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1. An interview with Hiding Heidi’s Fiona Woodcock

HidingHeidi Heidi is exceptionally good at hiding. She can blend in anywhere!

Kind friends know Heidi’s amazing skill and let her win whenever they play hide-and-seek, but is hiding away really the best way to have fun with your friends? What might they be good at? What might they most enjoy doing?

Fiona Woodcock‘s playful and stylish début, Hiding Heidi is a lovely exploration of friendship and thinking of others. Heidi’s delightful friends help her learn that you don’t always have to be the best at something to enjoy it, especially when you know your friends are having a good time too.

Mixing the delight of spotting Heidi in her various hiding places, with fresh and joyful illustrations and a story perfect for fostering kindness and understanding, Hiding Heidi is an uplifting read. To celebrate its publication this month I recently caught up with Fiona Woodcock and asked her a few questions about her journey to becoming a published illustrator. I’m really pleased to share our conversation with you today.

Portrait of Fiona Woodcock taken by Sandy Suffield, in front of a painting by John Hoyland at the Newport Street Gallery.

Portrait of Fiona Woodcock taken by Sandy Suffield, in front of a painting by John Hoyland at the Newport Street Gallery.

Playing by the book: Wanting to draw was in your fingertips from an early age I believe – can you tell me a bit about your early art making experiences? How were you encouraged? What experiences were particularly informative and encouraging?

Fiona Woodcock: I was always drawing as a child and my parents found it hard to get me to stop and read instead. At primary school I was selected along with two other budding artists from each class to join a lunchtime art club. We exhibited our work in the local library. So from a young age, being creative formed my identity really.

I would also add that, not only was I always drawing as a child, I did a lot of looking too (or some might say staring!) But I think that being observant and taking everything in is a big part of being creative.

One of my earliest collaborative art making experiences must have been at a preschool class when I was about 3 or 4. We had to screw up pieces of coloured tissue paper which were poked into a huge polystyrene board. The end result was an image of Alice in Wonderland, which I remember being utterly amazed by.

A family snap of Fiona and her brother. This photo inspired the climbing frame spread in Hiding Heidi (see below)

A family snap of Fiona and her brother. This photo inspired the climbing frame spread in ‘Hiding Heidi’ (see below)

Playing by the book: I really love your comment about the importance of observation. I’m sure this was something you developed further whilst studying – can you tell us a bit about your course at the Glasgow School of Art? How much illustration – and children’s book illustration in particular – was part of the course?

Fiona Woodcock: I studied Graphic communication at Glasgow School of Art, which I loved as it was very drawing and ideas based. It was there that I got into animation – I just loved making my drawings move.

There was a lot of drawing on the course, we’d draw on location every week in places like Kelvingrove Art Gallery, The Transport Museum and The Botanical Gardens. And went on an amazing field trip to Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Sketchbook detail from Fiona's Glasgow School of Art trip to Uist

Sketchbook detail from Fiona’s Glasgow School of Art trip to Uist

Whilst at Glasgow I did a couple of book projects, but not specifically children’s books. I always enjoyed the challenge of sequential images, which is probably why I was also fascinated by animation.

After graduation, I came to London and sought out illustrative animation projects. It became clear that my favourite aspect of the animation process was the design / illustration and so my route into illustration came that way.

Playing by the book: I’d love to know about about your process for making the art in ‘Hiding Heidi’ – including the materials you used, the research you did. What would your top tips be for kids who wanted to have a go at creating art inspired by ‘Hiding Heidi’?

Fiona Woodcock: My process for ‘Hiding Heidi’ started with lots of pencil sketches to help refine the characters. I like to draw on animation paper, it’s a habit I can’t get out of. In some cases I’d use the initial pencil drawings for the final artwork as the redrawn version would loose the expression and energy of the original sketch.

I created the colour work by cutting my own rubber stamps and printing with ink pads to create textured shapes of colour. I also cut stencils and used charcoal and children’s blo-pens. Then everything is composited in the computer and endlessly tweaked.

This shows the print and stencilled colour work, which is combined with charcoal tone and pencil work. You can also see here an early concept image for the stairs spread from the book

This shows the print and stencilled colour work, which is combined with charcoal tone and pencil work. You can also see here an early concept image for the stairs spread from the book.

The way I work has evolved from lots of playful experimentation and I’d encourage children who wanted to create Heidi inspired art to do the same. They could try doing simple potato prints to create imagined places for Heidi to hide in and add extra drawn details. Or use stickers and collage to create their own patterned sofa to hide Heidi on. But essentially just play, that’s how great surprises happen!

An interior spread from 'Hiding Heidi'. Inspired by the earlier family snap (see above).

An interior spread from ‘Hiding Heidi’. Inspired by the earlier family snap (see above).

Playing by the book: Yes, playful exploration! My sort of thing 😉 Is there a secret hidden in the illustrations for ‘Hiding Heidi’ that you’d be prepared to share with us?

Fiona Woodcock: There are a couple of very subtle things to spot on the boating lake scene on the last page, which are different to the other earlier illustration of the boating lake. An indication that even though Heidi is still camouflaged, something has changed. But I’m not going to say, it’s just there for the most observant of readers!

Playing by the book: Brilliant! We’ll all be going back to take a closer look now :-)I love your celebration of a playful approach when it comes to making art. On my blog it’s all about the play inspired by the books we’ve read. What’s the last thing you did (other than creating illustrations) inspired by a book you loved?

Fiona Woodcock: I was very inspired by Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. It reminded me about the wonderful fabric drawings and cloth books by Louise Bourgeois, which has lead me to hatch a plan do some bold graphic fabric based creation myself.

Playing by the book: What a great idea – I can easily imagine your eye for colour and design coming up with some fabulous fabric prints. I do hope your plans come to fruition!

What’s up next for you on the book front? And do you have any time to work on animation at the moment?

Fiona Woodcock: I’m presently working on my second author illustrated book with Simon and Schuster called ‘Bloom’, which will be out next year, and there are other exciting projects that I will be sharing soon too! I’m devoting most of my time at the moment to developing books, so I’m not able to take on any big animation projects, but I really enjoyed working with some friends to produce this short animated trailer for the book.

***********************************************

I’m indebted to Fiona for her generous answers and insight today. I hope you’ve enjoyed our interview, and will seek out Hiding Heidi. It’s given us lots of ideas for project we’d like to try at home – from making sunflower hats (inspired by this), holding bouncy hopper races, making simple boats to sail to the river this holiday, and reading an old, related favourite, Halibut Jackson by David Jackson, to trying our own version of Liu Bolin’s invisibility art!

And here’s some TERRIFIC news! Like the sound of Hiding Heidi? Well… I have one SIGNED HARDBACK to giveaway – and this time the giveaway is international!

  • This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE
  • To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post
  • For extra entries you can:

    (1) Tweet about this giveaway, perhaps using this text:
    Win a signed hardback of @FionaWoodcock’s ‘Hiding Heidi’! To enter just leave a comment here: http://www.playingbythebook.net/2016/07/22/fiona-woodcock/ Worldwide,ends 29/7

    (2) Share this giveaway on your Facebook page or blog

    You must leave a separate comment for each entry for them to count

  • The winner will be chosen at random using random.org
  • The giveaway is open for one week, and closes on Friday 29 July 2016 23.59pm UK time. I will contact the winner via email. If I do not hear back from the winner within one week of emailing them, I will re-draw as appropriate
  • Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

    Find out more about Fiona on her website or on Twitter:
    http://fionawoodcock.com
    @FionaWoodcock)

    3 Comments on An interview with Hiding Heidi’s Fiona Woodcock, last added: 7/22/2016
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    2. Find the Eel Picture Puzzle

    Find the Eel!

    You know those pictures where everything looks the same, but you have to find the thing that is different? Last time, I drew one with a squid. Well, I drew a new one for you!

    Look at this big bunch of elephants and see if you can find the eel hiding in there.

    Find the eel

    Click on the image for a larger view.

    Did you find it? Tell us in the Comments what you think of my latest picture puzzle!

    En-Szu

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    3. Basketball

    Hi!Basketball

    Basketball has had a huge impact on my life since I was in kindergarten. My mother and father told me that, when I was little, I would ask to sleep with my basketball and that I went through a couple of months where I bounced my basketball everywhere I went!

    I play for a summer team, a travel team, a school team, and an A.A.U. team. I love all four of them. When I am having a bad day, and I know I have basketball practice later, it makes my day so much better.

    One reason why I love basketball so much is because the game never stops. The ball is always moving, and the game moves fast. I play point guard, which means I have to work on my ball handling skills a lot. I have lots of fun practicing, even when I am alone.

    I love to watch basketball too. It is so entertaining to watch. My favorite team is the Golden State Warriors. I love to watch Stephen Curry play, and try to imitate his moves. So make sure that you try out basketball soon because I know you will have lots of fun.

    Leah, Scholastic Kids Council

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    4. Stop Motion Master Phil Tippett Brings Hand-Made Vitality to Augmented Reality Holo-Chess Game

    Phil Tippett is using augmented reality to bring his classic creatures to life in the new game Hologrid: Monster Battle.

    The post Stop Motion Master Phil Tippett Brings Hand-Made Vitality to Augmented Reality Holo-Chess Game appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

    0 Comments on Stop Motion Master Phil Tippett Brings Hand-Made Vitality to Augmented Reality Holo-Chess Game as of 7/1/2016 9:51:00 AM
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    5. Find the Squid Picture Puzzle

    Find the Squid!

    You know those pictures where everything looks the same, but you have to find the thing that is different? Well, we’ve got one for you that I drew myself!

    Look at this big bunch of eggs and see if you can find the squid hiding in there.

    squid egg puzzle

    Click the image for a larger view.

    Did you find it? Tell us in the Comments what you think of my picture puzzle!

    En-Szu

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    6. Harry Potter, Voldemort, and Newt Scamander Join Lego Dimensions

    Harry Potter is no stranger to the Lego treatment. The Harry Potter Series was transformed a few years ago into a Lego world in  two separate video games. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter: Years: 5-7 were popular games where you could play as a variety of the HP Series characters as well as exploring the world of Harry Potter in a new and exciting way.

    Now Harry, Voldemort, and even Newt Scamander are heading to the Lego Dimensions game. Pottermore has reported that

    16 new worlds are coming, including a new Harry Potter expansion pack on 27 September, to be closely followed by Fantastic Beasts.

    Lego Dimensions is an expandable game series in which a variety of characters from different universes interact with one another. This means Batman and Harry Potter can team up and take on the Wicked Witch of the West.

    LD_Mashup_Magical_Circle

    In time for the E3 Expo, Lego has released a trailer for the newly expanded Lego Dimensions world. Harry Potter is heavily featured and there is a sneak peek of Newt Scamander in his new Lego form.

    With a quick glimpse of Newt ready to fight it will be exciting to see him come to life in this new Lego adventure. For the full details check out Pottermore.

    Newt

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    7. Make Time to Play!

    Untitled-1

    Today’s kids are playing less than any other generation.

    Play is losing out to TV, recess times have declined and many children in low-income communities lack safe spaces to run, jump and be active.

    But play is essential to kids’ learning. Play helps encourage kids to explore and use their imaginations, increases their ability to store more information and can improve literacy skills by building connections by oral and written expression.

    As the school year ends and kids have more free time, you can incorporate play into all of your school or program’s activities – even reading and learning!

    Try using the books and recommended games below to incorporate play time into reading time.

    Wild Things Tag

    Players: 10 or more
    Space: medium to large
    Materials: none

    19543First, read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

    Then, mark off a large area to serve as the Island of the Wild Things. One player, the “King of the Wild Things,” stands in the middle of the island, while the rest of the players (the “Maxes”) line up on either end of the island.

    When the King shouts “Let the wild rumpus start,” each Max tries to make it to the other side of the island without getting tagged by the King.If a Max is tagged by the King, he or she becomes a Wild Thing. All Wild Things (except the King) must keep one foot planted on the ground at all times while still trying to tag the Maxes.

    The Maxes continue to run back and forth across the island until only one Max is left untagged. The last Max becomes King of the Wild Things and the game begins again.

    All Tangled Up

    Players: 6 or more
    Space: medium
    Materials: none

    32955First, read Hairs – Pelitos by Sandra Cisneros, illustrated by Terry Ybáñez

    Next, have the players stand close together in a circle. Then have each player hold one hand with anyone in the group except the person standing next to him or her.

    Repeat with players’ free hands – avoiding anyone standing next to them or with whom they are already holding hands.

    Now have the group try to untangle itself without letting go of anyone’s hand. It takes patience and lots of cooperation!

    If you have twelve or more people, split into two groups of six and see which group can get untangled first.

    Need more playtime ideas? Visit the Read and Play section on the First Book Marketplace to find all of the books and activities created by First Book and Kaboom! to encourage playing to learn.

    The post Make Time to Play! appeared first on First Book Blog.

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    8. 10 Problems Only Minecraft Fans Understand

    Minecraft)10 Problems Only Minecraft Fans Understand

    Are you obsessed with Minecraft? Can you spend hours creating your world and visiting your friends’ worlds? Do you eat, sleep, and breathe Minecraft? When you get tired of playing, do you switch over to watching videos of other people playing Minecraft? If so, this is for you. Read on to see if you DIG:

    10 Problems Only Minecraft Fans Understand!

    1. When a zombie kills your dog (or cat or bunny or horse).
    2. Your game glitches and you accidentally die.
    3. You build a fireplace in your house . . . and your house accidentally catches fire.
    4. You can’t decide who is better: Stampy Cat or Dan TDM. It is TOO HARD to decide.
    5. When your sister plays your game and changes/damages/erases your world. Not cool.
    6. Lava. It’s bad news.
    7. You are constantly searching online how to build cool stuff like ender portals, pirate ships, mob traps, real stuff like the Empire State Building or Titanic . . . the list goes on and on.
    8. You can’t stop blowing stuff up with TNT.
    9. You have nightmares about a chicken jockey (a baby zombie riding on a chicken) attacking you.
    10. You have nightmares about not being able to play Minecraft.

    Are you a Minecrafter? Let us know your problems only fellow Minecraft fans would understand – in the Comments below!

    -Ratha

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    9. Make Your Own MASH Game

    M.A.S.H.How to make your own M.A.S.H. game

    Want to know your future? All you have to do is gather your friends and play a game of M.A.S.H.  (In case you don’t know, M.A.S.H. stands for Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House.) You can play the online M.A.S.H. game here, but if you want to play without a computer . . .

    STEP 1) Get a sheet of paper and write “M.A.S.H” at the top of the page in big letters. Then think of four categories. They can be anything you want, but most people choose: people to marry, future jobs, how wealthy they will be, and the number of kids they’ll have. Now pick four answers for each category. To make the game more interesting, have your friends pick the answers for you!

    STEP 2) Draw a box at the bottom of the page with a dot in the middle. Close your eyes and have your friend draw a spiral in the box starting from the dot. After a few seconds say, “Stop!” Then open your eyes and count the spiral’s rings. That number is your lucky number.

    STEP 3) Start at the “M” in M.A.S.H and count up to your lucky number. When you stop, cross out whatever you land on. (For instance, if your lucky number is three, start counting at “M” and when you land on “S” cross it out.) Keep counting up to your lucky number, going through each category before circling back to the beginning. When there is only one answer in each category, circle it. That is your future!

    So what did you get? A mansion, with your crush, and four kids? Who knows? It may just come true (unless you ended up in a shack with someone you can’t stand)! Then, you can always play again! Good luck!

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    10. Be a Reading Superhero

    Scholastic Summer Reading ChallengeReading Is My Superpower. What’s Yours?

    The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is on! You can log minutes, earn rewards, and enter for a chance to win prizes.

    And here is another fun reading activity you can do with a friend. Print the Scholastic Summer Reading Mad Libs story starter, grab a friend, and crack yourselves up filling in the story with your answers. If you have never played Mad Libs before, here is what you do:

    • Print the sheet and don’t let your friend read it first.
    • Ask your friend to give you words for each blank space on the sheet. The clues in parentheses under the blanks tell you what words your friend should say. For example, the first blank asks for a name, so your friend would tell you any name.
    • Write down the word your friend says in the space, NO MATTER WHAT the word is!
    • When you have filled in all the blanks, read your story out loud.

    Reading Superhero

     

     

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    11. How To Make an Art Bot

    Make Your Own Art Bot!

    An art bot is a thing that uses a motor to in some way create art with drawing implements attached to it. There are many different possible designs. This is a guide to make the one I made, which does not require any expensive or hard-to-get materials. Make sure you read the entire procedure before attempting.

    You will need:art bot

    • A large paper or plastic cup that you can cut
    • At least three markers or colored pencils (markers work a lot better because colored pencils don’t have enough pressure to draw well and need to be sharpened)
    • An electric toothbrush (you can get really cheap ones at the dollar store)
    • If they’re not included in the toothbrush, batteries
    • Paper
    • Tape
    • Scissors

    Procedure:

    1. Remove the motor from the toothbrush. I’m not sure what brand I used, but the motor came out easily. If there aren’t any, put in batteries.
    2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the cup that the motor can fit halfway into. Turn it over so the hole is on top, and tape the motor in halfway so that the end with a button on it is sticking halfway out. If the button is in a different place, find a way to arrange it so it is reachable from outside.
    3. Tape your pencils or markers around the outside of the cup, drawing ends down (away from the motor end). Make sure they are evenly spaced and the drawing ends are the same distance away from the rim of the cup.
    4. Place the art bot on a piece of paper with the motor on top, and turn it on! If not every marker/pencil is drawing, adjust them so that they are all touching the paper.
    5. If you used markers, make sure to cap them when you are done.

    Julie, Scholastic Kids Council

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    12. Wacky Sports From Around The World

    Football130x130Wacky Sports From Around The World

    Baseball is America’s pastime and millions of people watch the Super Bowl every year. While these mainstream sports get all the attention, there are super-wacky sports played all over the globe.

    Every year, Port Lincoln is home to the Tuna Tossing World Championship. The rules are simple: contestants try to toss a 10 kilogram tuna as far as they can. The world record is 25 meters.

    Cheese rolling may sounds like a simple sport, but is actually very dangerous. Participants chase a wheel of cheese down a steep hill and the first person to grab the cheese wins. While the rules are simple enough, most people end up falling head over heals in their attempt to catch the coveted cheese.

    Bun climbing is an annual competition held at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in China. Men compete in a race to climb towers decorated in steamed buns and bamboo. The person to collect the most buns wins.

    Bossaball is a wacky sport that combines soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and a trampoline. The game is played a lot like volleyball, but teams can use their feet, head, and hands to touch the ball. Also, the court has a giant trampoline in the middle to help people get giant jumps.

    Quidditch is the flying sport played in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Although they can’t fly, Muggles actually play Quidditch by running around on a field with brooms between their legs.

    It seems like every year someone is inventing a new wacky sport. What wacky sports would you like to play? Tell us in the Comments!

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    13. Pokémon Would You Rather

    Would you rather . . .

    We know a lot of you love Pokémon, as we saw in our recent Most Powerful Pokémon post.

    If you’re not familiar with the power of Pokéman,  they are fictional creatures that humans catch and train to battle each other for sport. And with just around 722 Pokémon characters to choose from  – spanning games, TV series, movies, and comics – it’s hard to pick a favorite! Whether you’re a seasoned Pokéfan, just discovering Pokémon, take a poke at our Pokémon Would You Rather.

    Would You Rather . . . 

    1. Be in a Pokémon cartoon OR video game?
    2. Be Dialga (the steel dragon) and be able to warp time by speeding it up and slowing it down, OR Palkia (the water dragon) and be able to warp space, and travel to other dimensions?
    3. Have the power to copy your foe’s ability (Trace) OR the power to make your foe infatuated with you (Cute Charm)?
    4. Have Mega Kangaskhan OR Mega Rayquaza be your battle BFF?
    5. Have the power to turn your enemy to ice with an icy punch OR make your enemy fall asleep?
    6. The winner of the cutest Pokémon is . . . Pikachu OR Eevee?
    7. Be a “god” like Arceus OR a “beast” like Deoxys?
    8. Win a Pokémon playing card tournament OR Pokémon video game tournament?

    Let us know your answers, and your Pokémon Would You Rather questions in the Comments below!

    -Ratha

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    14. Disney Shuts Down Infinity, Will Lay Off Up To 300 Employees

    The company is taking a $147 million charge to close down its gaming division.

    The post Disney Shuts Down Infinity, Will Lay Off Up To 300 Employees appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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    15. Dog Show Logic Reasoning Puzzle

    Solve the puzzleSolve This Dog Show Logical Reasoning Puzzle

    Okay, here’s a new logical reasoning puzzle. See if you can figure it out on your own. If you can’t, don’t worry. The answer is below. So grab a pencil and paper, and good luck!

    (1) Five dogs are appearing in a dog show. (2) The Chihuahua appears first. (3) The Golden Retriever comes out right after the Great Dane. (4) The Poodle and the Golden Retriever both come before the Dachshund. (5) The Poodle comes out before the Great Dane. In what order do the dogs appear?

    Here’s how to use process of elimination to solve it:

    Grab a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. Draw five empty boxes with the numbers 1-5 marked above them. Why 5? We know from reading the first sentence of the puzzle that there are five dogs, so these boxes represent the order of each dog.

    Now read the second sentence. We know that the Chihuahua comes out first. So mark Chihuahua in Box 1.

    Let’s move on to the third sentence. We know the Golden Retriever comes right after the Great Dane so the Great Dane can not be last in Box 5. And we know that box 1 is already taken. That means the Great Dane could be in either Box 2, 3, or 4. And the Golden Retriever can only be in Box 3, 4, or 5 because if it was in Box 2, it would be after the Chihuahua instead of the Great Dane. For now, write Great Dane in Box 2, 3, and 4 and write Golden Retriever in Box 3, 4, and 5. we will use process of elimination to cross out the wrong ones.

    Sentence 4 tells us that the Golden Retriever and the Poodle come before the Dachshund. Hold on. That means that the Golden Retriever can’t be in Box 5 because the Dachshund comes after it. Since the Golden Retriever can’t be in Box, 5 then the Great Dane can’t be in Box 4, so cross those 2 out.

    Since the Dachshund comes after the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, that means the Dachshund could be in Box 4 or 5, so write Dachshund in those 2 boxes. And the Poodle could be in any box before the Dachshund (except Box 1 because Chihuahua is there). So, write Poodle in Boxes 2,3, and 4. Whew! This is getting tough, but stick with it! It will all work out in the end.

    Now for the final clue, sentence 5! The Poodle comes out before the Great Dane. That means the Great Dane can not be in Box 2 because the Chihuahua is in Box 1, not the Poodle. So cross out Great Dane in Box 2. Take a look. The Great Dane can only be in Box 3. Cross out everything else in Box 3 and circle Great Dane.  And since the Golden Retriever is after the Great Dane, it has to be in Box 4! When you cross out all the other dogs that don’t belong in Boxes 3 and 4, you can see that Box 5 belongs to the Dachshund, and Box 2 belongs to the Poodle!

    Here’s the answer from left to right: Chihuahua, Poodle, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, and Dachshund. We did it!

    Do you like these kinds of puzzles? Leave a Comment to say what you think!

    Add a Comment
    16. Sweet Treat Picture Puzzle

    Who Wants a Sweet Treat?

    Okay, my fellow puzzle-lovers, we’re back with ANOTHER picture puzzle! This time, you’ll be hunting for words instead of objects (because hey, we’re kind of obsessed with words). Can you find the following words in the old stamp design?

    Air mail picture puzzle

    Click on the picture to see a larger version.

    • WAFFLE
    • CHOCOLATE
    • COOKIE
    • PIE
    • PANCAKE
    • ICE CREAM
    • CAKE

    Okay, there was a theme here. What? Who doesn’t love yummy, sugary foods? We’re off to snack on some cupcakes, but let us know what words you were able to find (and which ones you couldn’t) in the Comments!

    See ya,

    En-Szu

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    17. At-Home Science Experiments

    Peep says Hi.Science Experiments Kids Can Do at Home

    If you’re looking for something fun to do, here are some very cool (and very messy) science experiments you can do at home!

    Make Slime!
    There are two ways to get slimed. One is to become a teen sensation and get slimed on the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The other (and much easier) way is to just make it at home. If your parents ask why you want to make slime, you can say it’s because you’re researching polymers, which you technically are. Polymers are substances that behave like both a solid and a liquid simultaneous, a characteristic that gives Slime its gooeyness.

    Here’s how you do it: In a small bowl drop a big glop of Elmer’s glue (about 1 inch worth). Then add three tablespoons to the bowl and stir it up. Add food coloring until you get the color you want. Then take a small glass, fill it with water, and mix in a tablespoon of Borax powder. (If you can’t find Borax at your local store, you can order it online.) Now stir the Borax mixture into the bowl and in a few seconds you’ll have slime!

    The Diet Soda/Mentos Trick!
    Want to make soda explode and tell people you’re studying chemistry at the same time? If you don’t mind making a bit of a mess, you can!

    First, go outside with one bottle of diet soda. Then drop in a Mint Mentos candy and wait a few moments. Suddenly, you’ll have a geyser of soda shooting up to the sky.

    Now it’s time to get science-y. The reason this works is because the carbon dioxide in carbonated soda is slightly unstable. When a Mentos dissolves, it causes a chemical reaction that makes the C02 want to separate from the soda, forcing it to shoot violently out of the bottle. For this experiment to work you have to use diet soda because regular sugary soda doesn’t react this way.

    Now you know a couple of cool science experiments to perform. Wow! Science is messy!

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    18. Extreme Sports Trivia Quiz

    torinQuiz: How well do you know extreme sports?

    1. Which of these events is NOT in the Summer X  Games? A) Motorcross Best Trick B) Rally Car Racing C) BMX Freestyle Big Air D) Monoski

    2. Which of these athletes made history when he became the first person to pull of a “double backflip in freestyle motorcross” at the X Games? A) Tony Hawk B) Travis Pastrana C) Torstein Horgmo D) Shaun White

    3. The first Winter X Games took place in which of these California locations. Remember, for the winter games, there must be snow and mountains! A) Los Angeles B) Palm Springs C) Santa Barbara D) Big Bear

    4. B.A.S.E. jumping is an extremely dangerous sport where adventure-seekers jump from very high objects while wearing a parachute or wingsuit. What do you think B.A.S.E. stands for? A) Building, Antenna, Span, Earth B) Broken Ankle, Sore Everything C) Be Adventurous, Seek Excitement D) Bold And Somewhat Extreme

    5. Which of these weird words is actually a term used in the world of skateboarding? A) Fakie B) Blorg C) Pring D) Norno

    6. Which of these is NOT a competitive snowboarding event? A) Slope Style B) Rail Jam C) Slalom D) Slide Rule

    7. Which of these forms of surfing does not require any additional equipment? A) Wind Surfing B) Kite Surfing C) Body Surfing D) Surfing the Net

    8. From approximately what altitude does a skydiver usually jump? A) 12,500 feet B) 50,000 feet C) 102,000 feet D) 80,000 feet

    9. Which of these extreme athletes has broken over 50 bones in his lifetime? A) Mat Hoffman B) Shaun White C) Tony Hawk D) Kelly Slater

    10. True or False? “Smearing” is when a climber uses his foot to press down on a foothold.

    Read on for the answers!

    1. Which of these events is NOT in the Summer X  Games? D) Monoski

    2. Which of these athletes made history when he became the first person to pull of a “double backflip in freestyle motorcross” at the X Games? B) Travis Pastrana

    3. The first Winter X Games took place in which of these California locations. Remember, for the winter games, there must be snow and mountains! D) Big Bear

    4. B.A.S.E. jumping is an extreme sport where adventure-seekers jump from very high objects while wearing a parachute or wingsuit. What do you think B.A.S.E. stands for? A) Building, Antenna, Span, Earth

    5. Which of these weird words is actually a term used in the world of skateboarding? A) Fakie

    6. Which of these is NOT a competitive snowboarding event? D) Slide Rule

    7. Which of these forms of surfing does not require any additional equipment? C) Body Surfing

    8. From approximately what altitude does a skydiver usually jump? A) 12,500 feet

    9. Which of these extreme athletes has broken over 50 bones in his lifetime? A) Mat Hoffman

    10. True or False? “Smearing” is when a climber uses his foot to press down on a foothold. TRUE

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    19. Cartoon Network Launches First Game ‘O​K K.O.!’ Lakewood Plaza Turbo’

    The game is based on an original idea by "Steven Universe" supervising producer Ian Jones-Quartey.

    The post Cartoon Network Launches First Game ‘O​K K.O.!’ Lakewood Plaza Turbo’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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    20. Easy Snowboarding Trick

    Dove CameronOllie: An Easy Snowboarding Trick You Can Learn in One Day

    The scenario: Your friends are going on a big snowboarding trip and you are totally stoked to tag along. There’s only one problem. Your snowboarding skills are non-existent. Well, don’t worry! There are some easy tricks you can learn in a day. Here is one not-so-scary move that will impress any snow bunny or sweet dude. While learning this trick, you should enlist an experienced snowboarder to help you and always wear protective gear.

    The Ollie is the easiest of all tricks and essential for any freestyle-rider. This trick is performed without the help of the rider’s hands, a ramp, or a jump. Here’s how to do it: While riding down the mountain, you want to crouch down like you’re about to jump, and then in one seamless motion, shift your weight over your back leg and lift your front foot. Then, “pop” off your back foot with a slight bouncing motion lifting your legs up, allowing the board to hop up or “snap.” Once you’ve got air, you want to pull your knees up towards your chest as far as you can while trying to keep the board parallel to the snow. Right before you land, shift your weight back over the center of the board and prepare to hit the ground. Bend your knees as you touch the snow to cushion your landing.

    Congrats! You’ve read about your first trick. Now, it’s time to go out and do it. And don’t worry if you don’t want to do any tricks. Being a drifter (someone who “drifts” across the hill with no actual tricks), is fine too. Own it and order everyone hot chocolates as they come off the mountain!

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    21. Solve This Brain-Teasing Puzzle!

    Trivia QuizHow to Solve Logical Reasoning Puzzles

    Okay, here’s a logical reasoning puzzle. See if you can figure it out on your own. If you can’t, don’t worry. It’s pretty complicated. So grab a pencil and paper, and good luck!

    (1) Five kids are sitting in a line. (2) Of the two kids at each end, one is a Giants fan, and the other one is a Patriots fan. (3) A Cowboys fan is sitting to the right of a 49ers fan. (4) A Broncos fan is to the left of the Patriots fan and the 49ers fan is sitting between the Giants fan and Cowboys fan. What order are the kids sitting in?

    Here’s how to use process of elimination to solve it:

    Grab a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. Draw five empty boxes with the numbers 1-5 marked above them. Why 5? We know from reading the first sentence of the puzzle that there are five kids, so these boxes represent where each kid is sitting.

    Now read the second sentence. We know that the kid on each end is either a Giants fan or a Patriots fan. We just don’t know which is which yet. So for now, mark G/P in Boxes 1 and 5.

    Okay now, let’s move on to the third sentence. We know a Cowboys fan is sitting to the right of a 49ers fan. And we know that the far left box is already taken. So the farthest left the 49ers fan could be is Box 2. So that means the Cowboys fan could be in either box 3 or 4. And the 49ers fan can only be in Box 2 or 3 because if she was in Box 4, the Cowboys fan couldn’t be to the right. Write 49ers under Box 2 and 3 and write C under Box 3 and 4.

    Sentence 4 tells us that a Broncos fan is left of the Patriots fan. Hold on. That means that the Patriots fan has to be in Box 5 because no one could be left of Box 1. We now know that Box 1 belongs to the Giants fan and Box 5 belongs to the Patriots fan. And since the Broncos fan is to the left of the Patriots fan, she has to be in Box 4! Write G in Box 1, B in Box 4, and P in Box 5. Three boxes down; two to go!

    Sentence 4 also says that the 49ers fan is sitting between the Giants fan and the Cowboys fan. Well, we know that the Giants fan is in Box 1, so that means the 49ers fan has to be in Box 2. And the only box left open is Box 3, so we know that is where the Cowboys fan sits!

    Here’s the answer from left to right: Giants fan, 49ers fan, Cowboys fan, Broncos fan, and Patriots fan. We did it! And now our brains have turned to mush.

    Do you like these kinds of puzzles? Tell us in the Comments what you think!

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    22. Most Powerful Pokemon

    Rainbow PenMost Powerful Pokémon

    What is the most powerful Pokémon? That’s a question that’s been debated by Pokefans for years. The answer, of course, is that any Pokémon can be powerful with the right training and in the hand of an experienced player. But there are some Pokémon that are extremely powerful right from the get go.

    The most powerful Pokémon are the Legendary Pokémon. The Legendary Pokémon are rare (of the over 600 species of Pokémon, only 47 are Legendary) and very powerful with high base stats.  And while it may never be possible to say which is the most powerful, here are a few that would vie for the honor any day.

    Arceus
    If you want to talk about powerful, it doesn’t get much more awesome than the creator of the universe. Yup, Arceus is said to have created the entire world of Pokémon. He also has the highest base stat total. His signature move is “Judgment” allowing him to change his type depending on the plate he’s holding.

    Deoxys
    The extraterestrial Deoxys is a fan favorite based on the fact that he can make copies of himself and is the only Pokémon that can freely switch between four different forms: Normal, Attack, Defense, and Speed.

    Mew and Mewtwo
    Two of the most powerful Pokémon actually share the same DNA. Because Mewtwo is a genetically enhanced Mew clone, they both share many of the same attributes. They are both psychic type Pokémon with high stats and special skills. Mew can turn into any Pokémon at will using “Transform” and Mewtwo uses telekinesis for his special powers.

    Special Award: Pikachu
    Okay, so maybe Pikachu isn’t Legendary. And he doesn’t have the highest stats. But somehow the little yellow guy always comes out on top. That has to count for something, right?

    So which Pokémon is the most powerful? Well that’s up to how you use them. Tell us YOUR favorites in the Comments.

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    23. A free book fair game for kids to delight in

    Sometimes I dream about world domination.

    Really, I do.

    You know, a world where book-inspired play is taken to a whole new level.

    Not just me and my kids and a book or two, but rather whole schools, even whole towns, with libraries’ worth of books and stories.

    I promise I’d be a benign ruler. And one of my first cabinet appointments would be Dr. Matt Finch.

    Matt knows a lot about taking playing by, with and out of the pages of a story to a whole new level; I first came across Matt in teen zombie battle. Always a good place to find future members of one’s dream team, don’t you think?

    Since then, having wiped away the blood and gore, he’s constantly surprised and amazed me with his ideas for getting people of all ages creating and having fun, whether via comics inspired by M.C. Escher, gambling (of sorts) and games at the British Library or laying down The Great Kiwi Book Domino Challenge.

    Shortly before Christmas last year Matt and I finally managed to meet up in person and when we did so he let me in on a new project of his – an incredible multi-player game he’s devised that gets kids and grown ups really excited about books, whether drawn from a library’s collection or with a bookseller’s stock. I knew straight away I wanted to somehow make this game happen wherever possible and so I’m truly delighted that today I get to tell the world about it, and share it with you all.

    But first some more details!

    Playing by the book: So Matt, what’s your elevator pitch for the game?

    Matt Finch: It’s an all-ages roleplay version of events like the Frankfurt Book Fair. Children form teams which are mini publishing companies. They explore a collection of books, then compete to acquire titles which they create posters and marketing materials for.

    We’ve also run this activity with adults too, at workshops and training sessions. If anything, the grown-ups are even more competitive.

    Photo: Susie Bishop, Pencombe CE Primary School

    Photo: Susie Bishop, Pencombe CE Primary School

    Playing by the book: In your experience of running this game, what do the kids get out of it?

    Matt Finch: Kids get to really explore and engage with a wide range of books, not just in terms of content but also design and other physical qualities.

    There’s a bit of relay racing and simple money management as they try to beat other teams to the books they want. They then get to respond creatively to the books that they’ve chosen. Older children often think very strategically about the business of marketing.

    It’s a rare chance to blend reading, creativity, and real-world business skills.

    As part of the game, players have to browse lots of books and decide which ones they'd like to stock.

    As part of the game, players have to browse lots of books and decide which ones they’d like to stock.

    Playing by the book: And what about the adults facilitating the game? What’s in it for them?

    Matt Finch: Libraries, schools, or booksellers who host the game get to engage communities with their collection in a new and inspiring way. When children’s publishers or booksellers get involved, it’s a chance to see how their target market engage with your stock – and what kind of marketing materials they would create for their books.

    Whenever we’ve played this game we’ve tried to assign one adult to each team. We tell the children that the adult on their team is not their boss or their leader, but an extra resource for them to use. By changing that dynamic, adults get to work alongside the children in a different way, supporting but not directing…even taking orders from children when necessary!

    Playing by the book: I’m sold! Take me to your game!

    Matt Finch: You can download the full instructions for The Book Fair Game here!

    Playing by the book: HURRAH!

    Players enter a bidding war for the books they most want to stock

    Players enter a bidding war for the books they most want to stock

    Playing by the book: But before I run off and round up some people to play the game with me, I’ve a couple more questions.

    Why is playing with books so important?

    Matt Finch: Books are hardly the only gateway we have into other worlds and other ways of knowing, but they’re one of the most established and reliable. That kind of ancient magic needs to be explored freely, irreverently, and enthusiastically.

    A game like the Book Fair lets children consider the book as a physical object – they even get to sniff them. It also encourages children to reflect on their personal response to a book and how others might respond to that book, too.

    Playing by the book: What process do you go through when designing play opportunities which feature books?

    Matt Finch: It’s great to incorporate literacy into even the most boisterous play activities. During our live zombie sieges in Australia and New Zealand, the ‘survivors’ had the chance to evaluate fiction and non-fiction as survival aids. In another session for younger children, time travel adventures began with spotting anachronisms in mocked-up newspapers.

    In our biggest trial of the Book Fair game, with 100 kids from three schools, we actually folded the activity into a day-long adventure with ninjas fighting bandits – and setting up a bookshop as part of their quest.

    For me, play begins with storytelling, and books are just one of many excellent hooks on which we hang the stories that inspire play.

    Photo: Susie Bishop, Pencombe CE Primary School

    Photo: Susie Bishop, Pencombe CE Primary School

    Playing by the book: Did you “play” / act out books as a child? If so, what do you remember doing?

    Matt Finch: Oh, all sorts of bizarre stuff got mashed together. By the end of junior school, it was intense. French Resistance stories out of Commando comic blended with Larry Niven scifi which was probably too old for me – with guns that shot slivers of anaesthetic crystal to knock out baddies! Take that, Nazis!

    I also played with Star Wars toys, except they were never Star Wars characters. Lando and Leia were the heroes, Luke was a Space Nazi (spot the recurring theme) because he had blonde hair and a single black glove.

    And it wasn’t just books. There are embarrassing photos out there somewhere of me and my brother dressed up as Agnetha and Anni-Frid from ABBA. It was about crossing the lines from everyday life to make believe, through any and all points of contact.

    Playing by the book: What’s the last book you’ve read (for adults or children) which inspired you to do something, whether that was a trip to visit somewhere, a creative response, cooking new dish or….??

    Matt Finch: I’m currently talking to Brisbane’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Writers’ Festival about possible partnerships and that led me back to eccentric rocker Julian Cope’s book The Modern Antiquarian, a guide to the stone circles of Britain.

    It’s totally indulgent and bonkers, but experts were forced to agree that he’d done his homework and researched the book well. It’s a kind of deranged gazetteer to these ancient neolithic sites, and another example of how books are a gateway, at any age, between mundane life and weirder worlds. You only need to skim it once and you’ll be hankering to visit your nearest stone circle.

    Playing by the book: Matt, just for you, here’s my favourite stone circle:

    The Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

    The Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

    Maybe this is where my cabinet and I will hold our inaugural meeting when I finally take over the world. Yes. I rather like that idea.

    mattHuge thanks to Matt (left) for setting free his Book Fair game into the wide world. Do download it and see how you could use it in your library, your school, your book group. Matt and I would love to hear about the adventures you have with it.

    Matt Finch (@DrMattFinch) is 2016 Creative in Residence at the State Library of Queensland and writes a weekly newsletter, Curious, Mysterious, Marvellous, Electrical which you can join here: tinyletter.com/marvellouselectrical

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    24. Air Mail Picture Puzzle

    Trivia QuizFind the Objects in This Air Mail Stamp Picture Puzzle!

    We love a good I SPY puzzle! That’s why I’m bringing you this FIND THE HIDDEN OBJECT picture puzzle that I drew myself! Can you find the following items in this old stamp design?

    Air mail stamp puzzle

    • A musical note
    • A paper clip
    • A key
    • A watermelon slice
    • A necktie
    • A bone
    • A pair of glasses

    Did you find them all? Let us know which ones you found (and which ones you couldn’t) in the Comments!

    Toodles,

    En-Szu

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    25. Knock-Knock Jokes

    april foolHappy April Fools’ Day!

    We won’t be playing any pranks on you today, just this quiz about knock-knock jokes, How well do you know knock-knock joke punch lines? Pick your favorite punch line for the knock-knock jokes below!

    1. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Boo. Boo who?

    • A) It’s just a joke. Don’t cry.
    • B) Boo is a weird name.
    • C) Ahhh! Don’t scare me like that.
    • D) Ghosts can’t talk.

    2. Knock, knock! Who’s there? The interrupting cow. The interrupt—

    • A) I’m lactose intolerant.
    • B) Want some milk?
    • C) Moooooo!!!!!
    • D) I’m 2% sure I don’t want to come in.

    3. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Atch. Atch who?

    • A) I don’t know.
    • B) I can’t hear you.
    • C) Do you know an allergist?
    • D) Bless you.

    4. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Aisle of. Aisle of who?

    • A) Love is in the air!
    • B) I love you too!
    • C) Hey, Gilligan.
    • D) I just got back from vacation.

    5. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Myth. Myth who?

    • A) Myth busted.
    • B) Miss you too.
    • C) Don’t you mean legend?
    • D) It’s Mrs., actually.

    6. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Pigs say. Pigs say who?

    • A) No. Pigs say, “Oink!”
    • B) This little piggy went to market.
    • C) Open up. It’s bacon out here.
    • D) Don’t be such a hog.

    7. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Banana. Knock-knock! Who’s there? Banana. Knock-knock! Who’s there? Orange.

    • A) Bananas contain potassium.
    • B) Orange doesn’t make any sense.
    • C) Aren’t you glad I didn’t say banana?
    • D) Orange you glad to be alive?

    8. Knock, knock! Who’s there? The FBI. The FBI who?

    • A) That’s classified.
    • B) You wouldn’t understand anyway.
    • C) Don’t tell anyone you saw us.
    • D) Don’t you mean the CIA?

    9. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Colleen. Colleen who?

    • A) Go away.
    • B) Go ca-lean up your room.
    • C) Who called Colleen?
    • D) Colleen is looking lean.

    10. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Tank. Tank who?

    • A) Who ordered the fish tank?
    • B) Tank to the hand.
    • C) Did you order a tank?
    • D) You’re welcome.

    Tell us  your favorite knock-knock jokes in the Comments!

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