PPBF: Mother’s Day Edition and Tribute to Maurice Sendak: David Gets in Trouble

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah 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.

Picture books have a special place in the hearts of many people…and there are a few authors whose names are instantly recognizable around the world.  Maurice Sendak was one of those…an author/illustrator extraodinaire…anyone reading his books (Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There and many others) would be instantly aware that this man remembered what it feels like to be a child.  For more information about this gifted groundbreaking artist and writer: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/books/maurice-sendak-childrens-author-dies-at-83.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

My book choice today has a flavor reminiscent of the work of Mr. Sendak…it celebrates mothers (yes, Mother’s Day is only a few days away)…and shows what they have to deal with on a daily basis…the good, the bad and the ugly.

David Gets in Trouble
Written and illustrated by David Shannon
Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2000)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: Family, unconditional love, misbehavior/consequences, boys
Opening lines: ”When David gets in trouble, he always says, “No! It’s not my fault!”

From an Amazon reviewer: “No and David were the first words David Shannon learned how to spell. Shannon’s Caldecott Honor Book No, David! is based on a book he made as a child showing a kid doing all the things he isn’t supposed to do. In the sequel David Goes to School, it turns out that teachers say no, too.
In this third picture book, it’s David’s turn to talk back. What does he say when he gets in trouble? “I didn’t mean to.” (Skateboarding into a lamp table.) “It was an accident!” (Hitting a baseball into a window.) “I forgot!” (Happily walking down the street… in his underpants.) “But Dad says it!” (Boy in corner with mouth full of soap.) Of course, the cat-tail-pulling, burping, grape-juice-dropping, runny-egg-hating, out-of-control David wins us over in the end. A defiant “No, it wasn’t me!” evolves into a guilt-ridden, late-at-night shout, “Yes! It was me! I’m sorry. I love you, Mom.”

Why I like this book:
Caldecott honor award winner David Shannon knows how kids feel…and children love hearing about the adventures…or misadventures…of little David. This is a wonderful book for moms as well…it is heartening to know that our own kids aren’t the only ones who test a parent’s patience! The message at the end of the book is a perfect Mother’s Day gift for every mom…”I’m sorry. I love you, Mom.”
Related Activities:
David’s mother used soap to wash out his mouth when he used inappropriate language, but you can utilize a bar of soap with your children in a much more enjoyable way.

Soap Boat
Make this super boat and customize with your child’s name. They will be begging you to take a bath!
3 and up
What you need
• Foam Paper
• Soap
• White craft glue
• Popsicle stick
• Letter Stickers

What you do
1. Un-wrap a single bar of soap.
2. Cut two triangle shapes out of the foam paper (one slightly bigger than the other)
3. Glue the triangle pieces to craft stick ( one in front the other in back)
4. Decorate the sail; we used a small star out of the foam paper in coordinating color.
5. Insert Popsicle stick into soap.
6. Name your boat with letter stickers.
7. Set sail.
The above instructions and picture came from the website of The Crafty Noodle.
For more soap bar projects, visit Artists Helping Children: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/barsofsoapcraftsideasdecorationskids.html
Video interview with David Shannon: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/shannon/


This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.

Something for nothing at Lowes

These days, you usually don’t get something for nothing.

Thanks to Lowes (the building supply store), you do!

The program is called Build and Grow, a clinic/workshop for children (ages 3 through 5th grade) and their parents (any age!).  At 10am every Saturday, at many local Lowes’ stores across the country, young builders and their families can work on a wooden project, receive a free carpenter’s apron and goggles, and leave with a project themed patch (similar to Boy Scout merit badges), certification of merit upon completion of the project, and their finished creation.  Upcoming projects include a wooden school bus and a wooden bug box.  The first 50 to sign up (online at http://bit.ly/4Y8atK) and show up are admitted to each session.

If you are looking for a wonderful FREE activity to participate positively with your child, check this one out.  Lowes deserves kudos for providing such an awesome community resource that not only builds a child’s self-esteem, but also helps create a life-long parent-child bond.

6 items or less…in your child’s toy box!

Yesterday I shared my thoughts on applying the “6 items or less” phenomenon to parenting rules.  It hit me that life gets more complicated as we add more “stuff” so maybe if we get rid of some “stuff”, our lives will become easier and smoother.

So, why not take this minimalist idea and go through your child’s toy box and pare down the items to 6 or less.  Have you ever been to (or had) a birthday party for a young child where there are so many presents, the child is overwhelmed and doesn’t even know half of what he has been given or who gave it to him?  And that is just the point, having too much stuff, whether it is kitchen gadgets, clothing, toys or ANYTHING, is just overwhelming and stressful.  Life can be overwhelming and stressful enough without adding to it by accumulating too much.

Just think about it…wouldn’t clean up time be quicker and easier if there were only 6 items for your child to pick up?  What will you and your child choose to keep in the toy box?  If your child is VERY young, put away all the toys except for 6 items that seem to be favorites and are age-appropriate.  If you have doubles and triples of some items, maybe you can donate them to family shelters or local children’s hospitals.  If your child is a little older, sit down with her and talk about what she most enjoys playing with.  If you are also taking this 6 items or less to heart and are paring down your “STUFF”, she may be thrilled to be “doing what mommy is doing”.  Point out how much easier it will be at clean up time…life uncluttered creates a sense of peace and well-being.  Again, box up toys that you feel she will grow into…encourage her to donate usable items that are too immature for her.  If something has great sentimental value, create a memory box and carefully store it in there.

You will notice I haven’t said anything about your child’s books.  Now you’ve discovered MY weakness.  However, in this area as well, there can also be too much…I think.  What’s the sense in having dozens of books, haphazardly stuffed in toy boxes and under beds.  Go through your child’s book collection, donate doubles and triples of any items you find, wean out those in really bad shape, and create a special place (little bookshelf in your child’s room, separate box, etc.) where these treasures can be kept and enjoyed every day.  Could I apply the 6 items or less theory to my children’s books?  I honestly don’t know.  The best I can say is that I would try to keep 6 at hand to be used on a daily basis and rotate the rest.

Depending on your child’s age and maturity, what toys would you choose to keep in your child’s toy box, if you could only keep 6?

And, which 6 books would you choose to put on the bookshelf?