PPBF: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

 

 

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 and related resources for parents, teachers and children. 

Some picture book points to remember:

  •        Having picture books available for young children to look at and listen to is almost as important as having air to breathe and food to eat. 
  •         Set up a bookshelf for your child’s collection. 
  •         Books can be expensive…check out used book stores and consignment shops for discounted picture books. 
  •         The library is an amazing resource for children’s books.  You can speak to the librarian about recommendations and story programs.
  •         Read to your child every day.

This last reminder reminds me that we need to announce the WINNER of the March Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge.  Marcy, over at Orples, is a hands-on grandmother.  We’ve connected through Jake’s Sunday Posts and she often writes about the activities she and her grandchildren do together.  I know she will enjoy sharing a new picture book with them.  Congratulations, Marcy!

 

National Library Week is April 8-14.  To help celebrate, visit the library with your children at least one day next week if you can…and make it a habit to go often.  Does your child have a library card yet?  Find out how old your child has to be…if he doesn’t have one yet and is old enough, help celebrate National Library Week by signing him up. 

A child’s library card is a passport for learning about the world.

Do you want your library to win one of the 25 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking (MoneyPenny Press, Ltd. 2010)?

 

Many libraries are very limited in what new materials they can buy for their collections because of reduced revenues.  Another way to celebrate National Library Week is to nominate your library to win a copy of this great parent/child activity book?  It’s easy!  If you haven’t done it already, just leave a comment on this post, naming the library and telling why the people in your community would benefit from having the book available to them.  At the end of the month, twenty-five libraries will be chosen through Random.org and the people who did the nominating will get to present the book to their local library. 

Do you tweet on Twitter?  Are you a fan of Facebook?  Have you pinned anything on Pinterest yet?  Please help me spread the word by tweeting, posting and/or pinning about the Show-Me-How Library Project.

Thank you, thank you, thank you…and now…are you still there…here is a really special picture book, just in time for Easter.

 

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

Written by Dubose Heyward

Illustrated by Marjorie Flack

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (1939)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Mastering tasks and skills, goal-setting, holidays (Easter), overcoming gender discrimination, family, working together.

Opening Line:

“We hear of the Easter Bunny who comes each Easter Day before sunrise to bring eggs for boys and girls, so we think there is only one.  But this is not so.”

Synopsis:

A young country bunny sets a goal for herself of becoming one of the five Easter bunnies who deliver Easter eggs all over the world.  It seems her dreams will not be realized as the little bunny grows up and becomes the mother of twenty-one baby bunnies.  Using ingenuity, common sense and lots of determination, she trains each of her children to master certain skills. 

Will Little Cottontail Mother prove that she is the kindest, wisest and fastest bunny in the whole world?  Can she complete all of her tasks?  Does she win the golden shoes that will enable her to fly?  Read this charming story to find out!

Why I like this book:

This book was written over seventy years ago…yes, you know how I love these old classic picture books…and is still relevant today!  This is a very modern feminist tale…twenty-nine children and she still has a dream that she realizes…overcoming gender discrimination and economic hardships.

Little Cottontail Mother is a loving and caring mom…but that doesn’t stop her from expecting her children to be responsible and helpful and courteous.  She teaches them the life skills they will need as adults. 

The illustrations are from the ‘illustrious’ Marjorie Flack…need I say more! 

Related Activities

HANDPRINT EASTER BASKETS

I’ve made this craft with kindergarten classes…they really love it!  This is a lovely keepsake because it is made from your child’s handprints.  Hang on the refrigerator or use as an Easter door decoration.  The picture here is from Artists Helping Children.org  They have lots of great ideas and instructions on their website.

You will need: Construction paper, tape, glue stick, crayons or markers, scissors

1.      Trace at least 8 hands for each basket (these are the handle).

2.      Cut out a basket shape and cut a slit in the top (the eggs will slip in here).

3.      Lay out the handprints, overlapping slightly, to form a handle shape.  Tape them while you are arranging them and then glue in place.

4.      Cut out a bunch of Easter egg shapes.  Your child can decorate them before sliding them into the slit.  Glue in place when they are in the right place.

Gail Terp has an awesome blog post with craft ideas and more here.

Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac did a lovely in-depth review here

Book Reviews for Kids did one here.

Talk with your children about the tasks that Little Cottontail Mother taught her bunnies.  What tasks can your child help with at home?

Make a goal chart…Little Cottontail Mother had things she wanted to accomplish…help your child make a chart of tasks and skills he or she wants to master.

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. 

And please, don’t forget to leave a comment, nominating your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!

Have You Seen This Movie?

 

In 2003, 13-year old surfer, Bethany Hamilton, lost her arm to a shark attack.

Soul Surfer tells the story of her miraculous recovery and re-entry into the world of competitive surfing.

The movie was released in 2011 and stars AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and features singer Carrie Underwood in her first film role.

This is not a movie for young children, but it is definitely a must-see for parents.  Bethany’s parents support and embrace her in every direction she takes.  The love and the positive affirmation she receives from her family are major contributing factors in Bethany’s acceptance of herself.  When Bethany joins a Christian mission in tsunami and earthquake-ravaged Thailand, she discovers that while she may have lost her arm, others have lost everything.  This experience helps Bethany put her situation in the proper perspective and she is able to encourage and motivate others to have the courage to live.

For more information about the movie, you can visit Soul Surfer on Wikipedia.

Home movie night is just one way for families to cut down on expenses.  I got the DVD of Soul Surfer from our local library for free. 

Do you and your children have a library card?  Do you make good use of this amazing community resource?   If you haven’t already done so, please check out your library…many libraries have amazing programs for children and adults of all ages.  The librarian can assist you in finding wonderful picture books that you can share with us in the 2012 PPP Challenge to read every day with your children.

 

No Rules…Just Read!

Free Summer Fun for Families

Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park

Image by Alaskan Dude via Flickr

$50…the cost to fill up my little Hyundai Elantra!

$42…the cost to take a family of four out to popcorn and a movie!

$207…the cost to take a family of four to a Six Flags Amusement Park…and that doesn’t include any food or drinks!

$208…the cost to take a family of four to a Red Sox baseball game…that is just for the cheapest seats and again, no food or drinks!

How about some ideas for Free Summer Fun for your family?

1.    Check out your local paper, either the print copy or online…most have a “GO” section where special events are listed…many of them are free like concerts in the park.  Here in Colorado Springs, we have a great FREE event coming up on June 11 from 10am to 2pm in Acacia Park sponsored by PBS.  The PBS Fun Fest will feature Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George plus lots of entertainment and many booths that will offer a variety of crafts and activities for children.  I’LL BE THERE…CRAFTING WITH KIDS AND HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME!  If you are local to Colorado Springs, please stop by and say hello!

2.    Check out your local library.  Most libraries offer many programs, presentations and activities for children…and they are almost always FREE!  A library card is one of the most precious gifts you can give to your children…another FREEBIE!!!

3.    Check out one of our fabulous National Parks…there are several days during the year when admission is FREE…the first day of summer, June 21, is one of those.  A fellow blogger has some great info in her a recent post.

How do you stay within your budget during the summer while still providing fun-filled activities for your family?  Please share…your ideas might be just perfect for another family.

The next few weeks will be pretty hectic for me.  My daughter, son-in-law and grandson arrive today from New Hampshire and will be spending several days with us.  So far our plans include teaching our 2½ year-old grandson how to fish, spending a day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and hiking in Garden of the Gods.  I’ll be sure to post some photos.

Then on June 11, I’ll be crafting at the PBS Kids Fun Fest at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs.

And, on June 18th from 11am to 1pm, I’ll be crafting with kids at the Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, CO as part of a FREE town-wide festival for children called Summer Soul-Stice.

Still wishing you had some great activities that are easy, inexpensive and fun to do with your kids.  Please go to my website where you can buy a copy of my book at 50% off the cover price during the JUMP INTO SUMMER SPECIAL.

Your preschooler needs a bucket list

Several years ago, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson starred in a movie called “The Bucket List” which told the tale of two older gentlemen who decided that before they died, there were a number of things they wanted to do.   Many people, as they get older, begin to think about the things they never got around to doing, but wish they had.  In fact, that’s one of the reasons I was thrilled when I visited my son in Chicago and he told me he had arranged for us to go skydiving.  I had an awesome experience and I was able to cross one more item off my bucket list. http://bit.ly/b8By2X If you click on this link, you’ll be able to share that exciting ride with me!

There are many things that young children need to experience as well.  I think there are some basic things that every preschooler should have the opportunity to do, although your family may want to add to the list or subtract from it, based on your individual situation.

So, here is my bucket list for a preschooler:

  • Hear the words, I LOVE YOU, every day!
  • Be shown by parents and other adults that he/she is loved and valued!
  • Be encouraged to master tasks and skills.
  • Be allowed to express his/her feelings, whether positive or negative.
  • Go to a zoo.
  • Jump in puddles after a rainstorm.
  • Play in the mud and get dirty.
  • Use art supplies (paints, crayons, clay, etc.) to express creativity.
  • Get a library card (as soon as your local library allows…go to the library on a regular basis.
  • Feel safe at home and in school, daycare or anywhere.
  • Be read a story (or two or more) on a daily basis.

As Alecia Devantier says in 101 THINGS EVERY KID SHOULD DO GROWING UP, “Childhood is a magical time of newfound joys and enriching experience.  The gifts our children are given today will last a lifetime.”

What’s on your child’s bucket list?