Category Archives: children’s picture books

PPBF: Be The Kite…Inspiring Kids to Imagine and Soar

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

A fellow 12x12er and local critique partner of mine sent me a link to an amazing YouTube video this morning.  Watch this 80 year-old gentleman demonstrate multi-kite flying…he travels all around the world…I promise you will be entertained for five minutes…and inspired for the rest of your life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=nr9KrqN_lIg

Seeing the kite-flying video encouraged me to review Be The Kite!

cover-new

 

Be The Kite

Written and illustrated by Cathi Bosco

Publisher: C & D Publishers (April 2012)

Ages: 2 and up

Themes:

Imagination, friendship, perceiving the world around us, kite-flying

Synopsis:

From Amazon’s book page: “Art – Literature – Imagination! Be the Kite is an inspired, original picture-book by artist Cathi Bosco. Her illustrations and story celebrate the nurturing nature of imaginative thinking. Each illustrated page from this book feature the kite-flying adventure of two great friends and are literally connected. If printed out, each page would fit together making one long continuous picture.”

Why do I like this book:

This is a beautiful book that encourages young children to use their imaginations and take a look at the world. In addition, the author/illustrator invites participation of young readers: ”all young artists are invited to participate in a collective drawing activity. Parents, teachers, librarians and kids can submit their artwork featuring Tilly, George and Pickles and we will proudly include all drawings at our website in The Young Artists Gallery! Details can be found at http://www.CandDStudios.com. Be the Kite is a visually creative picture-book that children from 3 – 10 LOVE! Enjoying creativity and seeing the world in new and different ways are meaningful experiences for people of all ages.”

Related Activities:

MAKING A KITE

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Photo courtesy of eHow. You will find instructions for making many different types of kites with children here: http://www.ehow.com/how_5333244_make-kite-children.html

The author’s website where several activities can be found: http://www.bethekite.com/

If you want a step by step video showing how to make a kite that will really fly: http://www.ehow.com/video_4790375_make-paper-kite.html

I also wanted to share that the Asian Festival of Children’s Content has added to their website the speakers and program for this year’s event. I was thrilled to see my name…my trip to Singapore is definitely becoming more real: http://afcc.com.sg/_2013/speakers

I’m honored to be part of such a distinguished international line-up.

book pic from wordpress blog

If you want a great resource that will give you 100’s of picture book summaries, easy matching crafts (sorry, no kites) and healthful child-friendly cooking activities, purchase a copy on Amazon (or my website) of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At $24.95, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Buy your copy today!

Building Self-Esteem Through Picture Books: Sofia and the Heartmender

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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.

The holiday season is upon us…I know that many bloggers have been reviewing holiday-themed books.  Here’s one that looks like a Christmas-type book, but what it celebrates is a child who learns to speak up for herself and overcome her fears.  This ties in with Universal Children’s Day which was started by the United Nations almost 60 years ago this week.  Millions of children all over the world lack the basic rights they are entitled to…nourishing food, clean water, an education, a safe environment in which to grow up in and parents who believe in them and are able to provide these things.

Building Self-Esteem Through Picftue Books,Show Me How,Positive Parental Participation

Sofia and the Heartmender

Written and illustrated by Marie Olofsdotter

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing (reprinted 2007…original edition 1995)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes:

Speaking up for oneself, self-esteem, overcoming fears, respecting onself, creative expression, night terrors, parental support.

Synopsis:

From Amazon and Book Review:

”Sofia’s heart is broken in two when adults refuse to take her fears seriously. Parents and teacher alike trivialize the shadow monsters that follow her, but a wise dog guides her through a magical world where she meets the Heartmender. During the journey, Sofia confronts her fears, which then disappear, and the Heartmender heals Sofia’s heart with moonlight. Back in the real world, stronger with renewed self-esteem and confidence, Sofia makes her feelings known to the adults and asks that they be respected. Olofsdotter has created a rich and inspiring story by carefully crafting a dynamic between text and illustrations. Richly colored and exquisitely detailed, the illustrations add information and evoke the mythical time and space where the wounded self is healed. A book to be enjoyed at various levels by young and older children alike.”

Why do I like this book:

I love the message in this story…a child learns to overcome her fears and speak up for herself, gaining a positive self-image.  This is a story about a strong capable young girl and would be a wonderful book to help parents understand how important it is to listen to their children and take what they say seriously.   It also points out that teachers often expect children to ‘color within the lines’…instead of encouraging creative expression in every child.  I also love the illustrations and ethnicity of the characters…from the look of the main characters and the surroundings, I get the feeling that the story is placed in Mexico or South America.

Related Activities:

HEARTMENDER ORNAMENT #1

If you are looking for a VERY easy heartmender ornament, try this one.

heart-ornament-tissue

Photo courtesy: http://www.apples4theteacher.com

You will need: 1 piece of red construction paper, 1 piece of red tissue paper, several cotton balls, glue, scissors, piece of ribbon, hole puncher.

  1. Cut the red construction paper into a heart shape.
  2. Pull the cotton balls apart and glue pieces around the heart edge.
  3. Tear the tissue paper into small pieces.  Crumbple each piece and glue inside the heart shape.
  4. Punch a hole in the top middle and thread the ribbon through so the heart can be hung up.  Make sure you put your child’s name and the date on the back of the ornament…in later years you will look back and remember when it was made.

HEARTMENDER ORNAMENT #2

If you want a heartmender ornament that is a little more complicated, please visit: http://www.craftideas.info/html/swedish_paper_heart.html

You will find materials needed and a video tutorial.

Christmas_Paper_Craft_-_Swedish_Heart_Paper_Christmas_Ornament

Photo and instructions courtesy: www.craftideas.info

show me how build your child's self-esteem, positive parental participation 

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

Young children don’t need fancy electronic gadgets…they only need a good picture book, a few simple inexpensive art supplies (like paper, crayons or markers, safety scissors and glue stick) and your positive participation.  If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100 picture book summaries and easy matching craft (like the diorama above) and cooking activities, you can purchase a copy on Amazon of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At $24.95, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Buy your copy today!  My website is still offering free shipping AND a beautiful hand-crafted fabric bookmark…limited time only!  Offer ends December 30th!create a peaceful home,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com,free bookmarks,show me how build your child's self-esteem

PPBF: Parenting Advice from Andy Griffith…Set the Rules!

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.

Before I get to the picture book review, I wanted to share some thoughts about parenting.

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed watching an old Andy Griffith  Show from the 1961 season…”Opie’s Hobo Friend”…guest starring Buddy Ebsen.

These days, single parent homes are pretty common.  But the Andy Griffith Show, starring Andy Griffith as single dad Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ron Howard as his son, Opie, was a ground-breaking concept for television in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

Every episode was filled with warmth, good humor and the charm of a bygone era.  Amazingly, every episode was also filled with sound parenting advice.  Unlike many family situation comedies we see on television these days where the mother and/or father are portrayed as bumbling fools, Andy Griffith was a strong, compassionate and loving father, not above making a mistake and saying he was sorry, but always cognizant of his role as the parent and all that entailed.

In this particular episode, Opie becomes enthralled with a drifter and starts to imitate him.  Andy insists that the drifter leave town, but the drifter challenges him and says that Andy should let his son decide what kind of life he wants to have.

Andy’s reply is one that every parent needs to take to heart and remember.

“You can’t let a youngun’ decide for himself.  He’ll grab at the first flashy-with-shiny-ribbons-on-it-thing he sees.  It’s difficult for him to tell the difference between right and wrong.  When he finds out there’s a hook in it, it’s too late.  The wrong kinds of things come packaged in so much glitter, it’s hard to convince him that the other thing might be better in the long run.  All a parent can do is say, “Wait…trust me”…and try to keep temptation away.”

This single dad was not afraid to set the rules and enforce them…he always did it with love and compassion, but he was never swayed from being the parent.

I know this is ‘only’ an old TV series…but I believe this is a powerful message for all parents today…set the rules with love, enforce them with compassion and remember to be the parent!

Our perfect picture book today is about another single-parent family.

A Chair for My Mother

Written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (1984)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Single-parent family, working together, believing in yourself, surviving hard times, loss, patience, goal-setting

Synopsis:

When all of their possessions burn in a fire, a little girl and her mother and grandmother begin saving their coins so they can buy a special armchair that they can all sit in.  Each day they add coins to the jar until it is so full they cannot put another one in.  The chair they buy is gloriously colorful and it epitomizes the hope they have for the future.

Why do I like this book:

This book is a Caldecott Honor Award winner!  The illustrations are glorious…the sweet story relays how resiliant children are…the shared goal brings the family together and strengthens them.  A lovely story-time choice for any child, but especially powerful for single parent families or those who have experienced the disasterous loss of fire or flood.

Related Activities:

SHOEBOX DIORAMA

Photo courtesy http://www.firstpalette.com

One of my most favorite memories is sitting at the kitchen table with my mother, working together on a diorama.

You will need: 1 shoebox, small boxes and/or styrofoam, construction paper, scissors, glue stick, magazine pictures.

  1. Decide what scene the diorama will portray.
  2. Cover the ‘walls’ of the room (shoebox) with decorated construction paper or pictures cut from a magazine.
  3. Help your child cover the boxes/styrofoam with construction paper to form ‘furniture’.
  4. Glue the pieces in the box.

Great diorama crafts here: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/dioramasartscraftsideasprojectskids.html

More wonderful diorama crafts here: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/diorama/

And more here: http://familycrafts.about.com/u/sty/craftstechniques101/Publish-Your-Craft-Projects/Shoebox-Diorama-Craft.htm

Lesson plan here: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/a_chair_for_my_mother.php

Printables here: http://printables.familyeducation.com/mothers-day/general-skill-builders/55053.html

Because November is such a special month and there is so much going on, I want to reshare some links to wonderful events going on in the kidlit/picture book community because I never know when someone new visits my blog who might not know about them.

  1. Picture Book Month: Visit the website of Dianne de Las Casas to join in the month-long celebration of PICTURE BOOKS!  Every day, a different picture book champion (author, illustrator, etc.) is guest posting…you won’t want to miss these….they will inspire you and help you remember just why you love to read and write picture books.
  2. Picture Books and Crafts for Kids: This Sunday I will be sharing “Gift Bear for the King”  and we will be making a king/queen crown.  Each YouTube segment highlights a parenting problem such as setting up good bedtime routines or a children’s challenge like learning to be a good friend and believing in oneself.  Last week’s link: http://youtu.be/jMvyNgM2wiM
  3. PiBoIdMo:  Picture Book Idea Month is the brain-child of children’s author,Tara Lazar.  If you signed up, you are already immersed in the world of picture books…trying to come up with 30 fresh ideas for picture book manuscripts during this month.  But, even if you have not joined the challenge, please run over there…don’t walk… to read an AMAZING guest post EVERY DAY this month…these posts will instruct and educate you…as well as motivate you to write the picture book that every child will want to read over and over again.
  4. Please don’t forget about Reach Out and Read…we need to GAB (Give a Book) before they can ROAR (Reach Out and Read).  If everyone who loves to read donates enough to buy just one book, the New York City Bellevue Hospital program (one of the largest in the country) will be able to replace the books that were lost in Hurricane Sandy.

 

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

Young children don’t need fancy electronic gadgets…they only need a good picture book, a few simple inexpensive art supplies (like paper, crayons or markers, safety scissors and glue stick) and your positive participation.  If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100 picture book summaries and easy matching craft (like the diorama above) and cooking activities, you can purchase a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At $19.95, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Buy your copy today!

Are you still hesitating?  Author/illustrator/humanitarian Lesley Fletcher just did an amazing review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/461240610

Hmmmmm

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