Celebration: Children’s Art

Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.

celebrate link upThis week I had a visit from someone that spent a lot of time in my classroom last year. She walked into the class, paused and took in all of the wall space and displays.  “I just love all of the art in this classroom. It is always so amazing.” she commented. Yes, I thought, I think so too!

The art all over our walls and on display in the hallways speaks to our spirit, our creativity and our community. Making art together every week is a happy time. Time to talk, to problem solve, and to share. We often have three to four projects on display at once. Often a picture book has been an inspiration for these projects. I also regularly read a variety of art blogs for great ideas.

This week, I am sharing some final projects as well as some in process photos of art projects created in my classroom over the last 12 months or so. I celebrate the art my students produce! It is always a source of joy.

I hope it brings as much happiness to you as it does to us to be surrounded by colour and creativity everyday!

We did gorgeous cityscape pieces last spring using black construction paper, glue lines and vibrant chalk pastel. Our inspiration for these pieces was the book by Robert Neubecker‘s Wow! City! More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

We were inspired by the “eyepatch” page in Calef Brown’s book Pirateria. Fabulous pirates guarded our hallway after everyone got to work on making some amazing pirate art. More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

Mini Grey‘s The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be was part of the inspiration for some princess and pea inspired art. More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

The book Ten Little Beasties by Ed Emberley was the inspiration for a project to make our own beasties. Lots of colour, lots of fun.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

What is Halloween without amazing witches? More about this project here.

Witches  Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

I have a thing for owls. Last year we did three projects about owls in art. This year, I just couldn’t resist sneaking one in. More about this project here.

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

We are VERY fortunate to have Arts Umbrella come in and do a project with us almost every year. This year we did huge insect art. Stunning!

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

We finished up some gorgeous winter castles in January and added some writing to go with the final pieces on display. I love working really large with projects!

Winter castles  Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

For Valentines and Kindness week, my class made Love Robots. Programmed to love. What could be sweeter?

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

And sometimes art going on display is not a class project, but a body of work by one child. This is an in process photo for a project to be on display after our Spring Break. Thanks to the brilliant inspiration of Miriam, who shares these wonderful children with me, to bust out the gold spray paint!

 Celebration: Children's Art There's a Book for That

May your week be filled with colour, creativity and joy!

Monday December 30th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYR

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

Oh how I love, love, love the reading time the holidays afford! Doesn’t hurt that my #nerdlution goal is to read aloud daily to my children (from the novel we are reading). We just skipped Christmas day because I was ill and family events took up much of the day. Other days we made up for it and read in front of the fireplace for hours! We now begin our third novel since #nerdlution began, The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey.

I have made some “hang out and read picture books” visits to my local library with my daughter. My 10 favourites of the week:

Joone by Emily Kate Moon

I first heard of this title back during the picture book 10 for 10 event – some lovely fellow blogger recommended it to me as my list was all about books with a theme of connections across generations. This title is about Joone and days passed with her grandfather and her pet turtle, Dr. Chin.  Rock collecting, swimming in the pond, reading to Grandpa – a story of sweet little moments.

Joone #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Ladder to the Moon written by Maya Soetoro-Ng and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Wow. An emotional, beautiful, significant read. A story of connection between female family members that spans generations and mortality. Images are stunning. The author’s and illustrator’s notes in the back reveal much more to this story.

Ladder to the moon #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Wow! Ocean by Robert Neubecker

I wish I had this book before I took my children to Hawaii for the first time. Bright colourful ocean scenes for children to get lost in! So many pages that just really are WOW! moments. Like the jellyfish page. The pull out page on whales. A page of rays. And so many details not to miss – like the nurse’s cap on the nurse shark. I used an earlier Neubecker title Wow! City to inspire an art project – art ideas just leap off the page of this one too!

wow ocean #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff

Another must own title if you have little ones or grandchildren. A beautiful counting book about forest animals preparing for the winter. Colourful pages with perfect counting opportunities. One woodpecker. Two squirrels. Three beavers. Four . . .

baby bear #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Pig on the Hill by John Kelly

Two neighbours. One, stodgy and set in his ways. One, creative and expressive. Much humour as the story unveils.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lemonade in Winter written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

This has been on my “to read” list for ages and I loved it as much as I was anticipating. I am such a fan of G. Brian Karas and appreciated all of the muted shades of a snowy winter backdrop. Yes, I love the math connection (although not so good for me as all money pictured in back is American and Canadian money looks much different – we don’t even have dollar bills!) but I loved the story. An idea that grows between siblings and changes and adapts with the weather and various circumstances. Why not a lemonade stand in a snowstorm? Such fun!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

While We Were Out by Ho Baek Lee

A little rabbit sneaks through the house while the family is out. And of course, they will never know except for the little surprises he left everywhere. Can you guess what? Very sweet.

while we were out #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Crafty Chloe: Dress Up Mess Up written by Kelly Dipucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross

While I didn’t love this as much as the first Crafty Chloe, I did appreciate the very real struggle of trying to please more than one friend and staying true to yourself. And wow, some pretty creative costume ideas!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Ike’s Incredible Ink by Brianne Farley

A great title for would be writers. No story ideas are coming for Ike. Maybe if he had the perfect ink? He sets out to make it using found ingredients like shadows and the dark side of the moon.

Ike's Incredible Ink

The Money we’ll Save by Brock Cole

This was another of our holiday reads. A hilarious story of a family who decides to save money by raising a turkey for Christmas dinner rather than purchasing one for the occasion. A turkey in a small apartment? You can imagine . . .

The Money we'll Save #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Other reading:

Danny’s  Doodles: The Jellybean Experiment by David A. Adler

This is a chapter book for the younger/beginning reader. I am always on the lookout for titles in this category so was pleased that one, I liked the story and two, it is part of a new series! Humour and school day escapades but a little more depth than other novels in this category. Characters and emotions that are a little more interesting and not what is expected.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This book literally felt like it transported me elsewhere. I don’t typically read such high fantasy. At times, I would be reading and think, I don’t really know about this . . . But then I was hooked and completely held by the story until the end. Big drama. Other worlds. Battle scenes. Wild imagination. Compelling.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Reached by Ally Condie

I really enjoyed reading this series – one book after the other. Definitely some new aspects to the dystopian love triangle theme. And not a disappointing ending which I often find with this genre.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

This was an absolutely delightful read aloud with my children. I will always look at this book and think of our cozy read aloud sessions by the fireplace – lots of giggles, both kids drawing and constant interruptions with connections and predictions. I now want to read this aloud to my students. Such an interesting twist on the fairytale we know (often twists are not interesting at all). I will definitely read all of the titles in this genre that Liesl Shurtliff writes.

Rump #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Happy reading in 2014 to all my fellow book loving friends!

Monday May 13th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee in their weekly meme and share all of your reading from picture books to young adult reads! Such a fantastic way to learn about “new to you” titles by exploring all of the bloggers who link their Monday reads posts 🙂

I read many picture books this week but forced myself to narrow it down to my favourite ten to share here. In no particular order . . .

Big Wolf & Little Wolf written by Nadine Brun-Cosme and illustrated by Olivier Tallec I have been waiting years to experience this book. I have seen it celebrated on blogs and book lists but had yet to lay my hands on it. I bought it finally, never having read it because I just knew that this book was meant for me. I was not disappointed. In fact I was just in awe. The colours in many of these pages are so beautiful. I love the blue ground under the tree at night, the red red of the tree bark in the full light of day and the fiery leaves of autumn. Friendship. Connection. Longing. So lovely!

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Ard Hoyt This book has pretty much everything anyone could want – a real individuality, great energy, a definite sense of humour and absolutely fantastic hair. Hair that is so much more than gorgeous! Love that this book so cleverly celebrates the creative spirit of a little girl and her determination to be herself.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

One Gorilla: A Counting Book by Anthony Browne I am not sure that Anthony Browne can make a book that I will not adore. This book is certainly NOT that book. Because . . . wow! A simple counting book with the most wonderful of primates. The colours? Whoa . . .  And each number is so much more because it is attached to a jaw dropping illustration of a group of primates. 6 gibbons. Sigh. 8 macaques. Wit and wisdom. 10 lemurs. Pure joy.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Boys, an almost wordless book by Jeff Newman Okay, book, where have you been while I’ve been happily amassing amazing wordless titles? First published in 2010 but my pretty finely tuned wordless radar missed it! A lovely little story of finding a way to belong. With some pretty fantastic persuasion delivered by the cool old guys who hang out on the park bench. So absolutely delightful!

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Little Yellow Leaf written and illustrated by Carin Berger This book magically captures the colours of fall. Those golden changing colours that seem to be pure magic against bleak autumn skies. But this book also tells a story of perseverance, anxiety around change and finding the way with the little help from someone else. I could just flip through the pages over and over and marvel at the illustrations. Gorgeous.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Azad’s Camel by Erika Pal A story infused with magic about child camel jockeys in the Middle East. Lots of room to infer. Pictures are stunning. Would be great to use in a unit on children’s rights – to discuss child labour, etc More information about camel racing at the back of the book. Definitely a book that needs an adult to help navigate the theme and the story.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Courage of the Blue Boy by Robert Neubecker My class just completed some amazing art inspired by Neubecker’s Wow! City! So I was very pleased to find this little book in our school library. Travelling through various one coloured pages and on a green sea, the reader follows our little blue hero as he experiences and questions diversity, identity and belonging.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Goldilocks and Just the One Bear written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson Fractured Fairy tales are either very clever or very not! This is a fun little twist on the classic Goldilocks story with whimsical, endearing illustrations. Much fun to be had in exploring this book. My son couldn’t stop giggling when the bear sat on the cat and claimed that the “chair” was too noisy. Silly humour with big appeal.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Wolf Won’t Bite by Emily Gravett So what happens when we fully bury ourselves in trust with a wolf? Well . . . read on 🙂

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Again by Emily Gravett A unique example of impatience gone wrong involving bedtime stories, eager listeners and tired parent readers. And little dragon impatience is pretty powerful! If you don’t believe me . . . check out the back of this book! I must admit, “Again!” is my favourite response when I read a picture book! 🙂

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

In other reading . . .

I finished Endangered by Eliot Schrefer but I am not so sure it is finished with me. This book won’t leave my head. It was that powerful. Endangered is about many things. But mostly – love. It tangled itself around me just like those precious hugs between Sophie and Otto, the little bonobo who needs her desperately. An unthinkable story of survival and connection. Unforgettable. I often recommend books that I love. Sometimes quite adamantly. This book though . . . I will go as far as to insist it is a must read.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

What’s next/on the go? 

A Tangle of Knots

scumble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am currently flying through A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff. Our new family read aloud is Scumble by Ingrid Law.  

Many magical connections ironically between Scumble and Graff’s novel and as they both sit on my bedside table, I have noticed that they are completely colour coordinated! Don’t you agree?

With my student book club, we have started The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine. Such an ideal book to share with a book club!

Stunning Cities

We were inspired by the colourful images in Robert Neubecker‘s Wow! City! and this blog post on the blog Splish Splash Splatter to create some gorgeous cityscapes – with a focus on form, colour and wonder.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That!

What we loved about the book Wow! City! was the sense of height in the buildings and that with some quite simple lines, many details could be highlighted.

wow city

After we read the book, we talked about building shapes and the shapes and lines found in roof tops, windows, doors and building details. Students then drew a layered city scape using white crayon on black paper.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

We then painted white glue over all of our white lines – a definite exercise in patience! We didn’t have enough glue containers of the right size to have students just squeeze glue onto the page so we used brushes and cups of white glue. Also some of our little creative artists get a little too creative when given a whole glue bottle . . . .

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

When some people finished adding glue to all of their lines, they happily helped others and we had cooperative glue stations going all over the room! Lovely thick glue lines created perfect borders for colours to stand out.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Adding colour was the fun part. Students chose vibrant chalk pastel combinations and happily filled in their buildings. In this photo, it is easy to see the dried glue lines.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

I love the oranges and yellows – we had these colours in buildings and in sky lines!

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Many students worked together in different areas of the room, inspired by each other’s work. Look at the gorgeous yellow sky!

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

These two little artists realized they could create some amazing effects by blending their pastels right on the page.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Some final versions:

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Red skies at night . . .

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Beautiful blending . . .

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Oh that gorgeous yellow sky!

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That