It’s finally May—the flowers are pushing through the dirt, the sun is ablaze with warm promises…and, well, it’s time to take a break!
I thought I’d consult with someone who knows vacationing very well. No, not my Aunt Myrna, the Long Island travel agent queen. Salina Yoon’s Penguin!
He’s a cute, chubby fellow with an itch for adventure. Let’s scratch it, shall we?
Penguin, thanks so much for joining me today. Tell me, what’s been happening at home that you decided a vacation was in order?
Hi Ms. Tara! I was just bored of the snow and ice. I can only count to 99, and after I counted my 99th snowball, I didn’t know what else to do.
You could make 33 miniature snowmen, but ya know, I like the vacation idea better.
What did Grandpa say when you packed your bag?
33 miniature snowmen…I never thought of that!
Grandpa always says to me that I should go and explore the world—and I will come back a wiser penguin. I think he is right. Grandpa is very wise, and he has traveled very far. In fact, he has been to the beach once long ago. He gave me his old swim suit for my trip. It fit perfectly.
I hope you sent him a postcard. He probably missed you very much.
I did better than that, Ms. Tara! I met a lovely seagull on the beach, and she had a camera. It went, “click! click! click!” and pretty pictures came out of a box. She took some photos of me and Crab, and Seagull delivered the photos to Grandpa because she can fly! It was very nice of Seagull. It turns out that we are distant relatives!
Speaking of Crab, you did some fun things together. What other places did you two visit on your vacation?
Crab took me caving, snorkeling, and even cliff diving on the island! I am a very good swimmer, so it was very fun. But the caves were nothing like the ice caves back at home. It was fun to see and try new things.
What advice do you have for kids heading away on vacation to someplace new and different?
My advice is to make new friends on vacation, because they will know how to have fun there even if you don’t! Also, I would say to be open to trying new things because you can do what you always do and eat the foods you always eat when you get back home. And take sunscreen…if you are going someplace sunny!
Where would you like to vacation next?
I would love to visit the Grand Canyon one day, even though I would have to pack a lot of ice with me to stay comfortable. I would also like to visit Mount Everest and see the world from the highest point on Earth! And then of course, Disneyland!
That sounds perfect. I can hear the television announcer booming, “Penguin, you just had your book published, what are you going to do now?!”
Thanks for waddling by today, Penguin. And thanks for leaving behind your adorable book signed by Salina, plus a beach ball to boot! Or throw. Or float in the pool with. Whatever the winner prefers!
Thank you for inviting me to talk with you, Ms. Tara. And happy vacationing, friends!
Please leave a comment below telling Penguin about your favorite vacation spot.
A winner of the book and ball will be randomly selected in one week!
We’ve had a lot of snow this week and one of the ways we’ve been really enjoying it is by using it as an excuse to return to some favourite wintry books/scenes. First up we made Sugar Snow, inspired by the classic description in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I boiled up a jar of maple syrup, using a jam thermometer to tell me when it got to the firm ball stage. This took about 10 minutes. Then I poured the bubbling mixture onto fresh snow, where the maple syrup immediately hardened into Sugar Snow.
The Sugar Snow was delicious but very, very chewy – not one if you’ve got wobbly teeth!
Next we made an igloo, inside which we told stories, and reminisced about Holly Webb’s The Snow Bear (which we reviewed here), and the utterly gorgeous picture book Immi by Karin Littlewood (which we reviewed here).
I also brought the snow theme into my school story + craft sessions, and read Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon. This simply illustrated book is quite literally full of heart (you’ll have to read it to see what I mean). The pictures are great for the youngest of listeners who appreciate bold, uncomplicated pictures, the penguin is undeniably cute and the story is perfect if you want a smattering of snow without any reference to Christmas.
You can get a good idea of what the book is like from this trailer:
Having read the story I helped my 30 5 and 6 year olds create their own play set for Penguin and Pinecone. I gave them each a pinecone (I collect these every year when a local tree sheds them) and a short stretch of felt, with a small snip in it, so one end could be threaded through the other to create the scarf around the pinecone.
To make the sledge each child had a craft matchbox, an elastic band and a small piece of pipecleaner. I prepped the matchboxes by making a hole in the matchbox drawer, and each child then threaded through the elastic band and inserted the pipecleaner to keep the elastic band in place.
We stuck lollypop sticks on the side to make sledge runners, and then we made pine trees and penguins using the templates below.
I printed this template on to green paper for the fir tree crowns and used strips of brown paper (about 8 inches long by 3 inches high) for the trunks.
The penguin templates can be downloaded here. They work fine printed onto regular paper, but for something more robust you could print them on card.
If you’re looking for some snowy, kid friendly, non christmassy music I can recommend:
This has some great lyrics!
A dreamy song for swirling around like snowflakes, with a pretty gorgeous video.
An all time classic…
Making a penguin out of a pinecone, using this tutorial from Martha Stewart.
Growing your own pine tree from seed. You can order some here from Forestart.
Introducing your kids to knitting, using this finger knitting tutorial from Flax and Twine.
For other activities to go with Penguin and Pinecone you could try:
Have you had snow recently? Or are you suffering in summer heat?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Penguin and Pinecone from the publishers. I was under no obligation to review the book and I received no payment for this review.
Opposnakes a Lift the Flap Book about Opposites by Salina Yoon is a great concept teaching tool. Bright and lively illustrations with friendly faced snakes introduce opposites in a fun way! Few words are used which will engage young ones and also emerging readers can confidently read their own way to the end. Really great find!
One Weighs a Ton by Salina Yoon
The Crayola Rainbow Colors Book by Salina Yoon
Super Babies on the Move by Salina Yoon
Thanks to everyone who visited Salina Yoon’s post about her newest and most challenging novelty book, KALEIDOSCOPE. The winner of the signed copy is:
Congrations, Donna! Be on the lookout for an email from me…
Didn’t win? No worries. There’s more giveaways coming in the next two weeks. Yes, it’s a busy Spring over here! Here’s a sneaky peekie (what my five-year-old calls it):
Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino’s BOY + BOT
Sarah Frances Hardy’s PUZZLED BY PINK
Carolyn Crimi and Stephanie Buscema’s PUGS IN A BUG
Ammi-Joan Paquette & Marie Letourneau’s THE TIPTOE GUIDE TO TRACKING MERMAIDS
Plus, don’t forget, if you’re not already subscribed to my blog via email, join today to be entered into a three-picture-book-prize-pack giveaway on April 1st. I’m not foolin’! Just enter your email address in the left column.
11 Comments on Salina Yoon KALEIDOSCOPE Winner! (Plus a preview of upcoming giveaways!), last added: 3/29/2012