Our Favorite Books, Part 1

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To honor Dr. Seuss in his birthday month, and all of the other fabulous authors out there for young children, we are starting a new series: "Our Favorite Books." In March, we’ll be posting three parts, each with 5 books, the first being a Dr. Seuss book. For each book, we’ll list some crafts, games, and/or other activities, plus a link to where you can get the books if you don’t have them at home or can’t find them at your local library. Don’t see your favorite book on our lists? Send an email to info@mycalendarmaker.com and we may add your favorite to our next list! If you like this post, check out our Book Club section which has many more books and activities.

Book #1: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

What You’ll Need:
*Old magazines
*Construction paper

*Read the book together and talk about the different moods and colors in the book.
*Discuss: Do you agree that those feelings should have those colors assigned to them? How do we behave differently on different colored days? Brainstorm different things we like to do on different color days. What are some things that can make your day change color?
*Craft: What kind of day are you having today? Using the old magazines, cut out pictures that are mostly that particular color and make a collage of your day today.

Book #2: The Big Orange Splot by D. Manus Pinkwater

What You’ll Need:
*Lightweight cardboard (we used cereal boxes)
*Legos, clay, and other small toys
*Furniture store catalogs or flyers

*Read the book together and talk Mr. Plumbean’s decision to paint his house in crazy colors.
*Discuss: How would you feel if your neighbors painted their houses in crazy colors? Do you think it was fair of Mr. Plumbean’s neighbors to ask him to change his house? What if you were wearing a shirt that had your favorite colors on it and someone asked you to change into a plain shirt? How would that make you feel? Talk about the importance of respecting other people’s choices, even if we don’t agree with them. Talk about individuality and creativity – how it can be a good thing to be different from everyone else.
*Craft: Make a house that shows who you are out of a shoebox. Use the lightweight cardboard to make rooms in your house. Then add furniture made of legos, clay, or other small toys. Also cut out various furniture and decorative items from the furniture catalogs or flyers to tape to your box. You can even paint the outside in wild colors or wrap with wrapping paper to make it truly unique!

Book #3: Hands by Lois Ehlert

What You’ll Need:
*A variety of gloves (gardening, work gloves, winter gloves, disposable gloves, rubber gloves, etc.)
*Solid color gardening gloves
*Puffy fabric paint

*Read the book together and count the different ways hands are used in the book.
*Discuss: How do we use our hands? What are some of our favorite activities that we need our hands for? Spread out the various gloves you have. Talk about the traditional uses for each glove, then come up with a silly way to use each one.
*Craft: Customize gardening gloves for yourself or a loved one. Use puffy fabric paint to draw pictures or write a message on a pair of sold gardening gloves. The puffy paint will not only look great, but will give a little bit of extra friction when pulling those weeds!

Book #4: Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

What You’ll Need:
*Anything you can use to make an obstacle course!

*Read the book together and make sound effects for each troublesome situation the fox gets himself into.
*Discuss: Talk about the ways that Rosie manages to get away from the fox without even knowing it. Emphasize the role of the preposition on each page (“around”, “over”, etc.)
*Activity: Retell the story with a different set of animals – such as a cat and mouse. What trouble could that cat get himself into? Where would the mouse be going? Also, retell the story from the fox’s point of view.
*Craft: Make a preposition obstacle course. Here’s our obstacle course using the prepositions in Rosie’s Walk, but you can use any ones you like:
--Across the hay bales
--Around some cones
--Over a large rock
--Past a tree
--Through the hula hoop
--Under the swing

Book #5: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

What You’ll Need:

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: This story has a lot of big vocabulary words in it such as “ceased” and “perplexed”. Be sure to go over these words so your child understands the meaning in the story. What would you wish for if you had a magic pebble? How did you feel when Sylvester’s parents couldn’t find him? How did you feel at the end of the story?
*Craft: Go outside and find a special (maybe even magic!) pebble. On the left side of the paper, trace your handprint and glue the pebble onto your hand. On the right side of the paper, draw what you would wish for if your pebble was magic.

This activity can be found in the Book Club section of our site.