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!

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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~*

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~*

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~*

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~*

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~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Rot, The Cutest in the World + Potato Pal Craft

Introducing the *cutest book in the world* featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Rot: The Cutest in the World” by Ben Clanton

Book Synopsis and Review

*Mutant Potatoes + Rot = …Cute????* Don’t let your eyes deceive you, *cuteness* is all relative in this adorable reading adventure! Meet Rot, a mutant potato who loves mud, checkers, eating, and *contests!* So when he sees the *cutest in the world contest* of course he has to enter! But can a mutant potato compete against a cuddly kitten, a teenie-weenie jellyfish, and an adorable baby bunny??? Join Rot as he discovers the secret to becoming the best *cutest* possible version of yourself you can be!

One popular, and very important, theme that is often portrayed in children’s books is to be proud of who you are. We all come in different, sizes, shapes, and colors, and we all have different personalities and traits that make us unique. This book “Rot,” shows us, in the *cutest* way possible, that we are most beautiful when we believe in ourselves. The fun alliterations and dialogue, colorful cast of characters, and humorous illustrations make this book an instant hit with the little ones ~ there will be guaranteed laughter and giggles!  So get ready for the cutest book in the world!

Vocabulary List

  • Mutant (p. 1) like a monster
  • Contestants (p. 7) someone who enters a contest
  • Bewitching (p. 9) making someone happy
  • Indigestion (p. 13) when your stomach hurts because you ate too much food and your tummy can’t break it down
  • Unibrow (p. 36) when your eyebrows meet in the middle so that it looks like you only have one long eyebrow *instead of 2 separate ones

Themes/Main ideas

  • You are Unique: We are all different and that is what makes us special.
  • Believe in Yourself: Don’t let what other people think about you bother you. Believe in yourself and you will always have the courage to do what you need to do.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Rot: The Cutest in the World” – 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!

Potato Pals Craft

Ever played with Mr. Potato head as a kid?? Wasn’t he just the *cutest*? Well, Rot certainly is! With his earnest behavior and oblivious willingness to charm, he exudes cuteness. No wonder he won the *Cutest in the world* contest! As a child, I was definitely competitive. Ever played the board game *Sorry?* It isn’t called “the game of sweet revenge” for nothing! Monopoly was always a race to make the most money as fast as possible, and I was determined to find a strategy to win *Go Fish.* While I most likely would have stayed away from a *cuteness* contest~ not my kind of thing~ I can relate with Rot’s love for the thrill of the game! And once you begin, of course you want to try and be the best that you can. But as Rot learned, being the best self you can be, with no frills or concoctions, is sometimes all it takes to win *at the game of life.* So, if you’d like to bring a little competition to this week’s craft~ let’s see, who can make the *cutest* potato pal! Round up a family member(s) to be your judge, and create a parade of potato pals to participate in your very own *Cutest in the World* competition! Prepare for an afternoon of crazy colors and *cuteness* overload!

Materials 

  • Potato (or chunk of modeling clay)
  • Paint (various colors)
  • Paintbrush
  • Cup of water (for rinsing brush)
  • Glitter
  • Puffy paint
  • Optional Decorations: Paper cutouts, googley eyes,  glitter glue, sequins

Direction

* Be creative! You can make your potato pal look however you imagine! Add decorations and parts in whichever order strikes you. The below directions are just suggestions.  (I recommend using the paint as glue)

  • Starting with the eyes, use white paint to draw eye circles. Paint on different sized eyeballs for creative effect. While the paint is still wet, stick on the googley eyes.
  • Paint on the mouth with a color of your choosing. Use the puffy paint to draw teeth and outline the lips.

  • Paint on a nose and whiskers with any color!
  • Add a unibrow with puffy paint.
  • Paint a patch of paint on the top of the head and sprinkle glitter on for shiny *hair*
  • Paint a patch of paint on the bottom and stick on paper shapes.
  • Use the paints and puffy paint to add any additional decorations!

Enjoy Your Potato Pal Craft!

  • Share your Potato Pal with family and friends and use it as a prop to help retell the story
  • Create several Potato Pals and host your very own *cutest in the world* contest
  • Keep your Potato Pal to remind you to believe in yourself and be proud of who you are!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Potato Pal Craft*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this *cutest craft in the world*! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Potato Pal 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: On a Magical Do-Nothing Day + New Year Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt

Introducing this *First Friday of 2018* magical~imagination read aloud featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“On a Magical Do-Nothing Day” by Beatrice Alemagna

Book Synopsis and Review

It’s raining and gloomy outside~ and all this little girl wants to do is lounge around indoors and play her game *aka defeat the Martians.* However, when Mom reprimands her for having another *do-nothing* day, and confiscates her electronic, handheld game, the little girl sneaks it back and then slinks outside. When she accidentally drops her precious  game into an icy pond, she sulks that nothing can be fun without her game…that is~  until a parade of glowing snails creep by~ guiding our young heroine into the magical world of nature and Earth around her. With no screen to distract her, this little girl will begin to see her world in a whole new way.

Fall in love with this magical story about the wonders of the world around you. Technology and ipads and phones can be fun, but sometimes if you stare at the screen too much, you miss all of the amazing, exciting things all around you. This story brings to life the adventures that can happen when you take a break from screentime, and highlights how stepping outside can lead to a whole new universe to explore. Beatrice Alemagna creates brilliant illustrations that will lure you into the story realm, so that you too become lost in this beautiful tale of unplugged exploration. I love this book for encouraging children and family to put away the screens, and rediscover the adventure that awaits just right outside the door. It’s the perfect message to start off the new year~ and could make for a great new years resolution as well~ less screen time and more time to read and play outside! Check out this book and *interactive read aloud* to find out just what can happen *On a Magical Do-Nothing Day.*

Vocabulary List

  • Pond (p. 11) a small body of water
  • Hurricane (p. 16) a storm with very strong winds and a lot of rain
  • Antennae (p. 18) long, thin parts that poke out from an insects head, usually used to help the insect see or smell
  • Damp (p. 20) a little wet
  • Strainer (p. 24) a bowl that has holes in it

Themes/Main ideas

  • Unplugged Childhood: Take a break from the screens for an opportunity to discover the wonders of the world right outside your door!
  • Break from Boredom: With a little imagination and the great outdoors, the possibilities of adventure are endless!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “On a Magical Do-Nothing Day” – 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!

New Year Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt Activity

It’s the beginning of a Brand New Year~ the time for reminiscing on the past year and creating resolutions for the new one. I have several resolutions for this year~ and other than continuing to bring read aloud adventures to you every Friday~ one of my goals is to spend more time being *present,* to enjoy and cherish the moments I’m living in~ meaning *in part* putting down and away the technology and electronics, and being mindful of my own thoughts  and/or being truly present with loved ones, family, and friends. I am a huge advocate for an *unplugged childhood,* keeping children away from screen time as much as possible. While I do create interactive read aloud youtube videos that children engage with over screen time, I make sure to engage the child in conversation throughout the videos so that they aren’t just passively staring at the screen. Research shows that for read alouds, especially for young children, it isn’t beneficial for them to just hear the book being read *aka a typical, straight-through video/recording read aloud of a book.* Rather, it is the conversation that occurs during a reading that enhances children’s comprehension skills, book knowledge, and vocabulary use and development. But~ since watching an *interactive* read aloud video is only the second best things for a child to do~the ultimate activity for children is to explore the physical world around them. For this week’s activity, we have a *New Year Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt* ~ the perfect opportunity to put down the screens, and to explore the outside world with your little one! Be prepared for an afternoon of exploration of the amazing place and space around you that you call *home.*

Materials 

  • Scavenger sheet print out (find it here)
  • Markers
  • Walking shoes!
  • Small bag to carry found items *optional*

Directions

  • Print out the Scavenger Hunt Sheets (2 pages)
  • Preview the sheets so you and your child know what to look out for while walking  *snails, mushrooms, birds, puddles, etc.*
  • Grab a couple markers to take with you on your nature walk.

  • Take a little baggie with you to hold any items you and your little one collect along the way.
  • Put on your walking shoes and head outside to discover the magical world around you!

  • Fill in the scavenger hunt sheet as you find/complete each activity~ either having your little one draw or write *or you can write for them* to record their observations.

 

Enjoy Your Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt

  • Enjoy your time outside!
  • Add additional activities to the scavenger hunt, or create a new list for a second nature walk!
  • Use the record sheet as a guide to share with other family members or friends all of your discoveries on your nature walk
  • At home, draw a picture/illustration of your nature walk adventure~ illustrate your favorite part of the walk

*~Overall, have fun adventuring on your own *New Year Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy the magical outdoors! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Nature Walk Scavenger Hunts*  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: Franklin’s Flying Bookshop + A Thousand Fireflies & Storybook Crafts

Introducing this *Final Friday of 2017* special read aloud featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Franklin’s Flying Bookshop” by Jen Campbell and Katie Harnett

Book Synopsis and Review

Franklin the dragon loves to read. Through books, Franklin can become whatever and whomever he wants to be~ a bandmaster and songwriter, a professional acrobat and ringmaster, a scientist exploring the stars, or a knight at King Arthur’s round table. Franklin’s home is a library cave of books~a chamber of knowledge and adventure~ with books and comics scaling the walls *even the door is made from a swinging bookshelf*. Franklin wants nothing more than to share his love for reading and his reading adventures with others, and while he reads aloud to the mice, bat, and spider friends dwelling with him in his nook, whenever Franklin ventures out of his home into the village, everyone he meets runs away in fright~ judging Franklin by his outward appearance. That is, until Franklin meets *Luna* a special friend who shares his passion for imagination and reading adventures. Together, Franklin and Luna hatch an epic plan to share their favorite stories with those around them, hoping to inspire others to join in and discover the joys and wonders of reading!

For this last Friday read aloud of the year, I chose this special book that truly captures how I feel about books, and how I hope you feel about books too! I thought it would be the perfect way to end the year, to remind us about the importance and wonders of reading! My goal is to share some of my favorite books with all of you, and to share my love for reading~ and this book, *Franklin’s Flying Bookshop* is all about a little girl and her dragon friend who hatch a plan to share all of their favorite stories with the world! It’s a magical tale, with gorgeous illustrations and a meaningful message about the thrilling adventures tucked away in books, the power of reading and the knowledge it brings, and the ability of reading to transport you beyond boundaries and into your wildest dreams!

Vocabulary List

  • Village (p. 5) a place where people live that’s like a really small town in the countryside
  • Trapeze (p. 7) a type of swing where you hold onto and hang from a bar between two ropes, people in the circus use them a lot
  • Quaking (p. 9) shaking
  • Croquet (p. 14) a game played on the grass where you use a mallet, or stick, to hit wooden colored balls between mini goal posts
  • Hoist (p. 19) lift something with a rope

Themes/Main ideas

  • The Magic of Stories and the Power of Reading: Stories can transport you to adventures beyond your imaginations. Reading develops knowledge, imagination, and skill.
  • Friendship: True friends support you and the things you love and do.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Franklin’s Flying Bookshop” – 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!

By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies + *Mai* StoryBook Crafts

Happy Last Friday of 2017!! Can you believe it?! It’s already the end of the year~ and what a wild, fun, memorable year it’s been! Let’s take a moment and think about what was one really special thing about this year 2017, that you remember most? Do you have one in  mind?  Well, for me, one definitely important memory of 2017 was starting MaiStoryBook and being able to create all of these interactive read alouds and crafts with and for all of you! Thank you for reading along with me and exploring all of the wonderful features and aspects of books with MaiStoryBook! I’m excited to start a new year with all of you, with a bunch of new books and read alouds! But before that~ we have this special craft of the week. One of the lines in this week’s story *Franklin’s Flying Bookshop *that truly stood out to me was *and he read by the light of a thousand fireflies.* That description created such a magical image in my mind, I just had to find a way to bring that mystique to life! Thus, prepare for an afternoon of imagination, *reading*, and trails of glitter, sparkles, and *firefly* sprinkles!

Materials for *By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies*

  • 2 sheets of plain white paper
  • Black paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Gold, white, silver, sequins/ glitter
  • Glitter glue
  • White/gold pom poms
  • Photo of child reading a book
  • Glue

Materials for *Mai* Own Story Book

  • 1 sheet of colored paper
  • 2-4 sheets of pain white paper (depends on how many pages you want)
  • Markers
  • Stapler

Directions for *By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies*

  • Glue the photo onto one sheet of white paper, and cut it out, leaving a *glowing* border of white around the photo. Set it aside.
  • Paint the other sheet of white paper completely black.
  • While the paint is still wet, glue/stick the photo onto the bottom middle of the paper.

  • Before the black paint dries, sprinkle the glitter and sequins on the black paint,  surrounding the photo.
  • Use the glitter glue to add dots and swirls, and to glue on the pom poms.

  • Use the glitter glue to add rays of light, or patterns around your photo.
  • Have fun with the glitter and sparkles~ and surround yourself with *the light of a thousand fireflies*

Directions for *Mai Own Story Book*

  • Stack the sheets of white paper, and trim the sides so that they are smaller than the colored paper. Fold them in half.
  • Fold the colored paper in half, and insert the folded white sheets in the middle.

  • Staple the fold to create the binding for your book.
  • Use the markers to add the title, your name for the author and illustrator, and to add illustrations and the story

Enjoy Your Firefly and Story Book Crafts!

  • Display your *By the Light of a Thousand Fireflies* Photo Craft in your room or in the house, to remind yourself and others of the magic and wonders of reading!
  • Share the Photo craft and explain the scene from *Franklin’s Flying Bookshop*~ use it to launch a retelling of the story.
  • Create your very own story~ illustrated and written by you!
  • Share your story with others, and carry it along with you to have your own mini traveling bookshop!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Thousand Firefly and Story Book Crafts*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy these sparkling, magical, and creative crafts! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Firefly Photos and Story Book creations*  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: When Santa Was a Baby + Santa Baby Rattle Craft

Introducing this *Friday Eve Before Christmas* special Santa read aloud featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“When Santa Was a Baby” by Linda Bailey and Genevieve Godbout

Book Synopsis and Review

Who is that special someone who rides a sleigh ~ and comes on Christmas Eve?? It’s Santa Claus, of course! So you may know who Santa is~ but – how did Santa become Santa?? What was Santa like when he was *a baby*??? Well,  in this beloved Christmas holiday children’s book, we get a glimpse into Santa’s past, and how Santa came to be the Santa he is today! It may be hard to believe, but a long time ago, Santa was *small just like you *! Growing up, Santa was always a bit different than the other babies and kids – he had different interests *like a intense curiosity for chimneys*, he played with his pets differently *like harnessing his hamsters to matchbox sleds filled with trinkets*, and he even laughed differently *there were no “ha ha ha’s” for Santa, but instead…can you guess it??*  But being different made Santa special, and for that, his parents were forever proud.

The perfect read for Christmas Eve, this book will prep your little ones for Santa’s *special visit* on Christmas Eve night. Throughout Santa’s childhood, lookout for the allusions to all things *Santa* that we know about, and ask your little ones if they can connect Santa’s childhood to their current knowledge about Santa now. Overall, this festive story about one of the most important Christmas characters will charm children with its rosy illustrations and clever revelations about Santa Claus.

Vocabulary List

  • Thrilled (p. 4) super excited
  • Dandy (p. 5) excellent
  • Sack (p. 7) a large bag made out of cloth
  • Harnessed (p. 12) attach an animal to something
  • Inherited (p. 19) receive something from someone

Themes/Main ideas

  • Growing Up and Childhood: Everyone has a childhood that influences who they grow up to be.
  • The Joy of Giving: Similar to last week’s theme~ giving gifts is just as fun, if not even more fun, than receiving. It makes you feel good to make someone else happy!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “When Santa Was a Baby” – 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!

Santa’s Baby Rattle Craft

*Santa Claus* My Christmas Eve nights involved many of the classic traditions. I can recall hanging the stockings with care, using the brown masking tape to tape it to the fireplace mantle, putting extra layers on mine to ensure it would not fall off. Christmas Eve morning we’d rummage through the kitchen cupboards, searching for Santa’s cookie plate with the hand-painted trees and holly. The afternoon would consist of cookie baking, (im)patiently waiting fro them to cool, and then slathering them with frosting, sprinkles, candies, chocolate chips, and anything sweet we could get our tiny hands on. We’d pile high a stack of color blasted sugar cookies, leaving a trail of rainbow sugar crystals behind as we balanced the plate in our hands over to the fireplace for Santa. It was the one night of the year we were scrambling to get to bed early, dressed in our favorite pajamas and squeezing  our eyes shut, hoping to fall asleep as quickly so that it could be Christmas morning as soon as possible. And sure enough, every Christmas morning~ Santa never failed to deliver. Now, with all of the toys that Santa must craft and deliver, what would have been his favorite when he was younger? Well, for this week’s craft, we have the chance to create a *special* toy for Santa Clause~ his very own *Santa Baby Rattle* complete with glittering frost and silver jingle bells ~ the perfect sights and sounds to comfort a baby Santa.

Materials

  • 1 pinecone
  • 1 sturdy stick
  • 1 red ribbon
  • 2 jingle bells
  • White paint
  • 1 medium paintbrush
  • Mini paper plate
  • White/gold/silver sequins
  • Hot glue gun

Directions:

  • Pour some white paint onto the mini plate and paint the pinecone white using the paintbrush.
    • If using acrylic paint, wash the brush right away to repent brush damage
  • While the paint is still wet, hold the pine coat over the paper plate and sprinkle on the white/gold/silver sequins – they should stick to the paint.
  • Allow the pinecone to dry.

  • Once dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the ribbon, pinecone, and stick.
    • The ribbon will attach to the bottom of the pinecone and the stick.
      • Place glue on the bottom of the pinecone.
      • Find the middle of the ribbon, and stick one edge of the section to the glue on the pinecone.
      • Place the stick to attach to the bottom of the pinecone. Add more glue to the stick and the pinecone. Use the ribbon to wrap around the stick and the bottom of the pinecone so that it sticks to both. Make sure it is glued securely so that it stays.
  • After glued, tie the red ribbon into a bow.

  • Then, glue the two jingle bells where the stick meets the pinecone to add further stabilization, and to produce the jingle Santa Sleigh bell sound.
  • Let it dry, and then shake your new Santa Baby Rattle!

Enjoy Your Santa Baby Rattle!

  • Use the rattle as a reading buddy guide, and rattle it whenever sleigh bells are mentioned, or *like in the read aloud video* whenever you read *Ho Ho Ho!* in the story.
  • Use the craft material prep as a chance to go on a Winter Nature Walk with your little ones ~ keep an eye out for pinecones and sturdy sticks!
  • Use the jingle bell rattle to bring holiday cheer and festivity  around the home!
  • Sing a lively rendition of *Jingle Bells* with the family!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Santa Baby Rattle*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this festive, musical craft! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Santa Baby Rattle 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~*