Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? Megaphone Craft

What child hasn't formed a sheet of paper into a cone and then used it as a megaphone? Or hollered into an empty wrapping paper tube to hear how it changes their voice?

Megaphones, microphones, and leftover cardboard tubes are fun! Except, maybe, when someone is running around a construction site shouting orders at their friends. Then again, if a child runs around with a paper megaphone pretending to be Moose shouting orders at his friends, then that is a playful and fun reading extension activity. And it's even better if they make the megaphone themselves!

Your kids can make their very own Moose-inspired megaphone using this free template. Simply print the pattern (it works best on card stock), then follow the simple instructions on the pattern to put the megaphone together.

Have fun, but remember: Don't be a bossy Moose!

*Note: the ends of the megaphone handle should be folded out, forming a T shape

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Giveaway Winners!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who entered the Thanksgiving Giveaway! I hope that, if you didn't win, you will consider buying WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? or HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS as a gift for yourself or someone else this holiday season. Or check them out at your local library!

The winner of the signed copy of WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? is Kimee C! 

The winner of the signed copy of HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS is Michele B! (Michele with one L)

Congratulations, Kimee and Michele! Your books will be on their way to you early next week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wonderful Wordless (or Nearly Wordless) Picture Books

There is something especially special about a story told solely, or primarily, through pictures. Not only are these books often stunning works of art, but the absence of text makes them accessible to a wider audience of readers. They remove barriers by opening up the world of books to pre-readers, struggling readers, and language learners, giving them a chance to enjoy books on their own.

These books also stimulate the imagination in ways that other books may not. Because there is no text (or very little text) to guide them along, readers must interpret the images and form the story in their own minds. This provides an opportunity for parents and teachers to encourage children to tell the stories in their own words. They can be used as writing prompts, or simply as a springboard for creative discussion.

Picture books of all kinds are wonderful things. But in my mind, there is nothing quite as welcoming and disarming as a picture book with few or no words.

Here are several of my favorites:

My Friend Rabbit, by Eric Rohman - Not completely free of text, but the bulk of the story is told in vibrant, action-packed illustrations. It's a gorgeous book!

Journey, by Aaron Becker - A stunning adventure told entirely in illustrations. The first in a series that also includes Quest and Return.

Moo!, by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka - This story is told in illustrations and one word that repeats throughout: Moo!

Red Sled and Red Hat, by Lita Judge - Both of these wintry adventures are told in illustrations as well as text that is primarily onomatopoeia. Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch...

The Lion and the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney - a breathtaking "retelling" of the classic fable, all in incredibly detailed illustrations.

Flora and the Flamingo, by Molly Idle - Adorable story of a little dancer's interactions with a flamingo, told entirely in pictures. Flora and the Penguin and Flora and the Peacocks are follow-ups to this one. 

The White Book: A Minibombo Book, by Elisabetta Pica and Lorenzo Clerici - A very simple, yet completely brilliant, wordless picture book.

Monster Book, by Alice Hoogstad - A vibrant, creative, and colorful wordless picture book!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Thanksgiving GIVEAWAY!

Thanksgiving is just about two weeks away, and that means people will be shopping for holiday gifts like crazy. Many of you may have already started!

I love to give and receive books at Christmas, so my gift to all you WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? and HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHCKS fans out there is to give away a signed copy of each book! So, before you head for the stores on Black Friday or hit the internet on Cyber Monday, why not take a chance at winning a free signed book or two?

Click on the image below for details!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Book Review: MOO by Sharon Creech

I couldn't be more in love with MOO by Sharon Creech.

When Reena and her family leave the big city and move to a small town in Maine, she isn't quite sure what to think. She and her brother, Luke, enjoy the freedom of exploring that they never got to experience before. Then Reena's parents volunteer her and Luke to work for their mean, eccentric old neighbor, Mrs. Falala, and it seems like their adventuring days are done.

But the truth is, it's an adventure of a different sort, and one Reena never saw coming.

This is a story about change, about becoming something you never thought you would be. It's about moving past a bad first impression to form a real relationship with someone you thought you didn't like. It's about embracing new experiences and the learning and growth that comes with them. It is funny and heartwarming and a little bit sad.

All of this in a concise, lyrical, beautifully written verse novel. Don't miss it!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? Jack-o-lantern!

I'm not such a big fan of Halloween. Though I did take my kids trick-or-treating in homemade costumes every year when they were younger, I've never really decorated my house or yard for the holiday. No skeletons hanging from the front porch. No cemetery or witches or fake corpses in the front yard.

But pumpkin carving is a fun and creative tradition this time of year, even for me. This year, I decided to create a Moose jack-o-lantern. A Moose-o-lantern!

In order to do that, I had to create a template. So, using the illustrations in WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? as a reference, I drew a simple Moose face. Then I did a google search to get an idea of how to make the drawing work as a template. I scanned the image, did some editing on picmonkey.com, and--tada!--my Moose-o-lantern template was complete!

My husband convinced me to use one of those craft pumpkins so that I could keep my Moose-o-lantern forever. So, I reluctantly tried it, and ended up being happy with the result (though, sadly, craft pumpkins don't have any seeds to toast). I'm sure this template would work really well with a real pumpkin too, and might actually be easier to carve.

I think it turned out pretty darn cute, don't you?

If you would like to carve a Moose-o-lantern of your own, you can find the printable template by clicking the image below. Remember to carve out all the black sections. Happy carving!

Click to download template

Monday, October 03, 2016

An Acrostic for October

Because I love October so much, I thought I would dig back through the blog a few years and share this poem with you again. Happy October!

Overhead, the
Canopy of green
Turns to gold, breaks free
On autumn
Escaping before the cold winter

(c) Rebecca J. Gomez 2010