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

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

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

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

Book Synopsis and Review

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

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

Vocabulary

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

Themes/ Main Ideas

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

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

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

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Good Egg Surprise* Craft

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

Materials

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

Directions

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

Enjoy Your *Good Egg Surprise* Craft!

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

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

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: Dreamers + *Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft

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

“Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales

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

Book Synopsis and Review

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

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

Vocabulary

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

Themes/Main Ideas

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

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

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

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft

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

Materials

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

Directions

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

Enjoy your *Dream Weaver Catcher* Craft and Activity

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

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

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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

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

“Perfectly Norman” by Tom Percival

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

Book Synopsis and Review 

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

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

Vocabulary

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

Themes/ Main Ideas

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

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

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

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft

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

Materials

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

Directions

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

Enjoy Your *Spread Your Wings* Cardboard Craft!

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

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

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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

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

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

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

Book Synopsis and Review

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

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

Vocabulary

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

Themes/ Main Ideas

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

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

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

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Paper Bracelet* Craft

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

Materials

(for 1 bracelet)

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your *Paper Birthday Bracelets*

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

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

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

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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

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

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

Book Synopsis and Review

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

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

Vocabulary

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

Themes/ Main Ideas

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

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

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

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*Create Your Own Label* Crayon Craft

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

Materials

Directions

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

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

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

Enjoy Your *Create Your Own Labels* Crayon Craft

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

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

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

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

MaiStoryBook Library: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates + *Friendship Sandwich* Craft

Introducing a quirky back-to-school read about making friends~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *We Don’t Eat Our Classmates* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

It’s the first day of school, and Penelope Rex is excited to meet her classmates! *Who will they be? Will they be nice? How many teeth will they have?* When you are a T. rex like Penelope, that last questions is very important. With her new pony backpack (ponies are *delicious* by the way!), and lunch box filled with 300 tuna sandwiches~ and 1 apple juice~ Penelope heads off to school! But, imagine her surprise when she arrives to find out that all her classmates are~ Children! And if there’s one thing Penelope knows about children… it’s that children are *Delicious!* So how does Penelope start off her very first day of school, and greet her new classmates for the very first time? *She *EATS* them, of course! And no matter how hard she tries not too, she can’t resist a tasty snack~ that is, until the class goldfish teaches her a lesson she won’t forget. Read along as Penelope learns that if she wants to make friends~ she’ll need to put her appetite aside and realize~ *We Don’t Eat Our Classmates!*

Author Ryan T. Higgins succeeds again in creating an absurdly, hilarious, curious, delightful tale ~ a subtle yet prevalent sense of humor drives the story as young Penelope Rex tries to resist eating her classmates. For little ones anxious about meeting new friends, well… being eaten by a classmate is about as bad as it can get, and as Ryan T. Higgins illustrates and tells it~ it’s really not too bad at all. After all, everyone *wants* to be a good classmate and make friends~ everyone is just still learning how~ and as classroom and school rules are developed, practiced, and understood, friendships will slowly form. Penelope Rex shows us that even if we get off to a bad start, you can always make friends by doing what friends do best~ sharing, using nice words and actions, and playing!

Vocabulary

  • Nervous (p. 1) when you feel anxious, a little scared, and you don’t really know what’s going to happen
  • Delicious (p. 4) super yummy
  • Determined (p. 13)  trying very hard and not giving up
  • Appetite (p. 30) the want and need to eat
  • Peeks (p. 34) looking at something quickly and sneakily

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • How to be a Good Friend~ Good friends share, play together, and use kind words and actions
  • First Day of School Worries Feelings: Discuss with your little one how they fell about the first day of school and if they have any questions

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” – 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

*Friendship Sandwich* Craft

*~First Day of School!~* It can be daunting… *Will I like the teacher? Will the teacher like me? Will I like my classmates? Will they like me?* First day jitters are more often socially oriented, rather than *Will I be able to learn? Will I like what we are learning?* And it makes sense~ after all, we are spending the next  ~9 months with these people, the majority of our days will be at school~ it’s important that our classroom and school be a place we feel like we belong and are welcome. As a first-grade (and first year!) teacher this coming fall, my main goal is to create a caring classroom community. I want to create an environment students feel safe and respected in, and excited to come back to everyday! One way to create a community is to firmly establish expectations and procedures at the beginning of the school year~ and sometimes, this can take weeks! It involves creating rules together as a class, and role-playing and modeling how to be a good classmate, what to do when there is a disagreement, how to share, how to be inclusive, etc. Children, especially the little ones, need this explicit guidance. One way to teach children and provide explicit examples is through *read alouds* and this book, *We Don’t Eat Our Classmates* is the perfect read to park a conversation about how we treat each other. Plus, this week’s craft, making a *Friendship Sandwich* is a great way to review the *ingredients* to a lasting friendship!

Materials

  • 2 pieces of brown construction paper
  • 1 piece of green, red, yellow construction paper
  • String/ribbon
  • Crayons/markers
  • Hole puncher
  • Scissors

Directions

  • Fold one of the brown papers in half and draw a toast shape. Cut it out so that you have two toast shapes for your two pieces of sandwich bread.
  • On one piece, draw you~ on the other piece, draw a friend. You can write *Friendship* on one piece, and *Sandwich* on the other*

  • Cut out a lettuce shape from the green paper. Draw an activity that good friends do together~ such as playing something together, sharing, eating a snack together.

  • Cut out a tomato shape from the red paper, a rectangle cheese shape from the yellow paper, and a meat circle from the brown paper.
  • Write and draw activities or characteristics of what makes a good friend on all the pieces.

  • Use a hole puncher to make holes at the top of every piece.
  • Sandwich the ingredients in between the two pieces of bread, and then loop the string through the holes.
  • Tie the string so that the sandwich pieces are all connected.

Enjoy Your *Friendship Sandwich* Craft

  • Share your friendship sandwich with family and friends to discuss what makes a good friend and what some of your favorite friend activities are.
  • Use your sandwich as a reading buddy as you re-read the story and talk about what Penelope could do differently to be a good friend *instead of eating her classmates*
  • Hang up your friendship sandwich to remind you of how to be a good friend.
  • Share a friendship sandwich with a friend and choose an activity from your sandwich to do!

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Friendship Sandwich* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones have a great First Day of School!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Friendship Sandwich* 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: Not Quite Narwhal + *Unicorn or Narwhal Spin Craft*

Introducing a heart-warming read of finding your true self and where you truly belong~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *Not Quite Narwhal* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

It’s a Narwhal! Or wait… is it a unicorn??? Actually~ it’s Kelp! *The Not quite Narwhal* So what does that mean? Kelp is a unicorn born under the sea to a family of narwhals. Kelp grows up, knowing he’a little bit different, he swims quite a bit slower and narwhal food isn’t particularly appetizing, but loving his narwhal family all the same. Until one day, a strong current carries Kelp spa dn away towards a mysterious land where he meets some *magical* four-legged, horned creatures that look just like him~ he finds another family he never knew he had~ Unicorns! Kelp realizes maybe he’s not a narwhal after all… but he’s not ready to leave his narwhal life behind, after all, they are his family. But will Kelp have to choose between his two families? Or will he find a way that maybe, he won’t have to choose at all?

Do you know what a narwhal is? Well sometimes, people even call narwhals, unicorns of the sea because narwhals are small whales that live in the ocean with a long horn, like a unicorn!  This is an adorable heart warming read aloud about finding your true self, and what it means to fit in and stand out. It’s also about family, and how family is anyone who loves you, cares for you and has been an important part of your life, and you know what? You can always have more than one family. You never have to choose to be a certain someone~you should always just be yourself! Those who truly love you will accept you just how you are. Follow along this magical tale, being swept away in the pastel, soft colored, sweet illustrations~*

Vocabulary

  • Tusk (p. 3) a long pointed horn or tooth
  • Current (p. 7) the direction water moves
  • Anxious (p. 12) worried, nervous
  • Delicacies (p. 19) delicious, yummy food
  • Gallop (p. 20) when a horse runs

Themes/Main Ideas

  • Be True to Yourself – You never have to choose between who you want to be- just be yourself!
  • Family is.. Whomever loves you and takes care of you, and whom you love for and care for in return

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Not Quite Narwhal” – 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

*Unicorn or Narwhal* Spin Craft

*~Unicorns~* What little one doesn’t, at least once, dream of these magical creatures? Of traipsing through an enchanted forest and stumbling upon a sparkling white creature with a rainbow mane and a glistening horn? I myself can recall fantasies of discovering my very own unicorn, of clinging to the back of this galloping mystical beast, wind and sparkles swirling around me as we glide through meadows of flowers and fields of emerald green grass. Strangely enough, apart from horses, narwhals may be the closest creature to a unicorn we’ll come to see. But with a little imagination and if you squint your eyes, these unicorns of the sea may just be the magical creatures we’ve dreamed of. This week’s craft may remind you of the *Duck!Rabbit!* Pinwheel craft~ but Narwhal Unicorn version! Is Kelp a Narwhal or a Unicorn? Or maybe he can be both!

Materials

Directions

  • Cut out the *Unicorn or Narwhal* Template. Cut out the circle *not the individual bodies* and cut out the head
  • Color it in- you can match the storybook characters or create your own colorful creatures! Add grass and water for the corresponding animal body.

  • Poke a hole in the center of the circle template and the center of the plate. Align the holes, aligning the circle template with the bottom of the plate, and stick a small piece of the pipe cleaner through the holes, twisting and bending the pipe cleaner on both sides so that the paper and plate attaches.

  • Tape the head to the front side of the plate (opposite side that the circle template is attached to) on the left hand side. Before taping, spin the body wheel to make sure that it aligns correctly with the head. Adjust if needed.

Enjoy Your *Unicorn or Narwhal* Spin Craft

  • Share your craft with family members and friends to retell the story and share Kelp’s problem and his solution.
  • Use your craft as a reading buddy as you reread the story, spinning your wheel to match Kelp’s Narwhal times and Unicorn times
  • Keep your craft to remind you to always be true to yourself. You can be whoever you want to be!

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Unicorn or Narwhal* Spin Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones never-give-up on your goals and dreams!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Unicorn or Narwhal* Spin 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: The Princess and the Pit Stop + *Race Car Roll* Craft

Introducing the most riveting, rambunctious, royal, racing read of the summer ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Princess and the Pit Stop” by Tom Angleberger and Dan Santat

Book Synopsis and Review

*Start Your engines… On your mark…get set…GO!!* And thus begins the most royal-race you’ll ever witness, filled with fairytale characters galore! After 499/500 laps, Princess needs a Pit Stop ~ her status: Last place with ONE lap left to go… even Fairy Godmother thinks she should just ~give up~ But does she? That’s not what princesses do! Instead, Princess slams on the gas, determined to charge ahead, relying on her own guts and determination to get her across the finish line~ in *First place* of course.

There are several reasons this newly-released children’s book is already one of my top-favorites. First of all~ does the name Dan Santat  sound familiar to you?? Maybe because he is the author and illustrator of two very popular MaiStoryBook read alouds: *Beekle- The Unimaginary Friend*, and *After the Fall* about Humpty Dumpy. Dan Santat has won awards for his amazing illustrations and he doesn’t disappoint in this new thrilling read!  Another reason this is one of my new favorites~ It’s all about *Princess Power* ~giving us a story with an independent, tactful, and driven young female lead. I love seeing strong female characters take charge in stories- and in this racetrack read aloud~ this princess doesn’t need to rely on anyone- not even a fairy godmother, and especially not a prince- for with guts and determintation, she knows she can cross that finish line all by herself *and in first-place of course*  This story is also filled with references and allusions to some classic fairytale characters~after all, who else would a princess race against? Recognizing them all is half the storybook fun!  This is a definite home-library addition.

Vocabulary

  • Pit Stop (p. 1) rest spot during a race where you change your tire and fix your car
  • Butted (p. 7) shove out of the way
  • Leapt (p. 8) jumped over
  • Swerved (p. 22) turn quickly in a different direction
  • Ball (p. 29) royal dance

Themes/Main Ideas

  • Never give up! Even when things seems at their worst, give it your best shot~ you won’t regret it! Always remember to go *Full-Speed-Ahead to the Finish Line*
  • You can do anything you set your mind to! Have confidence and believe in yourself.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The Princess and the Pit Stop” – 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

*Race Car Roll* Craft

*Competition*~ it was never my strong suit- at least not in sports~ as much as I am competitive and always determined to *win* -especially at games- I dreaded competition on the courts and fields~ whether it be on the singles-tennis court, on the track for the 800m race, or on the green grass with my soccer team.  I loved the physicality of the sport itself~ enjoying the satisfying smackdown of a solid serve, the sweet burning of lungs and muscles after a full-speed run, and the agility and grace needed to dribble the ball. Yet, throw in the pressure to win-win-win, the expectation to win-win-win (not on my own terms) and competing became an unavoidable, unfortunate side effect of playing sports. However, reflecting back, maybe the competitiveness pushed me to try harder, play smarter, and be better. My own desire to not disappoint drove me to practice, practice, practice~ and eventually led to the discovery that *confidence* is key. So maybe~ a little bit of competition never hurt anyone~* In this week’s craft, to coordinate with our racing theme~ prepare to make your own race car craft~ perfect for some friendly racing competitions of your very own!

Materials

  • Toilet paper roll
  • 1 sheet of Construction paper- any color you want your race car to be (pre cut to wrap around your toilet paper roll)
  • Tape/hot glue
  • Markers
  • 4 cardboard circles (for the wheels)
  • Scissors

Directions

  • Wrap the construction paper around the toilet paper roll and tape/glue it in place so that the entire roll is covered.

  • Use your scissors to cut a flap on the top of your toilet paper roll. Cut 3 sides of a square, leaving one side attached for the *flap*. Use tape/glue to secure the construction paper to the lifted roll-flap.

  • Tape your four wheels to the sides of the car- two on each side
  • Use the markers to color the wheels and decorate your race car.

Explore your *Race Car Roll* Craft

  • Place a small figure or toy in the race car as the driver and *race* them around
  • Create multiple race cars and have a play-race with a family member or friend.
  • Use your race car as a reading buddy as you reread the story–> use the race car to act out how Princess drives, following her rainbow trail
  • Share your race car with a family member or friend to help you retell the story
  • Keep your race car in your room to remind you to never give up and always go *full-speed-ahead* to the finish line!

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Race Car Roll* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones never-give-up on your goals and dreams!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Race Car Roll* 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: A Perfectly Messed-Up Story + *PB&J Splatter Art Craft*

Introducing a perfectly-imperfect story ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“A Perfectly Messed-Up Story” by Patrick McDonnell

Book Synopsis and Review

Are you ready for a story?? Well, get ready~Once upon a time…  or so it’s supposed to go… ~* Louie is ready to share his story, singing his happy song and skipping along to tell his tale, when suddenly *Splat!* He is interrupted by   a -big- splat- of- Jelly! And not *jelly* from his story~ This is *outside Jelly*, splatting into his story. But then as if that wasn’t bad enough *Plop* comes some peanut butter, and soon some fingerprints smooshing all over his storybook pages. No matter how many times Louie tries to tell his story, a new mess appears. Soon, Louie is ready to give up. With all these messes… his story just ain’t worth telling! But wait…or maybe Louie might just discover that a little bit of mess, isn’t too bad at all~*

A perfect book for an interactive read aloud, your little one will be squealing with delight and fascinated shock as mess after mess bombards Louie’s beautiful book pages. However, besides being a fun read, this story imparts 2 valuable lessons: how *Not* to take care of your books, but also~ we’ll find out that a little mess isn’t always a bad thing- in fact, sometimes mistakes and mini messes can lead to the best creations and surprises of all!

Vocabulary

  • Merrily (p. 2) happily
  • Stain (p. 7) a mark that doesn’t go away
  • Inspire (p. 14) makes you want to do better, or do something creative
  • Awful (p. 19) bad, terrible
  • Ruined (p. 22) broken, destroyed, can’t use it anymore

Themes/Main Ideas

  • Embrace Life’s Messes– Be flexible. Things may not always go exactly according to plan, but sometimes that leads to the best adventures
  • Take Care of Books – Use clean hands and be careful with your books. They are valuable and need to be taken care of.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

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

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos

*PB&J Splatter Art* Craft

It’s the summer month of sunshine and pool time~ the perfect time to enjoy some summer treats~like popsicles, and Pb& J’s! My ideal summer afternoon ~ dipping in the water, and then drying off while lounging on a beach towel, book in hand and big bowl of fresh, cold, sweet watermelon slices. The dribble of juices that run down to my elbows leave glistening snail trails on my forearms. Yummy treats often lead to sticky fingers or maybe a little spill or two, but don’t worry~ if we’ve learned anything from this week’s read aloud~ it’s that a little bit of mess is just *fine*, and mini mistakes can lead to inspiring revelations! *Plus, a little sticky fruit juice is nothing a dip in the ocean can’t solve* For this week’s craft, be prepared to use your imagination to turn your own mini messes into the ultimate art masterpiece!

Materials

Directions

  • Print out the PB&J Splatter Art Toast Template
  • Take a scoop of jelly/red paint and splatter it onto the paper toast.
  • Take a scoop of peanut butter/brown paint and smear/splatter it onto the paper toast.

  • Look for a moment at the *mess* of shapes you’ve created. Imagine what you can turn them into / or how you can turn them into art!
  • Use the markers to add definition and details to your PB&J splatters.
  • If you used real PB&J, be sure to take pictures of your art piece *unfortunately it won’t keep!*

Enjoy your *PB&J Splatter Art Craft*

  • Share your creation with family members and friends. Tell them how you turned a *messy situation* into a masterpiece
  • Print out multiple templates and encourage family and friends to be creative with you!
  • Listen to MaiStoryBook’s interactive read aloud again, or reread the story, while creating another PB&J splatter art~ maybe you’ll be inspired!
  • If you used paint, hang up your art piece to remind you that *a little bit of mess is just fine~*

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *PB&J Splatter Art* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones turn life’s little messes into exciting, new adventures!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *PB&J Splatter Art* 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: The Journey + *Mai Suitcase* Activity

Introducing a story about refugees, migration, family, and war ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Journey” by Francesca Sanna

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

Book Synopsis and Review

When *home* is no longer safe~ when danger and violence disrupt and change a family forever~ the only option – the *responsible* option, is to keep the children safe and flee. When your own country can no longer be *home,* it’s up to families to find a new country, a safe place to call home. This story explores one family’s escape from the dangers of their own homeland, and the journey and perils they endure together as search for safety. From hiding in the backs of fruit trucks and carts, escaping from guards, smuggling across the border, and crossing waters on tipping ferries, this family leaves more and more behind the farther they travel. However, they still have each other, and as they search for their new home, *each other* is what gives them the hope and courage to journey on.

I am a firm believer that books are the best way to start challenging conversations with children, and to help them process events and experiences that may be difficult for them to understand. Currently, there is a humanitarian crisis at our own borders as frightened families are fleeing from violence and corruption in their own home countries, only to have their children forced from their arms when they arrive in America, seeking safety. If you are looking for a way to discuss what is happening with your own little ones, this book is the perfect read to help you and your child begin to process. *The Journey* is a visually stunning yet haunting read, a powerful book that highlights the courage and love of this family, yet also the vulnerability and harsh realities they face fleeing for safety. This is a read aloud that can help start discussions about humanity safety, and refugee experiences with your little ones or your own classrooms of students.

Vocabulary

  • Chaos (p. 4) confusion, when you never know what is going to happen next
  • Escape (p. 10) to break free from being trapped
  • Avoid (p. 15) to stay away from something
  • Ferry (p. 32) a boat
  • Capsize (p. 32) when a boat sinks or turns over in the water

Themes/Main Ideas

  • Refugees: begin a conversation about refugees, who are they and what are their experiences – a refugee is someone who flees from violence or corruption in their own homeland to seek safety in a different country
  • Borders: borders are meant to keep people out. What are your thoughts on borders separating people and different countries?

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The Journey” – 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

*Mai Suitcase* Craft

*~And the farther we went…the more we left behind~* In “The Journey,” the family made many sacrifices to find safety in a new land. Not only did they leave behind their personal belongings, but they left behind friends, family, familiarity, and *home.* For families fleeing for safety, leaving home and their country is not a choice, it’s a necessity~ it’s survival. Being able to bring along whatever small items recall memories of home and bring that momentary flash of safety is a tiny luxury. In this week’s activity, you will go through an exercise to think about what 3 *small* things would be most important for you to carry with you. If you had to leave your home forever, what items *that could fit in your small travel bag/suitcase* would remind you of home and bring you that sense of safety and love that only home can give you. Imagine having to leave everything else *and everyone else* behind, except these small things . Prepare for an afternoon of conversation, reflection, and purposeful contemplation.

Materials

  • Brown paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • *3 items of your choice*

Directions

  • Take the paper bag and cut it in half.
  • Cut out handles from the top part of the bag.
  • Tape the handles to the top-opening of the bottom half of the bag you had cut.

  • Use markers to decorate the front side of your suitcase  (choose a front side)
  • Label it ” (Your name)’s Suitcase”
  • Activity: If you had to leave your home and could only choose 3 items to take with you~ they have to fit in your small suitcase you just made!~ what would they be
  • Find them and see if they fit in your suitcase

Explore your *Mai Suitcase* Craft and Activity

  • Share what you put in your suitcase with your own family members and friends. Explain the point of the exercise–> how families who leave their home leave so many things behind
  • Use your suitcase as a reading buddy and re-read the story, reflecting on what the family has to leave behind, other than physical things
  • Ask friends and family members what important things they would bring with them

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Mai Suitcase* Activity,  and I hope you and your little ones begin your own discussions about current events!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Mai Suitcase* Activity, 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~*