PPBF: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes PLUS LIBRARY WEEK GIVEAWAY

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah 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.

At the end of this post you’ll find a special giveaway for National Library WeekPLEASE DON’T MISS IT!

I’m kind of like a kid when it comes to picture books…if I love the story, I want to hear it over and over and over. So I hope you won’t mind if I share a book I reviewed a year ago. It’s a perfect Easter Bunny tale.

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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, Easter, gender discrimination, 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?

Why I like this book:

This book was written over seventy years ago…yes, you know how I love these old classic picture books! This is a modern feminist tale…twenty-nine children and she still has a dream that she never stops pursuing.

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

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I’ve made this craft with my 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.

 

More Activities:

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

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.

AND NOW FOR OUR SHOW ME HOW LIBRARY WEEK GIVEAWAY…

National Library Week is April 10-16. To help celebrate, why not visit the library with your children…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 to learning about the world. And libraries are one of the last free resources in our communities…they provide so much more than books…check out the programs they have available for children and adults of all ages.

In honor of National Library Week, I’m donating THREE copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Wouldn’t it be awesome to present a copy of this valuable parent/teacher resource to your children’s librarian? Just subscribe to my mailing list. Three names will be chosen by Random.org at the end of April. Already subscribed? No worries…your name is already entered.

Many libraries are very limited in what new materials they can buy for their collections because of reduced revenues. Help your library receive a resource that will be used by parents and teachers for their kids. Just click on this link and subscribe to my mailing list.

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

 

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. And please don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter – doing so will nominate your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!

Click here to sign up to receive my newsletter and other awesome stuff.

Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend…and a Happy Easter. Spring is finally here!!!!!!

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#PPBF – The Story About Ping

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

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My grandson at his first karate class – wish I could focus so intently (and lift my leg that high).

The month has flown by with lots of picture book writing activity. I finished Meg Miller’s ReviMo (all about revising) and I’m currently participating in Shannon Abercrombie’s Start the Year off Write. There are several contest deadlines looming – Highlights Fiction Contest entries (Holiday theme) must be postmarked by January 31…and the contest being hosted by Rate Your Story ends on February 3rd. Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 is gearing up with a fully functioning Forum where you can post the 1st 250 words of a manuscript, as well as queries and pitches for critique. Emma Walton Hamilton has again graciously agreed to critique queries this month for Golden Book level members…if she isn’t able to get to all of them, Julie will complete the task. And, the lovely Mira Reisberg, talented teacher of Picture Book Academy and head of Hummingbird Literary, will be critiquing pitches in a free live webinar tonight at 6pm Pacific time. I’ve already completed my January 12×12 picture book draft and I’m furiously working to get all of those contest entries in on time. Thanks to my two wonderful critique groups, I’ve gotten great feedback and suggestions for revision and polishing. PLUS, I’m jumping up and down with excitement since February will be here before we know it and Susanna’s Making Picture Book Magic class will begin.

So now that you know how January is going for me, are you ready for a picture book review?

I’m a fan of classic picture books, although recently I’ve been reviewing mostly the newer ones as I also read them to help me in my picture book writing. Today, I’m reverting back to a tried and true classic that does not seem to be on the Perfect Picture Book list. It’s also a Perfect Picture Book for the upcoming Chinese New Year – although the China it depicts has changed drastically – the book was written OVER EIGHTY YEARS AGO!

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The Story About Ping Continue reading

Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?

Illustration from A Picture Book for Little Ch...

Image via Wikipedia

One of the stories I read to the kindergarten children is ANGUS LOST by Marjorie Flack.

Well, I could have written a story yesterday called MISS VIVIAN IS LOST!!!!

I usually print out the school’s directions from MapQuest and then several days before my scheduled visit, I take a ride over to make sure I know how to get there.  So far, I have been to 5 different elementary schools in District 11.  For some reason, my printer refused to print out the directions, so I wrote them down by hand.  And, because life just got in the way, I wasn’t able to take the dry run to Bates Elementary.

BIG MISTAKE!!!!

Misreading my directions, I took a right on Austin Bluffs instead of a left.  After going several miles, looking for the next street to turn on, I realized that something was wrong.  I called the school and was given the bad news…I had gone in completely the opposite direction.  I turned around and headed back and was able to find the general vicinity of the school…but this particular building is set back in a maze of winding streets, some of which are one way.  After calling the school office again and receiving additional instructions, I finally made it there…half an hour late. 😦

I felt really badly as I hate to be late for things…especially when others are waiting on me.  However, we were able to arrange it so that I could read the story…KATY AND THE BIG SNOW by Virginia Lee Burton.  I then took a break in the teachers’ lounge for 45 minutes while the children went to their next scheduled activity.  And, as my daughter says, “Everything happens for a reason.”  In the lounge, I met the school librarian and we began to talk about the SHOW ME HOW Story-time Program.  She wondered whether an evening presentation might be of value to the parents of the Pre-K students and told me she would speak to the Pre-K teachers about it.

At 10:20am, I made my way back to the kindergarten classroom and was able to help the children do the craft project…a snow-covered road way picture.  Again I was impressed with the creativity of the children…each made the picture from their own perspective.

 

Leaving the children finishing up their pictures, I headed over to the other kindergarten class to again read the story and work with them on the craft project.  I know both classes had a wonderful time…as I put on my coat to leave, one little girl came up and hugged me…and another said, “I love your hair, and your eyes, and your glasses.  🙂

This program is so very valuable, especially because these days, kindergarteners are the “new 1st graders”…they have set curriculums and are expected to reach various goals in reading and writing…so there is less time for listening to picture book stories and doing arts and crafts.

To me this is quite sad…so much learning takes place when young children listen to and discuss a picture book story….so many skills are acquired when they participate in arts and crafts activities.  I hope parents and teachers will head over to my website to check out my book that makes reading, crafting and cooking with young children a snap!

And please don’t forget…TWO VERY IMPORTANT UP-COMING EVENTS!!!

  • Sunday, April 10th…I will be at the Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, CO from 2-3:30pm…talking about reading, crafting and cooking with young children and signing copies of my book.  For more details go to www.coveredtreasures.com.  The Book Fair benefits the Tri-Lakes Community Preschool Tuition Assistance Program.  If you are local to Monument, Colorado Springs or Denver, please head on over to say hello and do your part to support early childhood education!
  • Tuesday, April 12th…I will be hosting Max the Dog as he continues his 36 day book blog tour.  For more details about the on-going contest and to see where he has been and where he is going, please visit: http://readwithmax.com/blogbooktour.html

What’s In Your Child’s Bookcase Wordy Wednesday: World Read-Aloud Day Special

A bookcase filled with books.

Image via Wikipedia

Today is World Read-Aloud Day!

Please, please, read to your child!

If you don’t have any children of your own, please read to someone else’s children!

If there are no young children around, please read aloud to an older child!  There is no age limit on enjoying being read to.   As our children were growing up, we had family read-aloud nights…I remember when we were reading the “Narnia” series…sometimes my husband or I would read the chapter to our three children and sometimes our oldest son (about 11 or 12 at the time) would read to all of us.

You can even read out loud to yourself!

Do you have unused or unwanted books lying around?  Why not find a worthy organization and donate them…there are many people around the world who would love to have books, but can’t afford them.

The story suggestion for today is a classic from 1932, ANGUS LOST, by Marjorie Flack.  It’s a lovely picture book to read aloud…charming illustrations help your child follow the adventures of the little dog who has more adventures than he had planned on.

ANGUS LOST

Written and illustrated by Marjorie Flack

Angus, a little terrier, is bored with his home and yard and decides to see what the world is like.  After several scary adventures, Angus wants very much to go home, but he cannot find his way.  He spends the night hiding in a cave, trembling in fear the entire time.  In the morning, he hears the familiar sound of the milkman’s horse and wagon and he eagerly follows them from house to house, as the milkman makes his deliveries.  Finally, Angus recognizes his very own yard and is relieved to be home at last.

Many young children worry about getting lost or separated from those they love and, although we want to encourage curiosity and independence in our children, we are responsible for keeping them safe from harm.  This story is a wonderful opportunity to talk about a plan of action in case you are separated while shopping. 

One of the best things about reading aloud is that it opens the window for discussion about many issues that may worry your child. 

For a wonderful collection of summaries of 100 picture books every young child should hear, please visit my website.  SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING is now on sale for half-price PLUS FREE shipping!

In honor of World Read-Aloud Day, we’ve extended the sale price for one more month!  And we’ve added a BONUS!  One lucky person will also get a CRAFTY EASTER BASKET for their preschooler, filled with essential items for the craft projects…safety scissors, non-toxic glue, construction paper and MUCH MORE!   If you purchase a book, you will be automatically entered…if you are not ready to buy a copy, you can enter, no purchase necessary, by filling out the contact form on my website and telling me how you would use the craft supplies with your child.  If the response is good, I’m thinking of putting together a prize package that includes child-sized kitchen implements.

Please stop by tomorrow for Healthy Habit Thursday.

Help! Where Am I? I’m Lost!

A TTC subway train at Warden station.

Image via Wikipedia

It was a cold gray late afternoon in New York City. 

 I was on my way home from a student teaching assignment in an unfamiliar part of Brooklyn.  Leaving the school, I quickly walked to the subway station and boarded the train that would take me home.  As the train pulled away from the very next stop, I realized that the name of that station was not one I recognized.  Now I watched carefully as the train pulled into the next few stops.  More unfamiliar names!  A sick feeling formed in the pit of my stomach.  I had gotten on the wrong train! 

I must admit that I panicked.  I got off at the next stop.  Instead of finding a uniformed security person and asking which train I should board to return to the right route, I ran up the subway stairs, hailed the first cab that passed by, gave him my address and sat back, heart pounding. 

It was an expensive lesson…the cab ride cost me $10 and that was A LOT of money in those days…but I did get home safely, so I guess it was worth it.

Have you ever been lost?  Maybe there was a detour and you found yourself driving around and around, wondering which road to take.  Perhaps you went for a hike on a park trail and meandered off to look at some interesting rock formations or a bunch of wild flowers and now you are not sure which way to go to return to the main path.

Many young children also worry about getting lost or separated from those they love.  Although we want to encourage curiosity and independence, we are responsible for keeping our children safe from harm.  Teaching your child his name, address and phone number, and what to do in case he is ever lost is very important and will enable him to feel more confident about his own ability to deal with such a situation.  Reassure your child that you will always find him, no matter what…this will contribute to his feeling of safety.

You can also help children talk about their concerns by reading picture book stories that address the issue of getting lost.  While you read the story, a window of opportunity for discussion opens…so please take advantage of it.  Here’s one story suggestion on that topic:

ANGUS LOST written and illustrated by Marjorie Flack

This is a classic in children’s picture books.  The copyright date is 1931 and the illustrations hearken by to a bygone era.  That might be part of the charm of the story and you and your child can have a wonderful conversation about how milk was delivered in the olden days. J 

Angus, a little terrier, is bored with his home and yard and he decides to see what the world is like.  After several scary adventures, Angus wants very much to go home, but he cannot find his way.  He spends the night hiding in a cave, trembling in fear the entire time.  In the morning, he hears the familiar sound of the milkman’s horse and wagon and he eagerly follows them from house to house as the milkman makes his deliveries.  Finally, Angus recognizes his very own yard and is relieved to be home at last.

After you read the story and talk about it, perhaps you and your child would like to make some “real” butter. 

CHILD-FRIENDLY HOMEMADE BUTTER

You will need: 1 cup heavy whipping cream, electric mixer and a large bowl.

1.     Pour the cream into the bowl and beat on medium until stiff peaks are formed (about 2-3 minutes).  This is REAL WHIPPED CREAM!!! 

2.     Continue beating (4-8 minutes) and you will see the curds separate from the whey.  You can sing “Little Miss Muffet” with your child while you are doing this and do the finger play later.

3.     Pour off the whey and you will be left with a lump of pure butter.

4.     Enjoy with crackers, bread or toast.

5.     Put the leftover butter in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.

6.     Instead of using the electric mixer, you could put the cream in a glass jar with a lid and shake…but this will take 5-30 minutes…and everyone’s hands will be tired.

Stop by tomorrow for another story suggestion and activity from my book.  And I’ll tell you about the time I spent SIX HOURS reading Little Women while my mother and half the staff of a major New York department store searched for me.

WE ALL NEED A CHEERING COMMITTEE AND PARENTS ARE A CHILD’S MOST IMPORTANT FANS!