain breads and cereals and eggs, cheese and milk. They go to their family doctor for a check-up and she tells them that if they want to stay in good health, in addition to eating healthy foods, they should exercise every day. Taking the doctor’s advice, the bears begin a program of daily exercise. At the end of the summer, they win a prize for being the only family to finish the entire Bear Country Three-Mile Run.
After the story was over, the children eagerly moved to the tables for the craft project. Each child got a paper plate, 2 small black circles for eyes and 1 small black circle for a nose. Although we all started out intending to make bear faces, two of the children decided to make dog faces and one child made his paper plate into a cat. After gluing on the eyes and nose, each child used markers and crayons to add features and designs to the paper plate face. For over an hour, the children happily worked on their projects…the only frowns I saw on these children were when parents came to say it was time to go. Parents were able to take home an informational flyer, Five Simple Steps to Stay Healthy This School Year.
If you give children art supplies and a project to work on, they will be engaged and productive and happy.
If you allow children a certain amount of freedom when they are engaged in art activities, they will almost always surprise you with their creativity.
Children often become very talkative when they are happily engaged in arts and crafts…this is a PERFECT time for parents to listen and interact with their children.
So, I have a few questions to ask if you are a parent or caretaker of a child age 2-7:
- Would you like to put educational, fun-filled activities in your child’s day?
- Do you need tips on school readiness for your child?
- Are you time-short when it comes to planning activities for your child?
- Do you wonder which books to choose to read to your child?
- Would you like to have a simple plan to follow on rainy days…or any day?
- Do you want your child to be engaged in positive learning on a daily basis?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions:
- Purchase a copy of the award-winning Show Me How!.
- The low price (50% off) is only available on my website.
- This is a perfect holiday gift for anyone who takes care of young children.
- Schools and other organizations can receive additional discounts.
A book is a child’s window on the world…no rules, just read!
Children who love books step out from inside the covers and succeed in life!
THE BOOK PROVIDES 100 STORY SUMMARIES & TIPS ON HOW TO READ TO KIDS!
Art & children…peanut butter & jelly…combinations that create magic!
THE BOOK OFFERS 100 SIMPLE CRAFT PROJECTS & 100 EASY RECIPES!
We all need a cheering committee…a parent is a child’s most important fan!
THE BOOK GIVES 100 PARENTING TIPS ON BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM!
Want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow? Be in their lives today!
THE BOOK SHOWS YOU HOW POSITIVE PARENTAL PARTICIPATION WORKS!
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by…with gift-giving holidays right around the corner, we are excited to provide Show Me How! at 50% off the cover price. Parents, expectant parents, grandparents, preschool and nursery teachers, babysitters…this is a gift that will keep on giving long after the package is opened. Please visit my website to purchase a copy for yourself or as a gift for someone special! When you purchase a copy, you are helping others…a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book benefits three children’s organizations: http://www.JDRF.org, http://www.bessthebookbus.org and http://www.kidsareheroes.org.