When Pigasso Met Mootisse

My big little brother, Walker, is a pretty laid-back, unassuming kind of fellow. Rather quiet. A listener rather than a talker. I’ve never, ever heard him bark. Whine and snore, but never bark. He happens to be an artist. An artist of great renown around these parts. He paints abstract things using his tail and his feet and puts all his happy thoughts into his work. On occasion he has done exhibitions at school and art club meetings and once at the hospital.

I have talked about Walker and his painting before. You might remember. Or might not. You can see more HERE and HERE and HERE.

boys and walker may2011 011Sometimes when he visits a classroom he takes some art books with him to share and encourage some artsy conversation. We recently came across a great book by Ms Nina Laden (who wrote the great book The Night I Followed the Dog)!!!

IMG_2416When Pigasso met Mootisse
by Nina Laden
published by Chronicle Books in 1998

a fiction book suitable for kindergarten and up

Themes – art, friendship, conflict resolution

It begins –
There once was a young pig named Pigasso. While the other piglets rolled in the mud and played games, Pigasso painted. He painted anything and everything, and in a most unusual way.

This is a tale of two artists – a pig named Pigasso who painted in a “most unusual way” and a bull named Mootisse who painted “big, bold, bright pictures.” They both became very famous in their communities. (Much like my Walker.) They became art superstars and everyone wanted their paintings and their photographs and all that stuff that seems to come with being famous. They both decided they needed to get away and find a peaceful place to paint. They ended up finding farms right across the street from each other!!! And they became good friends.

IMG_2417But after awhile they started getting in fights over their work! Criticizing and complaining and calling each other names. (I’ve seen friends at school do this to each other. A very sad thing. 😦 ) They put up a fence right down the middle of their road! Silly artists. Then they began to miss each other. They got lonely. But they were pig-headed and bull-headed and couldn’t bring themselves to kiss and make up. But they did resolve the problem in a most unique way! With paint! Artwork really can speak volumes. And you will have to SEE how they resolved their differences when you check out this book!!!

This tale is kind of a caricature of two REAL artists – Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and at the end of the book there is a brief biography of these two. I’ve seen quite a bit about Mr Matisse in the media lately with books like henris scissors and

matisse. Those would be some good books to read along with this one.

After reading a bit the kids in the class got to do some painting of their own! They did some fingerpainting, kind of like Walker, and kind of like Mr Pigasso and Mr Mootisse!!

IMG_2336They sure had a great time!!!! And I don’t think there was any fighting!

For a list of PERFECT PICTURE BOOKS and accompanying resources please visit Ms Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE!

Now it’s your turn! Go out this weekend and let your feelings fly! Paint a masterpiece!!
Your tail waggin’ friend
Rhythm
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Madam President!

WooHoo!!! It’s President’s Day!!! I don’t have a big sale going on. I’m not even going to any sales. Although I could use some new tennis balls. Oh, I do dream! Anyway, I’m celebrating this big day with a book!!! A book about a President!! Well, it’s really about a girl, much like me, who dreams. She dreams about what life as the President would be like!!

I present to you —

IMG_2392Madam President
by Lane Smith
published by Hyperion Books for Children in 2008

It begins –
A president has many duties.

Well, of course they do!!! Many important duties – like “executive orders to give!” And “lunches to approve!” (I can do that!) And “babies to kiss!” (I can do that too!!) They must “choose a capable cabinet.”

IMG_2395(I have a very nice cabinet, full of very capable toys!) A president must have “her own theme song!” (I’m all about music and Rhythm, right?!) And “keep her head in a crisis!!!!” (Well, I don’t believe I’ve ever lost my head.) And a president must lead by example. (I certainly do that!)

IMG_5525I could be President! Easy Peasy!! But I think I kind of like the job I have, for now. And I like this book – a lot! Girls dreaming of being the president. The most important person in the world! Anything is possible! And that’s what this book is all about. Dreams and Possibilities.

Kid President isn’t a girl. But he does have Dreams —

Dream BIG!
Your friend dreaming of tennis balls
Rhythm
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Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day!

The schools here recently celebrated their 100th Day. I don’t know if this is a universal school celebration or what, but I find it to be a fun day. The kids get all excited about it and spend the whole first half of the school year in high anticipation. It’s remarkable!

We happened to visit a kindergarten class a couple of days before the BIG DAY and boy! were those kids and teachers revved up!! The big talk was all about what they were going to bring or wear in honor of the BIG DAY. 100 coins, 100 cookies, 100 cars, 100 ribbons in their hair. I have a couple of necklaces that I can choose from to wear if I happen to be at school on that 100th Day. A necklace with 100 jingle bells and one with 100 bookmarks.

On this day that we were at school, before the Day 100, they were doing lots of counting. Practicing. Getting ready. Anticipating. We read a fun book from one of my favorite illustrators –

IMG_2359Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten
by Joseph Slate
illustrated by Ashley Wolff
published by Scholastic, Inc in 1999
originally published by Dutton Children’s Books in 1998

Theme – the 100th Day

Suitable for anyone counting to 100!!

It begins –
“Tomorrow we celebrate,” says Miss Bindergarten, “the 100th day of kindergarten.”

There are several books about Miss Bindergarten in Kindergarten. She’s my kind of teacher!! Literally!! She’s a real Dog!! This is a fun one about Miss Bindergarten and her class getting ready for that 100th Day. It’s a counting book, a kind of how-to book of suggestions, and an alphabet book! Whew! So much going on!! We read it with the whole class, but I think it would be better read one on one. There is just too much going on in those illustrations!! You need to be able to spend more time on each page!

IMG_2360So, it’s the night before Day 100 and all the kids are getting their 100 things ready. We get to meet each student ALPHABETICALLY!!! From Adam to Brenda to Christopher all the way to Xavier and Yolanda and Zachary! And while the kids are all getting ready, Miss Bindergarten is, too!!! Shopping and baking and crafting and decorating. Boy, is she one busy teacher!!!!! And boy! Are those kids going to have one FUN-HUNDRED Day!!!!!

This book is chock full of ideas for teachers and students both! It is a resource in and of itself!! It should be in every classroom!! Reading this book and thinking of all the 100 things and doing all the counting made my head spin! I can count to 3 pretty good, but anything after that just puts me to sleep.

IMG_2361I hope that wherever you are, you get to celebrate the number 100! And if you have already, I hope it was a good one!!

This happens to be Friday – Perfect Picture Book Friday – as celebrated over at Ms Susanna Hill’s blog. You might want to visit her HERE and check out all the other books on today’s list!

This is not my class – I don’t know these kids, but this could be my class!! This is what my day looked like!! Just check out that Rhythm!!

I wish you a “wonderful, one-hundred-full day!!”
Your counting friend
Rhythm
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Edmund Pickle Chin

I’ve got a fun little book to share with you today!! It’s a true story about a lucky little donkey who was rescued from a bad place and carried off to a wonderful place called Evermay Farm. Evermay Farm is a Heart Place that was established by Susan April Elwood to provide a safe, happy home for abused animals. This lucky little donkey was the first of many to arrive.

IMG_2271Edmund Pickle Chin
A Donkey Rescue Story
by Clara Bowman-Jahn and Susan April Elwood
illustrated by Lynne Bendoly
published by eTreasures Publishing in 2014

based on a True Story!

It begins
The frightened donkey snorted and shivered.
Whenever anyone came near him, he would back away. Not so long ago he was treated poorly and he was confused.

We took this book to school with us and my readers fell in love with Edmund Pickle Chin. Is that not a funny name?! It seems to fit him though. The kids liked that this tale was based on a true story about a real donkey. Ryan particularly liked the cover with that happy donkey face, and wanted to read it himself to the class.

Copy of IMG_2300That was certainly alright by me!!!! And he did a fine job with it, too! This is the story of Edmund Pickle Chin and his transition from shy, scared, confused donkey to happy, self-assured ambassador for the farm. It took a lot of time and patience for Ms Elwood to win his trust. But she seems to be filled with love and patience. Ryan is a farm boy and he knows about patience and earning the trust of an animal. When other animals started arriving at Evermay, Edmund knew how to make them feel welcome. The kids really liked how kind Edmund was, taking care of the goats and rabbits and ponies that came to live with him. This is a story all about big hearts and being kind.

IMG_2273We really liked the illustrations. That Edmund sure has a winning smile!! At the end of the book there are a few real pictures of the real Edmund and some of his friends at Evermay Farm. You can find out more about Evermay Farm at their website HERE.

One of the authors, Ms Clara Bowman-Jahn has a fine blog of her own that you can visit HERE. She does book reviews and writer talk. You might want to go visit!

You can find out more about the illustrator, Lynne Bendoly, HERE on Ms Bowman-Jahn’s blog.

Did you know that donkeys are used as guard animals to take care of sheep and goats? There are lots of sheep and goats around where I live and most of those herds have donkeys that stay with them and watch out for predators like coyotes and mountain lions. We have some donkeys that live with our neighbors and visit us over our fence. They don’t have any sheep or goats. Just us to visit with.

IMG_2387Here’s a little lesson all about donkeys —

Spread some kindness today and keep smiling!
Your wagging, smiling friend
Rhythm
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Winnie

You are probably familiar with a bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. I have grown up with Mr Pooh Bear. My family are all great fans. I, myself, think that he is the greatest philosopher that ever lived! Or didn’t live. Whatever. He is one wise bear!

IMG_2366Well, did you know that the Winnie-the-Pooh in the books was inspired by a real life bear? And did you know that there is a book about this real life bear?! Well, My Mom Person, bless her heart, has presented me with a copy of this book as an early Valentine gift! Isn’t that something?!

IMG_2369WINNIE
The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
by Sally M. Walker
illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss

published by Henry Holt & Co. in 2015

a non-fiction picture book suitable for anyone who loves Winnie-the-Pooh!

themes – Winnie-the-pooh, bears, animal rescue, military, World War I

It begins –
When Harry Colebourn looked out of the train window, he couldn’t believe what he saw: a bear at the station! The train’s stop would be short, but Harry had to get off and see the bear for himself.

Harry is a young soldier going off to training camp in Quebec during World War I. He is also a veterinarian and will be with the veterinary corps taking care of horses. The bear is a small brown orphaned cub that is up for sale. Harry buys the bear for $20.00 and hops back on the train taking the little thing with him. He names the bear Winnipeg because that’s where his company is from and Winnie becomes the company mascot. She goes everywhere with the soldiers and even sleeps under Harry’s cot!

IMG_2371When the war across the Atlantic starts to get worse, Harry’s company has to ship out to England. Winnie ships out with them. But when the war continues to get worse and the company is called to the front lines in France, Harry decides to leave Winnie with the London Zoo. She was so sweet and friendly that she soon became a favorite with London kids. One in particular, a young lad named Christopher Robin, was particularly taken with the little bear, so his father, Mr A.A. Milne, took him often to visit. Christopher Robin decided to rename his own Edward Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. And the rest is history, as they say!

A special bonus in this book is the endpapers. They are real photographs of Harry and Winnie and Christopher Robin and Mr Milne. Fantastic!! At the end of the book is a kind of epilogue about Harry and Winnie after the war and a bibliography and links to some interesting videos.

IMG_2370

Winnie was an American Black Bear. You can find out more about black bears HERE and HERE.

After reading this book about Winnie, the natural thing to do would be to read some Winnie-the-Pooh. And not those Disney books. The REAL Winnie-the-Pooh!

And to help you get in the mood here is Mr Milne himself reading from his very own book!

Now you might want to venture over to Ms Susanna Hill’s blog to check out today’s list of Perfect Picture Books. You’ll be glad you did!!!

 May you have a tiddly-pom weekend full of wonder!
Your friend
Rhythm
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