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Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon

stellaluna book cover

About this Book

This award winning picture book follows the adventures of a lost baby fruit bat.  It a story about individuality, foster parents/families and fitting in.  It is a very clever theme variation of the ugly duckling story.

As a helpless baby, Stellaluna is accidentally dropped by her mother when an owl attacks.  She falls into a birds nest where she tries her best to fit in.  Her bird foster family accepts her as long as she acts like a bird.  She does have the urge to sleep upside down and fly at night however she doesn’t understand why this is.

One day, Stellaluna becomes separated from her bird family.  She goes to sleep the way they taught her with her head up.  Another bat finds her and is very surprised by her unusual bat sleeping position.  He calls the other bats to come see this strange behavior, and as a result, Stellaluna is reunited with her mother.

Stellaluna’s bat and bird families become friends and marvel at how they are both alike and different.

audio-video of book Stellaluna

An Audio/Video Reading

Janell Cannon photo

About the Author

Janell Cannon was born in 1957 and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, but now lives in southern California. Her picture books have won many awards.  She both writes and, as a self-taught artist, illustrates her own books.  Before becoming a writer, she designed and produced summer reading programs at her local public library.  She loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen as well as learning to become a drummer.

Ms. Cannon’s books carry a theme of unappreciated and fascinating creatures.  She roots for the underdog so writes about creatures that are misunderstood and unpopular with humans.  Stellaluna the bat (1993), Crickwing the cockroach (2005), Verdi the python (1997), Pinduli the hyena (2004) are books with this theme and they will pull at your heartstrings!

Enrichment Activities

Lets learn some facts about real bats.

• Bats are flying mammals.
• While others can glide, bats are the only mammals capable of continued flight.
• There are over 1000 different bat species.
• Bats are nocturnal (active at night).
• Bats ‘see’ in the dark using a special skill called echolocation. Bats make noises and wait for the sound waves to bounce back off objects (an echo), if it doesn’t bounce back then they can safely fly forward. They can tell the distance of various objects by how quickly the sound waves bounce back to them.
• Most bats feed on insects, while others eat fruit and fish
• Some bats live by themselves while others live in caves with thousands of other bats.
• Bats can live for over 20 years.
• Pteropus bats (also known as flying foxes or fruit bats) are the largest in the world.
• Fruit bats hang in trees not caves.
• Fruit bats also slurp a sweet liquid called nectar from fruit blossoms. What happens next makes them very important for healthy forests—and for fruit-loving humans. When fruit bats stop to eat, sticky yellow grains of pollen get caught on their fur. Some of the pollen rubs off onto other flowers that the bats visit. That’s how bats pollinate flowers, which allows the trees to develop fruits and seeds. Those fruits and seeds feed animals from insects to birds to monkeys. And some of them even feed people!

Fruit-bat

a fruit bat

Fruit bats live in the tropical areas of the world, such as the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Africa. They prefer locations with warm climates because they do not hibernate in cold weather. They wrap their wings around themselves to keep warm even in the warm climate.

Some Crafts to make

clothes pin bat

What you’ll need to make your hanging house bats: instructions here

  • Coffee filters (1 filter per bat)
  • Purple and black water colors
  • Black acrylic paint
  • 2 googley eyes
  • Silver or gold glitter (optional)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • String

Make a bat flyer

bat flyers

bat-flyers printable page

egg carton bat

or an Egg Carton bat found here

Acknowledgements (my favorite hangman word!) information on the author came from:  http://www.harcourtbooks.com/authorinterviews/bookinterview_cannon.asp and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janell_Cannon

Photo of bat courtesy of scienceinclusive.com

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I’ve been MIA!

I have been off the grid for far too long!  I had stated that this next post would feature enrichment activities to do with my book, Kieran the Pirate.  However, I am a bit technologically challenged with doing a video to feature with the article.  I am seeking help with this.  So until I can pull that off, I will need to put this off.  My apologies dear follower!

I want to share a couple of picture books with you, and my thoughts/plugs on them!

My Little Sister Ate One Hare, by Bill Grossman, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

age: 4 – 7

My Little Sister

It is a bit gross, so if your squeamish, don’t read this book!  However, children love it!  It is a rhyming, sequencing story,  that also involves counting, both forward and backward.  I love Bill Grossman’s sense of humor!  I read this story, several times, with students I worked with in school.  I can report that they loved it a lot!  I have to admit, I loved it too!

Listen to the story here:  My Little Sister Ate One Hare … and enjoy!

Want to buy the book? It is available on Amazon.

 

Flashlight, by Lisa Boyd Author/Illustrator

Age: 0 – 7

Flashlight

This is only a trailer for the book on You Tube:  Flashlight

You may be surprised that this picture book contains no words.  However the images are delightful.  As you follow the boy and see what things he discovers, it may make you wish it was nighttime. You may find yourself inspired to go exploring with a flashlight. Perhaps, it is an activity you and the children would enjoy while camping.

Want to buy the book?  It is available on Amazon.

 

The Kissing Hand…Make Books Come Alive #4

For Children, acting out a book, or other activities is a way to expand imaginations, develop language, explore drama, promote literacy and build vocabulary.

So, are you using your children’s story books as a springboard into play?  Children love books and want to read them over and over..and over!  So use play as a way to expand and enrich their book experience.

Oh, and it is just plain fun !

Want to try something new and fun?  Choose a book, for this post, lets choose, “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn.

Don’t have the book at home?  NO worries, you can watch and listen to it (and others) on You Tube at “Nook Online Storytime.”  use this link:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nook+online+storytime

The Kissing Hand Activities

                The Kissing Hand

What a great book! This book is so helpful in preparing children to be away from home or from their parent/s. The occasion may be their first day at school, or a sleepover, summer camp, a parent or child being hospitalized, being babysat while parents go out, or for foster children who miss their parents. Whenever there is a time a child will be away from you and feels scared, read this book with them, if possible.

Enrichment Activities

Language Development:

Feelings.  Nervous, happy, sad, glad, mad, upset, warm, sleepy, super, sick, shy, scared, angry

scared child        sadbaby

How did mother’s kiss make Chester feel ? (toasty warm inside)

How did Chester feel at the beginning of the story? Why did he feel that way?

Did the kiss help Chester when he was at school?

Why did Chester kiss his mother’s hand?

Feeling Activity:

Using a mirror, what does your face look like when you feel: happy, sad, angry, sleepy, surprised…

How about using the camera and take your child’s feeling photos to use with the feelings chart?

angryfaceCaleb

Make a feelings chart for family members.  How do you feel today? Here are two ideas that could help you make up your own.  For my house, I need to consider space!

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Let’s Bake

Make heart shaped cookies or hand shape ones, if you have a cookie cutter that shape.  Place a Hershey’s kiss in the middle of either one.

Crafts

Potato art stamps, finger paint hand print art,paper plate mask, paper bag racoon,

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Temporary Tattoos

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You Will Need:

Parchment Paper (wax paper),Pencil, Marker (regular or permanent) Wet sponge  Note: regular marker will wash off easily.  Permanent marker will last longer (but will not wash off as easily!)

Draw hearts on the parchment with pencil, then completely colour them in with the pencil.  On top of the pencil shading, use a marker, of any colour, to completely cover over it.  Now, flip the parchment over and place the drawing on a smooth area of the body.  The marker colour needs to be against the skin.  Place a wet (not too wet) sponge over the parchment and wait 30 seconds.  S L O W L Y peel off the parchment from the skin.  Hurrah, you have made a temporary tattoo!

I do hope you and your family enjoy these activities from The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.

Next Week:  My own book, Kieran the Pirate.

Photos courtesy of: Book cover: vickiblackwell.com  Scared Girl: riskychronicles.com  Sad Baby: face-and-emotion.com   Angry Boy: indianapublicmedia.org  Happy Boy: cleo deLancey personal photo  1st Feelings Chart: kidpointz.com  2nd Feelings Chart:https://www.etsy.com/listing/176328005/feelings-chart-children-feelings-chart  The Kissing Hand Craftivity: teacherspayteachers.com  Paper Bag Racoon : ditk-kids.com   Paper Plate Racoon Mask: blogs.familyeducation.com  Poem and Hand Art: whenlifehandsyouabrokenheart.blogspot.com   Potato Print: laughingkidslearn.com  Temporary  Tattoo: MeriCherry.com

The Mitten…Make Books Come Alive #3

For Children, acting out a book, or other activities is a way to expand imaginations, develop language, explore drama, promote literacy and build vocabulary.

So, are you using your children’s story books as a springboard into play?  Children love books and want to read them over and over..and over!  So use play as a way to expand and enrich their book experience.

Want to try something new and fun?  Choose a book, for this post, lets choose, “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.

Don’t have the book at home?  NO worries, you can watch and listen to it (and others) on You Tube at “Nook Online Storytime.”  use this link:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nook+online+storytime

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What a wonderful, wonderful, story and book!  The illustrations  are just so adorable. If you haven’t read it, it is about a young boy, who gets a pair of knitted mittens from his grandmother, and loses one in the forest.  Several animals, of all sizes, squeeze into it to enjoy its snugly warmth.  A fun story, with a funny ending.

Here are a few Enrichment Activities:

Cause and Effect:  Ask children 4 + years, the first half.  The answer is in italics.

                   What happened when…?

The animals squeezed into the mitten : the mitten stretched out.

The bear sneezed: the animals flew out of the mitten.

The animals were cold: they went into the mitten.

The mouse sat on the bear’s nose: the bear sneezed.

Real or Make Believe? 3 + years

Can a bear fit in a mitten?

Would a mouse sit on a bear’s nose?

Would a badger share his space?

Language Development:

Real Animal Habitat: 4 + years

Where do these animals live?  What do their homes look like?  What are their homes called?

Bear – den,   Rabbit – warren.   Badger – warren,  Owl – nest,  Mouse – nest,  Fox – den,  Mole- fortress, tunnel or burrow,  Hedgehog – den.

Play / Act out:

Using masking tape, make a large mitten shape on the floor.  See how many of your family members you can fit into this shape. Try it by standing in the shape, then by lying down.  Try to predict how many will fit, with everyone taking a guess first.  Perhaps use a blanket to cover everyone.  Is it snugly and warm?

try white (snow) play-dough, a mitten and animal figurines. I found the  most wonderful play-dough activity for this book.  Here is a link to a wonderful blog called MySmallPotatoes: http://mysmallpotatoes.com/2012/12/06/weekly-kids-co-op-the-mitten-an-enchanting-small-world-activity-inspired-by-an-enchanting-storybook

                 insidethemitten

Crafts for Fine Motor Skills: lacing, cutting and painting.

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Sequencing Activity:

I found a song, sung to Farmer in the Dell that is a fun way to sequence this story, from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/183451384797521348/

This post came from:   http://www.firstgradewow.blogspot.com

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LapBooks: a parent/child project worthy of taking on.

LapBooks are a brilliant way for kids to get together all the stuff they can find out about an activity and show it off.

I have found a couple great links to get you started.

http://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/lapbooks.html

and this one has some great printable pages for preschool.

http://www.shirleys-preschool-activities.com/printable-crafts.html

I am hoping that you enjoy these activities from “The Mitten”, by Jan Brett.

Next Sunday we will look at “The Kissing Hand”, by Audrey Penn.

If You Give a Pig…Make Books Come Alive – #2

For Children, acting out a book, or other activities is a way to expand imaginations, develop language, explore drama, promote literacy and build vocabulary.

So, are you using your children’s story books as a springboard into play?  Children love books and want to read them over and over..and over!  So use play as a way to expand and enrich their book experience.

Want to try something new and fun?  Choose a book, for this post, lets choose, “If You Give A Pig A Pancake” by Laura Numeroff.

Don’t have the book at home?  NO worries, you can watch and listen to it (and others) on You Tube at “Nook Online Storytime.”  use this link:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nook+online+storytime

index

Let’s Cook:

Making pancakes with any child is easy and fun! It may be messy too, but that easily cleans up. You will need to make both large and small pancakes.  Large, for the pig’s head, one small for the nose, alternative is a slice of pineapple (whole round) or banana slice.  Make two smaller pancakes for the eyes if you choose.  Then decorate.  Use chocolate chips, blueberries or raisins for the irises and nose holes.  You can make ears from ripped pancakes or use fruit such as cut strawberries.

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Here is a good pancake recipe:  Feeds 4.

Pre-mix the following dry ingredients.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 Tbsp baking powder

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

In a separate bowl mix the following and then add to the dry ingredients.

2 eggs

2 cups milk

4 Tbsp oil

If you give a pig a pancake it may want some syrup!

Language development:

Does your family call pancakes by a different name? Some people call them hotcakes, flapjacks, flap-cakes or griddlecakes.

Think of words that start with P or the “p”  sound.  Like: pig, pancake, pajamas, peaches, pizza, paper, plate. Can you and your children think of more P words?  Make a list.

Sequencing Activities: for older children 3 and up.

What did the pig want first, second?  Then what happened? What will the pig want next?

Art Activities:

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I hope you try this and have fun with bringing this book to life!

“I CAN TEACH MY CHILD”

Yes you can help your children learn to read and help to instill in them a passion for books!  Your time with your children is so short (I raised 6…I know how fast it goes), enjoy the books together!

Reading with your child/children is so important.  I came across some great tips on pinterest to help you when reading with your little ones.  Here it is!                                                                                                                       Originally posted by Angi.