Prince Bear and Pauper Bear…Teaching Kids About Love and Friendship

How can we teach kids about love and friendship?

  • By being great role models and treating our friends with love and respect
  • By giving our children respect and attention and expecting the same from them
  • By reading stories that deliver this important message

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday…an opportunity for me to share a book with you that teaches kids about love and friendship…come and join Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

www.positveparentalparticipation.com

February is a month that is chockfull with special days. Thursday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day…which is all about love…but it is also International Book Giving Day…which is all about getting books into the hands of children who have none.

I want to help young children become lovers of books and reading…and a child must have a book in order to fall in love with it.

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Last year, I donated to Reach Out and Read, Sit Together and Read and Books for Africa.

In honor of International Book Giving Day and Valentine’s Day, I am donating $25 to provide books for kids…but I would like your help in choosing where the money goes. Do you have a favorite organization that supports this cause? Please leave a comment on my blog and tell me why your favorite should get the money. I will use Random.org and the winner will be announced in next Friday’s post.

Today’s Perfect Picture Book celebrates love and friendship…and is written by a children’s author and blogger I connected with last year. Emily Lim is now a member of 12×12 and is one of the featured speakers at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. If you’d like to find out more about her and the many beautiful books she has written, you can visit her blog. When the book first came out, Emily appeared on TV, talking about how she came to write the book.

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Prince Bear and Pauper Bear

Written by Emily Lim

Illustrated by Neal Sharp

Publisher: Mustard Seed Books (2007)

Ages: 2 and up

Themes:

Friendship, love, self-esteem, believe in oneself, caring about others, sharing

Synopsis:

From Amazon’s book page: “Pauper Bear is a sad little teddy bear who longs to be loved whilst Prince Bear is a proud teddy bear who loves himself. When their paths take different turns, the two bears discover that things do not happen as they expect… Prince Bear & Pauper Bear has been awarded the Bronze Medal (Children’s Picture Books category) at the 2008 IPPY Awards (World’s largest independent publishers book awards).”

Why do I like this book:

All kids love teddy bears…and here is a timeless story about two bears who are as different as day and night. Kids will cheer when Pauper Bear is carried home and lovingly cared for by his new owner. The illustrations are sweet and clever and clean and simple, with muted tones (a perfect bedtime story) and bold lines. The  pictures are so expressive that we can tell what the teddy bears are thinking, even without reading the words. The author has given us a fresh perspective on the classic story of The Prince and the Pauper, with a book that kids will want to hear over and over again. Unfortunately, the book has limited availability here in the States…I was lucky to get a copy on Amazon and I plan to use it for the fall semester in my school programs.

Related Activities:

TEDDY BEAR PAPER BAG PUPPET

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Photo courtesy www.dltk-kids.com

You will need: 1 paper lunch bag, construction paper, markers or crayons, scissors and glue.

A paper bag is an amazing craft resource. Depending on the age of the child, you can make this puppet as simple or as intricate as you wish. If you want templates for the arms, ears, etc…please go to: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/teddy/mbearbag.html

If not, you can just cut out approximate-sized pieces from a piece of construction paper.

  1. Cut out arms, ears, eyes, etc. from construction paper.
  2. Glue onto the paper bag in the appropriate places.
  3. If you’d like to make this a Valentine Bear Puppet, you can cut out a heart and glue onto the front, instead of the bow tie or the stomach…wherever you choose.
  4. Make one with your child so that you each will have one…then you can role-play…retelling the story of Prince Bear and Pauper Bear.

Great teddy bear Valentine’s Day crafts from DLTK: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/valentines/mheartbear.htm

More teddy bear Valentine’s Day drafts here: http://parenting.leehansen.com/holidays/valentine/kids_valentines/index.shtml

And more here: http://dreamlandmagic.soniacjensen.com/valentine/valentine_teddy_pin.html

Wonderful resource website here: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/bears-crafts-ideas-activities.html

Last link for teddy bear Valentine’s day crafts here: http://www.ehow.com/info_12100662_teddy-bear-valentine-arts-crafts-preschoolers.html

Okay…I lied…here is one more: http://easypreschoolcraft.blogspot.com/2012/07/teddy-bear-puppet-craft.html

And this one has a template you can print out for a bear with movable arms and legs: http://www.storyplace.org/preschool/activities/takehometeddy.asp

www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Show Me How! No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   Click this link to purchase a copy

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

article-new_ds-photo_27_58_fotolia_427575_XS

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!

Sunday Post: Peaceful…How to Create a Peaceful Home

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is PEACEFUL.

how to create a peaceful home,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com,show me how build your child's self-esteem through reading, crafting and cooking­

Surroundings can be peaceful…many people find that being near quiet water helps relieve stress.

peaceful children listening to a picture book story,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Children listening to a picture book story can be peaceful.

Create a peaceful when children are crafting,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Children engaged in a craft activity can be peaceful.

Many years ago, when my own kids were young, I operated a home daycare.  People couldn’t believe that there were six children in the house because the house seemed so peaceful.

The children were always engaged in one activity or another…listening at a picture book; building with blocks; telling a story with the flannel board; working on a puzzle; drawing or painting a picture.

The house wasn’t silent…but the sounds of busy children, happily engaged in activities are PEACEFUL sounds.

Do you have young children?

Is your home a peaceful one?

It’s important for parents to provide those types of activities for their kids.

But it is difficult.  Parents are busy with other responsibilities.  Some parents aren’t sure what activities are best to do with their children.  Others don’t know how to plan a balanced and harmonious day.

That’s why Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingis such a super cool book.

  1. It gives parents those types of activities.
  2. It gives parents a simple hour-by-hour plan that can be modified for each individual family’s situation.
  3. It gives parents 100 picture book suggestions that will develop better literacy skills.
  4. It gives parents 100 quick and easy craft projects that will build self-esteem.
  5. It gives parents 100 child-friendly healthful cooking activities that will encourage fussy eaters to try new foods.
  6. No expensive materials…just paper, scissors, markers and a glue stick.
  7. No planning…the activities are quick and easy…no muss…no fuss.
  8. Buy the book today and help several children’s organizations because we donate a portion of the book sales.
  9. The list price is $44.95…you can purchase it on my website for $24.95 and get THREE BONUS GIFTS: FREE SHIPPING, A HAND-CRAFTED FABRIC BOOKMARK FOR YOU AND A BRAND-NEW PENCIL FOR YOUR CHILD.

how to create a peaceful home,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com,show me how build your child's self-esteem,free bookmarks

A local woman who makes beautiful quilts created these awesome bookmarks for me…she donates her profits to a family shelter, so this is a win-win-win for everyone…she used three different pieces of fabric for each…here’s a close-up so you can see the lovely detail.

create a peaceful home,www.positiveparentalparticipation.com,free bookmarks,show me how build your child's self-esteem

Don’t wait…buy your copy today to make sure you get it in time for the holidays!

Start the New Year with a plan for a more peaceful home.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

time after time, positive parental participation

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

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

PPBF: The Little Red Caboose…Building Self-Esteem in Children

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.  When you visit her website on Friday, in addition to finding lots of links to other wonderful picture book reviews, you will also find out the winners of the Halloweensie Contest!!!

Before we get to today’s picture book review (I’ll give you a hint…I’m back to the classic picture books), I want to reshare some links to wonderful events going on in the kidlit/picture book community.

  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: Please pass the word about this new YouTube series for parents and teachers and kids…every Sunday, I’ll be choosing a picture book to read aloud…and then I’ll do a simple related craft project.  Last week I spotlighted Yes We Can by Sam McBratney and this Sunday I will be reading The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter and we will create a geometric-shape train picture.  Each segment will highlight a parenting problem such as setting up good bedtime routines or a children’s challenge like learning to be a good friend.
  3. I’m also teaming up with author and educator Susan Case to do a Thanksgiving Google+ Hangout/YouTube video on Monday afternoon as part of a week-long Thanksgiving celebration by parent bloggers.  Our segment, Acts of Random Kindness, will include a reading of Norman the Doorman by me and a super craft project done by Susan.
  4. 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.  For example, today’s post, by author Ame Dyckman, encourages us to revisit the picture books of our youth to recapture the magic we felt back then as each page turned and we eagerly anticipated the next one.

Ame’s advice conveniently leads into my Perfect Picture Book Friday pick for today.

The Little Red Caboose

Written by Marian Potter

Illustrated by Tibor Gerbely

Publisher: Golden Press (Western Publishing Company) 1953

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Building self-esteem, believing in yourself, courage, determination, friendship

Opening lines:

“The little red caboose always came last.”

Synopsis:

The little red caboose is attached to the end of a long train of oil cars, coal cars and flat cars.  The people who come to wave at the train are gone by the time the little red caboose passes by and the little red caboose wishes he was one of the other cars.  However, when the train almost slips down the mountain, the little red caboose saves the day!

Why do I like this book:

You recapture a ‘kinder gentler’ time as you turn the pages of this beautifully illustrated classic.  Kids love books about trains (this is the great-grandfather of the Thomas series).  The message of being disappointed in who you are and wishing you were someone else is one that children (and adults) will understand and relate to…and the joyous triumph of the little red caboose will encourage kids to believe in themselves.  I love books that help build self-esteem in children.

Related Activities:

GEOMETRIC TRAIN PICTURE (http://mamasmiles.com/geometric-shapes-train/)

You will need: One piece of light colored construction paper, several pieces of different colored construction paper, scissors, glue stick and crayons or markers.

  1. Use the light colored piece as the base.
  2. Cut small circles (wheels), squares  and rectangles and triangles (the different cars of the train).
  3. Help the child put the shapes together to form the train.
  4. Paste each piece in place.
  5. Let the child decorate the train…perhaps drawing the train number and the tracks.
  6. Hang up in a place of honor!

Another great website here with a page devoted to books about trains: http://www.readingtoknow.com/2011/06/train-picture-books.html

 

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 and cooking activities, you can purchase a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  At under $20, 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!

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.

Sunday Post: Wonderful…Show Me How Picture Books and Crafts for Kids on YouTube

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is WONDERFUL.

Sharing a WONDERFUL picture book with a WONDERFUL group of children is a WONDERFULLY magical experience.

Cuddling with a WONDERFUL child and reading a WONDERFUL picture book provides a never-to-be-forgotten WONDERFUL experience for both reader and listener.

November is children’s author Dianne de Las Casas Picture Book Month…a time to celebrate the importance and WONDER of picture books in the lives of young children.

So this past Sunday was a WONDERFUL time to kick off my new Google+/YouTube series: Show Me How: Picture Books and Crafts for Kids.

http://youtu.be/8hqUZBSSMN8

I’d love to know what you think of it…and welcome suggestions that will help it be better!

I plan to present a different story and craft each week.  I had a lot of fun and I am hoping to provide a quick and easy fun-filled educational self-esteem building activity for parents to do with their kids.  Most of the stories and crafts I will use come from my award-winning book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking

I just checked the Amazon site for the book and there are three sellers who are offering the book USED for $60+…we are selling the brand-new copy, signed (and inscribed for the holidays if you wish) for just $19.95 on Amazon.  I think that is pretty WONDERFUL!

Parenting is a difficult job…and many parents these days are overwhelmed and tired.

But just 15 minutes a day is enough time to read a picture book story.

And just 15 minutes a day is enough time to do a quick and easy craft project.

In fact, the entire video with both story AND craft is just 12 minutes.

Do you have 12 minutes to give to your child?  Do you read to your child every day?

Now THAT would be WONDERFUL!

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

By the way, I had to reinstall the flag counter on my right sidebar and start from zero…something strange happened a couple of weeks ago and the flag counter (with over 110 flags and over 14,000 page views) disappeared, along with my blogroll and a bunch of ‘buttons’ I had from blogs I follow.  You’ve gotta love computers, right?

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Norman the Doorman

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.

November is already here…to me that means:

  • participating in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)…the guest posts alone are of such great value even if I didn’t have a picture book idea each day.
  • supporting Dianne de las CasasPicture Book Month…My Google+ Hangout series starts this Sunday.  I’ll be addressing a different parenting problem and/or children’s challenge on each segment, sharing a picture book that provides a story solution and doing a quick and easy craft that encourages creative expression and extends the opportunity for open communication between parent and child.  Each ten minute segment will live stream to YouTube…please wish me luck! (+Vivian Kirkfield)
  • continuing with my two critique groups (learning so much)
  • preparing two manuscripts for submission (very scary)
  • enjoying family and friends in this month of Thanksgiving.

What does November mean to you?

Our Perfect Picture Book Friday choice is a classic…I spent the thirty-one days of October reading current picture books…and although I loved many of them, I am ready to enjoy an older one again…I hope you enjoy it as well.

Norman the Doorman

Written and illustrated by Don Freeman

Publisher: The Viking Press (1959)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Believing in yourself, courage, determination, friendship, sharing, art, ingenuity

Opening lines:

“In front of a small, well-hidden hole around in back of the Majestic Museum of Art, there once stood a mouse named Norman.”

Synopsis:

Norman the Mouse lives and works in the basement of the Museum of Art.  He decides to enter a sculpture contest and submits a wire sculpture made from mousetrap parts.  When he wins the contest, his only request is to be able to view the upstairs exhibits and then he shares his cheese prize with his visiting country relatives.

Why do I like this book:

The story is sweet…the message is powerful…the illustrations are wonderful.  Don Freeman was an artist in his own right http://donfreeman.info/

Related Activities:

WIRE SCULPTURE

Photos courtesy of artful parent

http://www.artfulparent.com/2012/03/wire-sculptures-for-kids-with-buttons-beads-feathers.html This is an amazing website for parents and teachers…please check it out!

How do we encourage creativity?

Just give a child some simple materials and your positive participation!

You will need: Pipe cleaners, a small block of foam, buttons, beads, feathers.

  1. The child picks a foam block and then chooses colorful pipe cleaners (safer than wire), beads, buttons and feathers.
  2. Help your child push one end of the pipe cleaner into the foam block and then let your child use his own imagination, adding beads, buttons or feathers.  The craft may turn out as a train (as in the picture) or house or any design your child wishes.
  3. When your child’s creation is finished, display it in a place of honor!

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.