Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Greetings

I hope all my friends, family, and readers are having a wonderful holiday. I'm taking a brief blogging hiatus until after the first of the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Wombat by Jackie French

A carrot loving wombat from Australia accidentally accompanies Santa on Christmas Eve.

What I thought: Diary of a Wombat was a huge hit with my story time kids (and me!). I'm glad to see another book about a favorite character. Wombat's perspective is great and so funny. Whatley's illustrations are nice--so realistic and good use of white space. My favorite illustrations are "strange creatures" and "so many carrots."

Story Time Themes: Christmas Around the World, Christmas

(Illus. Bruce Whatley. Clarion, 2012)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

Christmas is a joyful time filled with love and laughter, but there are quiet moments, too. When the tree lights up for the first time, there's a hush in the room. Explore other quiet moment in this lovely tribute to the Christmas season.

What I thought: I'm a big fan of Underwood and Liwska's other collaborations The Quiet Book and The Loud Book. The Christmas Quiet Book is great. It reminds us that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, there are quiet, peaceful times as well. Liwska's illustrations just get better and better. I love how she presents the animals. The soft colors she uses are just right to reflect the season. My favorite illustrations are lights on quiet and gingerbread quiet. I'm using The Christmas Quiet Book during my Christmas story time this week.

(Illus. Renata Liwska. Houghton Mifflin, 2012)

Friday, December 14, 2012

#FlannelFriday: Where's the Duck? Game - Winter Version

Back in September, I posted about my pumpkins which morphed into a Where's the Duck? Game inspired by Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas. The kids loved playing the game so much we never got to the "Five Little Pumpkins" rhyme.

Last week, I did a cookies themed story time and had crocheted cookies on my magnet board. One three year old enthusiastically shouted duck every time I removed a cookie. I decided it was time to bring the duck back.

I wanted to do a winter version of the game that I could use at Christmas story time and beyond. I decided to do an evergreen ( or Christmas) tree with snow on the branches. I used Microsoft Clipart for the tree pattern, but you could easily free hand it.

I did the snow in two steps because I wanted it to really look like snow. I drew the outline of the branches with white puff paint and then pulled the paint upward with a craft stick. I was definitely having a Bob Ross happy little tree moment.

 After that dried, I filled in all the areas with a lot more puff paint.

And here's the duck in case you missed my pumpkin post.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin, Jr.

Summary from Dust Jacket: Ten little caterpillars are on the move. Come on and join them....you might even meet a butterfly!

What I thought: This book is great. The text is simple yet appealing. The illustrations are great--such bold, bright colors and good use of white space. I'm becoming quite a fan of Lois Ehlert's style. I also like the labels in the plants and animals. This book will be enjoyed, but beyond that it will be a great way to teach preschool kids about nature. I can't decide on a favorite illustration, but I do admire all the purple flowers. I love the additional information at the end of the book about caterpillars.

Story Time Themes: Spring, Caterpillars, Butterflies

(Illus. Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane Books, 2011)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Bears by Meg McKinlay

Summary from Dust Jacket: Ella wants to tell you a story — a story with absolutely no bears. You don’t need bears for a book. You need pretty things like fairies and princesses and castles and maybe funny things and exciting things. But you definitely do not need bears.

What I thought: No Bears is hilarious. Am I the only one who sees the bear lurking and helping things along?  I can hear my story time kids laughing now. The bear doesn't get recognition for saving the day, but I don't think I mind. I like the illustrations--soft colors and good use of white space. Pair with More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt for a jolly story time.

Story Time Theme: Bears

(Illus. Leila Rudge. Candlewick, 2011)

Friday, December 7, 2012

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Dragons

Quite a few dragon picture books were published this year. They prompted me to do a dragons story time in November. My five little dragons set was inspired by Sarah at Read It Again and her post I Took My Dragon to the Library. I used an image from Microsoft clip art. My dragons are felt with puff paint details. You can read the rhyme I used here.

Here are all five dragons. The rhyme dictated the colors, but I like them.

Here's a close up of the blue dragon.