Category Archives: Diversity
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.
AND THE WINNER IS
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.
AND THE WINNER IS
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.
AND THE WINNER IS
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. Hand 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!
MRS. MCBEE LEAVES ROOM 3
Written by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan
Illustrated by Grace Zong
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (2017)
Ages: Preschool – Grade 3
Saying goodbye, dealing with change, working together, diversity
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.
Make a School or Classroom Craft
Photo 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.
- Cover the box as you and your child desire.
- Cut windows and doors
- 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
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.
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.
Sofia and the Heartmender
Written and illustrated by Marie Olofsdotter
Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing (reprinted 2007…original edition 1995)
Ages: 5 and up
Speaking up for oneself, self-esteem, overcoming fears, respecting onself, creative expression, night terrors, parental support.
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.
HEARTMENDER ORNAMENT #1
If you are looking for a VERY easy heartmender ornament, try this one.
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.
- Cut the red construction paper into a heart shape.
- Pull the cotton balls apart and glue pieces around the heart edge.
- Tear the tissue paper into small pieces. Crumbple each piece and glue inside the heart shape.
- 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.
Photo and instructions courtesy: www.craftideas.info
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!
I went for a walk today.
The sun was shining down, creating beautiful patterns on the ground as it filtered through the branches of the trees.
The trail was littered with leaves, many of them already brittle and brown.
The Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program has begun in our local District 11 kindergartens and Pre-K’s and the craft that ties in with the picture book, Yes We Can by Sam McBratney, requires leaves that are still flexible. I’m not sure if the teachers who are reserving dates for the program in November and December will think to put aside a bunch of fresh leaves in a plastic bag.
When you plan activities with young children, it’s always good to be prepared. I hate to disappoint little ones. That’s why I caution parents to check to make sure they have all the necessary ingredients or materials before they begin one of the cooking activities or craft projects recommended in my book.
As I bent down to scoop up leaves, I marveled at their varying colors, shapes and sizes. And I began to think about how even though they were different colors and shapes and sizes, they were all leaves.
Perhaps we can learn a lesson from this that can apply to people as well…even though we are different colors, shapes and sizes…we are all people.
I also noticed that some of the leaves had rough patches or holes where bugs or disease had left their mark…but they were still leaves.
We need to remember that when we meet others who are mentally, academically or physically challenged, they are still people…deserving of our respect, attention and friendship. And it is important to help young children understand this as well.
The lesson of the leaves can foster a wonderful discussion with your children. Please let me know what you think.
If you’d like to have 100’s of activities at your fingertips like the ones I do in my program, please visit my website where you can buy a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. What a great holiday gift this would make for any parent, teacher or grandparent of children ages 2-7! Don’t forget daycare providers, nannies, babysitters, early childhood education students and even expectant moms. They probably have enough little outfits that their babies will outgrow within a month or two. This award-winning book also has plenty of lined spaces on every other page for recording important highlights as your child participates with you in the story reading, craft project and cooking activity. Joan Fleischer, co-founder of the Creative Arts Therapy Center in New York City says, “I can’t think of a more valuable gift to give at baby showers or to anyone in a position to nurture and foster self-esteem in children.” It’s definitely a bargain at 50% off the cover price and comes with a money-back guarantee!