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!

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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

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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!

Cooking With Preschoolers

Cooking is one of the best activities for preschoolers.  It builds their self-esteem as they master tasks and skills, mixing and measuring the ingredients.  It teaches them about the foods they eat so they can make better food choices as they grow up.  It encourages them to try new foods as they prepare various recipes, expanding their food horizons.  Most importantly, they love to do it and cooking with your preschooler helps create a life-long parent-child bond.

Cooking with preschoolers is a passion of mine which is why my  new parenting book provides 100 child-friendly healthful recipes and 100 age-appropriate, eco-friendly craft projects, in addition to pinpointing 100 picture books every young child should hear.  The cooking experience is crucial because with each recipe your preschooler helps prepare, he gains confidence and competence and his sense of self-worth grows. 

What ingredients should we use?  The best that we can, of course!  If you are able to purchase organic, locally grown, in-season produce…I’d encourage you to do that…I believe such ingredients will add immense benefits to your entire family while creating a less damaging impact on our planet.   Organic or not, just make sure everything is fresh (check dates on dairy and other items…sometimes stores miss removing out-of-date stuff) and whether it is a snack or a meal, we want to provide low-fat, low sugar and high fiber combinations that are packed with nutrition.  It’s important that they taste good also.  However, taste is learned and we need to be careful of what we say and of our facial expressions when we are eating…many children develop food dislikes when they see a parent shunning a particular food. 

Cooking with preschoolers is a great time to teach proper hand washing procedures.  Make sure hands are washed before and during the food preparation process, especially if hands have touched raw meat or poultry.  And definitely exercise caution during the cooking experience…preschoolers should be pouring and mixing the ingredients in the bowls, not stirring the pot on the stove.  Any cutting with sharp knives needs to be done by the parent or other responsible adult.

I just came back from a wonderful week in New Hampshire…the New England fall foliage was at its peak…but the best part of the trip was the four days I spent with my two-year old grandson, Jeremy.  We walked down to the pond every day to see the ducks, skip pebbles over the surface of the water, and collect leaves of scarlet, gold, green and brown to use in craft projects.  He loved cooking in the kitchen…I’ve included one of the recipes below, along with the craft activity we did and the title of the story we read. If you’d like more story/craft/cooking ideas, you can go to the activities page of my website: http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com/News.php 

CHILD-FRIENDLY HOMEMADE CHUNKY APPLESAUCE

You will need: 3 lbs tart cooking apples (peeled, cored and quartered), 1 Tb honey, 3/4 cup water, 1 pinch cinnamon or nutmeg, and a large saucepan with a lid.

  1. Combine the apples, water and honey in the pan, cover and bring to a boil. 
  2. Lower the heat and simmer till very soft and mushy, about 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon or nutmeg and serve hot or cold.
  4. Store in covered container in the refrigerator.  Use within a few days.  Makes about 4-6 servings.

The story suggestion for the above recipe is THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.  This classic tale of a little engine with a positive attitude helps preschoolers believe in themselves and encourages them to keep trying, even if they don’t succeed at first.  Jeremy loved the story…he is excited about all trains right now…when I finished, he said, “More book, Nanu!”

A container train with moving wheels is a craft project will enable your child to have a whole fleet of trains…if you both have the time and patience.   For each train car you will need: 1 clean quart-sized cardboard milk or juice container, construction paper, paste, scissors, markers and metal paper fasteners.  When we finished the train, two-year old Jeremy exclaimed, “My train, my train!”

  1. Depending on which train car your preschooler wants to make, cut the container appropriately (for example, for a coal car  – lay the container on its side and cut off the top).
  2. Cut a piece of construction paper to fit over the outside of the container and paste it in place.
  3. Cut out 4 wheels from another piece of construction paper and attach to the container with paper fasteners.  The wheels will be able to turn!
  4. Ask your child what the name of his train is (for example: Jeremy’s Express), and write the name on the side of the train.  Use the markers to add details to the train.

 For more cooking with kids in the kitchen ideas, check out http://kidsparties.about.com where Megan Cooley, kids’ parties and celebrations guide for about.com is hosting a blog carnival for the month of November.