Friday, March 8, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Baby Bear Sees Blue

Title: Baby Bear Sees Blue

Author: Ashley Wolff

Illustrator: Ashley Wolff

Publisher:  Beach Lane Books, February 7, 2012

Age: 2 and up

Topics: Colors, Bears, Nature, Exploring

Opening: In the den's dark wall, an opening slowly fills with light. A glow creeps in. "Who is warming, Mama?" asks Baby Bear. "That is the sun," Mama says. Baby Bear sees yellow. 

Book Summary: Baby Bear has so much to learn about the world! From the moment he wakes until it’s time to curl up and go to sleep, he explores outside with his mama. They see green leaves, blue jays, brown trout, and—best of all—a patch of yummy red strawberries.

There are many activities that can done to enhance this book. Take your child on a color walk. Try to find everything Baby Bear finds on his color adventure. Take a journal with you and help your children log everything s/he finds that is red, yellow, blue and etc.

More color activities:
Toddlers: coloring activity
                coloring activity
Preschoolers:  coloring activity
                       coloring activity
                       lesson plan   

Why I Like This Book:
A leaf is green. A trout is brown. A stormy sky is gray. This is a wonderful concept book. As Baby Bear explores the world outside his den, he discovers colors of every kind. Children will identify with his curiosity and motivation to explore his natural environment.  When I read this book to my young toddler class, they loved it! They sat through the whole book so that says a lot since toddlers are known to have shorter attention spans! The rich and vibrant illustrations kept them engaged.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday: It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Title: It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Author: Don Tate

Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie

Publisher: Lee and Low Books, April 1, 2012

Age: 6 and up

Topics: African American Artists, Folk Art, People: Biography: Bill Traylor (1854-1949), Places: Alabama

Book Summary: At the age of 81, Bill Traylor begins to draw as a way to keep his memories of his life alive. He draws about his life as a slave, as a free man, of his family and friends who are long gone, and of the people and buildings he sees as he sits homeless on the streets of Montgomery.
Find an activity guide on the author's website:

Memory collage or drawings: Have your child(ren) draw pictures of a memory (ex: day at the beach, vacation at grandparents, day at school, etc.,) For the memory collage give your child(ren) pictures, magazine cut outs to tell a story they remember
Explore American Folk Art:
Folklife and Folk Art Education and Resource Guide
The folks of folk art: history and lesson plans
Information about Bill Traylor

Why I Like This Book:
It is so nice to read about people like Bill Traylor. Here was an old man who went through so much and yet he proved that one is never too old to learn a new skill. Bill Traylor was a self-taught artist and it is through his art that we learn about the era he lived, his life, the people he loved and lost, the people he met along his journey. In his own way, Bill Traylor helps us celebrate freedom and creative pursuits. His story inspires and motivates. A wonderful addition and resource for the classroom.