Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Katherine Varga & Dr. Rebekah Hartfield

*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 amazing *animal* and *artist* adventures:

Woofy Woo Woo and the Grand Exhibition by Louise Elisabeth Robertson, Illustrated by Katherine Varga

Published by Dog Ear Publishing: self-publishing platform providing a responsive team of editors, book designers, layout technicians and book marketers

As a strong proponent of the arts, and as an artist myself, I firmly believe that everyone can be an artist~ anyone can create ~ all it takes is imagination and heart. And that is exactly what Woofy Woo Woo the Artist Dog embodies. When the opportunity arises that he may have even the slimmest chance to display his own paw print artwork in a gallery, Woofy seizes the opportunity, stealthily slipping his own art print into the gallery selection. Woofy believes in his own artwork and in its value to be displayed in a gallery. His passion for art and creating are apparent, and encourages young artists everywhere to believe in their own artistic abilities and to create something they are proud of.

Art is another mode of communication~ a way to share your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs nonverbally, through visual representation. As the artist, not only do your intentions shine through the artwork, but also audiences can project their own beliefs onto the image.  The illustrations in this book aide in the telling of the story, allowing readers to follow along with the plot, and helping them to envision the various scenes throughout the story. Additionally, I enjoyed reading and *viewing* the story through the dog’s lenses and perspective, thus allowing me to be relate to the canine character.

A bit more about the Illustrator: Katherine Varga

Katherine, known as Rin, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art specializing in illustration. Rin has interned on the design of two books for production, and uses her technical skills to help develop books for print. She now works as a freelance illustrator and finds inspiration for Woofy from her own dog, Tessie. This is her first book as an illustrator. Find out more about Woofy on Instagram: @talesilove  and the site, www.talesilove.com 

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

****

Rosie the Pig by Dr. Rebekah Hartfield

Published by Workman by Design: focused on designing brands and experiences that emotionally engage and connect with clients/consumers through conceptual design

Any animal lovers or aspiring vets out there?? This book is the perfect intro to inspire a love and care for animals, and to get a behind-the-scenes first glance as to what a vet can actually do~ from taking a sneak peak at the tools in a vet bag, to administering an exam, to even giving treatment to cure a young pig. Join Abby and her dog Trooper as they learn how to care for their animal friends. In this mini pink book, Rosie the pig isn’t feeling to well, and its up too Abby and Trooper to call for help, as well as administer pre-exams to inform the vet of Rosie’s ailment.  Will Abby and Trooper be able to treat their special friend?

Not only is this book encased in a delightful hot pink cover, but the full-spread illustrations with their simple, and bold images work to create a a charming, educational, and informative read.  The book is also *interactive*, and thus is bound to encourage conversation and even some problem solving. Comprehension assessments are scattered throughout the book, including a mini assessment on being able to identify different vet tools, and  a mini *exam*  assessment included at the end of the story. This book is perfect for teachers looking for a read aloud book with a *built-in* lesson plan, and for introducing a veterinarian career to little ones with a love for animals.

A bit more about the Author: Dr. Rebekah Hartfield

Dr. Hartfield has been around animals her whole life. When she was younger, she was homeschooled so that she could spend more time riding and showing horses in her hometown of Bridgeport, Texas. At 19, she went to work for a dude ranch in Colorado, and spent summer there caring for horses and the ranch. After that experience, she decided to pursue an associate’s degree in equine science and a veterinary assistant’s degree.  Her husband encouraged her to pursue her veterinary degree. Dr. Hartfield currently works fora mixed animal practice in Cushing, Oklahoma.  Learn more about her work and her book at: www.doctorhartfield.com, and follow her on Instagram: @dr.hartfield.

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 my favorite interactive read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: The Word Collector + *My Word Collection* Activity and Sentence Scrambler

Introducing the powerful book of words featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Word Collector” by Peter H. Reynolds

Book Synopsis and Review

Meet Jerome, a little boy with the biggest love for words~ a love so big that he’ll have to share it with the world, because no gift is more meaningful ~ or  powerful, than the gift of words. Big words, little words, -words you see, and words you hear – simple and sweet words, two-syllable words – there’s a seemingly infinite list of words Jerome could add to his word collection. Every word Jerome finds fits snuggly into his sorted books of words ~ his fascination with words depicted by the towers of books filled with his collections. One day while carrying his collection, Jerome trips and send his words scattering across the pavement, mixing together in colorful, creative combinations. The jumbled mixtures inspire Jerome to string together his words into poems and songs that work to uplift and delight listeners. And one breezy day, this little boy will bestow upon the children of the land, one of the grandest gifts of all~

Sure to inspire any budding reader with a fascination for words and a curiosity for knowledge, *The Word Collector* is a moving story about the power of words to help us communicate~ to share what we feel and think ~ and to help us form relationships and connections with those we love and cherish. With colorful artwork setting a tone of delight and glee over the wonderful words revealed in this book, *The Word Collector* is the perfect book to jumpstart concepts of print knowledge ~ and makes a lovely addition to any *book collection.*

Vocabulary List

  • Collect (p. 1) to gather together things that are usually alike or similar in some way
  • Marvelous (p. 9) wonderful or extraordinary
  • Transporting (p. 12) to carry something from one place to another
  • Jumbled (p. 15) all mixed up and messy
  • Scurrying (p. 30) running around

Themes/Main ideas

  • Words are Powerful: Words can communicate emotions, passions, and ideas that can help change the world around you.
  • Words give you a voice: Words allow you to share your thoughts and imaginings with the world.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The Word Collector” – 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!

*My Word Collection* Activity + Sentence Scrambler

This week’s featured read aloud is all about some of my favorite things in the world, *words.*  As an elementary teacher-to-be- in training, the main focus in my language arts methods courses has been on teaching students to read. And if we could  just take a minute and think about how amazing it is to be able to read, to with a split second glance be able to decode a string of symbols and give it meaning. For little ones just learning to read, one of the beginning concepts they need to grasp is print knowledge, becoming aware of words, and differentiating between what s a word, a letter, and a sentence. Children need to be taught that there is a relationship between words you say and written words on the paper. And one of the best ways to teach children print knowledge and to recognize words, is to read aloud to them, to solidify that awareness that print on the page has meaning and can tell a story. One way to increase awareness of words, is for your little one to start their very own *Word Collection*. Plus, play a super simple sentence scrambler game to string words together into sentences. Prepare for an afternoon fluttering words and collections of treasures!

Materials

  • 3 sheets of white paper
  • 1 sheet of blue paper (or any color you choose)
  • ribbon
  • glue/glitter glue
  • hole puncher
  • markers, colored pencils , crayons,
  • stickers (optional)

Directions for Sentence Scrambler

  • Help your child, if needed, to write a clear sentence or question.
  • Then, cut up the sentence into its individual words.

  • Like in the story, gather up the words in your hands and give them a gentle blow so that they go scattering onto the ground.
  • Pick them all up with your little one, and, now that they are all *jumbled,* sort the words back into sentences.
  • Use new sentences as kids improve with the old ones.

Directions for *My Word Collection*

  • Cut colored paper and white sheets of paper in half.
  • Place the white half sheets in between the blue sheets, so that the blue sheets are like book covers.
  • Hole punch the papers on the side.
  • Decorate the cover of your booklet. Write *My Word Collection* on the front and have your little one trace it or help them write it.

  • Use glitter glue, stickers, markers, etc. to decorate the cover.
  • On the white sheets inside, label the pages *Words I see*, *Words I hear*, *Words I read*, and any other categories for additional pages.

  • Use the ribbon to lace the book together. Slide the ribbon through the holes and tie in a bow.

Enjoy your *My Word Collection* and Sentence Scrambler

  • Use the sentence scrambler as a fun way to practice print awareness and word recognition.
  • Carry along your word collection book and encourage your little one to look at words on outings, while reading, and to listen closely to people speaking for any interesting words they want to collect. This also encourages word recognition and print awareness in their everyday surroundings.
  • Sort words into your word collection booklet. Share the booklet with family and friends.
  • Use the words in the booklet to make new sentences for the sentence scrambler.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *My Word Collection* and Sentence Scrambler activity, and I hope you and your little one discover a treasure trove of wonderful words! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Word Collections* 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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Kimberly Wyman and Matthew Martin

*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~

This week’s  *lovely* featured books:

Grow Love by Kimberly Wyman

Published by MiKaa Creative: Self-published. There is always a project going on!

This Valentine’s Day *Grow Love* by sharing your love with others and by ~giving it away~Because, as our arctic friends in this *lovely* story remind us, love is *Magical*~ when you give it away, it doesn’t deplete ~ instead, it multiples and grows stronger, spreading its wings and making its way back to you day after day.  Join these adorable winter critters in *Grow Love*, as they discover and share how love comes in all shapes and sizes~it is found across all languages and across all continents and seas ~ love embraces differences and similarities.  In this snowy wonderland, explore the limitless expanse of love as you frolic with the narwhals, romp with the reindeer, and prance playfully with the penguins. It’s the greatest *love affair.*

This book is sure to capture your hearts, with its cool wintery color landscape, and delightful depiction of arctic animals. Plus, the book is scattered with interactive pockets to help you *grow* your own love ~ from recipes for delicious shortbread cookies you could bake for a loved one, to a DIY list at the back of the book, of activities to plant the seeds of *love.* The book also includes an educational aspect, encouraging little ones to research arctic animals and explore the arctic tundra biome. A definite must-have for your own home library for any day of the year~ all days of the year are days for love!

A bit more about the Author: Kimberly Wyman

Kimberly Wyman is the founder of ADOPT MORE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects global families through international adoption with their birth cultures. Kimberly is passionate about helping families raise healthy and happy global citizens. She loves her family, adoption, thoughtful designs, open spaces, creating almost anything, and homemade whipped cream. She is the author of  “You are my baby. I am your mommy,” and her new release “Grow LOVE.” As an indie author/illustrator of picture books, she aims to string words and pictures together for families built by love, not necessarily biology. To learn more, check out Kimberly on her website, www.kimberlywyman.com, and on Instagram: @xokimberlywyman.

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

*****

Keeping Sheep by Matthew Martin

Published by finicky studios: A multi-media publishing company founded by siblings Matthew Martin and Amy (Martin) Lawler

Settle down to enjoy this clever, colorful tale of unconditional love, as you join a sheep on his journey through the fields to discover the meaning of truly being loved. To love someone truly, means to love them even when they make mistakes. After all, we all make mistakes~ but from mistakes we grow wiser and more understanding. In this tale of *love,* even after doubting his friend the shepherd, the sheep finds that the shepherd would still do anything to protect him ~ for he loves him unconditionally, and that is the strongest love of all. Although this story does allude to Psalm 23 from the Bible, the text and illustrations themselves make no reference to religious aspects, making this a universal story of understanding, patience, acceptance, and love.

The rhyming, lilting cadence of the text, paired with the bold, colorful, and unique illustrations create a thrilling and attention-grabbing read aloud adventure. Your little one’s eyes will immediately be drawn to the bright art on the pages, and their ears will perk upon hearing the rhythm of the story and its bouncy rhyme scheme. Plus, this universal theme of unconditional love serves to reassure little ones that it’s okay to make mistakes ~ they are still deserving of love and will always be loved by you. Remind them that they are your little sheep, and you will always be their shepherd~ to love and protect them, and to help lead the way.

A bit more about the Author: Matthew Martin

Matthew is the co-founder and Creative Director of Finicky Studios. He founded the company with his younger sister Amy, who is the Print Designer. Writing and rhyming have always come naturally to Matthew, and once he learned how to draw and animate, his talents progressed into his passion for writing, illustrating, and creating.  Matthew also has a talent for Tetris, and plays Tetris as a creative break. Some of his idols: Dr. Seuss, Walt Disney, Tim Burton, Shel Silverstein, just to name a few. To learn more bout Matthew check out his site: www. finickystudios.com, and find him on Instagram: @finickystudios.

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 my favorite interactive read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Guess How Much I Love You + *To the Moon* Love Craft

Introducing  the book I love *to the moon and back*, featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Book Synopsis and Review

Hop into the world of Little NutBrown Hare and Big NutBrown Hare and their universe of love. It’s time for bed, and Little NutBrown Hare has one final game to play before sleep. *Guess How Much I Love You?* This sweet little bunny schemes up all the ways possible to prove to Big NutBrownHare that he loves him most. But every idea he comes up with, from stretching his arms the widest they can go, to standing and reaching as high as he can, are thwarted by Big NutBrown Hare’s grown-up size~ Big NutBrown Hare’s arms will always be wider, and he can always reach higher. They both love each other just as much. Finally, Little NutBrown Hare declares that he loves his dad all the way to the moon~ and as the little one closes his eyes and drifts to dreamland, Big NutBrown Hare whispers in his ear his ultimate measurement of love.

Through this story, you’ll learn fun ways to measure love. Some ways are to use your body, such as how wide you can stretch your arms, or how high you can reach. Therefore, it’s a perfect interactive read aloud that will get your little ones moving as well. Have them stretch their arms and reach up high along with the story. This story is also great to practice comparisons. Stretch your own arms and raise your hands with your little one to compare, who has the widest arms, or who has the tallest! The real life application will reinforce the child’s comprehension about the story, and they’ll enjoy the mini competition of who can show the most love. Overall, it’s the perfect book to set the mood for Valentines Day, and to encourage your little one to share with their loved ones just how much they love them. It’s a read aloud that will leave you both feeling filled with love!

Vocabulary List

  • Hare (p. 1) a large rabbit
  • Tumbled (p.12) suddenly fall 
  • Hop (p. 16) small jumps
  • Lane (p. 20) a skinny road
  • Thornbushes (p. 22) bushes with sharp points

Themes/Main ideas

  • Love is infinite: It’s hard to measure love because love is never ending. Love can go on forever.
  • Different ways to measure: Discuss measurements with your little one and how you can use your body or other tools to measure how big or how much of something there is.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Guess How Much I Love You” – 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!

*To the Moon* Love Craft

The *best* competition to have?? One which you actually might secretly wish to *lose*?? ~It’s the *Who loves who the most contest!* Try it out with your little loved ones, and see what wild measurement of loves they come up with! Their ideas will tickle your tummies with giggles and fill your heart with warmth and love. Record their proclamations of love in a special journal for a treasured keepsake for you to cherish, and to share with them when they are older. It’ll make the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise! This week’s craft inspired by our story highlights one of the grandest professions of love ~ *I love you to the moon~ and back!* Be prepared for an afternoon of rosy reds, precious pinks, and odes of love.

Materials

  • 1 sheet each of  8″ x 10″ red paper, pink paper, and white paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers (Valentines colors~ pinks, purples, reds)
  • Glitter glue (optional)

Directions

  • Cut out a large red heart shape from the red paper. I recommend folding the paper in half and tracing a half heart outline along the crease and cutting along the line so that you have a symmetrical heart.
  • Write, or have you little one trace the words “I Love You…” on the heart. Encourage them to draw a picture of them and their loved one on the heart.

  • Cut two vertical, long strips from the pink paper. Write “To the moon” with an arrow pointing to the right, on one strip. Then write “and back” with an arrow pointing to the left on the other strip.

 

  • Then, cut out a moon shape from the white piece of paper. Write and have your little one trace the word “Moon” on the moon.
  • Next, fold the pink strips back and forth on each other like in the example, so that they become spring-like.

  •  To connect the pieces, tape the ends of the  two pink strips to the heart with the *To the moon* one on top, and the *and back* one on the bottom. Then, tape the other ends of the strips to the back of the moon. The *TO the moon* strip should be pointing to the moon, and the *and back* strip should be pointing to the heart.

  • Decorate the heart and moon with markers and/or glitter glue.
  • Fold the springs so that the moon hides behind the heart, until your ready to open the surprise Valentine!

Enjoy your *To the moon* Love Craft!

  • Gift this craft as a special Valentine to a special loved one.
  • Hang it up as a reminder of the love you have for each other.
  • Use it to help retell and share the story *Guess How Much I Love You*
  • Use it to prompt you and your little one to share with your loved ones just how much you love them.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *To the Moon* Love Craft, and I hope you and your little ones come up with the grandest ways to profess your love! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *To the Moon* Love 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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Becky Earnest and Lindsay C. Barry

*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~

This week’s  featured books of traveling, adventure, and exploration:

iGoStories: Mai’s Adventures in London by Becky Earnest, Illustrated by Isabella Koelman

Published by iGoStories: self-published personalized adventure stories printed by Pureprint Group~ sustainability leaders in print.

Prepare for one of the ultimate *interactive* book experiences ~ where *you* get to help create the book yourself! Take a close look at the title of this book ~ *Mai’s* London Adventure ~ and now close your eyes, and imagine your little one’s very own name right there on the cover ~ *Your Personalized* London Adventure! Ever wanted to be the star of a story? Well, with this innovative new personalized book experience, you can be! Before we delve into the captivating custom creation process ~ a quick travel guide on just what adventure you will be going on throughout this story. Prepare to travel from your very own hometown, to *London* where you’ll meet the lovely Cordelia who will treat you to the most exquisite afternoon tea. Then be whisked away to see the sights ~ and don’t forget the time portal that will transport you straight to Ancient Egypt on Cleoptra’s flying carpet… Hooked yet? On this storybook trip, based all on genuine history and London legend,  prepare to be swept away on a whimsical, rhyming, awe-inspiring adventure. With the gorgeous, full-spread illustrations, and the personalized details, you’ll have no trouble delving straight into the story and envisioning the adventures right in front of your eyes!

Now, a bit about the personalization process~ The book opens with a dedication page, featuring a personalized travel ticket with a message for the gift recipient. These books are meant to be a *gift of adventure,* and a sweet message is the perfect start to any expedition. Most personalized books simply insert your name into a generic story, but with this custom creation ~ details are weaved and interspersed throughout the book~ from my hometown being etched into the airport station as I take off on my flight (btw, you get to choose to travel by train or plane! Overseas travel to London for me! ), my zodiac sign is etched into the stars, and I even got to design my cute little characters outfit, hairstyle, skin tone, and eye color.  With a super easy site and process to navigate, this personalized book would make the perfect gift for inspiring a new young reader to fall in love with the world of reading, or for indulging the avid reader’s passion for envisioning themselves right in the midst of the book adventure!

A bit more about the Author: Becky Earnest

Becky Earnest is a self-published author of  fun, based-on-true-stories adventure books. Becky is an avid traveler and modifies and morphs her own adventures into something magical for munchkins. She is the author and source of stories for the iGoStories team. She is also a dog-lover and loves short holidays. Learn more about iGoStories and their creative processes at www.igostories.com,  and follow them on Instagram: @igostories.

Check here to order your own personalized book for your own home library!

*****

Journey to Constellation Station by Lindsay C. Barry, Illustrated by Jamin Hoyle

Published by Thumbkin Prints: an imprint of Possibilities Publishing Company focusing on books for readers 0-13years old. Possibilities Publishing Company is a small, independent publishing house seeking to discover new voices or familiar voices trying new things.

Gaze up at the nighttime sky to see an endless expanse of twinkling stars, swirls of light, and the glowing moon~ how can one not be curious about the skies and heavens above? Ever wish you could soar through outer space and witness the night sky and its celestial bodies in all their vibrant glory? Well~ now you and your little one can embark on an interstellar adventure~ hop on aboard the train to Constellation Station!  On your way, bathe in a meteor shower, hold your breath as you pass through the Dark Hole Tunnel, and sway to the rhythm of the pulsing starlight twinkling right outside your train car window. And once you arrive at Constellation Station, meet the beasts and beings that inhabit the night sky through their star patterns in the sky. After this *Journey to Constellation Station*, your head will be up *beyond* the clouds as you settle into a dreamland of wonders of the nighttime universe.

This delightful, rhythmic story of an interstellar train ride combines science education with literature and adventure in a way bound to inspire children to gaze at the stars and wonder about outer space. The bold, detailed images of the constellations highlight the magnificence of the stars, and show off their beauty. Plus, the simple, rhythmic flow of the text makes both the educational content and sense of adventure accessible to kids ~ plus the rhyming words make for a fun-for-your-tongue read aloud! Sure to spark questions and curiosity, this book is perfect for launching an investigation into the stars and outer space~ making it a must-have book for both home and classroom libraries.

A bit more about the Author: Lindsay C. Barry

Lindsay C. Barry grew up in Pennsylvania. She developed her love of reading and writing at a very young age. Lindsay lives with her husband and two boys, two cats, and two guppies. After working some time in advertising and at an executive search firm, Lindsay now considers herself a Mom-Trepreneur and an expert good night story reader. Her sons’ love of trains and outer space and her love of getting them to go to sleep inspired her first children’s book, Journey to Constellation Station. To learn more, check out her site: www.lbarrybooks.com, and follow her on Instagram: @lbarrybooks.

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 my favorite interactive read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: LOVE + *This is Love* Mirror Craft

Introducing  the resonating book of Love featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“LOVE” by Matt de la Pena and Loren Long

Book Synopsis and Review

From the moment you are born~ you have *love* in your life. From the sound of the melodic voices~ whispering above your cradle ~ to the music tinkling from the bouncy taxi ride ~ to the stars shining in dark night sky  ~ to the raindrops and puddles that follow your footsteps as you set off on your own life journey ~ *You are surrounded by love.* Just as you will always love, you will always be loved. And even when the world may seem frightening, and anger and fear crowd out any other feelings ~ Keep your heart open, love will find its way to you.

This book was just released last month by an author and illustrator power team~ featuring the award-winning author, Matt de la Pena, *the author of Last Stop on Market Street – our read aloud from a couple weeks ago* and best selling illustrator Loren Long , author and illustrator of our beloved Otis books. These two have come together to create visionary story of Love~ a tender tale that will play a lullaby of love on your heart strings. The author’s words resonate with our own experiences, while Loren Long’s illustrations fill your eyes and minds with wonder. It is the perfect book for reminding us that love takes many different forms, and always surrounds us. You are loved, and don’t you ever forget it!

Vocabulary List

  • Echo (p. 7) when you hear a sound repeat over and over, getting softer each time
  • Huddled (p. 14) crowded closely together
  • Rustling (p. 24) a soft, crackling sound
  • Beacons (p. 28) bright light used to show you the way
  • Congregate (p.31) come and gather together

Themes/Main ideas

  • Love comes in many different forms, shapes, and sizes. Remember, you are always surrounded by love.
  •  Love connects us together. Whether we are near or far apart, our love keeps us bonded together.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “LOVE” – 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!

 *This is Love* Mirror Craft

*Unconditional Love* ~ the most precious, priceless, and powerful gift to bestow~ and to receive. To be loved with no hesitation, doubt, or questions~ to be loved even at your worst, just the same as when you are at your best~to be loved because you are you and you are worth loving. That sense of security and safety~ of knowing you have love, and love will always be there~ If there is one gift I can bestow to my own future little ones, that is what I will give them *unconditional love.* And to all of those who gift their own unconditional love, all of the admiration to you~ for to give love unconditionally is no easy feat. To see past that which may cloud the shiny, sparkly, heart and soul that you fell in love with at first sight, takes trust and faith~ to undoubtedly believe that they deserve love and you deserve to love them. Take this month to reflect on the love we give and take. And to help you and your little one acknowledge and find all of the love in your own lives, spend and afternoon creating your very own *This is Love* Mirror Craft. Prepare for an afternoon of strumming on your heartstrings, and remembering, that you are love, and you are loved.

Materials

  • Card stock Paper (sturdy paper~ any size you want your craft to be)
  • Mini handheld mirror
  • Hot glue gun
  • Markers
  • Glitter Glue
  • Decorations (optional)
    • stickers
    • flowers
    • sequins

Directions

  • Take your piece of card stock paper and use the hot-glue gun to glue on the handheld mirror to the middle of the paper. Allow to dry.
  • At the top, write *This is LOVE*. Write it our for little ones who cannot yet write, or write it fairly for them to trace. You can also trace the outline for the word LOVE, and let them color it in.

  • Next, surround the mirror and decorate with things and people you love, or that represent love to you.

*Use the following prompts to help you decorate:

  • Decorate with stickers of things you love or love to do, and glitter glue

  • Who is love? ~ family members and relatives, pets, animals,
  • What do you love to do? What things do you do that are filled with love?
  • Draw~ what does Love smell like, taste like, sound like?
  • Help your little one label if they want to.

Enjoy Your *This is Love* Mirror Craft

  • Hang up the craft in your room to remind you, overtime that you walk by it and catch your reflection in the mirror, that *you are love*
  • Hang it in your room to remind you of all the love you have in your life, and all of the love you give and receive
  • Share your craft with loved ones, to help share and spread the love. Each person who looks at the craft will see their now reflection and know that *they, too are love.*

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *This is Love* Mirror Craft, and I hope you and your little ones *love* this beautiful representation of the love in your life! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *This is Love* Mirror 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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Aminata Jalloh, J. R. Becker, and Max Rambaldi

*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~

This week’s  books featuring the *bonds that connect us and bring us together*:

The Biggest Little Brother by Aminata Jalloh, Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

Published by CreateSpace: a self-publishing company that offers easily accessible tools, quality printing, booksellers, eBook distribution, and marketing strategies so that you can generate more opportunities than you imagined.

Families come in many different shapes and sizes~ and especially for immigrant families, family structure often follows a non-traditional pattern.  Children growing up in first-generation homes experience a diverse array of family dynamics, as families are separated and reunited as they create new homes.  Here is a book for children, beautifully written and illustrated, to explore these complexities of immigration, family change, and sibling relationships. Often, siblings prepare for the arrival of a new baby ~ the role of big brother or sister riding along a tide of pride and responsibility. However, what is it like when a new *older* sibling arrives in the family? Switching from a big-sibling role to the middle-sibling may not be the easiest adjustment, at least, its definitely not for Sowa. Sowa is used to be the oldest child, helping his parents and taking care of his little sister, Naiya. But when his older brother, Hindo, arrives from Sierra Leone to live with them in Atlanta, Georgia, Sowa grapples with~ what does it mean to no longer be the *big brother?* Follow along this tale to discover how young Sowa navigates this family change~ and comes to accept and love his growing family.

From exploring sibling relationships to international families and immigration, *The Biggest Little Brother* elicits experiences that all young readers can relate to. This book is a great representation of diverse families, portraying people of color and highlighting the culture of a family from Sierra Leone. Plus, for immigrant families with ties to their homeland, and families that are waiting for loved ones to keep their family growing in their new home, this book acknowledges and shares their experiences, allowing young children to recognize themselves and see their own lives reflected in literature and stories. Also, the bright, colorful illustrations  bring to life the love and joy of family reunification and family growth ~ helping to create a captivating read!

A bit more about the Author: Aminata Jalloh

Aminata Jalloh is a first-generation Sierra Leonean–American. Born in Washington, DC, Aminata fell in love with storytelling and words as her parents and relatives would gather over the weekends and tell stories of “back home.” However, Aminata  would realize that her own family’s experiences were never highlighted in children’s books she encountered at school. When Aminata began teaching, she found that there continued to be a significant gap in children’s literature reflecting muli-culutral and diverse perspectives and experiences. This inspired her desire to write children’s stories that allowed more children to see their experiences reflected in literature. Learn more bout this author by checking out her website: www.readersinspired.com. Plus, follow her on Instagram @readersinspired.

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

*****

Annabelle & Aiden: Worlds Within Us 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 teacher-to-be-in-training, I’m always looking for ways to tie children’s books to classroom content. I’m lucky to be in an education studies department that advocates for reading children’s books in the classroom, and gives us copious lists of books to integrate into the maths and sciences. So~ when I happen a book that does all of that for me ~ it definitely lands a spot on *Mai* bookshelf. Just as MaiStoryBook is dedicated to inspiring a new generation of readers, *Annabelle and Aiden* is a children’s book series dedicated to inspiring a new generation of scientists, discovers, and explorers. These books masterfully unite science and philosophy with children’s prose and spectacular illustrations to weave tales of curiosity and wonder. In this book, join Annabelle and Aiden on their grandest adventure yet~ across the galaxies and back in time to discover the very beginning of our universe. *How did the universe form?* Prepare for a delve into big bangs and swirls of stardust~ you’re about to witness world’s creation!

Not only does the delightful rhyme of the text engage young readers, but the illustrious pictures spanning the whole spread of the page transport you right into Annabelle and Aiden’s universe. The mixed media illustrations are also riddled with facts and musing about the earth~ adding layers of educational elements to an already science-packed book. This series of books is able to take complex ideas and scientific terms, and break them down~ simplifying them for young minds to grasp and wonder about. No child is too young to be curious about the universe. Want to inspire your young scientists at home~ to stroke their curiosity and spark their big questions~ then welcome Annabelle and Aiden to your next read aloud story time. It’s definitely on my classroom reading list!

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

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

You may recognize this illustrator’s name~ she also illustrated *I Didn’t Ask to Be Creative* , last week’s self-published feature. 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 *bilinugal* interactive  read aloud of one of my current inspiring read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: La Princesa and the Pea + Princess and the Pea *Marble Run* Craft

Introducing this bilingual, Peruvian-themed tale of Love featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“La Princesa and the Pea” by Susan Middleton Elya and Juana Martinez-Neal

Book Synopsis and Review

Are you familiar with the tale of the Princess and the Pea?? Young princess, suspicious queen, itty bitty pea, a mountain of mattresses…Well if you have, then prepare for a fun, Latino twist on the classic fairytale ~and if you havn’t heard of this story, then you are in for a treat! In this delightful bilingual retelling, Spanish and English words are intertwined throughout the text. When el Príncipe sees the love of his life for the very first time, he knows she is the one he will marry. However, his mama, la reina, is scheming a secret plan to test if this la niña is truly the one for her son. But, could it be that the prince just might have a sneaky plan of his own…

The beauty of bilingual books is in their bridging of languages.  Especially for children learning a new language, the mix of languages helps them access text and content~ enabling them to draw upon both of their sources of language knowledge. And for monolingual readers, bilingual books introduce them to new vocabulary and the concept of different languages and ways of communicating. Plus the  illustrations in bilingual picture books help little ones to decode meaning from words they are unfamiliar with helping them associate images with text. And this book has such colorful, bright pictures~ that are actually representatvive of the vibratn art and culture of Peru, a country in South America! Be prepared to *fall in love* with this sweet little tale of romance and enchantment.

Vocabulary List

*Included in the front of the book is a glossary of English translations and pronunciations of the Spanish words in the text*

  1. Hassle (p. 6) a bother or causing too much trouble
  2. Lofty (p. 10) very big
  3. Lilt (p. 18) cheerful, happy tone
  4. Trudged (p. 21) walk slowly with heavy steps
  5. Detect (p. 24) discover or notice

Themes/Main ideas

  1. Read the original fairytale version and compare and contrast similarities differences. You can make a venn diagram, or simply flip through the book and engage in conversation~
  2. Introduce aspects of culture and art in Peru ~ point out the different patterns on the clothing ~ review the Spanish words with your child.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “La Princesa and the Pea” – 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!

Princess and the *Pea-Marble* Run Activity

There’s nothing more satisfying, or sensually pleasing, than falling into bed after a long day of work *or fun!* ~ snuggling under layers of soft quilts and silky sheets, your head caressed by a fluffy cloud of a pillow, the warmth of a loved one *or a stuffie* wrapped in your arms *or you warm in their arms,* the tender mold of the mattress arching with the curve of your body as you settle in for a good night’s sleep~ and the blanket of nighttime darkness rolling over your eyes like waves lulling you to sleep. *Yawn!* Ahhh, it makes me want to drift off to dreamland just thinking about it. Bedtime routines, especially with little ones, can be quite extensive ~ think the glass of water or warm milk at just the right temperature, the bedtime story *not just once, but at least 5 times*, the careful, routine tucking into bed in the *exact right way*, the frantic search for the favorite stuffie before the child vaults out of bed and undoes all of the *tucking in*, and at last, the best part of all, the good night hug and kiss, and *sweet dreams* wishes for all. Now imagine, a bed 20 mattresses tall? That must be some bedtime routine~ Although, all peas and pitchforks aside, it must be rather comfy. Well, for this week’s craft, inspired by our story, prepare to make a 20 mattress board-bed of your very own ~ peas in all ~ to create an all-time favorite~ La Princesa and the Pea themed *Marble Run!*

Materials

  • Shoebox lid
  • 1 piece of colored paper that fits to cover the inside of the lid
  • 19 strips of paper to make the 20 mattresses ( 1 mattress coming from the background paper on the lid)
  • Bottle glue
  • Glue gun
  • Peas / marble
  • Strips of cardboard: 7-10 pieces
  • Scissors

Directions

  • Glue the larger piece of paper, the same size as the lid, to the inside of the lid.
  • Leave a strip of the background paper bare and showing at the bottom, for mattress #1, and then drizzle the rest of the paper with glue
  • Use the bottle-glue to glue on the 19 other strips of colored paper for the 19 other mattresses. The mattresses should reach to the top of the lid.

  • Take the cardboard strips and cut them into different lengths to create the maze barriers.
  • Arrange the strip in any maze configuration you’d like (see the photos for example)
  • Use the hot glue gun to glue the cardboard strips by their edge so that they are standing up on their side.

  • Allow to dry. Meanwhile, open the can of peas (or take out your marble).
  • Drop peas at the top of the maze and tilt the lid to navigate the peas to the bottom of the bed.

Enjoy your Princess and the *Pea-Marble* Run Activity!

  • Send one, two, or even three+ peas through the maze at once and race to see which one reaches the bottom first.
  • Try different pathways to the bottom of the maze.
  • Share the craft with friends and family members and use it as a prompt to retell and share the story.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Princess and the “Pea-Marble” Run* Activity, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this whimsical activity board! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Princess and the “Pea-Marble” Runs*  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~*

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring Sigrid Rodli and Dontavious Pittman

*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~

This week’s featured books of courage and creativity:

Coral and the MONSTER by Sigrid Rodli

Published by blurb: Self-publishing and marketing platform. Helps  design, publish, promote, and sell professional-quality printed books and ebooks

Welcome to this adorable little fantasy forest~ where you picnic with foxes and have tea and cake with *monsters.* In this frolicking tale of friendship, meet Coral and her best friend Kitty the cat. They did *everything* together. Until one day, Kitty was missing~ and in her place were… Monster Footprints! Join Brave little Coral as she packs up her knapsack with all of the essentials~ sandwiches and sweets, of course~ and ventures into the forest to save her favorite friend. Beautifully drawn woodland creatures join Coral on her journey, warning her to stay away from the land beyond the blue pond… the dark stormy forest where the *monster* lives. But Coral will do anything and go anywhere to find her best friend~ wouldn’t you?? *Plus, who says monsters have to be scary??

 

This delightful story will charm readers with its simple, sweet storyline and colorful cast of characters. Artist Sigrid Rodli has a whimsical style~ creating illustrations full of patterns and swirls ~ drawing the reader into an enchanted forest. See the girl’s dress glisten with sparkles, and every bristle of the fox’s fur as it glides along side his new companion. Sigrid Rodli has weaved together a tale of friendship~ you can always count on true friends to be by your side. When your friends have your back, monsters are no longer scary and even the grimmest of meetings can end in an afternoon tea party.

 

A bit more about the Author: Sigrid Rodli

Sigrid Rodli is an artist and illustrator from Norway. She was commissioned to create this book for a little girl she knew. Due to popular interest in the book, she has now made it available  for purchase so that everyone may enjoy the sweet tale. She enjoys coloring, painting, sewing, and running. Check out more of her gorgeous artwork and learn more about her by following Sigrid on Instagram: @sigridrodli. 

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

*****

I Didn’t Ask to be Creative by Dontavious Pittman, Illustrated by Max Rambaldi

Published by Cardboard Clouds LLC: Self-published

When you have children~ it’s like you get to experience the whole world for the very first time all over again. Holidays become the most exciting days on the planet, and *birthdays* might as well be holidays. Festivities go overboard and you once again feel that rush of excited anticipation, to a whole new extent, as the countdown to that special day draws nearer. *Anything to see that smile on that face*~ Every new sound is the best thing they’ve ever heard, and every new sight is a miracle in their eyes. You can’t help but to see the world through their lens of awe and fascination. Children~ the best reminders of the wonders of life, and the best inspiration for letting down your guard and setting your imagination loose, wild, and free to dream up the grandest dreams of all they *and you* can be! In this beautiful story *I Didn’t Ask to be Creative* young Kyle is just that for his mom, her inspiration to explore her own creativity and love for art~ Kyle’s rampant creativity and love for the innovative and imaginative spark his mom’s dreams alive~ so that both of them, together, can embrace the world with all it has to offer, and share all they have to offer in return!

 

This heart-warming tale is sure to inspire creativity in all its readers, as well as spark the bond between parent and child, as both are reminded of the life they share and build together. In this family-centered story, witness the relationship between mother and son grow stronger with every turn of the page as the boundaries that divide child and adult are blurred. We are all dreamers and creators, and creativity feeds off creativity. Children can be just as much an inspiration to adults, as they are to them. Plus, the full-spread illustrations cover the pages in vibrant color, drawing you into Kyle’s own dream world and into this tale of love, imagination, and family.

A bit more about the Author: Dontavious Pittman

Dontavious Pittman AKA “Annoying Dreamer”, was born in Tampa, FL. He has always been passionate about creating things. His love for mathematics and problem solving skills lead to a path of design. Dontavious studied Architecture at both Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and Florida International University. Published in 2017, “I Didn’t Ask To Be Creative” is his first book. Dontavious plans for it to be the first of many stories depicting family relationships in society today. To learn more, check out his site: www.cardboardclouds.com, and follow his book on Instagram: @cardboardclouds.

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 an interactive  read aloud of one of my current inspiring read alouds  here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Last Stop on Market Street + Finding Beautiful Craft

Introducing this diverse, intergenerational tale featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

Book Synopsis and Review

Welcome to the hustling, bustling life of the city. CJ and his grandma have just finished church, and are on their way to the bus stop for their weekly routine. As rain begins to patter down, speckling CJ’s shirt with miniature dew drops, CJ grumpily inquires about their lack of a car, as well as about the sodden nature of the rainy day. As his glum line of questioning continues, each inquiry is met by an encouraging and revealing answer from his grandma. As the pair boards the bus, greeting their bus driver friend and the crowd of characters on the bus, CJ’s grandma continues to help CJ experience the beauty around him ~ and not just by seeing with his eyes, but by using his ears, nose, touch, and taste to also *see* the world around him. As their final destination is revealed at the end of the story, readers are shown the kindness and value of helping others who have even less than you do. Furthermore, the beautifully illustrated urban setting, along with the broad cast of characters, truly reveals the beauty and diversity of life.

This month, our read alouds have focused on the theme of finding the magic and splendor in everything and everyone around you, including *yourself,* and this story continues to exemplify this theme. Read and listen along with MaiStoryBook to join a grandma and her grandchild as she helps him see the beauty in their weekly routine and in the world around them. “Last Stop on Market Street” won the 2016 Newberry Medal, awarded to the author of the best contribution to children’s literature for that year, so you are in for a treat! Hop aboard this busy bus ride through the bustling city, to find the magic at the “Last Stop on Market Street.”

Vocabulary List

  • Freckled (p. 2) spotted
  • Patter (p. 5) make a light tapping sound
  • Lurched (p. 11) an unsteady, bumpy movement
  • Glanced (p. 19) look quickly
  • Arcing (p. 23) stretching across in a curved shape

Themes/Main ideas

  1. You can experience the world through your sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Use all of your senses to find the magic in your surroundings.
  2. The journey is just as important as the destination. Focus and truly *be* in the moment to experience life to its fullest.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Last Stop on Market Street” – 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!

*Finding Beautiful* Craft

One of my new year resolutions this year is to take the time to *pause*~ to take a step back from the busy scheduling and hectic days~ and find happiness in the moment ~ to truly experience the present ~  to stop planning ahead or thinking about the next assignment and long list of to-do’s crowding my planner ~ and to truly *be* with the family and friends around me, to give 100% of me to what I’m doing and who I’m with. I’m not much one for meditating, but I do want to practice using *all* of my senses to experience the world~ to not just glaze over the scenery with my eyes, but to open my ears and actively listen, to breathe in the scents around me, or to focus on taste and slowly savor each bite of a favorite or brand new dish. It must be true that when you open your mind, and your heart, and take the time to fully, actively participate in *life*, you can and will find the beauty in everything around you. In “Last Stop on Market Street, ” CJ’s grandma had this special gift to find the magic wherever she was. My favorite scene is when she points out to CJ the glowing rainbow arcing across the sky and over an urban city landscape. In this week’s craft, we will be remembering this possibility of finding beauty, by creating our own gorgeous city landscape skylines. Be prepared for an afternoon of magic seeking and creating~*

Materials

  • 1 sheet of 8″x 10″ white watercolor or thicker paper
  • 1 sheet of 8″ x 10″ black construction paper
  • Set of watercolors or paints
  • Puffy Paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter or sequins
  • Paintbrush
  • Cup for water to rinse brush
  • Paper towel to dry brush
  • Paper plate for paint

Directions

* Similar to last week’s craft ~ Be creative! You can make your city sky look however you like! Add color and patterns and glitters wherever and however you would like onto your watercolor paper. The below directions are just suggestions.

  • Starting with your watercolor paper laid out horizontally, squeeze out the paints you want to use, dip the brush in water to loosen the paint, and then use a myriad of colors to cover the entire sheet of paper.  I recommend using lighter colors first so you can paint darker colors over them *lighter colors won’t show up over darker colors*
  • Use the puffy paint to add patterns and swirls in the sky, or even a rainbow!
  • While the paint is till wet, sprinkle glitter or sequins to add shimmer.

  • For the city~ use a pencil to trace a city skyline on the horizontal side of the black piece of construction. All of the buildings should be connected at the bottom. Use a variety of different heights and widths for the buildings to add variety.
  • Cut out the skyline. Cut out windows from the buildings so some of the background sky can shine through.
  • Glue the city to the bottom horizontal side of the sky background.
  • Add any additional patterns or colors to the window openings, or the sky around the buildings!

Enjoy your Finding Beautiful Craft!

  • Use the craft to help you share this story, and explain the important part in the book where CJ’s grandma helps him find the beauty in the sky.
  • Hang your cityscape craft up in the house to remind your family and your little one to look for the beauty all around us everyday and in every place we go.
  • Hopefully it inspire you to take another Nature Walk to discover more of the beauty right outdoors!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Finding Beautiful Craft*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this magical cityscape art piece! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Finding Beautiful 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~*