Learning English: Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott

Incorporating African folklore into the read aloud series with this tale from the Ashanti:

“Anansi the Spider” by Gerald McDermott

Book Synopsis

Gerald McDermott adapts this popular folktale, intertwining bold, rich colorful illustrations with traditional African design motifs and authentic Ashanti language rhythms. This traditional Ashanti tale features Anansi the Spider, one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is a wise, lovable, mischief maker who triumphs over larger foes. In this folk tale, Anansi embarks on a difficult quest. On his journey, when danger befalls him ~ threatened by Fish and Falcon~ Anansi is saved from terrible fates by his sons, each of whom uses their special gifts to help their father. A new predicament arises as Anansi determines which son he should reward. As the family falls into bickering, Anansi calls upon Nyame, the God of All Things, and with Nyame’s wisdom and help, solves his problem in a touching and resourceful fashion.

Reading Comprehension Skills:

This read aloud focuses on the following comprehension skills for language expression:

Making and Confirming Predictions: *Thinking readers make predictions and then check if what they thought was right. *

Retelling: Readers can retell the main events of a story, and recount problems and solutions, and the beginning, middle, and end of a tale.

Language Support Sentence Frames:

Leveled sentence frames are used throughout this read aloud to differentiate for different language levels. *Note that sentence frames are purposefully generalized, i.e. they aren’t specific to the story, which means they can be used in various contexts. When discussing different subjects in different content areas, students can use the language frames practiced in this read aloud.

Featured sentence frames:

Making Predictions:

  • Beginning Level: I predict _______.
  • Intermediate Level: I predict_____ because______.
  • Advanced Level: In my opinion _____ because______.

Retelling

  • In the beginning ________.
  • First, __________. Next, ____________. Then, ______________.
  • After that, ___________.
  • Suddenly, _____________.
  • Finally, ______________.
  • In the end ____________.

YouTube Video: Learning English Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud

An interactive read-aloud video to help refugee students learn English, by providing ample practice for structured language practice opportunities and to grow vocabulary repertoire.

*~Check it Out~*

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*~ Learn more about MaiStoryBook’s *Learning English Read Aloud Series* here~*

*~Overall enjoy an interactive read aloud designed to engage you in conversation through thoughtful predictions and retelling of the folk tale  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Learning English through Interactive, Shared-Reading Read Alouds

MaiStoryBook’s YouTube *Learning English Read Aloud Series* is part of a collaborative project funded by the Critical Refugee Studies Collective~ an initiative that addresses the concerns, perspectives, knowledge production and global imaginings of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced and stateless human beings.

Goal

The goal of MaiStoryBook’s YouTube *Learning English Series* is to produce engaging and interactive read-aloud videos to help refugee students learn English, by providing ample practice for structured language practice opportunities and growth in vocabulary repertoire  

*~Series Description ~Why these videos are needed~*

Many teachers are not equipped with the tools or professional development to address the learning needs of emergent bilinguals, and often struggle with implementing a curriculum that is accessible to all. In order to guarantee all students an equitable education, it is important to provide English Language Learners/emerging bilinguals with access to intellectually challenging, grade level assignments with the help of scaffolding and individualized support (Gibbons, 2014). Technology provides a highly motivating means of working with refugee children in an equitable, scaffolded, culturally responsive manner. Digital media can help emerging bilingual students learn and use language through collaborative interactions focused on finding and using information to construct new knowledge (Vygotsky, 1981, Warschauer et al, 1997).

This series of engaging interactive, educational read- aloud videos to scaffold English Language Development for refugee students can approximate individualized instructions for English-learning students, thus giving teachers an alternative tool to engage refugee students in core curriculum, even when current curriculum may be beyond the student’s language skills. The books chosen for the read aloud videos will be texts at a 4th-5th grade reading level, as this level has been designated to be accessible yet intellectually challenging for K-12 students.

How MaiStoryBook’s YouTube *Learning English Series* Can Help

As much as possible, read aloud texts were selected that would resonate with the students’ refugee background.

Interactive Read Aloud *Learning English* Videos combine:
  • audio – hearing the language being spoken
  • visuals – seeing the print and illustrations and using them to construct meaning to what is being heard
  • written on-screen text – emphasizing vocabulary, story elements, and language scaffolds
  • questions and commentaries throughout: providing ample verbal language practice opportunities and promoting active engagement

These elements provide students with multiple modalities to interact with and use English, including hearing it, seeing it, reading it, repeating it, and to respond and verbally practice it.

Strategies
  • Focus on building on prior knowledge with language and content: Activating background knowledge about topics helps contextualize new language in order to increase comprehension.
  • Introduce new vocabulary through the use of gestures and facial expressions: The use of gestures and facial expressions help with understanding connotation of vocabulary and create another way to create meaningful context for new language.
  • Use sentence frames to support expressive language sentence structure: Sentence frames are fill in the blank sentences that structure language for students. (For example: “I feel _______.”) Emergent bilinguals often have stronger receptive than expressive language- they understand better than they can speak. Therefore, sentence frames that pop up on the screen help them with expressive language to share ideas and participate in rich read aloud discussions.
  • Differentiate for different language levels: Emergent bilinguals have many different language levels. Having three different, color-coded, leveled sentence frames appear on screen for students at different language levels helps differentiate for these differences. Therefore, before each read aloud, readers are encouraged to choose the just-right sentence frame that appears on the screen.
  • Incorporate Reading Comprehension Strategies: These videos not only promote language development, but also literacy skills and reading comprehension. Reading strategies such as making predictions, confirming predictions, comparing and contrasting, expressing feelings and opinions, and retelling are incorporated throughout the read aloud videos.
Why a YouTube Platform

The YouTube platform allows the students to access the videos in non-school settings, which will enable them to practice English at their own pace and in more comfortable environments. The accessibility of YouTube will also encourage the students’ parents to learn English via the read-aloud videos.

Check out the *First Video* in the Series

Featuring *Anansi the Spider* by Gerald McDermott

Visit the Blog Post, *MaiStoryBook Learning English: Anansi the Spider* for additional resources.

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring blue manatee press

*~Switching up MaiStoryBook’s Indie features this week to highlight a solo independent children’s book publishing company ~*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* publishing companies, books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self-publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

Featuring *blue manatee press*

An independent children’s book publishing company that is passionate about connecting the goal of early literacy and brain development to imagination, empowerment, and a strong family connection. Founded by a pediatrician, this independent publishing company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, was created with the mission to create meaningful, enduring books that help bring grown-ups and children together.

**Why I’m excited about this publishing company and their work, and honored to share ~ just a few~ of their amazing books **

It’s vitally important for little one’s to be able to see and imagine themselves in storybooks. Too often, children’s books center on white protagonists, Eurocentric themes and norms, and gendered stereotypes. Children of color are often left out of children’s literature~ and thus I am always on the lookout and search for children’s illustrated books that welcome a diverse audience into their reading adventures. So when blue manatee press reached out to share their selections of published works, the themes of inclusivity and empowerment drew me in, captivated mai interest, and excited me to have found such a treasure trove of stories that created a culturally diverse world of reading. From papa princesses, to mama mechanics, farm-to-table movements, to family bands featuring musical instruments from all over the world, from leaping llamas spinning spelling riddles, to little ones discovering the desire to travel into the world of books~ all featuring a cast of characters of people of color~ check out a taste of blue manatee press’ reading adventures below!

My Papa is a Princess + My mama is a Mechanic by Doug Cenko

Flipping gender roles~ these two stories are a celebration of mothers and fathers and all of the roles they take one throughout a child’s life. With illustrations that weave and clasp the story together~ we get a glimpse through a child’s eyes at the wonder, admiration, and pure love they behold for their parents. A dazzling picture of mama as a treasure hunter, surrounded by troves of treasure chests in a mysterious dungeon, is juxtaposed with an image of mama and son digging through the couch uncovering hidden goodies amongst piles of cushions. A delightful illustration of papa as a trendy hairstylist giving his daughter a blowout in a fancy salon lays side by side a picture of papa meticulously braiding his beaming daughters hair. An ode to parents and the magic and love they bring into their children’s lives each day~ these books are perfect for sparking imagination and redefining the roles mama’s and papa’s play as they care for, create, and contribute to their little one’s lives.

Check here to find *My Papa is a Princess* for your own home library!

Check here to find *My Mama is a Mechanic* for your own home library!

*****

I Want to Be a Reader by Mark Powers, Illustrated by Maria Montag

*Learning to Read~* As a first grade teacher, teaching and inspiring little ones to read is mai main goal. But teaching kids to read has to be more than just recognizing vowel pairs, digraphs, blends, and sight words~ children need not just the *how to read*, but the *why read?* Beginning readers need to realize the wonders of the world of reading, the adventures within the folds of the pages, the excitement a string of letters and words can bring. How to introduce children to these wonders before they ebbing reading themselves? Through read alouds *of course,* and this little board book not only shares a reading adventure, but gives little ones an opportunity to envision themselves as learning to read. *I Want to Be a Reader* illustrates the hard work that it does take to read- but also the joy and empowerment derived through the process. Perfect pocket book for any beginning reader!

Check here to find *I Want to Be a Reader* for your own home library!

***

Lloyd Llama by Sarah Jones

*~Spelling~* Mai firsties love recognizing and learning new spelling patters. We’ve been learning about word families, and that if you can spell one small word, just add more letters, and you can spell all sorts of words~ Learning spelling and phonics patterns opens up realms of words for writing and reading, and the littles take pride in the lists of words they can write and read. Therefore, this cute, clever story~ a story of spelling and alliteration weaved into a tale of llamas, allies, and allspice cookies~ is sure to be on the top of mai read aloud list this upcoming week. Lloyd llama loves many things~ but mostly things that are spelled with double “L”~ he is *Ll*oyd *ll*ama after all. But then along comes Al Alpaca, who adores all things beginning with *A*. At first the two clash, with Lloyd liking lollipops and Al preferring apple pie. But one fateful day, they realize that they may *Actually* have more similarities than they think~ Alligator shoes and armadillo bands, allowance spending, and even allergies! Challenge your littles to find even more things the two allies have in common~ a great spelling exercise extension to the book!

Check here to find *Lloyd Llama* for your own home library!

***

Alphabet Family Band by Sarah Jones

*~ABCs, instruments, and family fun~* This unique alphabet book strings together a family band with every word starting with the successive letter of the alphabet. An alphabetic mini masterpiece, this book harmoniously combines two learning concepts~ letters and musical instruments form all over the world~ from *Auntie Bangs Congas, to Daddy Enjoys Flute*, it’s a mini board book banging with rhythm and bright with colorful illustrations of a family band in a warm island setting. I love any book that celebrates the arts~ and this little wonder featuring a multi-gerenational island family, is sure to become a funky family favorite!

Check here to find *Alphabet Family Band* for your own home library!

***

Allie’s Garden by Sabra Chubby, Illustrated by Marla Osborn

*~Healthy Eating~* A valuable, important concept for little ones to grow up with and embody. This delightful board book celebrates the farm-to-table movement, as it follows little Allie as she goes out to the garden to pick vegetables for a homemade meal. In the garden, she discovers a plethora of surprising critters~ and here is where the illustrations of this story bring the magic of nature to life! The illustrator combines mouthwatering photographs of real, fresh, juicy veggies with simple sketches. Aside from the little hand drawn girl, all other characters, critters, and the setting are artfully made from real veggies~ from a potato bunny, and cucumber snake, to a crow constructed from eggplant~ the garden comes to life to help Allie discover and create a fresh garden salad! Little ones will enjoy identifying the fresh vegetables, and may even be enticed to eat some of the delicious veggies during their own mealtimes.

Check here to find *Allie’s Garden* for your own home library!

***

Hope you are also as enthused by this indie publishing company as I am! One of mai new favorites to browse for indie selections and diverse treasures, check out blue manatee press for even more empowering and inspiring reading adventures! Comment below with any favorites, or other self-published/indie publishing companies/authors/illustrators to look out for!

*Check here for more info on the authors and illustrators featured in this post*

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out one of MaiStoryBook’s interactive read alouds about refugees, immigration, family, and keeping hope alive through dreams  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: The Good Egg + *The Good Egg Surprise* Craft

Introducing a story perfect for those who strive for and feel the pressure of perfection~ a gentle reminder to love yourself and others just they way they are~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Good Egg” Written by Jory John, Illustrated by Pete Oswald

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *The Good Egg* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

There once was a *goooood* egg~ not just any good egg~ a veeeeeeerrryyyyy good egg. Good Egg was so good, that not only did he do good deeds for everyone and anyone, he also tried to make everyone else around him *good* too. But that can be tough! Especially when there are 11 other *not-so-good* eggs in his carton…and when those 11 other *not-so-good* eggs don’t appreciate Good Egg’s efforts to help right their “wrongs”~ that can cause anyone to *crack* under pressure to be perfect and good. And for Good Egg~ that means literally cracking *he is an egg after all.* So when the doctor tells Good Egg he’s *cracking under pressure* and needs to take care of himself, Good Egg leaves his home in hopes of healing himself on the inside and the outside. Join Good Egg as he makes a discovery along the way that helps him return to his family and friends, ready to accept, love, and be loved in the best possible way.

All too often, little ones, *and big ones*, can feel a pressure to be perfect~ whether it’s to always be good, to always be the best, to do this, this and this, and *whatever you do* don’t mess up..! In a society that often demands competitiveness in order to succeed, the message comes across that nothing short of perfection will do. Is it self-care or laziness, an easily remedied mistake or an utter failure? With these ideas subconsciously ingrained in children today, it becomes vitally important that they hear this other message *instead*~ it’s ok to *not be perfect*, and in fact, no one is perfect; happiness lies in being happy with who we are, just they way we are meant to be~ accepting and caring for not only others, but also for ourselves. To love and care for others, you first have to love and take care of yourself. One way to get this message across~ through children’s books of course. And once you find a book that shares this special message, such as, *The Good Egg*, you read it. And you read it again. And again. And again. Until your little one begins to believe that *balance*, not perfection, is the goal, and that *loving yourself* is one of the most important loves of all.

Vocabulary

  • Dozen (p. 6) a group of 12
  • Exhausted (p. 11) super tired
  • Fateful (p. 12) when something has important, sometimes bad, consequences
  • Pressure (p. 13) a feeling you get when you really have to do something that you might not really want to do, or feel nervous to do
  • Literally (p. 14) when something happens exactly how you say it did

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • Love Yourself. Self-care is important. You have to be able to first love and care for yourself, before you can love and care for others.
  • Strive for balance, not perfection. You don’t have to be perfect, and no one expects you to. You are unique with all of your characteristics and personality traits. Be proud of who you are, just the way you are~ and learn to accept others for who they are as well.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The Good Egg” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Good Egg Surprise* Craft

*Self-care* ~ something so important, that, unfortunately, I’ve been no good at~ but have been intentionally practicing more of lately. Maybe it’s the guilt- the guilty feeling while I lounge in bed reading mai new library book~ that there is a whole checklist of items that need to get done, that while I tinker in the kitchen baking up a batch of muffins- or testing the chocolate chip cookie recipe for the umpteenth time- that I could be lesson planning, researching guided reading techniques, blogging, or prepping for a read aloud… all the things that the *perfect* me would definitely be doing- or better yet, already have done. I read an article recently about a new kind of stress for the younger generations. A feeling of always having to be *on*~ a stress that makes even menial day-to-day tasks hard to complete because there is *always something to be done* that the thought of having to do just one more thing can leave the brain feeling, as Good Egg puts it, *scrambled.* A new year’s resolution~ find balance. And so over winter break~ over weekends~ and over this President’s week break, I’ve given *mai*self permission to relax, and to *take care of me.* Taking a page from the *The Good Egg* , I take walks, I read books, I doodle, and play around with music, baking and cooking~ things that, no, I don’t *have to do * or *need to get done*, but things that * I want to do * that make me feel good and happy inside. And, I’ve found that, when I take the time to do these things~ I open up time to spend and share these feelings of happiness and love with mai family and friends around me. Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that it’s ok to love yourself~ practice self-care~* and if you and your little one ever need a reminder to *Love Yourself* this week’s craft *The Good Egg* Surprise has gotcha covered!

Materials

  • Card stock, brown or white
  • Large popsicle stick (jumbo size)
  • Markers, crayons
  • Tape/glue
  • Yellow Construction paper
  • scissors
  • Pipe cleaner (black or blue)
  • Hole puncher

Directions

  • On the yardstick paper, trace out the shape of an egg, with the length being a bit longer than the length of the popsicle stick.
  • Cut out the egg.
  • Draw the Good Egg face on your egg. Include the glasses and small smile. (If using white card stock, color it brown to match Good Egg)
  • Cut the egg in half using a zig zag pattern.
  • Cut out a small wavy piece of yellow construction paper, smaller in length and width than the egg shape.
  • Glue the bottom edge of the yellow paper to the back of the top-edge of the bottom half of the egg shell.
  • On the yellow paper facing out above the shell, write a *surprise* message to remind yourself to take care of yourself, love yourself, and to remind you that you are perfect just the way you are. I chose to write *Love Yourself*
  • Tape the bottom half of the popsicles tick to the back of the bottom-eggshell and yellow paper.
  • Cut out a small rectangle of white paper, smaller in width than the width of the top-half eggshell.
  • Tape or glue the edges of the white rectangle to the back of the top-half eggshell, so that the popsicle stick can slide through the tunnel made by the attached piece of paper.
  • Slide the top half of the egg shell onto the popsicle stick so that it covers the surprise yellow yolk message, and create a *whole* egg with the bottom half.
  • Use the hole puncher to punch two arm holes on the sides of the bottom-half egg shell, and two leg holes on the bottom of the bottom-half.
  • Cut the pipe cleaner into 4 equal parts. Using the holes, attach two pipe-cleaner arms and legs to the bottom-half egg shell by tying them into place.
  • Slide the top half of the egg up to reveal the *Self-care* surprise message!

Enjoy Your *Good Egg Surprise* Craft!

  • Whenever you feel like you are about to crack~ cack open your Good Egg Surprise, and slide up the top half to reveal the self-care message within~ *Love Yourself!*
  • Use your craft to remind you to spend time doing the things that bring you happiness, joy, and peace.
  • Use your craft as a reading buddy as you reread the story, sharing the surprise when Good Egg learns the importance of accepting himself and others just the way he and they are.
  • Share your Good Egg craft with family and friends to remind them of the importance of self-care and self-love, and use it to help you retell the story of Good Egg

*~Overall, have fun creating, sharing, and using  your  *Good Egg Surprise* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones indulge on the activities that being you happiness and joy!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Good Egg Surprise* Crafts, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent & Self-Published Features: Featuring Sam Webb and Sarah Rae Gilbert

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self-publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

Featuring this week’s animal adventure read alouds:

The Monkey and the Dragon by Sam Webb

Self-published by Sam Webb

A monkey and a dragon?? Not the first two animals that come to mind when you imagine pairs of animal friends. They may seem like an unlikely pair, but in this featured self-published story, they are the best of friends! An important lesson to teach little ones is to encourage them to embrace and celebrate differences amongst each other. Is it possible for two people, who are seemingly completely different, to get along and be friends? Well, if Monkey and Dragon have anything to say about it, they’ll show you that even two very different creatures can live together happily and have the best of times. Join Monkey and Dragon on an adventure of imagination and soaring skies, as they search the world for the perfect place to play~ gliding through starry skies and golden sunsets~ with Dragon flying Monkey through the air as they search and soon find a serene island for them to explore as friends.

What captured *Mai* eye with this read aloud were the wide spread of colorful pages. With pages of a slightly longer width than standard, covered in bold inks, landscapes of sky, sea, and sand envelop your imagination as you fly and frolic with Dragon and Monkey. Plus, the character sketches of Monkey and Dragon, with their large eyes and soft curves, create adorable characters that charm readers, eliciting that *fuzzy feeling* of cute-ness tickling the brain. Not only is this a wonderful read aloud for encouraging friendships across differences, it also encourages young readers to imagine exploring the world around them~ and all the beautiful, magical places wonders around them.

A bit more about the Author: Sam Webb

Sam Webb is an Australian author. Her passions have always been the ocean and the underwater creatures within it. Sam also collects seashells, and currently has a collection of thousands of shells. She has also always enjoyed writing and poetry, an interest instilled in her by her grandpa who would cheerfully recite poetry aloud. This book is Sam’s first self-published children’s book. She is also the author of *Ocean Whirled*, a novel about saving the ocean from a strange underwater alien race. To learn more, check out her website, www.samswebb.com, and follow her on Instagram: @samwebb_author.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

*****

Daisy the Rottie: The Tale of My Tail by Sarah Rae Gilbert

Redwood Publishing, LLC: a digital publishing site offering authors customized support to get published

The most loyal friends ’till the end~ *pets.* A guaranteed way to light up any sad face is a lick of adoration from a puppy ~ or the sight of an ecstatic dog bounding towards you in pure delight *because seeing you is the best thing that could happen for them the whole entire day. One day last year a first grader brought his puppy in for show-n-tell. After a quick chat over what behavior to expect when a puppy was in the classroom, I had never seen the class more calm, quiet, and consciously careful and concerned to make sure the puppy didn’t startle or was overstimulated. The responsibility they took upon themselves was remarkable, using gentle hands to pet and soft, urgent whispers to each other to hush and be gentle. Animals are known to help humans regulate emotions, and the automatic attraction and care little ones seem to have for pets make them the perfect hero/heroine to promote self-confidence and courage in any children’s book! The star of this week’s featured self-published read aloud~ *Daisy the Rottie,* the free-spirited, friendly Rottweiler who will take you on an adventure through the park, encouraging littles to follow their heart, and to love themselves ~*every single part!*

In this puppy tale, told in rhyme, the pictures illustrate a whole story apart from the words. The written message is simple and sweet~ love how and who you are, because everyone is unique in their own special way~ but the pictures add depth to the character, Daisy the Rottie. As the lyrical rhythm of the words keep the pace of the narrative, follow along with the pictures as Daisy’s personality and charming disposition show through in her interactions and play with puppy peers, children, and community around the park. Full spread pictures of lush green grass and friendly faces will capture the attention of young readers as they delight in the whimsical tone of this tale about Daisy learning to love her *tail.* Also, as a teacher~ I couldn’t help but notice this would be a great book for introducing or reinforcing homophones~ *tale vs. tail.* Grammar lesson + life lesson + adorable puppies ?? That equals a spot on *Mai* bookshelf for sure!


A bit more about the Author: Sarah Rae Gilbert

Sarah established her inseparable bond with Daisy, her Rottweiler, while she was studying for her BA at Chapman University. Sarah and Daisy enjoyed playing at beaches, relaxing at parks, traveling, and making friends. Sarah graduated in May 2015 and was brainstorming ways to combine Daisy’s inherent kindness and sweet disposition with her own creative passions and skills. After witnessing Daisy, while out for a walk one day, comfort a crying toddler with friendly lick, Sarah decided to create a series of illustrated children’s book inspired by her best and most loyal friend, Daisy the Rottie. To learn more about Sarah and Daisy, check out her website, www.daisytherottie.com, and follow her on Instagram: @imdaisytherottie.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

*****

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out one of *mai* favorite winter, animal adventure interactive read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*


MaiStoryBook Library: Dreamers + *Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft

Introducing a story about refugees, immigration, family, and keeping hope alive through dreams ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *Dreamers* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

This is a story about family~ about resilience, grit, and hope in the face of uncertainty and vulnerability. It is about home~ about finding a safe harbor of refuge and love in a new place that is foreign, daunting, and at times -unwelcoming-. *Dreamers* is a poetic, colorful portrait of migrantes~ refugees and immigrants who, although may be forced to leave behind everything they own in search of a better place to live, never leave their homeland empty handed. Instead of material possessions, they bear gifts of passion, strength, determination, and deep bonds of love that give them the courage to find and create a new home. This tale follows the journey of a mama and her young child as they leave their home, becoming caminantes, walking endless miles to reach a new place where the language is “different than that of our ancestors,” and the landscape and community are guarded and recluse. Solitary in this foreign land, it was an *unbelievable* place that finally allowed them to feel welcome to their new home: *~The public library~* a magical place where books allow anyone and everyone to embark on endless adventures, learn beyond their imaginations, and to find a place where they belong. *~And it is through books, that the little family finds their voice in this strange, new land~ and when you find your voice~ you can share your dreams with the world.

As Martin Luther King Jr. day approaches, we are reminded not only of the power of having *a dream*~ , but also of the power of having a voice to share it. MLK Jr. had a dream of a better world, and while there has been progress made since the times he lived in, our world today is still in need of more dreams~ more dreams to inspire the hope needed to fuel change for a better world~ where those seeking safety, and those determined to start a new life, who understand the value of passion, the necessity of sacrifice, and the urgency of labor to create a safe home for the ones they love, are welcomed with open arms across borders. Currently, in the United States, bias and hate have fueled a humanitarian crisis at our own borders. As I’ve mentioned previously, books are one of the best ways to help little ones process events and experiences that may be difficult for them to understand. One way to to discuss with your own littles what is happening at our own borders, and to help them understand the experiences of the migrantes, is to share with them this topical, bilingual story, *Dreamers.* It is a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, and to encourage us to use our voice to share our dreams for a better world.

Vocabulary

  • Resplendent (p. 2) impressive, beautiful, very colorful
  • Bundled (p. 3) tightly rolled up
  • Immigrants (p.6) people who leave their homeland to find a new place to love
  • Improbable (p. 14) unexpected
  • Resilience (p. 27) strength to keep on going and trying even when it’s hard and difficult

Themes/Main Ideas

  • The Power of Dreams: Dreams give us hope, and hope gives us the strength and courage to create change.
  • The Power of Voice: When you can read, write, and speak, you have the power to make your dreams and hopes heard. You have the power to make change.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Dreamers” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft

*~Dreams~* There are two types of dreams: dreams that you can have at night while sleeping~ your subconscious thoughts and hopes seeping through your mind as you shut your eyes and drift through sleep / or the dreams you harbor safely in your heart~ your conscious hopes and dreams for yourself, for your loved ones, for the future~* When you have a dream, you have something worth striving for, you have a spark within you work fighting for to keep ignited, you have the hope you need to fuel action and change. As we start this new calendar year, I will revisit *hopes and dreams* with mai first graders this first week back to school after winter break. We will discuss, think about, share, and write down our hopes and dreams for the year. This is an exercise I had them do at the beginning of the school year, so it’ll be interesting to see if their dreams have changed. It is important to be able to voice and acknowledge your dreams so that they can become something real and attainable. In this week’s craft, we will be creating a special dream weaver catcher to catch all of your dreams and remind you to continue to voice them, share them, and make them come true!

Materials

  • Paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Different color ribbons (approx. 2ft each)
  • Hole Puncher
  • 3 leaves or feathers
  • Tape

Directions

  • Cut out the middle of the plate so that you are left with the rim intact. (Tip: To cut out the middle without cutting through the rim, poke a hole in the middle and stick one blade of the scissors through the hole. Start cutting from the middle)
  • Use the hole puncher to make holes around the rim (I make at least 8 holes)
  • Start with one color string and begin weaving it though the holes. After weaving it through the first hole, tape the end to the back of the plate so that it doesn’t unravel. ** While weaving your strings, think about to whisper your dreams so that they are captured and woven into your dream weaver catcher.
  • Choose a “bottom” of your dream weaver catcher and weave the string through a bottom hole, letting the excess hang down. If there is no excess, tape a longer piece to the bottom.
  • Repeat with different color string, making sure to leave at least 3 excess strings hanging down form the bottom.
  • Tape your leaves or feathers to the bottom of the excess strings (You can find leaves by going on a nature walk)
  • Use markers to decorate the plate rim of your dream catcher weaver.
  • Weave a shorter strong though two holes at the top and tape the ends to the plate to create a handle to hang your dream weaver catcher from.
  • Hang it above where you sleep~ or where you can see it daily to remind you of your dreams.

Enjoy your *Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft and Activity

  • Share your dream weaver catcher with family and friends and tell them about your dreams.
  • Hang your dream weaver catcher above where you sleep so your nighttime dreams can be woven into your dream weaver catcher.
  • Whisper new daytime dreams to your dream weaver catcher to weave them into the ribbons.
  • Use your dream weaver catcher to remind you of your dreams and to give you the hope and passion to make your dreams come true!
  • Use the dream weave catcher as a reading buddy as you re-read *Dreamers* and think about the dreams of the *migrantes*

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones begin your own discussions about current events!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Independent & Self-Published Features: Featuring Vincent Chen + J. R. Becker

*~ It’s been awhile Mai friends, but I’m excited to kick off the year blogging and sharing our indie/self-published authors to celebrate the work they’ve been creating!~*

*Highlighting up and coming illustrators and authors from independent publishing houses and self-publishers*

Please reach out to MaiStoryBook through Instagram, FB, or by commenting on my blog, and *share or tag* books, authors, or illustrators who would fit into this category of independent/self-publishing! I’m excited for the wonders we will find!

Now without further ado~

Featuring this week’s perfect read alouds for kicking off a year of inquiry, curiosity, and STEM exploration:

99 Bitcoins and an Elephant by Vincent Chen

Self-published by Vincent Chen

As a first grade teacher, I contemplate how to balance the use of technology in the classroom. Technology has many helpful benefits within the room, helping to provide differentiated instruction and innovative learning opportunities, but I also believe in limited screen time for the littles and in peer interaction/ “old-school” pencil and paper + handwritten charts. However, today’s firsties live in a world saturated with technology, and learning to navigate this tech will be vital as they grow up. Furthermore, as an advocate of STEM, I want to give mai students all the tools and opportunities to stimulate their budding engineering minds. If you are looking to challenge them to imagine~ what will the future with technology look like~ *99 Bitcoins and an Elephant* is a perfect read aloud to get their minds revving with ideas!


In this self-published read aloud, flash forward to the future: where augmented reality glasses are worn daily to play games, watch cartoons, and access your digital wallet where money is exchanged by voice command using a new currency~ bitcoins. Meet Lisa, a young girl in this futuristic world. One day, after a quick stop at a quirky repair shop, Lisa’s glasses begin acting a little strange. Later that afternoon, at the MegaMart, Lisa realizes 2 things: her glasses have suddenly bestowed her with 99 bitcoins *aka she’s rich!* and… she’s Lost! *mom has disappeared from sight!* Join Lisa as she shares her good fortune with others, embarking on a generous shopping spree to help those around her, and enlisting a digital dancing elephant to cheer her and join her along the way. Will Lisa reunite with her mom before the MegaMArt closes? Throughout this adventure, young readers will delve into this futuristic world of technology~ proving to them the endless possibilities of technology mixed with *imagination* to create something amazing!

A bit more about the Author: Vincent Chen

Vincent Chen is a father to two young children and former kindergarten teacher. Currently, he works for a company that is adopting cutting-edge technologies. Vincent explores how parents today deal with raising young children in a world increasingly flooded with technology. His goal is to introduce young children to topics of augmented reality and artificial intelligence through children’s books. To learn more, check out his site: www.vinnytales.com, and follow him on Instagram: @vinsightful.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

*****

Annabelle and Aiden: What Happens When We Die? by J. R. Becker, Illustrated by Max Rambaldi

Published by Imaginarium Press: publishing pro-science children’s book series  dedicated to inspiring a new generation of scientists, thinkers, and all-around adventurers

As a first-year-teacher, one of *mai* goals of the year is to implement inquiry-based learning~ to prompt the firsties’ curiosity and encourage them to ask their own questions to align their learning with their interests. Throughout the year, we post questions on our *Wonder Wall* around a particular theme we are studying. Other times~ during our community morning meeting, I give them the opportunity to share any wondering they may have about any topic of interest. As I listen to their inquiries, I marvel at the channels their brains navigate and wander through as they share their most sincere curiosities and wonderings about the world around them~ From *Can plants talk and have feelings?* to *Is it possible for one guy to eat all the bananas in the world?* But a question that seems to bubble up across all generations, no matter what age or grade level you may be in~ is *What happens when we die?* The thought-provoking questions of what happens to me after this life-time, am I gone forever~ or is there more~ is there a *next?* And this is where children’s books once again become the bearer of answers~ the perfect avenue to engage and discuss with children their curiosities about the world around them. In this week’s featured story, Annabelle and Aiden return in this life-affirming tale to answer the question *What happens when we die?*

You may remember Annabelle and Aiden from a previous MaiStoryBook Indie Post featuring **Annabelle and Aiden: Worlds Within Us.** In this children’s book~ the duo return once again to share a story grounded in science and philosophy. This read aloud explores the smallest unit of matter composing our human bodies~ the atoms that make us up, and how our atoms rejoin the universe so that a part of us is forever woven into the fabric of the world around us. The energy that is *our life* stays in the world forever, once again melding into the universe providing energy in a new form. As for the memories and personalities that made us unique and individual~ that part of us stays alive through stories passed down by our loved ones. Sound complicated, perhaps beyond the grasp of a little one? Here is where the talents of author J. R. Becker and illustrator Max Rambaldi shine through~ their ability to take a complex concept, and break it down into simple rhyme, creating a narrative of rhythm combined with layers of mixed media illustrations and images that allow young minds to understand and wonder about the ideas presented to them. This is a read aloud that answers *the big questions*, prompts inquiry learning, and inspires us to appreciate the incredible gift of life we are given each day. 

A bit more about the Author: J. R. Becker

You may recognize the author as he was previously featured for his book *Annabelle and Aiden: Worlds Within Us.* J. R. Becker lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children, Annabelle and Aiden. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law.  When he’s not practicing entertainment law, J. R. enjoys playing drums, exploring the great outdoors, and reading and listening to all of the science and philosophy books and podcasts he possibly can. J. R. is constantly pondering the bigger questions and dreaming up ideas for future children stories. After publishing his first  novel The Spider & the Ant, Joseph was inspired to found the Annabelle & Aiden series to foster curiosity and scientific awareness in the next generation. To learn more, follow the series on Instagram: @annabelleandaiden , and check out their website: www.annabelleandaiden.com.

A bit more about the Illustrator: Max Rambaldi

One of my favorite indie illustrators~ Max Rambaldi has been featured several times on MaiStoryBook- illustrating *I Didn’t Ask to Be Creative* , and *Annabelle and Aiden: Worlds Within Us*. Max lives just outside Venice, Italy. She creates both physical and digital art, and dabbles in multiple styles of drawing and artwork. Max’s passions, other than art, include cats, Game of Thrones, and Linsey Stirling. Learn more about Max by checking out her site: www.maxrambaldi.com, and follow her on Instagram @maxrambaldi.

Check here to find this book for your own home library!

*****

*~Support these independent/self-published authors and illustrators and check out what they’ve been writing and creating.  Please share any books, authors, or illustrators that fit into this category by tagging me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary,  posting on MaiStoryBook’s FaceBook page, or commenting on the blog below! I’m always looking for new treasures to read, support, and share with all of you!~*

*Plus, checkout out a *growth mindset* interactive  read aloud of one of my current inspiring read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Perfectly Norman + *Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft

Introducing an inspirational read aloud to kick off the new year ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Perfectly Norman” by Tom Percival

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *Perfectly Norman* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review 

Norman is *perfectly normal*~ that is, until one day he grows a pair of *wings!* ~which is definitely not normal. With his brand new wings, Norman leaps to the skies and has the Best Time Ever, soaring through the air and flying with the birds. Until…*Dinner Time!* call his parents, and worry begins to creep in. His parents are so used to him being normal, what will they think of his new wings??? Better to cover them up and keep hidden under his thick coat than risk being NOT normal… But living life covering up an important part of who you are ends up being pretty miserable~and Norman begins to hate having his wings. Join Norman as he discovers maybe it’s not his wings that are causing him misery, but having to hide who he is from the world. Can Norman find the courage to be his true self?

This is a beautiful read aloud to inspire self confidence and pride in yourself for being just the way you are. It is a cautionary tale of how hiding a part of who you truly are from the world can make you timid, settling for mundane rather than joyful bliss. Norman’s coat that he wears to hide his wings is the perfect metaphor for little ones to understand the problem of covering up a part of themselves from those around them, and the bright wings that he tucks away *and then eventually unfurl in a burst of colorful feathers* strike the perfect image of the beauty of uniqueness that each of us have within us and that should be shared with the world. This is a book to challenge you to *dare to be different*~ and to help you realize that those who are truly family and friends will love you for who you are, exactly the way you were meant to be.

Vocabulary

  • Swooping (p. 7) flying through the air
  • Odd (p. 11) strange, weird
  • Unbearable (p. 15) can’t stand it, don’t want to do it anymore
  • Miserable (p. 21) sad, feeling terrible
  • Hesitantly (p. 23) slowly and unsure

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • Have the courage to show your true self to the world. Dare to be different and celebrate yourself for being just the way you were meant to be!
  • You can find the most joy and fulfillment in life when you stay true to who you are. You will build and find strong relationships with friends and family who love you for being you!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Perfectly Norman” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft

*~New Year’s 2019~* Many people make a New Year’s Resolution at the start of a new year~ a sort of promise to themselves of what they can do to either improve their own lives or to help those around them~ with the ultimate goal of reaching that state of fulfillment, contentment, and happiness. A recurrent resolution of mine is to *live in the present*~ to truly live in the moment, to stop constantly planning the future or ruminating on the past, and to instead enjoy and pay full attention to what is happening right around me. This past year has revolved around meticulous planning and thinking ahead, and as a first-year teacher *and with creating content for MaiStoryBook* the planning comes with the territory and is definitely necessary. But I believe a balance can be achieved, a balance where I can make the day-to-day minutes and moments of life that so easily just slip by moments to cherish and value. As this new year brings the second half of *mai* first year of teaching, and continues the growth and adventure of MaiStoryBook, the necessity for reflecting back and planning forward will continue, but learning to trust that there is time for everything to get done and still have time to enjoy the moment and be with the ones I love is mai goal for the year! For my littles, my wishes for them are to keep the self-confidence and self-assurance that I see radiating from them everyday~ their unique personalities shine as they are not yet inhibited by *peer pressure* or too aware of *social norms and expectations.* As we start off the new year in January, I want to encourage them to be like Norman~ to be confident to share their own wings with the world~ and trust that there will always be those who love them for being just the way they were meant to be. So, looking for a perfect craft to share this inspiring message for your own littles? MaiStoryBook has got you covered with this week’s *Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft!

Materials

  • Large piece of flat cardboard
  • Scissors/box cutter
  • Ribbon or String
  • Hole Puncher (optional)
  • Decorations: Puffy paint, markers, pompom balls, glitter glue, glitter, sequins, crayons, etc.

Directions

  • On the large, flat piece of cardboard, trace the shape of wings. Cut them out with the scissors or box cutter.
  • On a clear space, I suggest laying out newspaper for easy cleanup and to prevent mess, begin decorating the wings. Encourage you little to decorate with whatever and however they want. These wings are to show their true personalities~ they represent the beauty of their uniqueness~ go wild with them!
  • Use markers to make patters, puffy paint to accentuate, and glitter to add sparkle and pizzazz!
  • When done, let the wings dry if using paint or glitter glue.
  • When dry, use the hole puncher, or carefully use scissors, to make two holes at the top of the wings, as far apart as about the shoulder-width of your little one.
  • Cut a piece of string to tie between the two holes to create a loop to wear the wings. Make sure the opening is large enough to fit over your little’s head so the wings can drape behind them *sort of like cape-style.*

Enjoy Your *Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft!

  • Wear your wings to remind you and give you the confidence to dare to be different and celebrate who you are!
  • Wear your wings to help you share with family and friends the important message to be true to yourself.
  • Use the wings to help you retell the story *Perfectly Norman*
  • Wear your wings around the neighborhood and see how others appreciate your creativity and unique wing style!

*~Overall, have fun creating, sharing, and wearing  your  *Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones have a wonderful New Year’s!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Crafts, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Carmela Full of Wishes + *Paper Birthday Bracelets* Craft

Introducing a newly-released, heart-warming read aloud by the award-winning duo ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Carmela Full of Wishes” by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *Carmela Full of Wishes* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

It is Carmela’s birthday! And everyone knows on your birthday~ you get a special *birthday wish.* But for Carmela, her special wish has already come true! Today is the day she is finally old enough to join her brother for excursions into town. With a *jingle-jangle* of her birthday bracelets, Carmela  trails behind her brother, soaking in the colorful community around her~ from the blossoming blooms at the flower market to the sweet treats at the panaderia, from the swirling whirl of the laundromat machines to the rainbow of vegetables perched on market stands. Her birthday is already the best she could ever imagine to be. So when she stumbles upon a dandelion, and learns of its wish-granting powers, she wonders  what more she could possibly we want. As she contemplates the possibilities and searches for the perfect wish, we join her as she continues her journey through town and get a glimpse into her family and the vibrant community she belongs to.

Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson return as a powerful duo to bring us this new children’s book  resonating with themes of family, gratitude, community, and the bond between siblings. Matt de la Pena weaves a story of finding hope and believing in dreams ~ all through the eyes of a little girl on a simple outing through her neighborhood. Christian Robinson’s crafted illustrations bring Carmela to life, with her strong and stubborn stance and her feelings of delight at the world around her. Its a sweet, but simple story, abundant with feelings of love.

Vocabulary

  • bodega (p. 17) a small grocery store
  • thrummed (p. 20) made a musical sound
  • scurrying (p. 21) moving with really small footsteps
  • abandoned  (p. 26) empty or left behind
  • spores (p. 29) tiny little flowers  that flutter off from the dandelion

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • Family takes care of you when you need them most
  • Always keep wishing and dreaming~ there’s bravery in dreaming and wishes keep hope alive.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Carmela Full of Wishes” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Paper Bracelet* Craft

Dandelions~ those wondrous flowers that look like puff balls of fairy dust, delicate white spores tipped with white lace~ ready to take flight at the slightest whisper of a breath. I can remember strolls through neighborhood and days at the park~ eyes sweeping back and forth along the grassy mounds, scanning the fields of green for those bobbing white circles, eagerly searching for *mai* next wish. The perfectly round ones were the best of course~ that meant your wish was more likely to come true~when every spore was in tact that meant all the more power and hope cast into the air to help your wish come true. The simple pleasures and power of dreams and hope that a small white flower can bring is magic all in itself. For Carmela, armed with her birthday bracelets, birthday magic, and a perfect dandelion in her grasp, she has all the necessities for a truly magical birthday. This afternoon, take your own stroll through the neighborhood on a dandelion search~ but before you go, check out MaiStoryBook’s craft to make your own Paper Birthday Bracelets~ to *jingle and jangle* along with you as you search for the little blossom of magic sprouting between the sidewalk cracks.

Materials

(for 1 bracelet)

  • double sided square piece of paper (6″ x 6″) – different colors on both sides
    • or 2 pieces of 6″ x 6″ paper taped together to make 1 double sided piece
  • tape

Directions

  • Fold the square paper in half to make a triangle – do not fold edge to edge *LEAVE a small edge of color so you can see both colors* – see example photo.

  • Flip the triangle over so you only see the side with 1 color.
  • Then, starting at the bottom base of the triangle, fold up the edge about 1.5 cm. You should see two stripes of the opposite color on the ends.

  • Continue folding the edge up, 1.5 cm at a time.
  • Fold until you reach the end tip. Use the tape to tape the end down so it doesn’t unravel.

  • Fold the edges to make a bracelet. The ends can tuck into each other, but use tape to connect them and keep it from separating apart.
  • Slide the bracelet onto your wrist.
  • Repeat to make even more bracelets!

Enjoy your *Paper Birthday Bracelets*

  • Wear your bracelets out on your own community walk through the neighborhood and search for dandelions.
  • Wear the bracelets to remind you of chasing dreams and the power of hope.
  • Wear the bracelets and use them to help you retell the story to a family or friend.

*~Overall, have fun creating, sharing, and wearing  your  *Paper Birthday Bracelets* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones have a happy holiday!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Paper Birthday Bracelets* Crafts, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Red – A Crayon’s Story + *Create Your Own Label* Crayon Craft

Introducing a back-to-school read about being true to who you are on the inside~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Red: A Crayon’s Story” by Michael Hall

Book Synopsis and Review

This is a story of a crayon: Red – who was labeled red on the *outside*, but was completely different on the *inside.* However, because of his label, everyone expected Red to be *red*~ to do *red* things, like draw *red* strawberries and fire trucks, and mix with his friend Yellow to make an *Orange.* But when each of his drawings come out *blue*~ and his orange turns out to be not so orange, but *green* ~ the other crayons frown upon him, ignoring the fact that maybe on the inside, he’s not what his label says he is. *He’s not pressing hard enough~ he’s lazy~ he’ll get it one day…* It takes one special request from a special crayon friend who can see who Red truly is, to help Red realize for himself who he is on the inside. Red will realize, nothing’s *wrong* with him, he’s not *broken* inside like the other crayons may lead him to believe, but rather, he is exactly who he is supposed to be, and so much more than his label.

Another perfect back-to-school read~ with the pressures of peer-pressure upon returning to school, this story encourages little ones to ignore false labels and to stay true to who they are on the inside. Classmates may not see who you truly are, and can give you a label that doesn’t fit. Red and his story helps guide little ones to understand that they are more than their labels, and that it is important to stay true to who they are on the inside. Small snippets of wisdom are weaved throughout this story, from mini lessons on color mixing and color names, to expectations and even false accusations, this is a book that can be read on many different levels varying on your audience. It is a simple, entertaining read *with quirky comments from different crayon colors*~ with a meaningful message for all.

Vocabulary

  • Olive (p. 3) a grayish-green color
  • Scarf (p. 13) a long piece of cloth or fabric that you wear around your neck
  • Factory (p. 16) a building where things are made
  • Brilliant (p. 34) very talented and smart
  • Intense (p. 35) strong feelings and emotions

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • Be true to who you are on the inside~ Don’t let others label you and decide who you are and how you should act
  • Look beyond labels and get to know people for who they truly are ~ Don’t judge someone based on their labels~ take the time to get to know them

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Red: A Crayon’s Story” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Create Your Own Label* Crayon Craft

As a new teacher, one of my goals this year is to create a classroom environment and community where all students fell safe, and encouraged, to be their true selves. I want students to be eager to get to know each other *all of each other*~ to truly get to know one another and find out who they are on the inside.  One way to start building classroom community: Starting the days with a *Morning Meeting.* A Morning Meeting is a time for students to greet each other, share personal news with each other, participate in a community building activity, and then preview together our day ahead. Students shouldn’t have to worry about being labeled *unless it’s a label they want* ~ each child is a multi-faceted being on the *inside* it would be impossible to have just one label. But~ if you were to choose one thing about who you truly are *on the inside* that you really want people to know, this craft gives you the chance to do just that~ to create your own label to share with others. Choose one word that shares a little about your inner self with others~ Don’t let others label you~ create your own!

Materials

Directions

  • Download the Crayon Label Template Here
  • Use the crayons to color the label
  • Choose one word that describes who you are on the inside to create your very own *label*~ and write it on the line on the crayon label
  • Cut out the label

  • Wrap it around the toilet paper roll and glue/tape it on.
  • Using the brown construction paper, cut out a small circle for your head, and 4 long strips for arms and legs.
  • Cut out your hair from the other paper color.

  • Tape/glue the hair to the back of the head.
  • Draw the face.
  • Tape/Glue the head, arms, and legs to the toilet paper roll.

Enjoy Your *Create Your Own Labels* Crayon Craft

  • Share your Crayon Label Craft with family and friends to share your label that tells them about who you are on the inside
  • Use your craft as a reading buddy while you reread the story
  • Make a crayon craft with friends and have a playdate with your crayon crafts~ acting out pretend scenarios of acknowledging each others labels and getting to know each other for who you are on the inside
  • Keep you crayon craft in your room to remind you to stay to true to yourself, and to not let other people’s labels define you

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Create Your Own Label* Crayon Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones have a great First Day of School!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Create Your Own Label* Crayon Craft, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*