Title: A Letter for Leo Written and illustrated by: Sergio Ruzzier Published By: Clarion Books, New York, 2014 Themes/Topics: postmen, friendship, letters, birds, weasels Suitable for ages: 3-5 Fiction, 32 pages Opening: Leo is the mailman of a little old town Synopsis: Postman Leo … Continue readingAdd a Comment
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Blog: Miss Marple's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Perfect Picture Book Friday, A LETTER FOR LEO, birds, bocce, fiction, friendship, Italy, letters, mailman, picture books, Sergio Ruzzier, teacher resources, Add a tag
Blog: A Year of Reading (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: birds, nature, poetry, Add a tag
As I noted last Wednesday, J. Patrick Lewis' anthology title says it all: "Everything is a Poem." On Thursday, we looked at science in poetry. Today, the focus is on nature in poetry -- specifically, birds. Upcoming posts include history, biography and imagination in poetry.
Sadly, last June, Holly Meade, David Elliott's illustrator for the other books in this series (On the Farm, In the Wild, In the Sea) died at age 56. David Elliott dedicates this book to her.
Blog: the enchanted easel (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: art, birds, children art, graphite, kawaii, paper, pencil, penguins, sketch, the enchanted easel, thumbnails, whimsical, Add a tag
|©the enchanted easel 2014|
Blog: Bit by Bit (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Animals, COLLEGE PROJECTS, Drawings, illustration, Marker pens, Watercolour, birds, collage, envelopes, Floating Lemons, Huginn and Muninn, illustrations, mail art, Norse mythology, paper cutting, postal art, project, ravens, Add a tag
This is one of the projects I've been working on recently, for an art college class. Yes, birds and mail art. Wonderful. Loads of cutting, slicing, collaging, and then drawing and painting, was done. I ended up with a couple of options to work on, and liked them both but ended up picking this one below for the final review.
I went through a bit of exploration and research and managed to develop quite a fascination with ravens, sifting through poems such as Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven', folklore, fairy-tales, fables--almost picked Aesop's The Crow and the Pitcher--so it isn't too surprising that I went with this pair in the end ... In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "mind") are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world of Midgard, and bring information and news back to the god Odin. Flying messengers. Perfect.
I've depicted them as a white and black raven, and addressed the envelope to them. Their names are written in ancient Nordic runes just above their respective beaks. Yes, there's a message inside as well, written on rice paper 'parchment'. Private, of course. Let's hope that the envelope will eventually be returned to sender (me!) with a postal mark to show that it's been in the system. Here's a glimpse of the bit of mess I made while researching and working on the project ...
Here's the back of the envelope with a depiction of the Nordic mythical Tree of Life, Yggdrasil ...
The ravens and the tree were paper cuttings (my sketch book suffered somewhat) that I painted (watercolour for the birds and some marker pen on the tree) and collaged onto the envelope. On the front I'd also glued crosswords (to symbolize thought, naturally) onto the original white envelope, and then placed a thin sheet of rice paper over the whole thing so that it looked like parchment, slightly aged. I quite like the result, what do you think?
The other attempt at mail art was slightly a different one: I made an envelope from black paper and then cut straight into it, collaging and shading only the white bird on the front. Then I placed white paper inside the envelope so that it showed through the snipped out leaves, flowers and insects.
Simple, but I think it's quite cute. The back is a more abstract representation of a (meaner) raven and its wings, can you see it?
I did like this black and white bit of mail art, but once I'd begun on the research for the winged messengers of Odin, I fell in love with them and that was pretty much that. I think I made the right choice picking them as my final piece, what do you think? There are infinite possibilities for both options though, and I may end up using them somehow on cards and other goodies, so keep an eye out for them up at the Floating Lemons shops in the near future ...
Meanwhile, I wish you a fantastic week. Cheers.
Blog: Loni Edwards Illustration (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: blog, art, birds, inktober, project, Add a tag
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Blog: Yesisedit's Weblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 1, Children's book, childrens poems, Fuel for thought, Fun, help, Ideas, My view, nature, Photography, Poem, Say it ain't so, society, Stories and art, story, Thoughts, world, animals, Art, birds, children, Color, colorful, friends, funny, Hap Murphy, Life, look, love, photo, Photos, thought, Add a tag
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Blog: Letters From Schwarzville (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: birds, event, events, kawakawa, music, Add a tag
Here are some pictures from the album launch of Kawakawa's new album, "Island Species".
It's beautiful, and we had a great evening.
There were some very strange birds present...
All photos: Peter John Morgan Add a Comment
Blog: Fantastical Childrens Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Nature's design, birds, eggs, feeding, hatchlings, insects, nest, nesting, wrens, Add a tag
The Adventures continue…and you can read more here: The Tales of Mr. and Mrs. Wren Filed under: Nature's design Tagged: birds, eggs, feeding, hatchlings, insects, nest, nesting, wrensAdd a Comment
Blog: MISS O's SCHOOL LIBRARY (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: birds, Jen Corace, Mac Barnett, Telephone, The Bird Lady, Add a tag
Telephone Wires With Birds on Top?
Not unusual in the City!
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2014, ballet, birds, Caldecott Honnor Book, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, dance, flamingo, girl's picture book, Molly Idle, penguins, poetry in motion, Add a tag
by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books 2013
978-1-4521-1006-6 CALDECOTT HONOR BOOK
Age 4 to 8 32 pages
“Friendship is a beautiful dance. In this innovative wordless book, a tentative partnership blooms into an unlikely friendship between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Artist Molly Idle has created a story full of humor and heart, with emotions that leap off the page, and memorable characters who are worthy of countless standing ovations.”
A flamingo, peacefully standing one-legged in the water, turns its head to look behind it and eyes one little girl, named Flora, standing one-legged in the water, imitating the flamingo, who then turns her head to look behind her.
Do you remember repeating everything your older sibling said or mimicking every movement, just because you could? Flora mimics the flamingo, but not to get the flamingo’s goat. The little girl, in her pink one-piece swimsuit and pink flowered swim cap, takes on the flamingo’s graceful movements and the two begin a beautiful duet.
Words would undeniably be a distraction in the story of Flora and the Flamingo. Movement flows from a variety of flip pages attached atop Flora or the flamingo on several of the pages. For example, Flora imitates the flamingo’s stance: standing on one leg, head tucked under a wing. Flip down the flaps and the stances change. Both dancers remain on one leg, but now each twists her head toward the other, possibly checking to ensure the other is still there.
The flamingo is Flora’s mirror, or maybe Flora is the flamingo’s mirror. Each bend, each stretch, each turn, and each look magically appear on both characters at the same time. Flora and the Flamingo will make you giggle and grin. Young girls will love the mystical dance between these two unlikeliest of friends. Before a friendship can be established, the flamingo LETS Flora have it! The shock of flamingo’s sharp bleat flips Flora over and up, landing her on her rear, unhappy. Flora turns her back, refusing to play any longer, but the flamingo finds this worse than being shadowed. It offers Flora a wing, which Flora thinks about before allowing flamingo to help her to her feet. (Are these two friends or siblings?)
At the moment of friendship, when Flora and the flamingo become dancing partners instead of solo acts, the spread takes on a drastic change. The two begin together on one page. They had begun their awkward dance with the flamingo firmly staying on the left page and Flora on the opposing right page of the spread. Now both are on the right page, figuratively and physically. Their movements become wider, and joyous. The two fly across the spread, smiling as they float, as if on ice. Then there is a big finale, as all great ballets should have. The finale is a wonderful dance only Flora and her flamingo can perform, together in the same spotlight, four pages in length. BRAVO!
Girls will love this graceful dance between friends, especially those little girls starting their first ballet lessons, wearing their pink tutus, and pink leotards, and some with pink ballet shoes, while others still will have pink ribbons in their hair. Flora is at her first class and flamingo is the instructor. This makes a wonderful baby-shower gift, when the parents-to-be know they have a girl on the way. Flora and the Flamingo is a beautiful book, with brilliant illustrations that float across the pages. It is no surprise Flora and the Flamingo became a Caldecott Honor Book. The medal winner must have been an amazingly illustrated picture book to beat out these two graceful dancers.
FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO. Story and Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Molly Idle. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
Learn more about Flora and the Flamingo HERE.
Also by Molly Idle
FLORA AND THE PENGUIN 2014
Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: ballet, birds, Caldecott Honnor Book, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, dance, flamingo, girl's picture book, Molly Idle, penguins, picture book, poetry in motion Add a Comment
Blog: Reading Under the Covers (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: birds, little me, nature, Add a tag
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Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Birds, Animals, Being independent, Bouncing, Cats, Different perspectives, Ed Vere, Elephants, Emotions, Exploration, Humour, Learning about the world, Mice, Add a tag
Kittens and Cute. They go together like purple and prickles, tigers and teatime, picnics and lashings of ginger beer.
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.
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.
Here are a couple of pages showing Ed’s original work (reproduced with permission) and the corresponding scene M created:
“This is Max. Doesn’t he look sweet!”
“Max looks so sweet that sometimes people dress him up in ribbons.”
“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.”
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.)
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:
Other activities which would go well alongside reading Max the Brave include:
What’s the cutest book you’ve read recently?
Disclosure: I received a free, review copy of Max the Brave from the publisher.
Blog: Jen Robinson (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Newsletter, Picture Books, Reviews, bill bolton, birds, bruce lansky, meadowbrook press, picture book, picturereading, Add a tag
Book: Early Birdy Gets the Worm
Creator: Bruce Lansky
Illustrator: Bill Bolton
Age Range: 2-5
Early Birdy Gets the Worm is billed by the publisher, Meadowbrook, as "A PictureReading(TM) Book for Young Children". The end flaps include a User's Guide for Parents and Teachers on using PictureReading books (with pictures telling the story) to support storytelling with young kids. The guide says: "The ultimate goal of PictureReading is to turn over to the child the role of figuring out the plot points and connecting them with a narrative thread as soon as possible." So, something like a wordless picture book that is meant for the child to lead the reading of, instead of the parent taking the lead. An early reader without any words, if that makes any sense.
For me, however, a book has to be judged on how good it is, not on what the intentions are. It needs to be a book, rather than a "parenting resource". And in the end, I liked Early Birdy Gets the Worm as a wordless picture book, but I didn't love it. It's the story of a young bird who is inspired by seeing his mother pull a worm out of the ground to try to do the same thing himself (with less than successful outcomes). Bolton's illustrations are gentle, and convey a mild humor, though his backgrounds seem overly simplistic.
I think that Early Birdy's setbacks will make kids laugh, even as they feel a bit protective of the fuzzy brown chick. For example, he see a bit of pink poking out of a tree trunk and pulls, only to find an irate mouse at the other end. The expressions of the characters are slightly exaggerated, to make sure that kids can follow the story.
I found the conclusion to Early Bird Gets the Worm disappointing, however. He's never able to get a worm himself. He goes back to his nest, and then his mother brings him a worm. The message feels like: Try, but don't worry, if it doesn't work out, Mommy or Daddy will take care of you. And while this is doubtless true in most cases, I found it unsatisfying in a narrative sense.
I will try this one out with my four-year-old daughter. And thinking about this book has inspired me to try to be a bit more interactive when reading with her, to encourage her to tell the story. Early Birdy is definitely cute. But I'll be surprised if Early Birdy Gets the Worm lands a spot on our regular re-reading list.
Publication Date: May 6
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Birds, Books / Libraries, Different perspectives, Dyslexia, Flying, Michael Morpurgo, Ross Collins, Add a tag
Red Squirrel, a new imprint from Barrington Stoke, is dedicated to creating exciting picture books.
But what makes them sit especially tall on the bookshelf is that as well as superb storytelling and inventive illustrations, these picture books contain lots of dyslexia friendly features so that grown-ups with dyslexia can also experience the joy of reading aloud to the kids in their lives.
Have you ever been reading a book and then fallen into a reverie imagining yourself as the character you’re reading about?
This is exactly what happens in All I said Was, and as a consequence – with the help of just a little magic, a boy and a bird swap places.
The boy-turned-bird is delighted. “This flying lark is amazing. I wan to to be a bird all my life.”
The bird-turned-boy is also pleased as punch: He discovers the joy of being able to read.
But is bird-life really all it’s cracked up to be? And can the magic ever be undone?
A quietly funny celebration of the power of a good book to transport us anywhere – safely – this is lovely story, told clearly and concisely. Its theme makes it particulars appropriate for opening a new venture which will hopefully enable more families to enjoy more stories.
Collins’ characterization and visual humour are especially strong (I particularly like his farmer and pigs). The illustrator also has the final say with a brilliant twist in the tale once Morpurgo’s words are complete. It’s a brilliantly satisfying, slightly naughty and rather funny end to a super book.
This is a book that could be enjoyed for so may different reasons – whether you’re looking for a prime example of illustrations doing so much to enrich a written text, a book celebrating how books can bring our imagination to life, or simply a funny story to share at bedtime – whether or not you yourself sometimes struggle with the written word.
All I can say is: Hurrah for Red Squirrel and their broadening of what it means for picture books to be inclusive.
Both M and J said they too would love to experience flying like a bird. The nearest I could offer them was the joy of flying…. a kite, made to look like a bird. Ah well, us parents, we can only try our best
We cut out very rough bird shapes from old plastic bags which we decorated with permanent pens. Once the feathers, beaks and eyes were in place we attached thin doweling to our birds. I used this commercial product as a starting point, cross referencing it with these instructions for making a diamond kite to come up with All-I-Said-Was-Kites Mark 1.
We each made one kite and then imagined us swapping places with the birds as we flew them.
Additional activities which could work well alongside reading All I said Was include:
Music that goes well with All I said Was and the playing it induced in us includes:
If you could swap places with a character in a children’s book, which character would you swap places with (bearing in mind whoever you swapped with would take your place in your family/classroom/library….)?
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of All I said Was from the publisher.
Blog: paperwork (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: animals, birds, illustration, pattern, watercolor, Add a tag
Blog: Beautifique (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Illustrations, baby birds, beautifique, beautifique studio, birds, book spread, children's books, childrens art, clouds, digital illustration, flying pirates, flying ship, illustration friday, kids, nautical theme, Nina Mata, picture books, pirates, rough sketch, sketch, sleeping birds, town, voyage, Add a tag
Working on fun things this week. Starting with a fun little spread about a family of birds. I love that I get to flex some background work in this one..I always loved working on buildings and such.
More work talk of work to come.
Until then Happy Week!Add a Comment
Blog: Mayra's Secret Bookcase (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: backyard, birds, education, nature, playground, preschool, Add a tag
Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Animals, Author/Illustrator Interviews, Bears, Birds, Different perspectives, Growing up, Jackie Morris, Magic, Mystery, Myths, Polar bears, Add a tag
Last month Jackie Morris‘ haunting book The Ice Bear was released in a new paperback edition. To celebrate this I asked Jackie to share a little of the background to this bewitching story, to share some the book’s secrets.
If you’ve already got a copy of the book you might want to have it to hand whilst you read what she reveals, so you can go back and look at the images with fresh eyes. And if you haven’t already found a place in your home for this piece of art between two covers, … well perhaps this post ought to come with a warning notice. There’s magic in and on the pages of The Ice Bear. Prepare to be charmed and enchanted.
“The Ice Bear began with an image in my mind’s eye. It was an image of a child, kneeling. Around the child there were bears, so that the child looked like the centre of a daisy and the bears were the petals. My job was to work out how to get the child there, and probably more important, how to get him out again. This is what books are about for me, asking and answering questions, and in the process discovering more questions.
The Ice Bear began with a friend, pregnant with her first child. Something went wrong. The baby stopped moving, at full term. He died. She had to deliver a stillborn child. A tragedy for her and the child and her husband. The way people reacted to this was a shock to me. Quick, rush over it, brush over it, hide it under business, do anything but face the pain. (Not Sophie and Jon. They couldn’t rush over it, hide it, they had to face it.) I wanted to do a book about a lost child, about loosing a child. This was a thread that wove into the book. Though few would know if I didn’t say and the book is dedicated to Rhoderic, and Sophie and Jon and also to Katie and Thomas who were born by the time the book came out.
The Ice Bear began with a wish to do a book about polar bears, and to weave into it transformation and a legend, of the trickster and the shaman.
The Ice Bear began when the flight of a raven began to stitch together ideas with its patterned flight in the Pembrokeshire sky, because all books are like rivers, fed by streams of ideas, coming together.
The book is part of a series of books I have written about animals, each with a cover that is a portrait of the animal, staring out from the book. The covers are strong, almost iconic, and the books are often given shelf space so that the whole cover is seen, rather than being placed spine out on a shelf. I am told by bookshops who put the in the window that they work like a charm to bring people in to the shop, and one shop in Edinburgh said that people often missed their bus as they crossed the road to get a better look at the Snow Leopard when that was in the window. There’s something about eyes looking straight at you that still holds a primitive magic over the wild parts of the human consciousness. When I paint an animal in this way I am not searching for the humanity in the animal. I am searching for the soul, the spirit of the creature.
Having ‘begun’ with an image the story then builds into a balance of words and images. Picture books are meant to be read aloud. The language needs to taste good in the ear, to look right where it sits on the page. A picture book is like a theatre, each page a stage set for that part of the story and in designing each page I often include parts of the stories that are only in the pictures. Once open I try to keep the words inside the pictures. I want the book to become a world where the pictures and the words tell the story. The composition is thought out right to the corners and often the corners and edges are where the main focus of the story is. (You can see this best in the picture where the child finds his mother bear. The image dominated the page but in the top right hand corner there is the figure of the father, charging in).
I paint on smooth paper, arches hot pressed, beginning with pale washes and then building and building with layers and then smaller details. The paints that I use are Winsor and Newton Artist Quality watercolours, usually tubes, and I use ceramic palettes. I know these colours quite well now after 25 years of working with them. I know when to run wet into wet and how much water to use. Now I use sable brushes. They carry the paint so well and a brush like a series 7, no. 4 will allow a wide wash but also can pull the finest line when handled right. And in the same way that writing is like finding the answers to a series of questions, so too is painting. I am constantly asking myself questions, about composition and colour and line and finding the answers is what makes the book.
In The Ice Bear the mother and the father each have a totem animal. The mother’s is the Arctic fox, and often when it seems that the child is alone on the ice you can see the fox is there somewhere, watching. The father’s is the owl, a fierce sky hunter. The boy’s is the bear and always will be. And raven, the trickster, a character who is perhaps a force for good, perhaps bad. He steals the bear child, but takes him to the hunter and his wife who have longed for a child. And when it is time he leads him back across the ice and joins the bear people with the human people forever. So is she good, or bad?
During the telling of a tale things can change. When I originally wrote The Ice Bear the raven lured the child out over the ice with small shards of sea glass. But I had wanted the book to be set long before glass was invented. The child becomes the first shaman, a bridge between humanity and the bear people. It was a time when there were no borders and people wondered the land without any border controls. There was no concept of ownership of land. The very idea would have seemed ridiculous. And so I looked for something else, something more timeless and lit upon the idea of amber. Amber is natural, not a manufactured thing. And I have a necklace of amber beads that if taken apart by a mischievous raven would look just like the broken amber heart in the snow.
The Ice Bear has been published now in many languages, French, Spanish, Catalan, Danish, Swedish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese. This is one of the things I love about working with books. Words found on a hill top in Wales can travel the world. I also love the democracy of books. Paintings in a gallery are expensive and usually bought to be hung in one home. Books can be bought, translated, and borrowed from libraries. They can be shared.”
My thanks go to Jackie for so generously sharing some of the stories behind The Ice Bear.
The House of the Golden Dreams (an art gallery featuring Jackie’s work): https://www.facebook.com/TheHouseofGoldenDreams
Jackie on Twitter: @JackieMorrisArt
Jackie’s blog: http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/
Blog: Miss Marple's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: children's books, Perfect Picture Book Friday, picture book, birds, courage, Flight School, learning to fly, Lita Judge, penguins, resourcefulness, school activities, Add a tag
Title: Flight School By Lita Judge Published by Athenium Books for Young Readers, April 2014 Ages: 3-7 Themes: penguins, flight, courage, dreams Opening Lines: “I was hatched to fly’” said Penguin, … Continue readingAdd a Comment
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Apps, apps for ios, apps for teens, birds, birdwatching, Local Birds, science, Add a tag
Springtime. Flowers are blooming. The sun is shining. Birds are singing… and flying by and hanging out on the lawn. Hey, what kind of bird is that anyway? If you’ve wondered about this, Local Birds can help.
Local Birds pulls together a database of birds based on your location. If you use the browse function, birds are sorted by types, raptors, songbirds, etc and listed in order from most common to least common in your area. You can also search for birds that don’t live in your part of the world and get information about them as well. For each bird, the app gives a short description and pulls in data from around the web to provide detail. The Details tab links to the bird’s Wikipedia page, the Images tab links to Google Image search, and the Videos tab links to YouTube videos of the bird.
Birdwatching is like a scavenger hunt for getting close to nature. In most places, if you pay attention, you’ll see birds. On this New England spring morning, I woke to bird calls, Chickadees and Crows, and something else that I’m not quite sure about. (One thing I wish this app had was a more consistent means of hearing bird calls. YouTube has great videos for some birds, Crows and Ravens for example, but nothing of the American Robin or Song Sparrow). If you pay more attention, you’ll notice things about the birds you see and hear. That’s all well and good if you enjoy nature and are interested in paying attention to birds, but birdwatching is very specific. It’s not for everyone.
Something I noticed about this app that might be interesting to a wider audience is the way the app is structured. It pulls together information from different places to make a quick and useful resource focused on its topic. This is the kind of thinking teen researchers should be using when working on a large scale project: focusing on a topic, pulling data from multiple sources, and organizing it for ease of use. In that way, Local Birds, is like a research project presented as an app. I wonder if this is a type of project we might see more of in high schools and colleges as a companion to the traditional research paper. It’s something to consider, perhaps, when you’re not checking out that Red-tailed Hawk or trying to spot a Bald Eagle.Add a Comment
Blog: Tonia Allen Gould's Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Author Posts, Writing, bipeds, birds, california birds, Doritos, Hawaii, Honolulu, humans can't fly, Maui, mortal, Add a tag
The birds of Hawaii, in their multitude of colors and forms, strut and alternate their strides with their heads held high. Bipeds that are confident. Secure. Fearless. Their flight plan involves plopping right down in your personal space, breathing your air and eyeing your food, waiting for you to leave so they can partake, but they always patiently wait their turn by eating the crumbs fallen at your feet. For days, I’ve been watching these birds and I can attest that they are completely undaunted by your presence here in their Hawaii. For you are a mere human, mortal–and you certainly cannot fly. The birds here are showy, pluming and preening their feathers in front of you, as if they are courting you with their Aloha Spirit. Californian birds, or the birds from my home state, are much more enigmatic, evasive, skittish and untouchable, sometimes like the people who live there–some of whom would snatch your bag of Doritos right out of your hands if you’d let them.
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Blog: The National Writing for Children Center (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: About the authors, Beth's Birds, birds, Deanna Klingel, Add a tag
Deanna K. Klingel resides in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband. She writes primarily for middle grade and YA. This is her first picture book, the first of a series of backyard nature. Deanna has seven grown children with whom she shared her love of backyard nature, and now enjoys the company of eleven grandchildren. She enjoys visiting schools and museums to visit with her readers.
Klingel is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild, the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, the North Carolina Writers’ Network and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books “Avery’s Battlefield” and “Avery’s Crossroad” have been awarded bronze medals by Branson Stars and Flags Book Awards. “Just for the Moment” and “Bread Upon the Water” have received the Seal of Approval from the Catholic Writers Guild.
Her books are available on Amazon and on her website, www.booksbydeanna.com (most are available on Kindle). She is also available to speak to youth and school groups about her dog therapy ministry and her writing.Add a Comment
Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Birds, Different perspectives, Friendship, Songs, Suzanne Barton, Add a tag
Did you know that on Sunday it is International Dawn Chorus Day? It’s a day where all around the globe people will be rising early to greet the dawn and simply listen to bird song. If you can’t find a local event to join in with, you could instead simply curl up with The Dawn Chorus by Suzanne Barton (@suzannebarton0).
Peep the bird wakes to the sound of wonderful song. He’s determined to find out who’s singing so beautifully; could it be the owl, the mouse or the frog? Eventually he stumbles on a flock of birds, and he has his answer: It’s the Dawn Chorus!
And oh, how beautifully they sing. Peep is determined to join their ranks, but despite practising hard, he keeps missing his early morning auditions. Is there a reason why he’s not cut out to sing at first light? Will Peep every be able to fill the sky with gorgeous song?
A charming addition to the ranks of picture books which explore how creatures (or indeed we, the readers) react when we find out we don’t quite belong (I’m thinking, for example of Stellaluna, and Croc and Bird), The Dawn Chorus is a delightful, soothing tale about perseverance, and discovering who we truly are.
The eyecatching illustrations make great use of visual texture, with collage, decoration and especially effective looping swoops of paintbrush and patterns, capturing playful flight and joyful flurries of song. The restricted earthy orange/red/yellow palette makes this book gently glow – just like a warm sunrise held in your hands as you read.
Taking our lead from the cute birds in Barton’s book we decided to make our own flock to sing to us. I cut out several bird bodies, and cut slits in the middle of them.
The girls used doilies like stencils to decorate the birds’ chests, and then decorated those doilies (coloured them in) before folding them accordion style and then slipping them into the slits. Gently we slightly opened out the doilies to create wings, which we held in place with paperclips. We finished off the birds with small hand-drawn eyes, and tails created by taking half a doily and folding that like a fan before taping in place.
M and J then took the flock out to the garden, where they settled in our cherry tree.
Whilst making our birds we listened to:
Other activities which would go well alongside reading The Dawn Chorus include:
Do let me know if any of you make it on early on Sunday 4th of May!
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of The Dawn Chorus from the publisher.
Blog: Miss Marple's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Perfect Picture Book Friday, birds, feathers, FEATHERS NOT JUST FOR FLYING, Melissa Stewart, nonfiction, picture books, Sarah S. Brannon, teacher resources, Add a tag
Title: Feathers Not Just for Flying Written by Melissa Stewart Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen Published by Charlesbridge, 2014 Ages: 6 through adult Themes: feathers, birds, First lines: Birds and feathers go together, like trees and leaves, like stars and the sky. All … Continue readingAdd a Comment
Blog: Topsy Turvy Land - Donna J. Shepherd (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: birds, book, children, Donna Shepherd, Jack Foster, janet halfmann, Kids, Picture Book, rainbow, rainbow of birds, Topsy Turvy Land, Add a tag
Birds have their legends just like people do, and baby birds love to hear the stories. Papa Cardinal, whose job it is to pass down bird ways to his chicks, tells them the story of how birds gave the world the rainbow. A Rainbow of Birds (Guardian Angel Publishing) by Janet Halfmann is one of the most colorful books I've seen from Jack Foster. He went all out bringing the colors of theAdd a Comment
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