Friday, September 7, 2012

Lots of Dots

I have a dot-themed preschool program coming up that I am really excited about!  I've chosen lots of great dot-themed books (you'd be amazed at how many "dot" books there are out there!), and have planned a fun craft that is made of nothing but dots.

Lots of Dots Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier is a great book full of fun colors of all kinds of dots!  The book teaches us that dots come in all colors and sizes-- and that there are lots and lots of things made of dots in our world-- from balloons to ladybugs and more!

The Dot (Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children's Literature (Awards))The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds tells the simple story of a girl who is frustrated by her lack of ability to draw a picture in class.  One of my favorite picture book quotes comes from this book, when the teacher tells the girl, "Just make a mark and see where it takes you".  There's an artist in all of us, if we just make that first mark.

Press Here by Herve Tullet is an interactive book that gets the kids involved in the story.  The text has us pushing buttons, shaking the book to get the dots to move, and moving the book all around.  This is a really fun book to watch the kids "read" by themselves!
Press Here

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pete the Cat (part 2) Groovy Button Board Craft

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy ButtonsPete the Cat loves his four groovy buttons in Pete Litwin's Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. As Pete loses each of his buttons, the reader leads the kids in subtraction facts-- but in a fun way.  And, even though Pete's buttons fall off, one by one, does he cry?  "Goodness, no!  Because buttons come and buttons go"!  There's a great message behind the story, as well!

The project in the video uses cardboard (or chipboard) inside for stability, but the buttons on the back are simply sewn onto the fabric.  The stitching around the outline of the shirt is a backstitch, and the stitching around the button holes is a blanket stitch. I'll add the pattern for the yellow shirt later on today.  Thanks for watching!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Kindergarten Keepsakes Craft (part 1): Grocery Bag Book

This post isn't directly linked to one picture book, but it focuses on a craft idea for preserving your child's school-year memories. I had a conversation with a parent in a program this past week about how difficult it is to keep all the things that her child makes, and I told her about this grocery bag book that I made for my son, that was featured on Scrapbook Memories TV several years ago. You can find the project instructions on the show's website here.

Be sure to watch the next video post below for a school-year pencil box craft project!

Kindergarten Keepsakes (part 2): Pencil Box Memories

For directions on how to make this simple pencil box craft for holding your child's school-year memories, check out my book, The Ultimate Guide to Scrapbooking with Children available at Cardz TV Stamps!

Storytime Glove with Cricut Critters

  One of the cutest, most inexpensive ways to make handmade fingerpuppets is with a glove, some Velcro, and diecuts or Cricut shapes.

Simply attach one side of the adhesive-backed Velcro to the fingers of a colorful gardening glove, and the other side of the adhesive-backed Velcro to the back of five diecuts or Cricut shapes. Shapes are easily added to, and removed from the glove. No need to make a new glove for each fingerplay, simply re-use with different diecut shapes. See the Songs & Fingerplays tab at the top of the page for songs & fingerplays that can be used with the gloves in the slideshow.

*All animal fingerplay pieces can be made with the Create a Critter Cricut cartridge.

Eric Carle Artwork

The art of Eric Carle is colorful, fun, and easily recognizable. It is amazing how simple it is! The artist methods used by Eric Carle in his books is easy to replicate-- even for kids! For a few quick and easy ideas for celebrating Eric Carle's picture book artwork, watch my video, and stay tuned in the coming days for more Eric Carle kids' craft ideas!

Thanks for watching!


Eric Carle's My First Book of Numbers (Split-paged Book)

I love this version of Eric Carle's My Very First Book of Numbers! When I taught preschool, I used it all the time in my classroom, so I decided to make my own version of split-paged book for my students to use.

You can find the instructions for my split-paged scrapbook in my book, The Ultimate Guide to Scrapbooking with Children, which is available for purchase at CARDZ TV STAMPS!

*Project dimensions

*Covers: 7 1/4" x 8 3/4"

*Inside pages: 7 x 4 1/4"

I am in love with a picture book!!!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
I am sure that this has happened many times before, but I am absolutely smitten with this book!  A friend at the library discovered it, and brought it to my attention (thanks, Sarah!).  It is stunning-- not only visually, but also in words and sentiment.  I knew from the first page that I most own this book.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
The first three lines read:
"Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books."

This is my book.  I might not have written it, or drawn the pictures, but it is mine.  If you love picture books, read it, and make it yours, too.

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin (Part 1: Craft Foam Shoes)

I love, love, love the Pete the Cat books!  So much, in fact, that I am planning a "Pete the Cat" program dedicated solely to the books that are written by Eric Litwin, and illustrated by James Dean.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes    Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes    Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

If you are a teacher or librarian looking for a book character to follow you through the school year, Pete might just been your man... urh, cat.  Pete's a groovy cat, complete with guitar in hand, and adapts to new situations and problems that pop up by staying cool, and rocking on.  Pete's "stay cool" attitude is a great example for young children who are going through new experiences, such as beginning school for the first time.
To kick off the school year, begin with Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes.  In this book, Pete starts a new year of school in his new school shoes.  Pete visits all the areas of his new school-- including his classroom, the library, the lunch room, and the playground-- all while rocking it in his school shoes.  Pete stays cool even in unfamiliar surroundings through keeping a positive attitude-- as Pete says, "It's all good".
Follow up with Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes.  You can really have fun with this one!

The newest book in the Pete the Cat series is Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons... watch for a great "button up" craft based on this book in the series... coming soon!

Craft Foam Shoe Pattern Pete the Cat

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle Baggie Butterflies

Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillarby Eric Carle is a classic book that is loved by many preschoolers!  The artwork in this picture book-- and for that matter, all of Eric Carle's picture books-- is full of beautiful colors.  Carle created his work from sketches and colorful tissue paper, which is a great technique to use with children to create their own work of art.  I'll share more on that in a later post.

Today, I want to share a cute, quick, inexpensive way to create beautiful butterflies like the one at the end of Carle's book.

The supplies you will need for this Picture Book Craft include:
*Zipper-top plastic bags
*Pipe cleaners or twist ties (for the antenna)
*Small jiggle eyes (optional)
*Colorful items for filling the bags (tissue paper, buttons, beads, tinsel, silk flowers, etc.)

L to R: Butterfly filled with flowers from Hawaiian Lei; Butterfly filled with cut tissue paper squares; Butterfly filled with Christmas tinsel; Mini Butterfly made with small baggie and filled with micro beads; Butterfly filled with Buttons.

Try different fillings for your butterflies-- have fun with what you have on hand!  Don't be afraid to fill butterflies with shaving cream or paint-- just look around-- this one is super cheap, and easily modified to fit what you already have!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

 Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators 

 I think it’s no coincidence that the day after I made the decision to start this blog, I was found by this book! I say that I was found by this book because that is exactly how it happened. It just happened to come in as I was finishing my preschool storyhour… I need to back up and explain that I am a children’s librarian (Youth Services Specialist).

So… as I was saying, the book was on the desk when I finished storytime today. I’ve been thinking about ways that I could share activities that I use to link to picture books in my storyhour programs, for a while now, and I decided that the best way to start was this blog. Then, the next day… there was this book! This is the perfect book to include in my first post. Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter, by Leonard S. Marcus brings together interviews with 21 different picture book illustrators. It gets right to the heart of why picture books are so important, which is a huge part of why I wanted to start this blog. Reading begins long before a child actually makes phonemic sense of words. It begins when someone reads to them. It begins with the experience. The sounds, rhythms, and flow of language combine with another vitally important part of the picture book– the pictures. In the forward of this book, children’s book author, David Wiesner, gives an eloquent explanation of the importance of picture books, “It is through the book’s images that a child first understands the world of the story…”. “Take away the pictures and you deprive kids of a wealth of understanding– not to mention a lot of fun” (Marcus, 2012). I am a firm believer in the power of fun– specifically when it comes to reading– and that is what I plan to bring to this blog!

Marcus, L.S. (2012). Show me a story! Why picture books matter. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

Welcome to Picture Book Crafts!

Welcome to the brand new Picture Book Crafts blog! This blog is the perfect place for parents, librarians, teachers, and group leaders– anyone who works with kids– to find hands-on activities that are inspired by early childhood books! Stay tuned as we prepare to share some great ideas that connect hands-on projects with some wonderful children’s books!