Category Archives: Craft Activity for Kids
Sometimes things are just meant to be.
A couple of months ago, I noticed author/illustrator Brian Lies was promoting a new book and offering a signed copy and an original illustration sketch as a giveaway. All you had to do to enter was to share the post. Of course, everybody knows I love sharing the word about new picture books…so I did. And guess what?
I won! The book is AMAZING! And the sketch will be hung in a place of honor in my home. But even more special is that I got to connect with Brian. And when I asked if he’d like to participate in a Will Write for Cookies Q&A, he said: YES! Plus, because Brian is a generous soul as well as being a super talented author/illustrator, he’s doing a DOUBLE giveaway…a copy of THE ROUGH PATCH and a copy of his other new book that just launched, GOT TO GET TO BEAR’S. So, please make sure you leave a comment here and also come back tomorrow when Brian stops by to chat with us.
THE ROUGH PATCH
Written and illustrated by Brian Lies
Published by Harper Collins/Greenwillow Books (August 2018)
Themes: Loss, grief, friendship, hope
Opening lines: “Evan and his dog did everything together.”
Synopsis: From a Starred School Library Journal Review:
“Lies taps into the powerful nature of love, loss, grief, and hope in his latest picture book. Evan, a fox, and his dog are best friends and in a series of acrylic, oil, and colored pencil vignettes, they are shown attending a fair, playing games, and, most important, working in Evan’s meticulously groomed garden. These loving scenes are abruptly cut short by a large spread of white space with spare text stating: “But one day, the unthinkable happened.” On the opposing page, white space surrounds a grieving Evan as he mourns the loss of his dog. In his grief, Evan destroys the garden that reminds him so much of his friend and weeds grow in its place. When a pumpkin vine sneaks into the garden, Evan allows it to take root and with it, hope returns. With lyrical figurative language, Evan transitions from being devastated by heartache to a being willing to step back into the world again. With his pumpkin, Evan rejoins his friends at the fair. Although it’s not the same without his best friend, he enjoys himself again and even wins a prize for his pumpkin. His prize and the hope of all those who suffer love’s loss is a chance to love again with a new puppy. While best suited for independent readers or shared moments during a loss, this poignant picture book provides an exquisite depiction of grief and hope. VERDICT A remarkable first selection for all libraries and a helpful guide for children and adults who are going through their own rough patches.” –-Rachel Zuffa, Racine Public Library, WI
Why I like this book:
- The subject: we need more books that will help young kids cope with loss and grief – this book is perfect for a parent or teacher to use as a vehicle for opening a discussion when a child is going through a rough patch.
- Even more importantly, I think, because of the fabulous illustrations, it is a book a young child can ‘read’ just by turning the pages and looking at the pictures. THIS is a book where every picture is worth a thousand words.
- And the words that Brian does use, are absolutely perfect, setting just the right tone and pace for loss, grief, and finally, hope. This is a wonderful book for writers to use as a mentor text if they are looking to write a picture book about loss.
Photo courtesy: https://iheartcraftythings.com
Paper plates, paper bags, and just plain paper – that’s what you’ll need for most of these fun fox crafts, plus scissors, glue, and maybe a couple of googly eyes. I even see one that uses autumn leaves. How cool is that! Hop over to get detailed instructions here: https://iheartcraftythings.com/10-adorable-fox-crafts-for-kids.html
Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a chance to win one of the two books.
Brian’s newest book, GOT TO GET TO BEAR’S (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) actually launched last week. This author/illustrator is on fire!!! And one lucky person is going to win a copy of it. Here’s a short synopsis from Amazon:
Bear never asks for anything. So when she sends a note to Izzy urgently requesting her presence, Izzy can’t refuse! But a blizzard begins and slows Izzy’s progress. As the snow accumulates, so do her friends, helping her on her way to Bear’s place.
This heartwarming tale from best-selling author and illustrator Brian Lies shows readers the rewards of counting on friends to get you through, snowstorm or not.
And please do come back tomorrow when Brian shares insights, inspiration, and a lovely cookie recipe with us that has been in his family for THREE generations!
Speaking of family, I just booked a last-minute flight to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with my son and his family. I have to honestly say that Brian’s book, THE ROUGH PATCH, was part of the push to do that because it makes you realize how very important friends and family are. We need to enjoy them and cherish them while we can. And when my 5-year old granddaughter heard I was coming, she told me she will be doing the cooking of the salad, turkey, and dessert. I am surely in for a rare treat!
Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends. The mailbox has been a flurry of awesome activity this week…lots of new picture books! And since this one is launching in just a couple of days, I wanted to share it with you. PLUS, the author, Viviane Elbee, will be stopping by tomorrow to chat on Will Write for Cookies AND she is offering a copy of her debut picture book for a giveaway!
TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI
Written by Viviane Elbee
Illustrated by Danni Gowdy
Publlished by Albert Whitman (November 1, 2018)
Themes: Facing fears, friendship
Opening lines: “Uh-oh. It’s snowing and your giraffe wants you to teach her to ski.”
What do you do when your giraffe wants to learn how to ski—but she wants to go down the big scary slope and you are NOT a fan of skiing even on the bunny slope? As the boy tries to control his giraffe and lead her to safer spots, he learns something about courage along the way and the reader learns about ski slope etiquette and the rudiments of skiing.
Why I like this book:
- The illustrations are absolutely adorable as humans and animals strap on skis and share the slopes.
- Kids will love the story…so over the top hilarious, but with important underlying messages of friendship and facing fears.
- I enjoyed the larger typeface and I think beginning readers will be encouraged to try to read this themselves.
Paper Plate Giraffe
Photo courtesy: https://familymaven.io
Paper plates are one of my favorite classic craft materials. For detailed instructions: https://familymaven.io/kidsactivities/kidsactivities/easy-giraffe-craft-for-kids-NQNcWRx1Z0SwCkAYeJjZ6w/
Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. And come back tomorrow when we chat with Viviane Elbee about her writing journey.
I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be at a local apple orchard with my grandson. Whatever you are doing, stay safe, and remember that authors need our support. Leaving a review, on Amazon, Goodreads, or other review sites, can really give a boost to the potential success of your favorite book!
Did you know that my 5-year old granddaughter’s name is Sophie? She’s a ball of fun and energy…and she LOVES books and hearing stories and having the mailman deliver envelopes with her name on them. And so, when one of my dear friends and critique buddies, Amber Hendricks, wrote a story called Sophie and Little Star and it got published, I knew I’d be getting a copy for her. And of course, sharing it with all of you for Perfect Picture Book Friday!
And guess what? This talented and generous author is gifting some lucky reader with a Picture Book Manuscript Critique…yes! Just make sure you leave a comment and you will be entered into the giveaway.
SOPHIE AND LITTLE STAR
Written by Amber Hendricks
Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
Published by Clear Fork/Spork (2018)
Themes: Friendship, helping one another, determination
“Every night, when the sun had set and the stars gathered in the heavens to shine their light on the world, Little Star watched, wishing she could join.”
“Sophie and Little Star is a delightfully charming tale about friendship and finding where we belong. A wonderful bedtime treat!” -Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles
When a little star falls from her home in the sky, she finds help from an unexpected friend. Together, the new friends search for a way to send Little Star home, but soon discover that not everyone you meet is kind, or helpful. Little Star begins to wonder if she’ll ever find a way home, and if she does, will she be able to leave her new friend, Sophie, behind?”
Why I like this book:
- I love stories about friendship, especially those with a bit of pixie dust and magic woven in.
- I love stories where the main character shows determination – and this one is a mighty girl who just isn’t going to give up until she helps her new friend, Little Star.
- The illustrations are beautiful and Raissa captures the dreamy night-time feel throughout the pages.
- I love sweet bedtime stories and so do kids!
Photo courtesy: https://www.powerfulmothering.com/10-star-crafts-for-kids/
STAR PROJECTS FOR KIDS: For detailed instructions, please go to: https://www.powerfulmothering.com/10-star-crafts-for-kids/
Bundle up and go out in the evening to look up at the stars. Get a book for kids on the constellations and see how many you can identify. Check you library for Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky by Michael Driscoll.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Please make sure you leave a comment to enter the giveaway…and come back tomorrow when Amber visits Picture Books Help Kids Soar and shares her writing journey and a very special No-Bake cookie recipe from her mom.
This post joins all the others on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up where bloggers review their favorite picture books.
And please don’t forget that our favorite authors need our help to spread the word about their books. BUY THEM! REVIEW THEM! TELL OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT THEM!