Saturday, June 30, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Phases Of The Moon

A few weeks ago at school they had the Scitech Star Dome come to visit. It wasn't a Kindy day for Will but the kids from his group were allowed to go and join the red group class specifically for the visit. I picked him up after and we went and looked at the dome from the outside and talked about what he had done and seen all the way home. We even wrote it up as a story for his school book. It was a great tie in for the activity I had already planned for that day. 

The foam paintings we did a few weeks earlier and a great texture and looked a lot like the moon. Will is seriously into the moon and tracks it's phases on our Moon Calendar.  So we talked about the phases and how the moon looked and drew these on the back of our foam art. Will cut them out.


Stuck them down and then added some star stickers to complete the look. We added an explanation about how the suns light shines on the moon. I added the title and the names and we called it done.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Foam Art Name Poster

A couple of weeks after Will made his foam pictures we put some of them to use.
Using a piece of dark A2 card we squirted lines of PVA glue randomly around.

We then sprinkled glitter all over the glue lines.
And repeated the process 3 more times.

Advisory: Keep babies well away from this stage of proceedings!

I then wrote Will's name on the back of one of the foam art pictures. I stuck mine on the window so I could try and get the cooler foamy sections to fall inside my letters. 
Note: If the letters in your name are not symmetrical then be sure to write them backwards.

Then Will cut the letters out....

 The final stage was to glue them on our glittery background- this would also work well using foam mounting tape to make the letters stand out even more.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Due Back 25-6-12

I thought it would be cool to review some of the books we've got out from the Library lately. We try and get to Story Time most weeks and grab a few books each time. Children's books can hit and miss I'm generally pretty good at sorting the 'ok' ones from the crap ones but scoring the great ones is a matter of trial and error. Here's the great ones due back this week...

For the truly littlies (Birth -3+)

Jump Over the Puddle and Good Night Sleep Tight Written by Emma Quay and Illustrated by Anna Walker. (Board Books) Published by Scholastic.

These too little books are from the 'Hello, Friends' series. There are three central characters in the series: Panda, Sheep and Owl. And each has a theme. Jump over the Puddle is about bravery and the other about bed time.

Why I like them: The artwork is lovely and simple great for the smaller set. There's just the right amount of text for those with limited attention spans. The repetition in Jump over the Puddle is great as well. These books are just right.

Preschoolers and more 3 - 5yrs+:

Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger Published by Roaring Brook Press.
This book features  a cut out on every second leaf. with the other pages being either solid colour or illustration.

Why I like it: The cut outs make a striking graphic on each page. The really simple repetitive format is super effective. It's definitely one of the cooler books I've seen for learning about colours. This book would be great for learner readers.

Cars Galore By Peter Stein and illustrated by Bob Staake. Published by Walker Books.

Why I like it:The illustrations along with the rhyming words really make this book! The bright cars on the sleek black roads pop from the white background pages. And yet there are so many little details to explore. And there's lots of fun to be had figuring which wacky car belongs to each description- if you have a car loving kid then I'd suggest this would be a must have book.

Schoolies 5yrs+: 

Willbee The Bumblebee by Craig Smith and Maureen Thompson, illustrated by Katz Cowley with Music by Craig Smith (Book plus CD). Published by Scholastic.
Why I like it:
I'm not a fan of The Wonky Donkey which was also written by these author- but that could be due to a long stretch of State Highway One a couple of Christmases ago during which the CD player was on repeat! But I do like Willbee. I like the rhyming couplets and the lovely soft illustrations. Who knew Bees had bums? The story line is sweet and Will enjoyed the CD at bedtime over a few nights.

Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Published by Walker Books.

Why I like it: Mo Willems is a 'new to me' author, but I will certainly be searching out a whole heap more of his books in the future. There are many in the 'Pigeon' series. Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus is fun to read because there is a little bit of suspense- the text is 'talking' directly to the listener. And the story makes fun of various 'child techniques' aimed at cajoling parents into submission. Mo's pictures are so simple but convey the emotions of the pigeon so well. I'm pretty sure we'll be adding a few of Mo's books to ours and Ehren's libraries.

Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat. Published by Koala Books

Why I like it: I wasn't sure I was going to like this one, it was one of Wills picks. Marge and Lola the chickens are competing in a Talent Quest against the Barnyard animals to win tickets to see Elvis Poultry in concert. Their ideas are silly and they are mocked by the ducks along the way- in the end they have to 'wing it'. There's lots going on in the illustrations and lots of opportunity to talk about what might happen with each of the chickens ideas. The ending is fun and kind of unexpected. I think it would be cool to use the book as a starting point for our own talent show. Let's bawk and roll!

13 Words by Lemony Snicket with pictures by Maira Kalman. Published by HarperCollins.

Why I like it: I picked this book because I enjoy Lemony Snicket. As I read it I was wavering on whether I would include it here simply because I'm not sure who would enjoy it. And because I just didn't really 'get it' as a book for children. It's weird, truly weird.
It's not quite what I'd call a 'sophisticated picture book'* but it's also not for the younger set. If you look at the reviews on Good Reads you'll see that it averages 3.7. Not because people think it's average- but because they are polarised. Over half the 447 ratings are 4 or 5 stars- but there are also 70 1's and 2's.
The book centres around 13 words which are linked together by a number of characters and eventually circle back to the beginning. But the words are not so much what you'd expect: Bird, Despondent, Cake, Dog, Busy, Convertible, Goat, Hat, Haberdashery, Scarlet, Baby, Panache and Mezzo-Soprano! The art work is almost surreal and very quirky and I'm not sure the book would be nearly as interesting without it.
I'd be interested to read this to a class of 11-13 year olds and get their take on it. 
I like it because it's weird, funny, quirky, sad, entertaining, funny, vocabulary building, challenging and it has cake. It's not going to be for everyone though, be sure to try before you buy.
(I didn't read it to Will and Tama).

*Sophisticated picture book- a Sophisticated Picture Book is a picture book that has been written with older readers in mind. People tend to think picture books are just for younger children but there are is a whole raft of Sophisticated Picture books that can be enjoyed by adults and older children. Shaun Tan and Gary Crew are two of my favourite authors of sophisticated picture books. The Arrival by Tan in particular is a book I recommend as 'must have' for any library, home or otherwise.

As always take the age recommendations with a grain of salt, children are not made equal there are always children that will enjoy books categorised for those older or younger than them. Especially if they have a special interest or passion eg Cars, Space, Dinosaurs. As the parent you're the best judge.

Oh my Baby! Tama is one.