HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST: The Trick-or-Treat Bag

The wait is finally over! It’s time for Susanna Hill’s fabulous Halloweensie Contest.

friendly-jackolantern

According to the guidelines, you need to write a story for children that is 100 words or less and uses the words GHOST, SPIDER, and  MOON.

I’ve always participated in this challenge…it’s a great writing prompt that helps you come right to the point while trying to entertain kids.

Here is my entry…I hope you enjoy it. Please visit the link up on Susanna’s website so you can read the other stories. Some may be posted in the comment section of her blog for those people who don’t have their own blog. Voting will take place on November 7 and winners will be announced a couple of days after that.

 

THE TRICK-OR-TREAT BAG (100 words)

Tucked in a box, Trick-or-Treat Bag slept. He dreamed of friendly ghosts, scary spiders, and a tummy full of treats.

One day, Bag’s world shook. Earthquake!

Bag felt a tug. Whoosh! Bag dangled in the air.

“It’s wrinkled,” said Sally.

“Shake it out,” said Sam.

Bag twitched.

“Don’t you want a new bag?” said Sam. “Your costume is new.”

Bag trembled.

Sally held Bag close. “My old costume was too small,” she said. “But this bag will always be just right for me.”

Bouncing to the beat of  Sally’s heart, Bag twinkled as they trick-or-treated in the Halloween moonlight.

THE END

I hope you enjoyed the story…I’ve never written one from a bag’s POV…now I can’t wait to read all of the other contest entries!

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends! And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Helping Kids with Loss: After Charlotte’s Mom Died Review

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.

A couple of quick notes first:

1.      Remember that tomorrow is June 16th – Save The Bookstores Day.  Did you read Tara Lazar’s great post about this: http://taralazar.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/support-save-the-bookstores-day-on-june-16th/Unfortunately, I have to work on Saturday, but on Sunday, I’ll be at one of the Indie bookstores here in Colorado Springs, Poor Richards.  They are one of the local bookstores that has copies of Show Me How for sale…if you haven’t seen the amazing review Kirsten did, please click over to her blog, Creating Curious Kids.  Keeping children occupied with fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities is a wonderful way to spend the summer!  Do you know some parents who would appreciate a book that provides hundreds of quick and easy activities that use stuff they probably have around the house?  Please keep Show Me How in mind.

2.      Sunday is a very special day as well…June 17th is Father’s Day!  There are so many wonderful fathers and father figures out there…this day is for all of you!  I have to make a special shout-out to my son-in-law who is an amazing hands-on dad…not only does he play ball and take walks with his son, he also never misses being part of the daily bedtime routine, reading stories and overseeing the brushing of teeth.  When my daughter has to travel for business, Erik never falters and is mom and dad at those times.  I’m also very proud of my son who has twins who are almost seven.  From the time they were born, he has shared in EVERY moment…feeding, changing diapers, singing them to sleep…now they all ice-skate and play chess together.

My pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday is in honor of those dads who really step up to the plate.

 

 After Charlotte’s Mom Died

Written by Cornelia Spelman

Illustrated by Judith Friedman

Publisher: Albert Whitman Co (1996)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes:

Grief/loss, family, emotions

Synopsis:  

When five-year old Charlotte’s mother dies in a car accident, the little girl has many feelings she is not comfortable expressing to her dad, even though she loves him very much.  She worries about going to sleep because an aunt told her that dying was like going to sleep.  She is angry and sad and scared, although on the outside, she still looks the same.  After an incident at school alerts her father to the fact that Charlotte is not dealing well with the death of her mother, he decides to go with Charlotte to see a therapist.  The therapist helps them to talk about how they feel and they realize that although they will continue to feel sad about the death of Charlotte’s mother, they can find happiness in life.

Why do I like this book

The death of a close loved one is always difficult…to lose one’s mother at a very young age is earthshattering!  This book tenderly addresses this issue…the illustrations are soft, the message of the text is comforting and empowering.  I especially love the caring and practical advice the author gives to parents and other child caregivers in the book’s foreward:

  • listen carefully to the child
  • acknowledge his fears and feelings without judging
  • offer assurances that there will always be people to love him and care for him
  • offer hope for future happiness

Related Activities:

Memories of special people, places and experiences are extremely important for all of us.  Help your child start a box of treasured mementos now!  The boxes in the pictures below were actually made as Valentine’s Day mailboxes by the people I work with, so each of these boxes has a slit for Valentine’s Day cards to be inserted into…your child’s treasure box won’t have the slit.  I was so impressed with the effort and creativity of these adults, I wanted to share some of the boxes with all of you.

 

Treasure Box Shoe Box

You will need: One shoe box with lid, paper to cover the box (construction paper, gift wrap, shelf paper), scissors, and glue or tape.

1.      Cut the paper your child has selected to cover the box.  You will need two pieces, one for the box and one for the lid.  Important tip: if you use painting paper, your child can decorate it with vegetable prints, sponge painting or pictures cut from magazines or greeting cards.

2.      Carefully fit the paper around the outside of the shoebox and glue or tape in place.  Do the same with the lid.

3.      Make a label to put on the box, for example: EMILY’S TREASURED MEMENTOS or JOSH’S BOX OF MEMORIES.

My box had pictures of my family, all around the sides.  That might be a nice idea for a child using pictures of family and friends.

A great  pirate treasure chest here at FreeKidsCrafts.com

Some more treasure chest ideas here.

Great website to help kids dealing with death at kidshealth.org.

Some helpful tips for talking with children about the death of a parent at FamilyHealth.com.

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.

Save The Bookstores Day…Indian Two Feet and His Horse Book Review

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. 

Did you know that June 16th is Save The Bookstores Day?  Mega-stores like Walmart are putting bookstores out of business and bookstores in small towns and big cities continue to close.  Tara Lazar has a great post about this: http://taralazar.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/support-save-the-bookstores-day-on-june-16th/ and I hope everyone will spread the word about this event.  I’ll be stopping and shopping in at one of our local Indie bookstores here in Colorado Springs, Poor Richards.  What will you be doing?

As a child, I was fascinated with books and I would have been happy to live in a bookstore.  One day that almost happened!  My mom needed to buy a junior high school graduation dress for my older sister.  We went to Abraham and Straus, a big New York City department store and my mother left me in the book department which covered the entire eighth floor.  Floor to ceiling bookshelves lined the rooms and tables filled with books crowded the space so there was little room to walk.  Finding a little kneehole desk amidst the book strewn tables, I took a copy of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (one of my favorites), crawled into the space under the desk and proceeded to read the entire book from cover to cover. 

Like many of you, when I am reading, I become one with the book and get lost in the story between the pages.  So engrossed was I that I never heard my mom and sister calling for me a couple of hours later.  It wasn’t until I turned the last page and stood up that I saw the store security guards, police and my mom and sister, frantically searching for me.  They had been looking for an hour.  You can read more about that day in a blog post I did last year.  You’ll get a bonus if you go there because I was doing picture book reviews back them and you will find a review of Don’t Worry, I’ll Find You by Anna Grossnickel Hines as well as some great tips for Shopping with Kids.  With summer just around the corner and kids tagging along when parents are shopping, those tips might come in handy!

Today’s classic picture book pick is about as far away in time and place from the above book as you can get…but with a similar theme…listening to our parents and following their instructions.

 

 Indian Two Feet and His Horse

Written by Margaret Friskey

Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

Publisher: Children’s Press (1959)

Ages: 3 – 8

Themes:

Books for boys, goal setting, problem solving, responsibility, self-reliance, family, diversity, maturation

Opening:

“There was a little Indian.  He wished he had a horse.  But he did not have a horse.  He had to walk, walk, walk.”

Synopsis:  

Little Two Feet wishes he had a horse.  He can sing and dance and draw and swing across the river from a tree.  But he can’t ride a horse because he doesn’t own one.  His father suggests he go and look for one and little Two Feet decides to look in places he would go if he were a horse.  In the end, a horse finds the boy and they develop a friendship based on mutual trust and caring.

Why do I like this book

The story text and message is simple enough for very young children to understand and enjoy, while older kids will identify with the boy who could master many tasks and skills, but dreamed of riding a horse of his own.

Ezra Jack Keats (Peter’s Chair, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willy, etc.) is one of my favorites author/illustrators.  This book is one of his lesser known illustrating gems.

Related Activities:

Indian Headband Craft (from Cool Kids Crafts)

You will need: Construction paper, crayons or markers, scissors, glue or tape…real feathers, beads and string are optional.


How to Make an Indian Headband Craft

Step 1 Cut a strip of brown paper about 2 to 3 inches wide. Make it long enough so that when you bring both ends together it will sit on the child’s head comfortably.We used some craft scissors with a wavy design to cut ours just to give it a bit more flare.Tip: If you need it to be longer, just cut two strips and tape it together.

 

Step 2 Using your crayons or markers, decorate the outside of the strip (the side you will see once you tape both ends together).

 

Step 3 Bring both ends together to form the headband and tape or glue together.

 

Step 4 Cut out several feathers using colored construction paper. Cut small slits on both sides of your feathers leaving about 1/2″ in the middle uncut.

 

Step 5 Glue the feathers to the back of the headband.

 

Step 6 Optional:Cut out one more feather. Then glue some real feathers to the bottom of the feather (so that when you hang the feather upside down, the bottom becomes the top and the top becomes the bottom – see picture). Add a string of beads and glue this onto the feather.

 

Step 7 Glue this feather to the side of the headband and hang it upside down so that it will hang down when you wear the headband.


This Native American Indian headband craft is a fun kids Thanksgiving activity and has been a traditional craft for many during the holidays.   However, kids will enjoy making it at any time of the year.  In addition to this indian headband craft be sure to check out these Native American Indian coloring pages.

Talk about different animals people can take care of…which ones would make good pets?  Which ones would be difficult to keep in the city?  What are some of the responsibilities a pet-owner has?  What did little Two Feet do to be a good horse owner?

Official website of Ezra Jack Keats with tons of info and activities.

Lovely site that gives interesting background on Ezra Jack Keats and a number of activities here.

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.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Goodbye Mousie

 

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. 

I just wanted to mention three important items:

1.      Do you let your kids watch TV?  Do you wonder how it affects them?  Check out a recent article: The Mom and Dad TV Debate at SheKnows.com…I contributed to the article: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/959777/is-your-child-watching-too-much-tv

2.      Are you concerned about the lack of physical activity in our kindergartens today?  Has the “block corner” all but disappeared in your child’s kindergarten…replaced by the “computer corner”?  Check out BLOCK PLAY on DivineCaroline.com…I contributed to that article as well: http://www.divinecaroline.com/22111/127731-technology-making-kids-depressed

3.      Congratulations again to the 20 libraries that will receive a copy of Show Me How!  With my son visiting for Mother’s Day weekend (yes, we had an AWESOME time…I’ll try to post some pics next week) and with preparing for a teacher-training program I am doing today for the staff of our local Boys and Girls Club at their annual Youth Development Conference (Building Self-Esteem…One Picture Book at a Time), I have not been able to pack the books and send them out yet.  My apologies…and I will endeavor to do so this weekend,

And now to our Perfect Picture Book Friday selection!

It is not easy to deal with death and loss.  Often, the first death a child experiences is the loss of a beloved pet.  Parents may be are unsure how to handle this type of situation and feel uncomfortable even talking about the subject. 

Here is a book that might help.

 

 Goodbye Mousie

Written by Robie Harris

Illustrated by Jan Ormerod

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (2001)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Grief/loss, family togetherness, pets

Opening:

“When I woke up this morning, I tickled Mousie’s tummy.  But Mousie didn’t wake up.”

Synopsis:  

Mousie is the little boy’s beloved pet.  When Mousie gets sick and dies, the little boy goes through the various stages of grief.  First he denies it…”Mousie is NOT dead!  He’s just very, very sleepy this morning.”  Eventually, with the help of his parents, the little boy accepts the death of his pet and comes to understand that it is ok to feel angry and sad.

Why do I like this book

I love this book because it takes a difficult subject and deals with it in a sensitive loving manner.  Young children need to understand that death is a normal part of life.  They also need to be allowed to grieve and be angry or sad when someone they love dies.  Often, parents try to shield children from the truth about such matters…or, when a pet dies, they brush it off as if it was unimportant…but this book gives parents a gentle and loving example of how it can be done with respect and sensitivity.

Related Activities:

Here are a few internet resources that might be of help to parents and teachers:

Death and Dying: Valdolsta State University

Talking to Children About Death: Hospice

Helping Your Child Deal with Death: KidsHealth

Children’s Books About Death

In the story, the little boy paints a shoebox that he will use to bury his beloved pet.

Children do love to paint…and fingerpainting so much fun.  The sensation of the cool thick paint sliding under their fingers can be very calming for many children.  And painting is a wonderful vehicle for expressing emotions.

 

You will need: Fingerpaint (can be bought at hobby shops and toy and department stores OR you can make an EDIBLE fingerpaint by stirring up some vanilla pudding – white/yellow – chocolate pudding – brown – strawberry pudding – pink.  The edible fingerpaint is fun for kids of all ages), fingerpaint paper (you can use a roll of inexpensive shelf paper instead), COVERUPS for children and work surfaces.

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.

PPBF: Mother’s Day Edition and Tribute to Maurice Sendak: David Gets in Trouble

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.

Picture books have a special place in the hearts of many people…and there are a few authors whose names are instantly recognizable around the world.  Maurice Sendak was one of those…an author/illustrator extraodinaire…anyone reading his books (Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There and many others) would be instantly aware that this man remembered what it feels like to be a child.  For more information about this gifted groundbreaking artist and writer: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/books/maurice-sendak-childrens-author-dies-at-83.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

My book choice today has a flavor reminiscent of the work of Mr. Sendak…it celebrates mothers (yes, Mother’s Day is only a few days away)…and shows what they have to deal with on a daily basis…the good, the bad and the ugly.

David Gets in Trouble
Written and illustrated by David Shannon
Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2000)
Ages: 4-8
Themes: Family, unconditional love, misbehavior/consequences, boys
Opening lines: ”When David gets in trouble, he always says, “No! It’s not my fault!”

Synopsis:
From an Amazon reviewer: “No and David were the first words David Shannon learned how to spell. Shannon’s Caldecott Honor Book No, David! is based on a book he made as a child showing a kid doing all the things he isn’t supposed to do. In the sequel David Goes to School, it turns out that teachers say no, too.
In this third picture book, it’s David’s turn to talk back. What does he say when he gets in trouble? “I didn’t mean to.” (Skateboarding into a lamp table.) “It was an accident!” (Hitting a baseball into a window.) “I forgot!” (Happily walking down the street… in his underpants.) “But Dad says it!” (Boy in corner with mouth full of soap.) Of course, the cat-tail-pulling, burping, grape-juice-dropping, runny-egg-hating, out-of-control David wins us over in the end. A defiant “No, it wasn’t me!” evolves into a guilt-ridden, late-at-night shout, “Yes! It was me! I’m sorry. I love you, Mom.”

Why I like this book:
Caldecott honor award winner David Shannon knows how kids feel…and children love hearing about the adventures…or misadventures…of little David. This is a wonderful book for moms as well…it is heartening to know that our own kids aren’t the only ones who test a parent’s patience! The message at the end of the book is a perfect Mother’s Day gift for every mom…”I’m sorry. I love you, Mom.”
Related Activities:
David’s mother used soap to wash out his mouth when he used inappropriate language, but you can utilize a bar of soap with your children in a much more enjoyable way.

Soap Boat
Make this super boat and customize with your child’s name. They will be begging you to take a bath!
Age:
3 and up
What you need
• Foam Paper
• Soap
• White craft glue
• Popsicle stick
• Letter Stickers

What you do
1. Un-wrap a single bar of soap.
2. Cut two triangle shapes out of the foam paper (one slightly bigger than the other)
3. Glue the triangle pieces to craft stick ( one in front the other in back)
4. Decorate the sail; we used a small star out of the foam paper in coordinating color.
5. Insert Popsicle stick into soap.
6. Name your boat with letter stickers.
7. Set sail.
The above instructions and picture came from the website of The Crafty Noodle.
For more soap bar projects, visit Artists Helping Children: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/barsofsoapcraftsideasdecorationskids.html
Video interview with David Shannon: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/shannon/

 

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.

Lentil: Encouraging Children to Embrace Volunteerism

 My son…on a fishing trip with us last year.

I can’t believe it is Friday already!  The days are flying by.  In a way, I’m happy because I am looking forward to May 11th when my younger son is flying in from Chicago to spend the weekend with us.  We already have a cabin reserved near Eleven Mile Canyon where we plan to go fly-fishing.

Living here in Colorado, we sometimes take for granted the pristine rivers and streams that are only a short drive away, as well as the faucets we can turn on to receive clean drinking water .  This is not the case for millions of people in other parts of the world.

I’m fortunate to have connected with Angela over at From the Faith of a Child.  She has started a new blog for a wonderful project that will benefit children who don’t have access to clean water the way we do.   Her son, Jackson, decided to forego birthday presents this year for his sixth birthday.  Instead, he wants to raise money so that a well can be dug in an area where children and their mothers have to walk hours each day to collect water for drinking and cooking and washing…and the water that they finally collect is often dirty and virtually unusable.  These children are being robbed of their childhoods…and often their lives are cut short because of the contaminated water.

If you click http://www.charitywater.org/whywater/ you can view the three minute video clip that will move you to tears…and hopefully to action! 

Your children can participate by drawing a picture to add to the Water Wish Art Gallery that Angela and Jackson have set up.

I hope everyone will read Angela’s post, look at Jackson’s art work that depicts his “Water Wish” and donate whatever they can to this worthwhile project.  The most impressive element in all of this is that it is a child who is leading the way.  Encouraging young children to contribute to the community and care about others is one of the most important lessons a parent can teach.  If you have the time, you can check out another organization that champions children who help others: www.KidsAreHeroes.org.

Now, since 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, my entry is about a young boy who also understood the importance of helping his entire community by using his ingenuity and special talents.

 

Lentil

Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey

Publisher: Viking Juvenile (1940)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Music, community, cooperation, perseverance, problem solving, self-esteem, self-worth, teamwork, coping with disappointment, celebrating our uniqueness

Opening Line:

“In the town of Alto, Ohio, there lived a boy named Lentil.  Lentil had a happy life except for one thing – he wanted to sing but he couldn’t.”

Synopsis:

When Lentil discovers he cannot sing, he works very hard learn to play the harmonica instead.  One day, the townspeople gather to welcome home one of their leading citizens.  A jealous member of the town sabotages the homecoming and the band is unable to play.  Will Lentil and his harmonica save the day?

Why I like this book:

It is written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey…who also gave us One Morning in Maine, Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal!  Enough said!  The book was published over seventy years ago, but the issues it touches on remain relevant today.

The story shows children that even when they have a disappointment, they should never give up and that each of us has unique gifts and talents of great worth.  It also encourages community-mindedness and teamwork.  When so much of the world is in poverty and so many young children are suffering, we want our children to learn to reach out and help others, now and as they grow into adulthood. 

Related Activities:

Most children love music.  An empty oatmeal container and a wooden spoon make a great drum.  A piece of waxed paper wrapped around a plastic comb becomes a kazoo.  Check out the websites below for enough homemade instruments to form your own rhythm band.

Picture from Tania Cowling at Suite 101 

 Savvy Homemade egg shakers 

 Simple Homemade Musical Instruments For Kids

Quirky Momma tin can balloon drums 

 Picture from Quirky Momma

More homemade instruments from The Crafty Crow

Learn about multi-award-winning author/illustrator Robert McCloskey here

Read more about Mr. McCloskey on Laura Frazin Steele’s LA Books Examiner site.

LAST CHANCE: If you haven’t nominated your local library to win one of the 25 FREE copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking that we are donating, PLEASE do so now!  Click the book title link above to read a review from Summit Series for Families.

Help your favorite library win a copy!  Just leave a comment on this post or email me at vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com, naming the library and telling why the people in your community would benefit from having the book available to them.  There are only a few more days…nominations close on April 30 and twenty-five libraries will be chosen using Random.org.

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 leave a comment here, nominating your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!

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!