Perfect Picture Book Friday: Norbert’s Big Dream

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

perfect-pic-book-badge-e1325891994293

Walking into the library or a bookstore is like opening a treasure chest filled with precious jewels. But it can also be overwhelming.

If you are a parent, which books should you pick to read with your children? If you are a teacher, which books are best for your preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary grade classes? And if you are a kidlit writer, which books will help hone your skills?

I hope the books I feature here this year will help you choose.

Today’s picture book is Lori Degman’s newest one…and guess what? Tomorrow she will be our Will Write for Cookies guest! And there will be a GIVEAWAY of a BRAND NEW COPY OF THIS BOOK!

norbert-cover

NORBERT’S BIG DREAM

Written by Lori Degman

Illustrated by Marco Bucci

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (2016)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Follow your dream, teamwork

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

Norbert is a pig with a dream. It doesn’t matter if the other farm animals snicker behind his back, Norbert has always dreamed of swimming the English Channel. He’s been preparing and training and finally he’s ready for the big swim! But where exactly is the English Channel?! Will Norbert have to give up on his dreams or will his friends come to the rescue after all? A sweet, funny story about dreaming big.

 Opening Lines:

“Most pigs are satisfied just rolling in the mud, or slurping slop, or snoozing in the shade. But not Norbert.”

Why I like this book:

  • The author has a fabulous way with words…the story moves forward at a wonderful pace because she knows just the right ones to use.
  • The illustrations are incredible…Norbert’s expressions clearly show the reader how he is feeling.
  • I love that Norbert follows his dream, no matter what…most of all, I love that his friends rally behind him and enable him to make his dream come true.

RELATED ACTIVITIES

  • Pull out a map with your children and find the English Channel…check out articles about the different ways people have crossed it: http://mentalfloss.com/article/19722/8-ways-cross-english-channel-without-boat
  • Talk with your children about making dreams come true. What are their dreams? What steps can they take to realize those dreams? Maybe you can mention some of the dreams or goals you had as a child…did you reach them? How? I think it is so important for children to see that there are steps one has to take to get where we want to go, whether it is to play ball at a local playground or walk on the moon.

 

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers and writers 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 hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’ve been participating in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm and have a notebook filled with new story ideas already. And if you love entering writing contests, keep your eyes out for Susanna’s Valentiny Contest…she’ll be announcing it soon.

Please don’t miss tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies Q&A with Lori Degman and the GIVEAWAY of a copy of Norbert’s Big Dream…right here!.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Music and More

Today is Martin Luther King Day.Martin_Luther_King,_Jr_

The definition of courage is “the quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

Yes, courage is a word that definitely applies to Martin Luther King.

Tributes are taking place across this country and all over the world.

How can we help young children understand and appreciate Martin Luther King?

How do we encourage kids to dream and have the courage to pursue that dream?

I do it through my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking and in my school programs.

Daria, founder of Music to Inspire All the World’s Children, does it through music.

daria and shekere

I’m thrilled that she invited me to share the following post. Here’s Daria!

The “I Have A Dream:” Song Shares A MLK Day Message With Kids

MLK is one of my heroes.

Not only did he do the right thing.  But he did the right thing, under the toughest of circumstances and in the right way.  He overcame hatred with the transforming power of love.  He stared down ignorance with understanding.   And he fought not only for a portion of the population, but for well-being of the entire world, demonstrating his concept of the beloved community.  To me, that’s incredibly inspirational.

But how do you share these huge ideas and big concepts with little ears and young listeners?  As a musician, I felt moved to write a song and try to put some of these concepts into the lyrics.   I hoped the song would be a sing-able way to talk about MLK’s dream as well as a good place to start conversations about these big ideas and what they might mean to our classrooms, families and communities as we move into a new era.

MLK Mini-poster

All month, I have the “I Have a Dream” song (lyrics below) free on my website’s monthly song page along with lyric sheets, and sheet music since the song is frequently used for choruses and in schools.  I hope you’ll visit and enjoy the resources as you plan your activities or reflect on the idea of service and how you make a difference in your community and your world.

The direct link to the download is:
http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php.  For more information, visit

my site or contact me at daria@makemusicwithme.com.  I’d love to hear from you!

http://youtu.be/lBQ36WnekVM
I  HAVE A DREAM

Words and music by  Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou

There’s a man I think you’ve heard of
His name is Martin Luther King
He wanted a world of peace and love
He said “I have a dream”

Chorus:
I have a dream
I have a dream
I’ve been to the mountaintop and I’ve seen…
I have a dream

He said: “I know that this is possible
I know that this can be
If each one can learn to live with love
Then we can all be free”

If you share this vision
You know it’s not a difficult thing
We can build a world of peace and love
And we can all be queens and “kings”

I’m very grateful to Daria for sharing this post with me and I hope you will visit Daria’s wonderful website: Making Multicultural Music Blog
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com

When you are there, you can also download the song and coloring pages and help your children celebrate the importance of pursuing one’s dream and doing the right thing.

Here’s a direct link to one of the coloring pages: http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/mlk.pdf

Since it is such a special day, I’d like to share another gift with you.

Here’s an easy-to-make dessert from Chapter Two (I’m Special: Helping Your Child Value His Own Strengths and Qualities) of my book that will have your children dreaming sweet dreams.

DREAMY FRUIT SALAD

Children love to help in the kitchen.  They acquire skills as they measure and mix ingredients and “read” the recipe.  One of the basic components of developing true self-esteem is mastering tasks and skills.  So why not invite your child to assist you when you make this delicious and nutritious dessert.

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

You will need: 1 large package vanilla instant pudding, 1½ cups milk, 1 diced apple, 1 peeled navel orange (sectioned), 2 bananas (sliced), ½ cup sliced strawberries, ½ cup blueberries and a large bowl.

  1. Mix instant pudding and milk in a large bowl.  Chill for 10 minutes.
  2. Add diced apple, orange sections, bananas, strawberries and blueberries and mix together gently.
  3. Makes 4 – 6 servings.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  4. Creative tip: use your imagination and substitute different fruits.

Many other bloggers have paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Here are a few links you might want to visit.

http://childrensbooksheal.com/2013/01/18/i-have-a-dream/

http://clarbojahn.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/perfect-picture-book-friday-climbing-lincolns-steps-the-african-american-story/

http://eof737.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/dr-martin-luther-king-a-legacy-of-courage-hope/

Today is special for another reason…it is Inauguration Day for President Barack Obama…I offer a prayer for him and for his advisors…that they may have a little of the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King…and may their decisions in the next four years have a positive impact on the people, the country and the world.