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!