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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: mice, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 80
1. Topo’s Piano, by Harvey Stevenson | Dedicated Review

Topo's Piano encourages and inspires young budding musicians to create their own melodies and discover the many joys and gifts of music.

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2. A Look at the 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal Award Winner and Honor Books

A Look at the 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal Award Winner and Honor Books | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts Shares Wonderful Choices for Beginning Readers












The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli 2014  Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal Award WinnerThe Watermelon Seed written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Picture book for beginning readers published by Disney Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group





When a charming and exuberant crocodile explains that he loves watermelon, we are utterly convinced,

Ever since I was a teeny, tiny baby cocodile, it’s been my favorite.
CHOMP! SLURP! CHOMP!

While enthusiastically devouring his favorite fruit, the crocodile accidentally ingests a seed, his imagination runs wild and he assumes a variety of terrible outcomes.

Repetitive text, limited use of long vowel words and very good supporting illustrations make this a great choice for beginning readers.

The Watermelon Seed at Amazon.com

The Watermelon Seed at Amazon.ca



Ball by Mary Sullivan a 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor BookBall written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan
Picture book for beginning readers published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children





There is little doubt that this dog loves his small, red ball. From the moment he wakes up, he is focused on only one thing: playing with the ball. He especially loves when the ball is thrown by a young girl but when she leaves for school there is no one available to throw it.

This is a terrific picture book that relies heavily on the illustrations for the narrative. Apart from one repeated word (ball) it could be classified as a wordless picture book.

It will be thoroughly enjoyed by dog lovers and young children – especially those who are eager for an opportunity to read independently.

Ball at Amazon.com

Ball at Amazon.ca



A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems a 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor BookA Big Guy Took My Ball written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Series for beginning readers published by Hyperion Books for Children





This charming story will remind readers that appearances can be deceiving and perspective is everything! Gerald and Piggie’s friendship is solid and Gerald is more than willing to stand up for Piggie when her ball is taken by a big guy.

Delightful illustrations will appeal to young readers as they effectively portray a range of emotions. The text is perfect for children who are beginning to read – lots of repetition and very few long vowel words.

A Big Guy Took My Ball! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) at Amazon.com

A Big Guy Took My Ball! at Amazon.ca



Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes a 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor BookPenny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes
Generously illustrated chapter book series for beginning readers published by Greenwillow Books An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers





It truly is a treat to read such a beautifully-written chapter book for beginning readers. Kevin Henkes has created a new character: Penny. She is a young mouse with a sense of right and wrong. In this book, she is out with her sister when she “finds” a beautiful blue marble. She excitedly puts it into her pocket and later wonders if she did the right thing.

Lovely, full color illustrations and a thought-provoking dilemma make this a great choice for newly independent readers.

Penny and Her Marble at Amazon.com

Penny And Her Marble at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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3. Robin Hood Greeting Travelers

Robin Hood the Mouse and his Merry Mice

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4. Picture book roundup - Library books

September, National Library Card Sign-Up Month, is almost over, but if you're still looking for a good book to share, here are two new ones:

  • Kohara, Kazuno. 2014. The Midnight Library. New York: Roaring Brook. 
By the time this month is over, I will have visited thirteen kindergarten and four preschool classrooms to promote Library Card Sign-Up Month.

It doesn't matter what other books I have in my bag.  When kids see The Midnight Library, it's the one they want to hear!  Apart from Kazuno Kohara's eye-catching linocut illustrations in three colors, here's why I like it:
  • It features a library that's open all night long.  I wouldn't want to work there, but it makes for a really good story!
  • It highlights the fact that libraries are adaptable.  The squirrel band needs to practice some new songs for an upcoming concert?  No problem!  The library has an activity room they can use.
  • It features one of a librarian's favorite activities - reading stories.  Wolf is crying because her book is sad?  No worries! The librarian reads it with her.  It has a happy ending!
  • It's absolutely perfect for Library Card Sign-Up Month!  Tortoise can't finish that 500-page book before the library closes at sunrise? A library card is what he needs!

See this and more interior artwork at the publisher's website.

  • Becker, Bonny. 2014. A Library Book for Bear. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton.

I've loved the Bear and Mouse series ever since it came out, and while this one is not my favorite (I still love A Visitor for Bear best!), it's a good addition to your collection of library-themed books.  You really can't go wrong with Bear and Mouse.

0 Comments on Picture book roundup - Library books as of 9/25/2014 6:46:00 AM
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5. MICE is a go October 4-5 in Cambridge

MICE2014_Postcard.jpgHere’s another stop on the busy indie comics circuit: MICE the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, will take place this October 4-5. It’s free and you get to buy great comics. Poster by Paul Hornschemeier . More info in the PR:

MICE is back! On October 4th and 5th independent graphic novelists and cartoonists will converge on University Hall at 1815 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge’s Porter Square. The event is free, family friendly, and offers a weekend of activities as the Boston area’s only show dedicated to independent and alternative comics.

MICE attendees are invited to discover their new favorite comic books from over 150 local comic creators. The exhibition area at MICE will present a wide range of art and books: hand-made mini-comics and zines, anthologies, graphic novels, art prints, and sketches. Panel discussions will provide insightful conversations about the world of contemporary comics and graphic novels. Artists will share techniques, tips, and tricks for creating your own comics in a variety of workshops for all ages and skill levels. Sunday’s “Kids Comics Day” workshops are especially geared toward younger readers and budding cartoonists.

This year’s show will also welcome a number of special guests — professionals from the world of independent comics and graphic novels — including James Kochalka, Dave Roman, Raina Telgemeier, Emily Carroll, Paul Hornschemeier, and Box Brown.

MICE will be held at Lesley University’s University Hall at 1815 Massachusetts Avenue in Porter Square. The hours of the show are Saturday, October 4th, 10 am – 6 pm, and Sunday, October 5th, 11 am – 4 pm. Admis­sion is free.

Sponsors for MICE 2014 include the Cambridge Arts Council, DigBoston, and the Million Year Picnic.

 

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6. IF: wheel

Given the prompt "wheel", my swiss soul naturally screamed "cheese". 
So here you go.


And I'm sure we all appreciate a break from the bunnies.
I have more wheel/cheese ideas, so you might want to check back :)

6 Comments on IF: wheel, last added: 2/6/2013
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7. wheel

elephant on wheels450

Squeaking an “Illustration Friday” in!

Two posts in one day! What the heck is going on?


4 Comments on wheel, last added: 2/8/2013
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8. Book Review: The Mousehunter, by Alex Milway

     "Be sure of it," said Lovelock. "This is the last time Mousebeard gets the better of me."
     Emiline shrank back into the passageway, the word 'Mousebeard' circling endlessly through her thoughts. He was the pirate of pirates: bigger, nastier, and hairier than any other. Ever since she was tiny she'd heard horrible tales of him and the infamous mice that lived in his beard.
     With her heart beating heavily, Emiline checked the mouse in her care. It was snoring sweetly, and making occasional sleepy squeaks. Something exciting was happening – something bigger and greater than anything that normally happened to a mousekeeper. She wanted to be part of it..."


Overview:
Twelve-year-old Emiline Orelia is mousekeeper for Isiah Lovelock, Old Town's most famous mouse collector and one of its wealthiest citizens. Emiline cares for her own Grey Mouse, named Portly, as well as all of the mice in Lovelock's vast collection. It's not a glamorous job, but Emiline is very good at it, and hopes one day to become a mousehunter, so she can go out and discover new and interesting mice.

In Emiline's world, collecting and trading mice is valued above all else - but these are no ordinary field mice. There is the Sharpclaw Mouse: a sneaky, mischievous mouse with huge, dagger-like claws on its front paws that can slice through even wood and metal with ease. Or the Magnetical Mouse: prized by sailors for their bulletlike nose that always points due north. Or the Howling Moon Mouse: best known of all the howler mice, it howls only on nights with a full moon. And this is only to name a few.

When Mousebeard, the most feared pirate on the Seventeen Seas, sinks Lovelock's merchant ship, Lovelock hires Captain Devlin Drewshank to hunt him down and capture him. Emiline overhears the deal and, seeing this as the chance of a lifetime, runs away and boards Drewshank's ship, excited to be on the adventure. The journey is a dangerous one, filled with pirates, and battles, and even sea monsters. And Emiline soon comes to realize that all is not exactly as she thought it was, and that no one she's met is exactly who she thought they were.


 
For Teachers and Librarians:
The Mousehunter is a book your students will love reading, and a book you will love for the many ways you can use it in your classes.

How about a character study? Have your students - either individually or in groups - create character trading cards for each character in the book, with an illustration of the character on one side, and on the other, list the character's motivations, personality traits, and the events in which the character has important roles, etc.

Have any map geeks in your students' midst? This story lends itself perfectly to some cartography fun: have them research maps and mapmaking from early times, and the beliefs of those who made the maps. Discuss how the cartographers' and society's beliefs dictated to some extent what went on a map (i.e. sea monsters, indications of the edge of the earth, etc.) Then have your students create a map of the world of The Mousehunter, complete with markings consistent with the beliefs of the characters and their society, notations of the places where important events occurred, and indications of the journeys taken in the book.

Pirates! No study of a piratey book is complete without some piratey lessons, now is it? Have your students compare/contrast Captain Drewshank with Captain Mousebeard, maybe presented with a skull-and-crossbones motif, or drawings of their respective ships. Complete a mini-unit on the seafaring life: types of pirate ships, parts of the ship, ship's crew and the duties of each (with special mention of the specialized crewmen created for this book's pirates), and maybe even some fun discussions/research concerning the naming of a pirate ship. And what about a quick discussion on pirates vs privateers? Cap off this mini-unit with small groups creating labeled models of Drewshank's and Mousebeard's ships, complete with crew. And of course, there's a curse. Great stuff can be found on pirates and their curse beliefs, given even a cursory bit of research. (Sorry. Couldn't help myself there...)

I'm running out of room, but there are so many more ways to go with this book: a unit on island life and its impact upon people who live there (great anthropology and/or societal connections here); the habits and behaviors of hobbyists and collectors; animal classification (Illustrated mouse trading cards! Or go one better: clay models of the mice, along with accompanying description cards.); science/scientific study of animals; animal classification/care/study; evolution/adaptation of animal species; politics and how it impacts people and society. So many ways to go. Which will you choose?

Other ideas? Feel free to list them in the comments.


For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
Your kiddos will have a blast reading this book, and so will you. Besides being an exciting, mysterious, pirate-and-mouse-filled adventure, The Mousehunter has lots to think about. For example, the book has several characters who have various contradictions about them. Some are good guys with bad intentions, some are bad guys with good intentions. What is it that causes a person to be seen as "good" or "bad?" Actions? Behavior? Does how the person is perceived by others influence what/who they are? Or is it the other way around?

This book also explores themes of friendship, enemies, trust, and betrayal. How do you tell the difference between an enemy and a friend? Or is it not that black and white? Can a person be a little bit of both? What do you do when a friend that you trust lets you down? How do you feel, and what can you do about those feelings?

The Mousehunter is fun to read, with its pirates and unusual mice and such, but it also explores the sometimes complicated ways people relate to each other, and it hints that sometimes, people are not completely what they seem - which can be both good and not-so-good, depending on the situation. And don't we face things like that in real life every day? (Well, maybe not the pirates and the unusual mice...)


For the Kids:
If you like adventure on the high seas, and pirates, and mice, then this is the book for you. OK. I know what you're thinking: Did she just say high seas and pirates...and mice? Yes. Yes I did. But the seas and pirates and mice in The Mousehunter are not your average, run-of-the-mill seas and pirates and mice. Nope. See, there are seventeen seas in Emiline's world, for one thing. And for another, the pirates are mouse-obsessed - though in their defense, so is practically everybody else in their world. And the mice? Well, they're like no mice you've ever seen before - some are older than old, some are almost four feet tall, some are bloodsuckers, some have wings, and some even have magnetic noses. Throw into the mix a couple of clashing pirate captains, a very wealthy dude who isn't quite the upstanding citizen people believe him to be, and a mysterious long-ago curse, and you've got a book you will not want to put down. (So why are you still sitting here reading this? Shoo! Go find yourself a copy of The Mousehunter and get reading. Adventure awaits!)


Wrapping Up:
The Mousehunter is full of danger, intrigue, mystery, adventure, and tons of mouse-collecting, swashbuckling fun. It is a book not to be missed.


Title: The Mousehunter
Author and Illustrator: Alex Milway
Pages: 448
Reading Level: Ages 10-12
Publisher and Date: Little, Brown and Company, February 2009
Edition: First US Edition
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $15.99
ISBN-10: 0316024546
ISBN-13: 978-0-316-02454-9


 

1 Comments on Book Review: The Mousehunter, by Alex Milway, last added: 3/1/2013
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9. yesterday’s talent

elephant dance 450

So, anywho, I was going to post this yesterday for the Illustration Friday theme “Talent” but missed it by THIS much. Soooo, since this week’s theme is “Yesterday”…


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10. Merry Christmas 2013

Happy Holidays to all of my fans from all over the world. I hope 2014 brings you lots of laughter, good health, and happiness. Here is a little painting I did for the season. Cheers!

 

Christmas 2013

 

Here is a quote from one of my favorite author’s Neil Gaiman. You can view the entire message and previous years wishes on his blog here.

 

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind. -Neil Gaiman 2008

 

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11. Interview with David Cunningham, Author of “The Wacky Winter on Wiggly Way”

The Wacky Winter on Wiggly Way is David's s big debut. Ten years ago, David faced personal adversity and started to write-what evolved was a a story he penned to explain to his children the courage one needs to overcome fear, pain and loss. The epigraph for the book-"The healing in worth the pain" is the theme the weaves through this tale.

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12. The Wacky Winter on Wiggly Way, by David Cunningham | Dedicated Review

In The Wacky Winter on Wiggly Way, David Cunningham has weaved an intriguing character-driven story that induces thought-provoking moments based on hope, faith and perseverance.

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13. Mouseheart by Lisa Fiedler, Illustrated by Vivienne To | Summer Reading Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of MOUSEHEART by Lisa Fiedler, Illustrated by Vivienne; plus The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi, and Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs. Giveaway begins June 6, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 5, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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14. Max the Brave by Ed Vere. Warning: this post really does contain cute kittens

Image: Paul Reynolds

Image: Paul Reynolds

Image: DomiKetu

Image: DomiKetu

Image: Merlijn Hoek

Image: Merlijn Hoek

Kittens and Cute. They go together like purple and prickles, tigers and teatime, picnics and lashings of ginger beer.

maxthebraveAnd in Max the Brave by Ed Vere (@ed_vere) we meet another very cute kitten. He’s small, and black and has big bright eyes.

But even though every reader who picks up this book will definitely find Max adorable and charming, Max himself definitely does not want to be called cute. He wants to be big, grown up and brave. And to prove his mettle he’s going to hunt down his nemesis… a mouse.

But therein lies a problem. Max does not know what a mouse looks like.

The kitten’s not-knowing-any-better does indeed result in displays of exuberant courage and kids every where will identify with Max’s desire to be be hailed a hero, his refusal to lose face and the simple joy and playfulness of the chase to say nothing of the everyday challenges which arise from simply having to learn how the world works and what it made up of.

This book is an example of storytelling – in both words and pictures – whittled down to the very purest. With only a word or two on many pages, plain typesetting, apparently simple, unadorned illustrations (where much of the impact comes from the page colour and large empty spaces rather than highly detailed or vast drawings). In its bareness there is a direct line to the story, the humour, the characters. There’s nowhere for this story to hide, no embellishments, no fancy details, and this clarity gives the storytelling a freshness that is bold and very exciting.

Restraint may be present in Vere’s brushstrokes (he captures moments of determination, puzzlement, fear poetically and precisely – just take a close look at Max’s eyes on each page to get a sense of what I mean), but this is vividly contrasted with an exuberant use of colour to fill the pages. From Meg and Mog to several fabulous books by Tim Hopgood and one of my most recent reviews, The Cake, there’s a great tradition in picture books of banishing white pages and using glorious swathes of intense colour to the very edge of the pages. One could do some fascinating research into background page colour and emotions at any given point in the story; here, for example, the pages are red when Max is annoyed, and blue with things are quieting down and Max is feeling soothed.

Readers and listeners to Max the Brave may hear echoes of the Gruffalo’s Child with its themes of bravery and danger as a result of not knowing what something looks like, but perhaps more satisfying will be the recognition of characters (or at least their close relatives) from other books by Vere. Is that Fingers McGraw being sneaky once again? Could that be the monster from Bedtime for Monsters making a guest appearance? And indeed, is Max related somehow to the Bungles in Too Noisy? How lovely to be able to imagine these characters having such an real, independent life that they can walk out of one book and into another.

Packed with so much laughter and sweet appeal this book will prove a hit with many, many families. It’s certainly one we’ve taken to our heart – so much so that the kids wanted to make their own Max and retell his story in their own inimitable style.

First J sewed a black kitty out of felt, with pipe cleaners for arms, legs (and one stuffed in Max’s tale so it could be posed.

makingmax1

makingmax2

M (pen name: Quenelda the Brave) then used our new Max to create montages for each page in Ed Vere’s gorgeous book. She modelled her scenes quite precisely, took a photo, and then (as a veteran of adding moustaches and more to photos in the newspaper) edited her photos in a graphics editor to add her own sprinkling of magic.

maxblog1

Here are a couple of pages showing Ed’s original work (reproduced with permission) and the corresponding scene M created:

maxinterior1

“This is Max. Doesn’t he look sweet!”

maxblog2

“Max looks so sweet that sometimes people dress him up in ribbons.”

maxinterior2

“Max does not like being dressed up in ribbons.

Because Max is a fearless kitten.
Max is a brave kitten.
Miax is a kitten who chases mice.”

maxblog4

Here are a couple more spreads created by M (with guest appearances by Elmer as the elephant in Vere’s book, and a Wild Thing who is mistaken for a mouse.)

maxblog9

maxblog12

M had enormous fun (and showed a lot of dedication!) with this – she’s recreated the entire book out of her love for Max. I wonder what Max will get you and your kids doing…

Here’s some of the music we listened to whilst making Max and our fan-fiction:

  • Kitty Fight Song by Joe McDermott. WARNING: this video contains lots of very cute kittens….
  • Monsters, Inc. by Randy Newman
  • Another theme tune – this time to the 1958 film Mighty Mouse

  • Other activities which would go well alongside reading Max the Brave include:

  • Dressing each other up in ribbons and super hero capes. Make Mum look silly by tying bows all over here! Make the kids look invincible by making capes for them (here’s a selection of tutorials)
  • Reading Max the Brave to a cat. Several ‘Kids Read to Animal’ programmes now exist around the word; these reading programmes are believed to help kids learn to read presumably by making the whole experience enjoyable and building the kids’ confidence. Here’s a newspaper article from earlier this year if you want to find out more.
  • Learning about sneezing: There is a terrific (in all sorts of senses) sneeze in Max the Brave. This video found on one of our favourite websites, The Kid Should See This, is beautiful and revolting, fascinating and mathematically amazing all at the same time!
  • What’s the cutest book you’ve read recently?

    Disclosure: I received a free, review copy of Max the Brave from the publisher.

    Image: Marine del Castell

    Image: Marine del Castell

    1 Comments on Max the Brave by Ed Vere. Warning: this post really does contain cute kittens, last added: 6/15/2014
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    15. Elegant Elephant, Arrogant?

    elephant450 2

    ..A PERFORMANCE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET

    … although a  repeat performance may depend quite heavily on the tightrope’s tensile strength.

    ………………………………………………………………………..

    The Illustration Friday theme of the week is “repeat.”

    So.

    You know.

    This.


    4 Comments on Elegant Elephant, Arrogant?, last added: 7/24/2014
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    16. SciWhys: a cure for Carys? Part Two

    Over the past year, the SciWhys column has explored a number of different topics, from our immune system to plants, from viruses to DNA. But why is an understanding of topics such as these so important? In short, using science to understand our world can help to improve our lives. In my last post and in this one, I want to illustrate this point with an example of how progress in science is providing hope for the future for one family, and many others like them.

    By Jonathan Crowe


    In my last post, I introduced you to Carys, a young girl living with the effects of Rett syndrome. Thanks to scientific research, we now understand quite a lot about why Rett syndrome occurs – what is happening among the molecules within our cells to mean that some cells don’t behave as they should. Simply knowing about something is one thing, though; making constructive use of this knowledge is another thing entirely. During this post I hope to show you how our understanding of what causes Rett syndrome is being translated into the potential for its treatment – a cure for Carys, and the other young girls like her.

    In my previous post I mentioned how Rett syndrome is caused by a faulty gene called MECP2 that affects the proper function of brain cells. However, the syndrome doesn’t actually kill the cells (unlike neurodegenerative diseases that do cause cells to die). Instead, the cells affected by Rett syndrome just function improperly. This leads us to an intriguing question: if the faulty gene that causes the syndrome could be ‘fixed’ somehow, would the cells start to behave properly? In other words, could the debilitating symptoms associated with Rett syndrome be relieved?

    Obviously, researchers can’t simply play around with humans and their genes to answer questions such as these. Instead, researchers have studied Rett syndrome by using “mouse models.” But what does this mean? In short, mice and humans have biological similarities that allow the mouse to act as a proxy – a model – for a human. How can this be? Well, even though the huge variety of creatures that populate the earth look very different to a casual observer, they’re not all that different when considered at the level of their genomes. In fact, around 85% of the human and mouse genomes are the same.

    Now, if the biological information – the information stored in these genomes – is similar, the outcome of using this information will also be similar. If we start out with two similar recipes, the foods we prepare from them will also be very similar. Likewise, if two creatures have similar genes, their bodies will work in broadly similar ways, using similar proteins and other molecules. (It is the bits of the mouse and human genomes that aren’t the same that make mice and humans different.)

    In essence, the mouse Mecp2 gene is to all intents and purposes the same as the human MECP2 gene, and has the same function in both mice and humans. Equally, if this gene malfunctions, the consequences are the same in both mouse and human: a mouse with a mutation in its Mecp2 gene exhibits symptoms that are very like a human with a mutation in the same gene – that is, someone with Rett syndrome. In short, mice with a Mecp2 gene mutation are a model for humans with the same mutation.

    With all this in mind, if we can learn how to overcome the effects of the Mecp2 mutation in the mouse, we might gain valuable insights into how we can overcome the equivalent effects in humans.

    And this is wh

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    17. More

    One magpie, lots of stuff, and a few friendly mice answer the question:
    When is MORE more than enough?

    Also try:
    Gift of Nothing
    Bats at the Library
    Library Mouse
    Pumpkin Soup



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    18. Penny and Her Song

    Kevin Henkes's picture books were well-thumbed in our house back when my daughter was a child. She especially loved Julius, the Baby of the World, which features Lilly, a mouse child who does not take well to the arrival of a baby brother. As Lilly puts it: "If he was a number, he would be zero." I spent hours reading this story to my daughter, and later, when she was school age, she'd laboriously copy the text in her childish hand. What I found amazing about her dedication to this work of sibling rivalry is that she's an only child.

    Fast forward twenty years. Penny and Her Song is Henkes's latest book and it's an easy reader. Penny, the story's young heroine is, like Lilly, a mouse child, but with two baby siblings. While this would have driven Lilly around the bend, Penny takes their existence in stride. Where Lilly was boisterous and outrageous, Penny is quiet and resourceful. She comes home from school bursting to share her song with her parents. Except she can't. The babies are asleep. Now Lilly would have thrown a tantrum on the spot. Not Penny. She goes to her room and attempts to sing the song to herself and to her glass animals. Neither does the trick. She needs a proper audience. After dinner Penny finally gets her chance and after listening, her parents and the babies join the show, singing until they are all tuckered out and ready for bed.

    When I started the story I fully expected Penny to act up when she didn't get her way. How refreshing that Henkes, without moralizing, shows his readers the benefits of using self-control and patience. Short, direct sentences combined with Henkes's always delightful illustrations give us a winning easy readers children will want to read again and again. And, who knows, maybe even copy the text word for word.

    Watch Kevin Henkes as he talks about Penny.



    Penny and Her Song
    by Kevin Henkes
    Greenwillow Books, 32 pages
    Published: February 2012

    1 Comments on Penny and Her Song, last added: 5/4/2012
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    19. New illo


    I'm crazy busy this week, but I wanted to share this new illustration with you. It's the start of my new black and white portfolio.

    1 Comments on New illo, last added: 5/22/2012
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    20. perhaps the little mice are magic....

    perhaps ;)

    next up in my line of princesses...the very regal and humble Cinderella.

    follow the link below to purchase prints of Ariel, Snow White and Belle. hoping to be able to add more to the collection soon!

    0 Comments on perhaps the little mice are magic.... as of 9/3/2012 9:25:00 PM
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    21. Geborgenheit

    Heute stelle ich Ihnen eine etwas ältere Illustration aus der Geschichte von der weißen Eule und der blauen Maus vor.  Die Maus kuschelt sich voller Vertrauen in das Federkleid der weißen Eule.


    2 Comments on Geborgenheit, last added: 10/25/2012
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    22. Geronimo Stilton #11: We’ll Always Have Paris by Geronimo Stilton

    5 Stars Geronimo Stilton #11: We'll Always Have Paris Lewis Trondheim Nanette McGuinness Papercutz 56 Pages    Ages: 7 and up .......................... .................................... Back Cover:  Geronimo Stilton is the editor of the Rodent’s Gazette, the most famous paper on Mouse Island. In his free time he loves to tell fun, happy stories. In this adventure, Geronimo [...]

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    23. Seymour’s Christmas Wish by Jane Matyger

    4 Stars Seymour's Christmas Wish Jane Matyger Javier Duarte Mirror Publishing 28 Pages    Ages: 3 + ..................... ...................... Back Cover: Seymour, a tiny, tiny mouse, lives at the North Pole. Each Christmas Eve, he shines Rudolph’s red nose before Santa’s big trip. This year Seymour has a special wish . . . a wish that [...]

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    24. SkADaMo 2012 ~ Day 7

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These wee mice will soon be frolicking across my blog/banner, but today they are for:

    0 Comments on SkADaMo 2012 ~ Day 7 as of 11/7/2012 11:06:00 PM
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    25. Love and a lost toy

    Can you believe it’s the very last day of Picture Book Month 2012?

    Holidays is the theme of the day, and in taking that to mean festive celebrations, I’ve chosen to wrap up a wonderful month with a gentle, charming, heart-melting story set at Christmas: Ernest & Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent, translated by Sam Alexander.

    Celestine, a mouse, and Ernest, a bear, are perhaps an unlikely pair of friends. But good friends, thoughtful and kind friends is what they are. So when one wintry day out on a walk Celestine loses her favourite toy, Ernest is determined to make things better.

    Ernest’s first attempt to make everything all right doesn’t work, but a second attempt puts a smile back on Celestine’s face. Then to spread the goodwill and to ensure that Ernest’s earlier attempts don’t go to waste, friends and neighbours are invited around to celebrate Christmas together.

    It’s a terribly simple story, with the drama familiar from other tales (I first thought of that terrible moment in On the Banks of Plum Creek when Laura discovers her beloved Charlotte abandoned by Anna Nelson in a frozen puddle, and more recently there’s Mini Grey’s Lost in Space) but several aspects of this book make it stand out, head and shoulders above other similar books on offer this season.

    Vincent’s illustrations
    are graceful, full of poise and seemingly effortless. They are soothing and calm. They are what I imagine a lullaby might look like – and certainly this book would make perfect bed time reading. Ernest and Celestine are two characters it is very easy to fall in love with. Their expressions and body language are all about love and care, about that sort of connection you feel when all you want to do is scoop up your child and hug them tight.

    The tender illustrations are given centre stage by the minimal text which accompanies them. This book is an example par excellence of where the relationship between image and word is full of breathing space, where scenes and phrases are left lingering in the air to savour. There’s no “He said,” or “She said,”, no “Then this happened,” or “that happened,” but rather the reader and listener need to take their time to sew the threads together, This slower pace adds to the calm, soothing feeling I’m sure will envelop all readers and listeners of this book.

    A book full of reassurance, joy, and deep, profound love, sprinkled all over with a dusting of sparkling snow and a Christmas party to boot – I’m not sure there’s a better picture book to be found under your tree this year.

    Ernest and Celestine was originally published in French in 1981 under the title Ernest et Célestine ont perdu Siméon. It was a great success, and more than 20 further Ernest and Celestine books were published. Some of these were translated into English in the 1980s by various publishers, but all are now out of print.

    Catnip, the publishers of this Ernest and Celestine, will be bringing out The Picnic (Ernest et Célestine vont pique-niquer) in April next year, and plan to publish one to two Ernest and Celestine books a year if they take off in the way they deserve to.

    Hopefully the new animated film based on the characters Ernest and Celestine, with a script written by Daniel Pennac, will boost the books’ popularity. You might like to watch a trailer for the film (although I don’t think the animation is as beautiful as the original illustrations):

    A busy week means that we haven’t yet played out this book as per the kids’ request – the plan is to spend the weekend making a pram out of cardboard, plumbing pipes and a broom handle (sounds crazy, but the plan IS a good one!). Celestine has a lovely pram which she plays with and that’s what what we’re going to try to make together.

    Instead, however, you could “play by the book” by:

  • Making a soft toy based on a drawing by a child – Celestine draws a picture of her lost toy for Ernest, which he then uses as the basis to sew a new one for Celestine. Child’s Own Studio are a business doing exactly this, but you could make a much simpler one like we did here.
  • Going for a stomp in the snow, perhaps taking The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats along with you.
  • Making Duck toys – lots of duck toys peep out from behind boxes and furniture in the illustrations of this book, and this tutorial from About.com is pretty kid friendly.
  • Now one last thing before I wrap up for this month…

    If I could have chosen the theme for today, I would have simply chosen Celebration – because that’s what this month has been – one great big celebration of everything a picture book can be. Huge thanks go to Dianne de Las Casas for all her hard work and enthusiasm throughout the month, and for having the vision to create this month-long party. Well done Dianne! And here’s to Picture Book Month 2013!

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    2 Comments on Love and a lost toy, last added: 11/30/2012
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