Reflections: Speak To Us Of Children…

 

Today I’m “pressing” a post of one of my favorite bloggers…Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation.   It’s all about children…one of my most favorite topics in the world!

But first I’d like to pass along a couple of awards that came my way this past week.

Uplifting children and helping them develop a positive self-image is one of my missions in life.  I try to provide parents and teachers with resources and activities and encouragement, because the task of raising and educating young children is a difficult one and it is crucial that adults feel good about themselves as well.

But bloggers also need encouragement to continue to carve out those precious moments to write…from a day that may be filled with other responsiblities and obligations.

And so various blogging awards are “born” and one blogger confers them on another to recognize and celebrate a job well done.

This past week, Clar at clarbojahn gave me two lovely ones: The Kreativ Blogger Award and The Sunshine Award.

Clar is a dedicated writer (of children’s picture books and other genres) and human being extraordinaire and I am honored to know her.  I hope you will take the time to go and meet her.

The rules of these awards: List some things of interest about yourself and then pass the awards along to other deserving bloggers.

1. If I love a book, I can reread it dozens of times.  Favorite book: Little Women.  When I was 10, I went shopping with my mom and sister for her junior high school graduation dress.  We lived in NYC at the time and went to a store (Abraham and Strauss) that has eight floors of merchandise.  Instead of dragging me around while she and my sister shopped, my mom brought me to the book department, which encompassed the entire 8th floor of the building.  Leaving me there to enjoy browsing through the books (yes, I know, this is something we would NEVER do these days…but times were different over a half a century ago) she and my sister went shopping for the dress.  I picked a stack of Louisa May Alcott books and sat down on the floor and happily spent the next several hours, reading about the adventures of the March family.

2. If I love a movie, I never get tired of watching it.  Favorite movie: Gone With the Wind.  How many times have I seen it?  Probably 10.

3. My favorite color is yellow…as a child, I shared a room with my older sister.  I was 19 when she got married…the day after the wedding, I painted MY room a bright sunshiny yellow!

I hope you will have the time to visit with the following people whose hard work and wonderful writing motivate me to keep on blogging.  Of course there are dozens and dozens more…but I only get to list 10. 🙂

1. Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation

2. Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way

3. AngelaMarie at One In Creation

4. Pat at Children’s Books Heal

5. Erik at This Kid Reviews Books

6. Judy at Jay Jays Favorites

7. Kirsten at Creating Curious Kids

8. Marcy at Orples

9. Margaret at Pen to Print

10. SP at Spanish Pinay

And now, here is Elizabeth’s post that touched a chord in my heart and soul.  I share this with all of my readers in hopes it will speak to you as well.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for holding children so dear!

Reflections: Speak To Us Of Children….

PPBF: Millions of Cats and some awards

 

English: Wanda Gág (1893-1946), American autho...

Image via Wikipedia

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources. 

My selection today is another classic picture book…this one from 1928…the author/illustrator, Wanda Gag, won the 1929 Newbery Honor Book Award.  According to Wikipedia, Ms. Gag pioneered the double page spread in this book.  “She used both pages to move the story forward, putting them together with art that sweeps across the entire page spread.”

Millions of Cats is the oldest American picture book still in print!

 

 Millions of Cats

Written and illustrated by Wanda Gag

Publishers: Coward McCann (1928 original edition), Penguin (more recent editions)

Ages: 2 – 8

Themes: Celebrating the uniqueness of each individual, caring for pets, companionship

Opening: “Once upon a time there was a very old man and a very old woman.  They lived in a nice clean house which had flowers all around it, except where the door was.  But they couldn’t be happy because they were so very lonely.”

Synopsis:  A lonely old couple want a pretty little cat to keep them company.  When the husband finds a hillside FILLED with cats, he has trouble picking the prettiest…and all of the cats follow him home.  “Cats here, cats there, cats and kittens everywhere.  Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.”

When the man and his wife leave it up to the cats to determine who is the prettiest, mayhem breaks out and the couple run into their house!  Will the cats be able to choose who is the prettiest?  Will the old couple get the cat that they want?

Why do I like this book

The Rhyme!

The Rhythm!

The Illustrations!

The fact that this book is over EIGHTY years old and adults and children still love it and it is still in print!  Kudos to Ms. Gag!

The Story!  The results of the catfight are somewhat grisly…but the underdog (or should I say, undercat) wins out…through modesty and non-violence…definitely an important message for today’s world!

 

Related Activities:

New Hampshire Public TV has a kid-lit site where Caldecott Award winning books are read.  You can hear Millions of Cats here: http://video.nhptv.org/video/1688016012/

Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-of-Days Almanac has a wonderful review of the book and additional information about Wanda Gag and her groundbreaking picture book work here: http://childrensbookalmanac.com/2010/12/millions-of-cats/

Scholastic has a page that provides some guidance for parents and teachers on how to use the book to encourage discussions about caring for others here: http://westonwoods.scholastic.com/products/westonwoods/study_guides/millions_of_cats.pdf

Last week I shared the Valentine Boat made from a shoebox.   Plain brown paper bags also make very versatile (and inexpensive) craft projects for kids.  I found this awesome cat made from a paper bag here: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mbagcat.htm  Dltk-kids.com a wonderful resource for craft ideas.

 

You will need: Plain brown (or white) paper lunch-size bag, 2 pieces of construction paper (one should probably be black for the eyes and whiskers and the other can be pink…or any other color your child would prefer), glue, scissors, crayons or markers.

1.      Cut from the black paper: 2 pupils for the eyes and 6 whiskers.

2.      Cut from the other color paper: 2 eyes, oval stomach, nose, 2 triangles for ears, several small circles for the paws and a small triangle for the mouth.

3.      Place the closed bag with the open end down and attach the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, paw pads and whiskers with glue.

4.      Use marker or crayons to draw the line from the nose to the mouth and add other lines to make the bag more cat-like.

When dry, this cat-bag can be used as a puppet for role-playing or as a snack bag for a special book-reading picnic where Millions of Cats is read aloud!

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.

I also wanted to thank Catherine Johnson, one of my new kid-lit picture book writing blogging friends for giving me the Liebster Blog Award and the Kreativ Blogger Award…you can see what she’s up to at: http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/campaign-trails-and-blog-awards/

 

 

This award comes with instructions to pass it along to others:

Bern at Momto2Postlildivas: http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/ for her Sunday Showcase link-up that provides parents and teachers with an unbelievable array of crafts for kids.

Barbara at Spanish for Kiddos: http://www.spanish4kiddos.com/

D at Spanish Pinay: http://spanishpinaynanay.blogspot.com

Danae Farias at Believing Unbeliever: http://www.danaefarias.com/

Heather at Saved by Love: http://www.heather-riggleman.com/

PiP at Piglet in Portugal: http://pigletinportugal.com/

I hope you will take a few minutes and visit these great bloggers…they all have important things to say…and they say them very well!