Archive for April, 2007

book review

Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman

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Who knew that chickens could be so funny?  These chickens belong to Farmer Greenstalk and his family, and these feathered ones are eggs-actly perfect as the super heroes of the agrarian scene.  The Greenstalk family needs rescuing every day–on Monday the hens put on bathing suits and retrieve a watch from the well, on Tuesday they take over the kitchen and make dinner, and so on through the week.  Each day brings the same refrain “Chickens to the Rescue!”  The cartoon-like illustrations add even more humor to this already funny story.  Everyone will want their own flock of super hero chickens after reading this book.  Be sure to check this one out!

–Miss Tracey

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magazine review

Chicakdee Magazine published by Owl Kids

Chicadee is a bright and colorful magazine for 6 to 9 year olds, and is crammed with games, activities, word play, science experimes, animal information, and fun photography.  The magazine aims to “educate and entertain”, and certainly gives kid readers the chance to learn about many topics in a fun way.  The current issue, April 2007 (available for check out when we get the May edition), features the porcupine fish as the animal of the month, along with a shark story, jokes and comic strips, and “mind-blowing body tricks”, where kids can learn simple tricks based on science (they explain why the trick works) that they can use to entertain their friends.  

Past issues (up to one year) of this magazine and others are available for check out in the children’s department.  Come check it out!

–Miss Tracey

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poetry Friday

Go! Poetry in Motion by Dee Lillegard

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Pickup trucks, trains, school buses, airplanes, motorcyles and more whizz through this collection of very short poems, making this book perfect for the youngest reader, especially those fascinated by transportation.   The simple, mostly four line poems evoke the familiar, from garbage trucks (“gobbling trash, anything tossable”) to merry-go-rounds (spins lions, zebras, many a horse), bringing poetry into the everyday experience of a young reader.  The illustrations are similar to those of Richard Scarry, with many small and enthusiastic animals in action on each page.  The muted colors don’t distract from the busy feel of animals and transportation in motion. 

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fun with crafts

This coming weekend is a great time to spend some time crafting with your kids.  Or you may need some activities that keep the kids busy having fun on their own for a while.  Here are some ideas that fit both of those scenarios.

Make stained glass eggs!  That’s right, stained glass eggs.  All you need is a blown-out egg, white glue, a paintbrush, and small squares of brightly colored tissue paper.  Directions for blowing out a raw egg can be found here, and adult assistance will be needed.  Once the egg is ready, brush on a coat of glue.   Then stick on a layer of tissue paper squares.  Follow this with a coat of glue, and another layer of tissue paper.   Finish up with another layer of glue.  If you feel like the glue is too thick, you can mix it with a little water.  Because the egg was blown out, your creations will last indefinitely, or at least until they break.  Be sure to send me pictures of your stained glass eggs!

Not into eggs?  I know you’re into stories!  So, make your own storytelling theater.  Find a large, clean pizza or shoe box (or large piece of cardboard would work as well).  Cut a large piece of felt to fit the inside of the lid (or one side of the piece of cardboard), and glue it into place.   Use a color that will make a good background for your stories.  Black, light blue, or light green can be great colors for this.  Then cut out some story pieces.  You can use felt, magazine pictures, or even real pictures.  Cut them into shapes, like people, trees, houses, or anything that you need for the stories that you want to tell.  Glue another piece of felt, or better yet a piece of velcro or sandpaper, to the back of the figures to make them stick to the felt storyboard.  To make your figures stronger, you could glue them to cardboard before you cut them out.  When your figures and stage are ready, let the storytelling begin!  When you’re finished, store the figures inside the box.

Have a great weekend!  Don’t forget to get crafty!

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book review

Big and Little On the Farm by Dorothy Donohue

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The youngest readers will enjoy this trip to the farm, where they will see farm animals big and little.  Each two page spread introduces the concept of big and little by using animals–“Big cow, little calf” and “Big cat, little kitten”.  This provides a great opportunity for vocabulary building for a young reader.  The concept is also a fun one for a young child, who will love the animal babies.  The illustrations are simple collage on brightly colored background paper.  The colors draw the reader into the story without distracting him or her.   If you have a young reader, be sure to check this one out!

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book review

All for Pie, Pie for All by David Martin

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As sweet as an apple pie, this book is great bedtime (or anytime) read aloud.  The Cat family enjoys the pie that Grandma Cat makes, each eating a piece, with one piece left over.  Then it’s the Mouse family’s turn to enjoy the pie, dividing that last piece into enough for each of them to eat, with just six crumbs left over.   But that’s enough for the Ant family, who finish off the pie.  Then the families cooperate and make another pie for all to share.  The story is simply presented, with just a few words per page, and the illustrations are pen and ink, in muted colors, making this book a great read aloud at bedtime or anytime.

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