Today is the first day of fall, and we’re already seeing hints of it all around us. Leaves are changing color, woolly worms are wiggling and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air.
One of my favorite books about autumn is “Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland. This picture book plays on the different meanings of the words “fall” and “leaves.” It takes you on a journey through the first stirrings of the season through changing leaves, cooler weather and shorter days, and then it ends with the reader at winter’s doorstep. The illustrations capture the colors of fall and all the beauty of this time of year. The end of this book brings the story into your home with instructions for a wonderful activity where you and your child can gather leaves and make painted leaf prints to decorate your walls.
If you want more fall fun for your little ones, here are some other activities you can do with your child at home and at the library. Continue reading →
Do you have a young one who enjoys writing? Perhaps you know a child who loves to tell stories? Now is their time to shine in the 2016 KMOS KIDS Writers Contest! Kindergarten through 3rd grade students are encouraged to write and submit their stories and accompanying illustrations by March 18. This contest provides a unique opportunity for children to build literacy skills and explore their creativity by combining writing and art. For more information visit KMOS for the entry form and rules.
“The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art“ by Barb Rosenstock is about the artist Vasily Kandinsky, or Vasya as he is known in the book. When young Vasya is given a box of paints by his aunt, the paints began to hiss and sing when mixed together! Vasya’s reserved family never knew what his paintings were supposed to look like (was it a house or a flower?), but to Vasya it wasn’t representation, it was about the music that the combinations and arrangements of different colors made. Vasya eventually uses his talents and creativity to paint the first completely abstract painting. It is thought that Kandinsky had synesthesia, a rare condition where the senses are blended, which is why he could hear the colors. Kandinsky turned this possible challenge into a gift which gave him unique perspective on his art.
Throughout the book, Vasya tries to do everything that is proper and expected of him, but in the end he listens to the sound of paints and follows his dream. This book is a great conversation starter for a variety of different topics, such as taking chances, the senses and abstract art. Continue reading →
Lately I have found myself drawn to picture books that show empathy and selfless acts. I have never been a fan of the didactic book when it comes to life lessons. I believe that when stories are read or told, the lessons they contain can only truly “stick” when the recipient is ready to hear them. Three books have recently caught my eye as wonderful stories of selfless acts. Not only do they show kindness, but they also show the giving of time and energy. These gentle books can sometimes be overlooked and under-appreciated, but I recommend them for those children ready for messages about thoughtfulness and compassion. They all happen to have birds in them (as the hero or as the recipient), and all three use different art mediums.
“When Blue Met Egg” by Lindsay Ward
A misguided but loving bird mistakes a snowball for an egg and tries to get the egg back its mother.
Medium: Cut paper illustrations. Continue reading →