Category Archives: Craft Activity for Kids

Picture Book Review and Activity: WAY PAST BEDTIME

Happy Friday! I’ve got a wonderful Perfect Picture Book for you today, but I wanted to share a bit about the NESCBWI conference.

MPBM with Susanna HillI’m still processing the experience and I urge all of you who are writers or illustrators, but aren’t yet members of SCBWI, to please, run, don’t walk, and become a member.

with Carrie Finison and Hannah HoltIt is an organization that supports all writers and illustrators and the conferences are the best. The keynote speakers, like Jane Yolen and Melissa Sweet, provided inspiration and information by the bucketful. The accommodations and food were great. But truthfully, the best part of the weekend was getting to hug old friends

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and make new ones.

PTB 2017 group 

I also wanted to remind everyone to continue to spread the word about the #50PreciousWordsforKids Writing Challenge. This morning a teacher at the Birchwood School in Cleveland, Ohio emailed to say that her 5th grade class is going to participate. Woo-hoo!

final jpeg of flyer

I’ll be putting up a post on Sunday, April 30 because the challenge starts May 1, but we may have international participants and on the other side of the globe they are many hours ahead of me. All entries should be emailed to me by either a teacher or parent. This is going to be GREAT FUN!

And before we get to today’s book, we need to giveaway a copy of Jackie Azúa Kramer’s THE GREEN UMBRELLA. And the winner is…

YVONA FAST

Congratulations, Yvona! Please email me so I can connect you and Jackie.

The author of today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is well-known to most of this kidlit community. She’s the founder of Storystorm (formerly PiBoIdMo) and a force to be reckoned with.

way past bedtime cover

Way Past Bedtime

Written by Tara Lazar

Illustrated by Rich Wake

Publisher: Aladdin (2017)

Ages: 4-7

Themes:

Mystery, ingenuity, bedtime

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Little Joseph turns into a bedtime super-sleuth as he tries to solve the mystery of what happens after the lights go out in this fun spin on classic bedtime stories.

Bedtime is Joseph’s least favorite time of day. When his parents tuck him in at night, Joseph imagines all kinds of things that he’s missing out on: big parties, hot-fudge fountains, exotic animals, and more.

But there is only one way to find out if what he imagines is actually true—and bedtime super-sleuth Joseph is determined to discover what happens way past bedtime.

inside photos

Why I like this book:

  • This book is a whole lot of fun…and kids will love sleuthing along with Joseph. I bet lots of kids wonder what goes on while they are sleeping.
  • Great cartoon-like illustrations…and that’s not a bad thing because I think it will encourage some kids, especially boys, to pick up the book and keep turning the pages…and that’s what it’s all about!
  • Oh, and did I say it was funny? Well, I’ll say it again…kids LOVE funny!

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Tons-of-fun-spy-activities-and-free-printables-for-kids-Perfect-for-planning-a-spy-themed-DIY-summer-camp-or-partyPhoto courtesy: http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/spy-school-kids-activities/
  1. Start a secret agent spy school with the downloadable forms from http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/spy-school-kids-activities/
  2. Set up a scavenger hunt with clues…my 8-year old grandson thinks being a detective is the coolest thing. I know I have to get a copy of this book for him!
  3. Talk about how codes have been used to deliver secret messages: http://www.mathsweek.ie/2012/puzzles/code-breaking-for-young-secret-agents
  4. Try writing a message in code and decipher it.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends…I hope you’ll visit tomorrow for:

 Will Write for Cookies

Anna Forrester

(we reviewed her BAT COUNT book a couple of months ago)

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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.

Picture Book Review and Activity: IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU

Hello friends!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated a book birthday for IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU. There was a Q&A with author Rosie Pova. And a fun giveaway of a teddy bear and swag package.

Today we’ll review that wonderful picture book to honor Mother’s Day which is just around the corner, because the book is all about Willy Bear and the deep love his mama has for him.

 cover if I were you

IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU

Written by: Rosie Pova

Illustrated by Philip Martineau

Publisher: Spork (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 2

Themes:

Mother-child love, curiosity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Mom, if I weren’t here, what would you do?” Willy starts a conversation with Mama Bear while he’s on the move, acting like a natural youngster. In a series of simple and direct questions, the bear cub seeks and receives his mother’s reassurance of love and security as the two take a walk in the forest. Mama Bear uses imagery of the forest to communicate her feelings to her cub.

Why I like this book:

  • A perfect book to reassure young children that their parents will always love them.
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Lyrical language combines with lovely illustrations that speak of gentleness and safety.

There is also a short trailer for the book right here.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

paper plate bear

Paper Plate Bear

You all know how much I love paper plate crafts for kids. And Rosie loves them also. This craft idea is from her!

You will need: 1 paper plate (colored if you have it, otherwise you can use markers or crayons or paint), construction paper or felt (depending on what you have and how you want the bear to feel), glue, scissors, markers to add the details, googly eyes if you have them.

  1. Cut paper or felt for the face, muzzle, nose, ears, and eyes.
  2. Glue onto the plate.
  3. Add details with the marker or crayon.

I know how busy parents are these days…but kids really love doing stuff like this. Cutting out shapes and gluing googly eyes on a paper plate is more than just about crafting something to hang up…it’s about crafting a lasting relationship with your child.

We build lasting relationships with our friends also. The NESCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts was a perfect opportunity to do just that.  It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. The presentations and workshops were incredible. I attended a revision workshop with Harold Underdown, founder of The Purple Crayon, that I know is going to make me a better critique partner. I listened to a program given by Candlewick editor Carter Hasewaga entitled Failure that was uplifting and encouraging. One of the highlights was the thirty minutes I spent chatting with Jane Yolen during my stint as a volunteer in the AskAMentor Round Table session. OMG! I thought I had lots of energy and passion for what I do. But she puts me to shame. And she is almost ten years older. Maybe one day, when I grow up, I can be just like her.

Thank you so much for hanging out here today. See you all at the end of the week for a Perfect Picture Book Friday review of one of Tara Lazar’s new books!

Perfect Picture Book Friday Review and Craft Activity: Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3 PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. This is a very special time of year, when two of the world’s major religions celebrate important holidays…I wish everyone who celebrates a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter. If only the people of the world could come together like our incredible kid lit community does.

To add to the celebrations, we have books to give away. THREE OF THEM!

Last week, Linda Whalen offered to give away a copy of her wonderful debut picture book, LITTLE RED ROLLS AWAY.book cover

AND THE WINNER IS

SHERRY ALEXANDER

Congratulations, Sherry! Please contact me so I can get your mailing information to Linda.

We also have a copy of LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL to award thanks to author/illustrator Patricia Keeler. lizzie-and-lou-seal-cover

AND THE WINNER IS

VIRGINIA FRAZIER

Splish-splash! What fun. Congrats, Virginia! Let’s connect so Patricia can send you your prize.

And last, but certainly not least, author Rosie Pova is gifting a teddy bear and swag package to celebrate the book birthday of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU. swag giveaway

AND THE WINNER IS

ZARA

Hurray! Zara, we will connect so that Rosie can send your prize.

I also wanted to ask everyone to continue to spread the word about the #50PreciousWordsforKids Writing Challenge. logoHand the flyer to teachers you know – post it on homeschool forums – we want to enable as many children as possible to participate because Magic Happens When You Make Every Word Count.

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday also has a giveaway…so don’t forget to leave a comment. And shout outs on social media are always appreciated by the author!

book cover 1

MRS. MCBEE LEAVES ROOM 3

Written by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan

Illustrated by Grace Zong

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Saying goodbye, dealing with change, working together, diversity

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Join the children of Room 3 and Mrs. McBee as they find their own ways of helping each other get ready to leave and say good-bye. It’s not just the end of the school year at Mayflower Elementary. It’s time to say goodbye to Mrs. McBee, who is leaving the school. Jamaika, William, and the other kids in Room 3 have to figure out a special way to celebrate their beloved teacher. But everyone has a different idea. How can they arrive at an agreement? Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan brings readers an amusing and touching story about transitions and the importance of observing them. With Grace Zong’s charming illustrations, the distinct cast of lively characters comes to life on the page.

Why I like this book:

  • As a former teacher, what’s not to love about a book that tells how kids are trying to do something nice for their teacher?
  • I also love seeing how the diverse characters and personalities find their own ways to say goodbye…and especially how Mrs. McBee helps each of them feel special. The author did a masterful job showing us this.
  • Great illustrations…full of color and emotion…they really help us connect with the characters.

One of the best ways we can help authors, other than buying a copy of their receives a certain number of reviews (30 or perhaps 50), Amazon gives a bit of marketing/promotion help. Click here for the Amazon link to today’s Perfect Picture Book.

I know that Gretchen appreciates every review the book receives.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

Make a School or Classroom Craft

cardboard-crafts-for-kidsPhoto courtesy: http://mollymoocrafts.com/back-school-crafts-shoebox-school/

Young kids really love doing crafts. And the time they spend with a parent, cutting, coloring, creating…that is time that is well spent! It’s why I included 100 quick and easy craft activities in the parent-teacher book I wrote years ago. Why not grab an old shoe box or small shipping carton and build a school with your kids?

You will need: 1 box (shoe box, USPS priority box, even a large cereal box), construction paper or gift wrap or any paper that will cover the box OR you can paint it OR you can cover it with brown shipping tape, scissors, markers, glue.

  1. Cover the box as you and your child desire.
  2. Cut windows and doors
  3. Use markers or crayons to add details.

You can also create a classroom using a shoebox turned on its side. Line the ‘walls’ with wrapping paper as wallpaper. Cut pictures of furniture and people from magazines to glue in place.

For more great online crafts: http://mollymoocrafts.com/back-school-crafts-shoebox-school/

Another activity: Teachers work so hard for our children. Why not sit down with your child to write a thank you note to include with the end of year gift. I can guarantee the teacher will treasure that note long after the flowers die or the candy is eaten. I know I still have notes from the children I taught.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends…don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of MRS. MCBEE LEAVES ROOM 3…and please come back tomorrow for:

 

Will Write for Cookies

Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan

_Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi

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.

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