With parents looking for things to do with their at home children, I decided to provide a free reading of The Velveteen Rabbit with Illustrations.
Hours of things to do with this book:
- Read the story. Enjoy Pirate’s adventures and the child’s imaginings,
- Before reading the answer, try to guess the source of the smell from the close-up pictures that represent Pirate’s viewpoint.
- Write and draw your answer to the question about Pirate’s last adventure.
- At the back of the book, you will find a list of well-known books, classic and recent. Look for images or words on the cloud-framed pages of this story that remind you of the books listed. Write down the page number of any you find.
- Find 68 gingerbread men.
- Read the books listed. They’re great.
Here’s a video with illustrations.
This popular humor writer now has two children’s books. Both feature a girl whose mother is a fairy and father is a mortal. This isn’t your typical fairy story however, as she uses a computerized wand and presents herself as a normal woman most of the time. The husband is reminiscent of the early Bewitched television series. He’s not too crazy about her using magic.
Kinsella uses humor and suspense effectively and engages a young audience from the first page. My almost six year old granddaughter listened eagerly as I read this book to her in four sittings. This early chapter book is supplemented with many pictures.
If you are a traveler to resorts, you’ll chuckle at the scene where two fairy mothers have a wand battle over reserving poolside seats with their towels. There is also a chapter with wacky monkeys that children will love.
All in all, this is a light-hearted romp through modern magic and family dynamics.
Having a normal Canadian son, I’ve had my share of trips to the emergency room. Mercifully, though, they’ve usually turned out to be less serious than at first panic. The case of the missing Lego is a good example.
Set the scene: Mother is shampooing her hair in the shower, little boy comes into the bathroom. Mother responds with a five minute lecture on the ill matters of interrupting, respect for privacy, mother’s deserve some peace and quiet, I can’t hardly hear you with the water running, you’re only supposed to come in here if you’re bleeding or the house is on fire.
“So,” she finishes grandly. “Are you bleeding?”
The child shakes his head no. His eyes look teary.
“Is the house on fire?”
“No,” he whispers, “I have a Lego stuck in my throat.”
Since he was breathing and had survived my ridiculous lecture without turning blue, I took the time to rinse most of the shampoo out of my hair and get dressed. After all it was 28 below celsius outside.
It seems my son was trying to pry a part two small Legos with his teeth. (yes, we bought the official Lego separating tool. Two in fact. Fortunately, we did not buy the official separating tool finder.)
This was not our first trip to the emergency room (other stories involving bodily fluids which I will probably spare you). Being experienced in waiting area zombie -land, you can imagine my surprise when we were ushered right into an examining room. The doctor actually ignored the man with a missing ear and a teenager receiving oxygen to serve us. I really started to worry.
They poked and prodded. Nothing there. They listened to him breathe, in and out, in and out,. Nothing there. They shone lights in, on and around. Nothing there. They xrayed his stomach and even his nasal passages (has happened). Nothing there. I really, really started to worry.
“Tell me exactly what you did,” said the doctor.
My son describe how, while tryingto bite apart two double pegged lego pieces, one became lodged in his throat. He couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t spit it up. I felt the color drain from my face as I imagine myself blissfully shampooing my hair while he faced a life-and-death struggle with a building block.
“I ran to the stairs,” he continued, “I coughed and and then I could breathe. I told Mommy. I could feel it in my throat before but I can’t now.”
As the hours dragged by, my son felt better and better. The of medical personnel had begun shrugging their shoulders. My son wanted to go home.
“Well,” said Dr. Sherlock, “the only place left to look is at home.”
Which we did. On the bottom step, was a block that fit the one described by my son. He must have coughed it up as he was running to me. The combination of panic and the scratched throat convinced him it was still there. We also found a quarter and a missing earring. He kept the quarter. I kept the earring.
He certainly learned his lesson, I thought. He’ll never stick a Lego in his mouth again. I didn’t warn him about Thanksgiving.
At school, he was making a turkey mosaic with buttons and such. He couldn’t do much with the such, but the buttons were just the right size.
“I saw Logan at the principal’s office today,” my daughter informed me.
Whereupon I launched into a lecture on how he was supposed to stop rough-housing and getting into trouble and I couldn’t believe my own son would have to be sent to the principal’s office twice in his life. Talk about not learning from your mistakes.
“But Mom, I had a button up my nose!”
The principal, thankfully, had experience. It seems his own daughter was a nose packer.
“Don’t worry, Mom, the principal got it out,” said my son when I gasped. “It shot right across the room and smacked into his filing cabinet with a ding sound.|”
“What did you do then?” I asked, expecting a tale of his humble gratitude.
He shrugged. “I washed it off and glued it on my turkey.”
First published in the Chronicle-Journal/Times News
Sunday, January 12, 1992
I knew I’d like this author the moment I read the dedication. Simple words with a powerful, important message.
Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure is a fun family picture book. It is a gentle adventure of a family of four, mother, father, 7 year old Davy, baby Kai, and two animated toys, one an alien and one a teddy bear. It features a family of African descent which I don’t get to see very often. However, families of all backgrounds will easily relate. What child doesn’t want their family to go for an adventure on a pirate ship?
During their search for gold, the family encounters a giant fish monster which Davy handles with confidence. When a huge storm comes up and flips the boat over it transforms into a submarine. Of course they find the gold and everyone cheers. On the last page we find that this is a beautifully imaginative story created during bath time.
Rauscher’s illustration style perfectly suits the story. The pictures, which seem to be pencil and watercolor, are gentle and endearing. Every character shines with personality.
Children who love imaginative play and pirate stories will want to hear this book over and over. It is reassuring with just a touch of suspense. I look forward to more work from this new author. Watch for an upcoming interview with Danual Berkley on this blog.
This picture book is a sweet story of a father’s unwavering love for his child. He expresses his admiration for his son’s determination and his enjoyment of his boy’s growth. Throughout the book he builds the child’s confidence and sense of adventure. They do everything together and their lives are filled with joy and affection.
Then his son takes a major step toward independence. The father confesses that sending his child to school is difficult because his son is missed. When his son says he has a new best friend named Miles, the father reminds him that he will always love him and be his first best friend. I think it is important that when a child has to negotiate the scary and unpredictable world away from home, especially the social quagmire of school, that he knows his father is always there to back him up and support him. However, I would have liked the dad to show more interest in Miles and encourage his son to make friends outside the family.
The book is written in rhyme which holds together fairly well but it isn’t really necessary, especially considering the story’s focus. The illustrations are full color, full-page, cartoon style. There is a color page and a maze the back of the book.
This would make a lovely gift for a new father or father to be.
Considering the complexity of the English language, rich with synonyms, homonyms, and metaphors, it is amazing that humans understand each other as well as they do. Still, if we could eliminate misunderstanding most therapists, lawyers, marriage counselors, and peacekeepers would be out of a job.
Children play an old game called telephone or gossip which also illustrates how garbled messages can become once they leave the first pair of lips. A single misunderstood word can give the sentence a widely different meaning.
It can be very confusing for a child when they have missed understood a word and then hear it in a different context. I remember when my son was first learning to play Monopoly before he could read most of the words. He thought Pacific Avenue was Specific Avenue. He finally asked me to explain this oddity when I use specific in a non-Monopoly context too many times.
He also thought Qaddafi was a car. I wondered what brand of oil Gaddafi would use.
News broadcasts, often told too quickly, are a great source of misunderstanding. When President Bush made a cultural faux pas and offended the Australians, it was the topic of discussion at our dinner table.
“Did you hear?” said our daughter. “The American president gave the V for victory sign wrong when he drove past some Australians in his car and now they’re mad at him.”
“That’s not true,”said my son.
“It is so,” I said my daughter. “I saw on the news. We even talked about it in school.”
“That’s impossible,” continued my son who was an avid student of geography. “How can the president of the United States drive. his car to Australia?”
Perhaps in a Gaddafi.
After further discussion of the history of the V sign, my son offered his own interpretation. He thought that perhaps politicians use the two fingers up to signal the postal employees to raise the price of stamps two cents.
Even simple words used in slightly different ways can be misleading. My husband said they were 2000 applications to attend the faculty of education this year but only 400 seats were available. My son wanted to know if the rest would have to stand. I hoped it wouldn’t have to be in an unemployment line after graduation.
I often wonder about the hidden messages in questions. Recently a waitress asked if I wanted something tall and fruity or short and tart. Neither sounded appealing to my tastes.
You can often tell a lot about someone by what they don’t say. In a West Coast First Nations burial ground, time is marked by centuries. The headstones say which century a person died in. That certainly speaks of a long-range view. Without ever having met them, you suspect they are the kind of people who would support Spaceguard. Spaceguard is a proposed project that would track asteroids and comets heading toward earth that are capable of killing one billion people or more.
We are living in a time when the information highway is spreading, yet few people can read the road signs. If you’ve ever followed a debate on a computer bulletin board you will have seen communication and miscommunication at its highest level. Unfortunately, those who don’t learn to ride the information highway will be bypassed or perhaps driven right over. Still, it is a message labyrinth even King Minos would find puzzling.
Numerous episodes of In Search Of and Ancient Mysteries are devoted to unraveling messages left by previous cultures. I shutter to think what future cultures may deduce from our leavings, Madonna videos, Beavis & Butthead cartoons, newspaper war coverage, Snow CDs, bathroom graffiti, and income tax guides. If we have trouble understanding it as we live through it, future civilizations will be stunned. Anthropologists and archeologists will probably term it as the Time of Insanity. The general public will ask them to be more specific, especially about the game called Monopoly.
Originally published in the Chronicle-Journal/Times News
February 6, 1994
This lovely and engaging picture book tells the story of the dust bowl era in the United States through the eyes of a little girl. Her grandmother tells her stories of the beauty of the land before the drought. The little girl has no memory of it and barely remembers her mother ever wearing a smile.
One day the girl finds a little green shoot and secretly waters it until it until it blooms into a gorgeous vine of morning glories. When her mother sees it, she smiles and dances with joy with her daughter. Although another dust storm is rising, they also hear the sound of thunder foretelling the coming end of the drought.
The pictures are soft, expressive watercolour hinting at dust without being overly oppressive. The story is told with tact, beauty, hope, and charm. I did, however find the occasional fully capitalize the word distracting and did not understand its purpose. This wonderful book would be a great addition to any classroom shelf or child’s personal book collection.
Buy link http://a.co/4ldRov2