Friday, May 13, 2016

Flannel Friday--Waiting by Henkes

As soon as I read "Waiting" by Henkes I started thinking about those adorable nested kitties. I knew there had to be a way to do that with flannel! I knew it would be tricky, because it would be creating something that was nine layers of flannel deep, but after some tinkering I came up with a design that worked.

Once, there was a cat with patches.
What was the kitty in the story waiting for?

POP! Out came another spotted cat!

The whole family

Here they all are, with some perspective on size.

The teeniest kitty revealed--Just one spot!

I used this in my weather storytime recently when I read Waiting by Kevin Henkes. There were lots of delighted oohs and ahhs when I pulled out this flannel.

"Look! It’s a cat with patches. In the story she was waiting for something, do you remember what it was?

POP! Out came a kitty with green spots! Is she waiting for something? 
POP! etc."

We talked about the colors of each cat, and I used different vocabulary words like spots, patches, circles, and dots. After all were revealed, I took them down and put up two at a time so we could talk about size. "Which one is bigger? Yes, the one with purple spots!" or "Is the cat with green spots bigger or smaller than the cat with pink spots?"

I will use this one with our without reading Waiting, and it's a good fit for storytimes about size, families, colors, cats, or weather, so I will have a lot of chances to use it. 

You can see it in action here:

And, finally (best of all), I have a template to share in case you'd like to make your own. I'd love to see your version if you make one!

Flannel Friday is hosted this week at Adventures in Storytime. Make sure to check out the other awesome flannels this week! To participate in upcoming roundups, or just find out what's what, check out the Flannel Friday Blog

Monday, December 1, 2014

Recent Favorite Picture Books. Part Two

Last Monday I shared six picture books I love. Here are six more!

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
Gaston by Kelly Dipucchio illustrated by Christian Robinson
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Welcome to Mamoko by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski 
It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle illustrated by Jeremy Tankard 

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean. This book is ridiculously adorable. Little David is waiting and waiting for the snow--a BIG snow, he hopes. The progression of no snow, to flurries, to a full-on snowstorm is gorgeously depicted in the warm illustrations. Mom's attempts to distract him from his wait-induced boredom are sweetly futile as David is only momentarily distracted. Baking turns into a flour snowstorm. Cleaning turns into a soap bubble snowstorm, etc. In the end David's father comes home, and the little family goes out to explore the big snow together.

Gaston by Kelly Dipucchio illustrated by Christian Robinson. This is my other contender for 'most favoritist picture book of 2014.' It's almost impossible not to fall in love with the goofily adorable Gaston, who tries the hardest but never quite quite manages to hit the mark. As you can see, Gaston doesn't quite fit in with his proper poodle family. One day at the park, the family encounters a family of bulldogs that includes a poodle pup, and it's clear there was a switched-at-birth mix-up. What follows is an exploration of acceptance, nature vs. nurture, and love. LOVE this one. 

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd. Talk about GORGEOUS. Holy moly this wordless picture book is one I can stare at for hours. The magic of light vs. dark and how different things look in the dark, the use of color, the small details to pore over--this book is so so lovely.

"When it was time to make supper, Sophie's mother looked at the squash. She looked at Sophie. 'I call her Bernice,' Sophie said. 'I'll call for pizza.' said Sophie's mother."
Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. This book is so funny. Sophie's parents pick up a squash from the farmer's market, but when Sophie discovers that the squash is "the perfect size to bounce on her knee--the perfect size to love" the squash becomes a friend instead of supper. Sophie and Bernice are inseparable for a while until Bernice predictably begins to rot, and Sophie has to figure out how best to care for the ailing Bernice. So cute it hurts, but without ever becoming saccharine.

Welcome to Mamoko by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. All the best parts of I Spy or Where's Waldo, but with a lot more imagination and narrative mixed in. In this book, there are multiple characters you can follow from page to page, and each character has its own adventures, mysteries, and resolution. Sometimes the stories intersect. Additionally, there are tons of other characters and details that appear from page to page. There are countless stories to be found in these illustrations, and they are so funny and charming you will be immediately sucked in. 

It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle illustrated by Jeremy Tankard. This a great choice for anyone who has ever enjoyed 'going on a bear hunt' although this story is completely original and fresh. The narrator keeps describing his safe surroundings until he spies something out of place--is it? No. Yes! IT'S...A TIGER! RUN! A perfect blend of humor, action, and a satisfying conclusion.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recent Favorite Picture Books. Part One

In no particular order and with no particular parameters, here are six picture books that I love:

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Houghton
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett illustrated by Jon Klassen
This is Our House by Hweyon Yum
Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein
Miss Maple's Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier illustrated by Suzy Lee

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Houghton. Quite possibly my favorite book of 2014. I also love Houghton's previous book, Oh No George! but I think this might be his best yet. The repeated phrase, "Shh! We have a plan!" is irresistible, and you'll find it invading your speech even when you're not reading the book.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett illustrated by Jon Klassen. Sam and Dave won't stop digging until they find something spectacular. Unfortunately luck is not on their side. Viewers have an agonizingly clear look at just how close the boys come to making a discovery before they decide to change direction--again and again. Adults may be confused by where the boys find themselves at the end of the book, but kids take it in stride. I've had so much fun reading this book to my Kindergarten classes this fall, inspiring questions like, "What do diamonds smell like?" and comments such as, "I'm going to faint!" "Awwwww crap" and ""

This is Our House by Hyewon Yum. As a new homeowner this book gets me right in the feels, telling the story of a family through their beloved home. A little girl is the tour guide, showing all the special places and events, "This is the house where my grandparents arrived from far away with just two suitcases in hand. This is the tree that blossomed in the spring when my mother was born." My favorite page is the one where the second generation is repainting the nursery for the third generation, and you can see in the illustrations that they are bickering. A true slice of life. You know that once scene from Pixar's UP? The one that makes everyone cry? This is like owning a picture book version of that scene, only with a happier ending.

Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein. This book makes me laugh so much. Dinah the dinosaur is freshly hatched, and on a mission to give someone a kiss...whatever 'kiss' is. She exuberantly whomps, chomps, stomps and--"Whoops!" eats other prehistoric creatures until she finds her match. I can never get sick of this one. 

Miss Maple's Seeds by Eliza Wheeler. Miss Maple is a tiny old woman who cares for seeds that haven't sprouted. She collects them, bathes them, reads to them, and teaches them how to become what they are meant to be. The next season, she sends them away to fulfill their potential. The pictures are full of whimsy and magic in the best possible way. This is one to cherish and reread over and over.

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier illustrated by Suzy Lee. This story literally draws you into it, as each page turn opens a tinier book than the page before. Hard to explain, so best to watch the book trailer above. I would have found this book absolutely fascinating as a child, so I love sharing this one.

More titles coming later this week!
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