Gone to the Apes

As you may (or may not) know, I have a particular fondness for Apes. Gorillas in particular. My sleeping buddy when i was a wee pup was a cuddly gorilla who kept me safe at night.

IMG_3871I have talked about apes and ape books on several occasions. HERE. and HERE. and HERE. and HERE. One of my most favorite author/illustrators is Mr. Anthony Browne who is quite famous for his depictions of apes. Do you know the difference between apes and monkeys? Apes don’t have tails!

IMG_6017Today for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I have two, yes TWO, Perfect Picture Books about Apes. One is non-fiction and one is considered fiction but is actually a biography. I get so confused about these things sometimes!

IMG_6020APE
by Martin Jenkins
illustrated by Vicky White
published by Candlewick Press in 2007
a non-fiction book about the five great apes
suitable for pre-school and up

It begins —
There are five kinds of great apes in the world.
Each of them is different from the others …
but not so very different.
They’re all part of the same family.

Mr Jenkins goes on to tell us about the great apes of the world. The Orangutan of Borneo and Sumatra, the Chimpanzee of central and west Africa, the Bonobo of central Africa, the Gorilla of central Africa, and ….. Humans who are found all over the world.

Mr Jenkins tells us about each ape family’s habitat and habits, what they eat, and what their personalities are like. This is all accompanied by the most unbelievably beautiful artwork by Ms White. Publisher’s Weekly says about these illustrations – “White makes an intense emotional connection between subject and reader. …. The great apes have found their John Singer Sargent.”

IMG_6019At the back of the book is a world map showing where the Great Apes are found, and links to some conservation organizations who are working to save the great apes.

This is a most incredible book! You can read Publishers Weekly’s review HERE.

IMG_6021Me … Jane
by Patrick McDonnell
published by Little Brown and Company in 2011
a fictional biography of Jane Goodall – champion of chimpanzees
suitable for pre-school and up

It begins —
Jane had a stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee.
She cherished Jubilee and took him everywhere she went.
And Jane loved to be outside.

This is an exquisitely joyful look at Jane Goodall as a wee young girl. She spends her time immersed in the world around her. She is a watcher of nature – the plants and animals that fill her habitat. She studies and keeps detailed notes in her journals. Jane reads about Tarzan of the Apes and dreams of being in Africa herself living a life “with, and helping, all animals.” And Jubilee is with her always.

IMG_6018The illustrations in this book are the cute, sweet pictures that Mr McDonnell is famous for. But there are also some of Jane’s own artwork from her journals. And pages of subtle realistic nature pictures.
At the back of the book is a brief biography about Ms Goodall and links to her websites. You can get to those HERE. and HERE. There is also a message from Ms Goodall herself.

Besides learning about chimpanzees at Ms Goodall’s website, you can find more about gorillas at the Gorilla Organization. More about orangutans at the Orangutan Foundation. More about Bonobos at the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.

Here is a link to some activity sheets and a cool gorilla mask.
A great lesson plan about apes with crafts and activities can be found HERE.

And now you might want to visit Susanna Hill’s blog where you’ll find a great list of Perfect Picture Books and helpful resources to go with.

Ms Jane Goodall recently celebrated her 80th birthday. Here is a video tribute to her —

Now go out and do something good for your neighborhood!

Your ape watching friend
Rhythm
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Some Swell Pup

As you may know already, we have a new pup in our house. A Guide Dog Puppy who will grow up to be “eyes” for some lucky blind person. Her name is Electra and I am in charge of training. (With some help from the Mom Person and my buddy, Walker.)

Training a puppy is not an easy task! Ms Electra is a Mini-Godzilla! Chewing and eating everything in her path! What’s a good dog to do?!

IMG_5174The Mom Person to the rescue! She pulled a book off of our shelf that is a story about puppy training. And written by none other than Mr Maurice Sendak and his dog training buddy, Mr Matthew Margolis.

IMG_5376The book is titled SOME SWELL PUP or Are You Sure You Want a Dog?

written by Maurice Sendak and Matthew Margolis
illustrated by Maurice Sendak
published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1976

Suitable for K and up

Theme – puppy training, being kind to animals, the power of love

IMG_5378I think that this would be considered a graphic novel. It’s done in comic book style. It begins with a brother and sister pining for a dog of their own. And then a pup is left on their doorstep. They are thrilled! Until the puppy proves to be a Mini-Godzilla! Chewing and eating everything in its path! They get angry at the pup and decide it needs to go off to school. The pup is soon returned to them with a note saying the pup is too young to train and the school is now a wreck!

What are two kids supposed to do now?! Well, a stranger comes along and tries to show them that what the pup needs is lots of love. That everything it has been doing is normal puppy stuff. The kids continue to argue with each other (as siblings are wont to do) but soon realize that talking kindly and showing love to the pup is the right thing to do.

The sub-heading of this book “Are You Sure You Want a Dog?” is a fitting one. This is a tale of a Godzilla pup. But it is a realistic view of what it is like to have a puppy in the house. It is a BIG responsibility! They chew things, they pee and poop, they jump, they whine and bark. Having a new puppy is not just fun and games!

This is not really a “training book.” It is a Maurice Sendak take on a training book. It is a very old book and hence has very old ideas. One thing that is a bit befuddling is that it asserts that the pup is too young to train and you should wait until a pup is 12 weeks old. That’s just crazy!! Training needs to start at day ONE!!! The sooner the better. The book does show that shouting and hitting and ignoring are NOT the ways to deal with a young pup. A pup needs lots of love and understanding. And that’s the main thing about pup training. Love and patience and understanding.

The story could also be seen as a story about getting along with other PEOPLE in the big world. The book is actually a good lesson in how to treat ANYBODY. Not just pups. Be kind and gentle. Always. Show some love and it will be returned to you. A BIG lesson to learn!

I am trying to be patient and understanding with my Godzilla pup. It’s not always easy. But I can already see some improvement in her understanding of household rules. She is learning to be more polite. It’s not easy for her either. She is just a pup after all.

IMG_5177There are some good pup training books out there for kids.
Dog Training for Kids by Carol Lea Benjamin
See Spot Sit by Carol Lea Benjamin
My Dog! A Kids’ Guide to Keeping a Happy & Healthy Pet by Michael J. Rosen

Martha Stewart has instructions for making some cute origami animals from napkins.
Southeastern Guide Dogs likes to get donations of DIY paracord puppy collars. They provide instructions HERE.
HERE are instructions for making a great fleece tug toy for your dog. We LOVE these toys! And our detention boys sometimes make a bunch of these to give to the local animal shelter.

Now you might want to visit Susanna Hill’s Blog for a list of more PERFECT PICTURE BOOKS and fine resources to go with!

And here is a little training video with a 5 week old pup!

I wish you success and love in all your endeavors!
Your friend in training mode
Rhythm
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Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek

img450Let me begin by wishing you HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! A day for celebrating loving relationships.

And now — on with the show!

My Mom Person has been reading Abraham Lincoln books lately. To be precise, she has been reading books about the women in Mr Lincoln’s life, but by default these books are about the man as well. We recently came across this grand book about Mr Abe and an adventure with a childhood friend.

IMG_4932Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) was written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by John Hendrix.

It was published by Schwartz and Wade Books in 2008.

This is a historical fiction tale about Abraham Lincoln and friendship.

It is suitable for ages 4 and up.

There is an Author’s Note in the beginning of the book attesting to the truthfulness of the story. It includes some bibliographical references.

The story begins:

“Now, here’s an old tale of two boys who got themselves into more trouble than bear cubs in a candy store. I like it so well, I’ve asked my friend John to help out by drawing some pictures. “

And we see John’s hand painting a lovely scene of a valley with a flowing creek and a young man hiking through. Next we meet seven year old Abe Lincoln, working hard to help out his Mom and Dad. And we meet Abe’s friend Benjamin Austin Gollaher. Austin really is a real person and three years older than Abe.

Abe and Austin decide to go look for partridges down by Knob Creek. They “scurry” there “wearing nothing but long homespun shirts!” (I like that word scurry.) The creek has become raging rapids after some big rains, but the birds are on the other side! What to do?! The water is really high and the boys can’t swim! (When my river is like this after a big rain, I’m not allowed to go near it – and I can swim!)

Abe sees a big log laying across the creek and dares Austin to go across it. Now we see Austin’s muddy feet going across that log! And then —- HE MADE IT!!! Next it’s Abe’s turn. It’s slippery. And — SPLASH! Abe is in the rushing creek water! (I LOVE the illustrations in this book!!!!! They make all of this feel real!) (Just like a movie!)

IMG_4934Now Ms Hopkinson STOPS the story! She says it couldn’t have happened like this! They wouldn’t have been so foolish to walk across a wet slippery log! And next we see Austin crawling across the log. Then Abe starts across. But alas, the same outcome. 😦 He’s in the creek! And it’s time for his FRIEND to come to the rescue! But now Ms Hopkinson is not sure exactly how Austin saves Abe! Fine time for indecision! So she lets John make some sketches and he decides that Austin used a big branch to help his friend. And there he is — Austin with his big branch, saving his friend Abe, and saving the day, and saving the story, and saving history!

After that, the Lincolns move away and the two friends never see each other again. But Austin tells stories of his friend and Abe supposedly remembers Austin in times of crisis.

And Ms Hopkinson’s moral to the story — “Remember Austin Gollaher, because what we do matters, even if we don’t end up in history books.” And that’s sure something to think about.

Monday, February the 22, is Presidents’ Day. Officially it’s Washington’s Birthday, but on most calendars it’s Presidents’ Day and in most places that has come to represent the birthdays of both Mr Washington and Mr Lincoln. You can find out more about this federal holiday HERE.

Ms Hopkinson has resources and class activities on her website HERE.
A video interview with her can be found at Reading Rockets.

You can visit John Hendrix’s fabulous website HERE. And his Blog HERE.

This IS Perfect Picture Book Friday! If you would like to see more Perfect Picture Books and a list of resources to go with, then you must visit Susanna Hill’s Blog!

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I give you
Kid President!
with some words to think about!

I wish you a Grand, Long Weekend
Be careful going over water!
Rhythm

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Max’s Words

Words are pretty important to humans. Not so much to canines. Dogs usually pay more attention to a tone of voice than to actual words. I like words. At least I like to hear words spoken by humans. It’s really more about the sound than the actual word. I have some particular favorites — treat, French Fries, ball, river, YES!, find it, library, kids, Dr Bruton, Ms Brandt, Good Girl! And there are some words that I don’t like to hear — No!, leave it, no more, go lay down, that’s enough, off, not today. There are a lot of words that I like the sound of when I hear them spoken, but I don’t know what they mean.

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Mrs Brandt, my favorite reading teacher who always has banana chips and the best pillows, has a great book called Max’s Words about a boy who collects words.

Max’s Words is written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Now that’s a nice sounding name!

Max’s Words was published in 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

It is suitable for Pre-K through 3rd grade or so —

Theme – words, writing

IMG_3705Opening — “Max’s brother Benjamin collected stamps.”

Max has a brother who has a fabulous stamp collection that everyone admires. And he has another brother with a coin collection that everyone admires. Max wants a collection for himself and decides to collect words. He starts with simple words that he cuts out of magazines and newspapers. His collection grows and grows and he starts sorting them in different orders. Then he discovers that when he puts his words together in different ways, they become a thought. And those words and thoughts can be strung together to create a story! Now his brothers get interested in Max’s word collection and they all end up working together to create a magical story.

IMG_3706The illustrations in this book are as fabulous as the words. They build on what the words are saying and make those words come alive.

This is a most fabulous book all around!!!

Following in Max’s footsteps would be a fun thing to do with a class. Let them start their own word collection. (Or you might give them a whole bunch of already cut out words). Then see what kind of stories they can create. Some magazines and some scissors can make magic happen!

A favorite game at my house is the Dictionary Game. One person looks up a word in the dictionary and says the word to the other players. Then those players write down what they think the word means. The word person collects all the definitions along with the real one that he has written down and reads each one out loud. The other players pick the one that they think is the real definition. If you get it right you get a point. If you wrote a definition that fools the others you get a point.

When we’re in a classroom, sometimes we play another dictionary game where everyone has a dictionary. The Mom Person says a word and the 1st one to find it wins a point.

Now here is a little bit of connected trivia. I love connections. I recently did a post about a book written by Charlotte Zolotow. There is a book award named after Ms Zolotow. Another book written by Ms Banks, the Night Worker, won the Charlotte Zolotow Award!

This is Perfect Picture Book Friday and if you would like to find a great list of books and resources to use in you classroom or at home, you should visit Susanna Leonard Hill at her blog HERE.

Here’s a video about a DOG who collects words! —

And if you would like the longer NOVA version  —

IMG_5511I’m working on my collection! How about you? Any favorite words? Do you have enough words for a story?

Happy Hunting —
Rhythm
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Rickie and Henri

When I was a wee pup, I lived in a heavenly puppy paradise in Florida. The place was called Southeastern Guide Dogs. There were lots and lots of pups there – all my brothers and sisters and cousins. We spent our time playing and wrestling and cuddling together. People were always coming to play with us and cuddle with us. Oh! It was heaven!

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Then one day some people came and took me away from my family and my paradise. I flew on an airplane far away and ended up in Texas at a strange house with strange smells and no other puppies. There was a big dog who was very nice to me and he explained about what my new life was about to be like.

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We had a fun day playing together, but when the nighttime came, I was carried into a cage. I was to sleep here. All by myself. Oh my! But wait! I could smell my brothers in that cage! My new Mom Person had put in a big towel that had my brothers and sisters smell all over it. A bit of my paradise. And there was a big soft creature in there that I could cuddle with. I was told that it was a gorilla. That gorilla became my sleeping buddy and I have him still.

IMG_3547Gorilla was a real life saver for me. He helped me not be afraid of my new surroundings.

It’s hard being taken away from your family.

We recently read a book about this very thing.

Rickie and Henri by Jane Goodall and illustrated by Alan Marks

It was published by Penguin Young Readers in 2004

This is a non-fiction book suitable for Pre-school and up to adults.

Themes- friendship, endangered animals, family

Rickie is a baby chimpanzee living happily with her mother and family in the rain forest of Central Africa. One day her world is turned upside down when some men come and kill her mother and take Rickie away in a cage. She is put up for sale in a market. Poor, scared Rickie! But one day a kind man rescues her and takes her home with him where she discovers a true friend in a big dog named Henri. She sleeps with Henri, clinging to his fur like she did with her mother. She rides on his back, like she did with her mother. They become best friends.

Rickie eventually becomes too big to ride on Henri and the decision is made to send her to a sanctuary for orphan chimps where she makes many new friends of her own kind.

IMG_3550This is a lovely story about a very unlovely topic – illegal hunting and selling of endangered wildlife. The  beginning of the story is a little scary and very sad. It made the Mom Person cry. But then it becomes a happy, hopeful tale. Mr. Marks’s illustrations are beautiful and full of emotion. It is a beautiful book.

Rickie and Henri is a true story and Rickie still lives at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Congo Republic.

Ms Goodall is a very famous lady who began studying chimpanzees in 1960. You can find out more about her and the Jane Goodall Institute at their website here.

A worthwhile class project might be to become a chimpanzee guardian through the Institute and learn more about the plight of these fascinating creatures.

You might also look into other unlikely friendships and talk about what being a friend really means. What makes a good friend? How does one be a good friend?

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, brought to you by Susanna Leonard Hill. You might want to visit her blog for more fun picture books with resources to go with —

Here is a look at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Sanctuary —

Have a great weekend — read a book with a friend!

Rhythm

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I have a confession to make

I have a confession to make.

When I was a wee babe, I ate books. Yes, I did. I ate them. They were right there. They smelled quite nice. And I found that they tasted pretty good.

But the Mom Person moved them out of my reach and I soon found other, better things to chew on and eat. Now, in my maturity, I enjoy books because they bring me closer to the people that I love. They bring me soft hands and soothing voices. Sometimes giggles and laughter. And sometimes I learn a thing or two.

A book that was recently read to me and brought those peals of JOY and laughter is another one by that wonder boy, Oliver Jeffers. The Incredible Book Eating Boy. It was published by Philomel Books in 2006. It is suitable for all ages. It is hilarious!

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I am a HUGE Oliver Jeffers fan! His books are incredibly unique. This story is about Henry, a boy who LOVES books! But, he loves to EAT them! He loves to eat all sorts of books. And he finds that the more he eats — the smarter he gets! And he wants to be smart, so he eats and eats. But then he finds that he is feeling very ill indeed! And all the books that he was ingesting start getting all mixed up. In his tummy and in his head. Everyone tells him he should stop eating books. So he decides that he must. Then one day he picks up a book and instead of eating it, he opens it and reads it. And, lo and behold!, he discovers that he loves to READ!

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The story is a fun one, but the book itself is a real treasure. There is a big piece of the back of the book that has been bitten off! ( I did not do it!) The kids thought that was pretty funny. But the really clever thing is that the illustrations and text are printed on copies of real book pages from found books. Mr Jeffers has said that he used pieces of paper that he got from trash bins! Who would think to do such a thing!?

The kids that read this book to me gave it a very high 5. and I give it 4 big paws up. You must check it out!
This book lends itself to a discussion of the proper care and use of books. Some resources can be found here and here.
And here is a pdf file for a bookmark with rules on it!

Now you might want to head over to Susanna Hill’s blog — It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! and there will be lots of great books and resources for you to check out!

Home Run!!

I’ve been going to school for quite a few years and have seen a lot of kids growing up and becoming teenagers who don’t have the need to read to dogs anymore. I rarely see these “big” kids after they leave the elementary school. But sometimes I run into them in town or at the park or in the library. Like tonight. A couple of my favorite girls who I haven’t seen in a couple of years came by the library to see me! I was very excited to see them! And they were excited that I remembered them. I don’t know why they would be surprised about that!

They were also thrilled to read me and Walker a couple of books. They picked out some good ones, too. J plays softball and she picked out a baseball book. ( How appropriate! Since I have been fantasizing about a secret life as a ball player!) This book is about Babe Ruth who is a famous ball player. It’s called Home Run. It was written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Mike Wimmer. It was published by Harcourt Brace & Company in 1998.

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It’s probably suitable for 1st grade and up. It is a rather unique book. To begin with, there is no title on the cover! The cover looks like a folded shirt! Cool! And the story is written in kind of free verse, poetic prose. It’s lovely. First page — simply, “He is the Babe.” Second page — “He has always loved this game. This baseball. But what he does not know yet is this: He will change this game he loves. Forever.”

And on each page, along with the verse, there are boxes kind of like the backs of baseball cards that have interesting facts about baseball and Babe Ruth. The illustrations are stunning! So realistic you can hear the crack of the bat and the cheers of the crowd. You can feel the power behind that swing.

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I don’t know a lot about baseball. I’ve been to a lot of games and like the excitement of it all. I wish I could play. I’m a good catcher!! I also have never heard of Babe Ruth. But I sure know a lot about him now! Wow! If you’re at all interested in baseball, you should read this book. Just Wow!

Some of the teachers at my school use baseball in math lessons. Here’s a link to some baseball math ideas.
Kids could make their own baseball cards with their picture on the front and some facts about them on the back. When I was a Guide Dog Puppy in Training, I had a “baseball” card of myself that I gave to kids.
Just playing the game of baseball is a great activity!

And here is a video of Babe Ruth hitting his 60th homerun!

Now you can venture over to Susanna Hill’s blog for more fun picture books and resources. It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

The Insomniacs

There are folks at our house who sometimes don’t want to go to bed at night. Like the Mom Person. The Person that my world revolves around.  I have trouble understanding this. I know when my bedtime is. And when that time comes around I want to go to my bed.

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But my bedtime never seems to be the same bedtime as the Mom Person’s. She would stay up all night if I let her. Typing away on the computer. Doing crossword puzzles. Doing laundry. Or reading a book. She reads BIG books that take her forever to finish. I try giving her my sad face, and laying down under her feet and moaning. But she says, “Just one more chapter.”  Those chapters sure are long ones!

I try to tell her that she needs to stick to picture books. They say just as much as the big books with a lot fewer words and pages. We found a good one at the library this week. A perfect one —The Insomniacs. Written by Karina Wolf and illustrated by The Brothers Hilts. It was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2012. It is suitable for K and up.

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Mrs. Insomniac gets a new job that requires them to move 12 time zones away. They found it impossible to adjust to the time change. They couldn’t sleep at night and then would fall asleep during the day at work and school. Father, Mother and Mika tried all sorts of things. They took hot baths, worked crossword puzzles, counted to 1,000 and sipped mugs of warm milk. ( My Mom Person sometimes does these things too!)

They wondered who knew the secret of getting to sleep and decided to go ask the bears. They found a cave but not a bear. Instead they roused a “cloud” of bats who flew out into the night! And then they noticed that there were a lot of animals that were awake and lively during the night! So they decided to do the same. Father, who was a photographer, did his developing in the dark. Mother, who seems to be a scientist, studied the stars, and Mika went to night school. And when the sun started coming up they pulled down the blinds and went to bed.

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The Mom Person and I both loved this book! It’s all about her! Those Brothers Hilts did a fantastic job with the illustrations. They are dark and kind of strange. Kind of Edward Goreyish or Tim Burtonish. Just perfect. The pictures make you feel like you’re creeping around in the dark. Pretty cool!

The Insomniacs could provide an opportunity for some great discussions about sleep habits – of people and animals. You could also talk about nighttime jobs and activities. What kinds of jobs could insomniacs have? What kind of things could they do for entertainment?

There are some very interesting activities that can be found for lessons on nocturnal animals. One can be found here.
The Crayola website has coloring pages and lesson plans.
Bats Conservation International also has a great website with lots of information.

For a list of other fantastic picture books and great resources visit Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

And go check out The Insomniacs! you’ll be glad you did!

Now I will leave you with The Beatles and Good Night!  Good night!

The Golden Rule

We recently had a note from our fabulous Aunt Chrissy who suggested we read a book called The Golden Rule. Our library didn’t have this book and we had to find it through the interlibrary loan service which is a fantastic thing. Anyway, this was all a good thing because The Golden Rule is a fabulous book. It was written by Ilene Cooper and illustrated by Gabi Swiatowska.

IMG_0819The book was published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in 2007. It is suitable for all ages. The theme is the Golden Rule, as in the title. Being kind and thoughtful to others.

The illustrations are exquisite. I don’t know what medium is used. I’m not very good with art details. I’m guessing maybe watercolors. But they take my breath away. Whew! It’s a simple story with a powerful message for everyone. A boy and his grandfather are taking a walk and see a billboard that says ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. “What does it mean?” The boy wanted to know. “and why is it golden?”

IMG_0817And the Grandfather proceeds to explain in quite simple terms what that lovely “rule” means. He tells the boy that he must use his imagination and imagine himself in someone else’s  shoes. How does that new girl in school feel and what would make her feel better? He explains that this rule is found in all the world’s religions. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and even Shawnee.

And how do you get the whole world to practice the Golden Rule? “It begins with You.”

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This book would be a good catalyst for discussions about helping others and being kind to each other. It addresses bullying and other cultures. As a class you might find ways to do community service projects or find some worthy cause to get involved with. It could fall in with Valentine’s Day and you could send notes to each other anonymously noting how special someone is.

We’re linking up today with Susanna Hill and Perfect Picture Book Friday. Check in with her for more fabulous picture books!

And a little song from James Taylor — Shed a Little Light!

Now y’all go out and be kind to someone today! And check out this book. It’s one to keep close to your heart! Spread Joy!! And Shed some Light!

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Clap Your Hands!!

This is a JOYOUS, Clap your hands, dance a jig kind of day!  We just had 2 full days of glorious rain with NO thunder! My buddy Cisco is happy about that! The grass is happy. The river is happy. The water tank is happy. The fire department is happy. A JOYOUS day!

And to go with the JOYOUS day I present to you TWO JOYOUS books!  The 1st one is a fun, interactive, get your body moving book called Clap Your Hands! by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. It was published in 1992 by The Putman & Grosset Group. It is suitable for all ages. The illustrations are full of life and laughter with funny animals all dressed up along with kids romping through the book in a kind of follow the leader game. This book is meant to be read out loud and it is meant for kids to be up and moving. And kids do need some fun, active, wiggle time to wake up their brains! Each page offers a different instruction from Clap your hands, stomp your feet to rub your tummy, pat your head. From stick out your tongue and touch your nose to close your eyes and count to four. Silliness and fun is what it’s all about!

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Copy of IMG_0354Here’s a fun video from a group called Hullabaloo performing Everybody Clap Your Hands. And another one from the Mother Goose Club.
And a website all about handclapping games. Enjoy!!

The next book is another interactive, get moving JOYOUS book. But this one is all about dogs! It’s called Polly Molly Woof Woof, a Book About Being Happy by David Lloyd and illustrated by Charlotte Hard. It was published in 2000 by Candlewick Press. Candlewick Press sure puts out some nice books! This book is suitable for kids 2 and up. It’s all about sniffing and barking. Dogs having a party! It invites the reader to join in the fun and bark and sniff along.

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From the 1st page — “A funny thing happened on one lovely happy sunny summer day when Polly took Molly to the park.” Molly was happy and barked in a great loud voice. Woof! Woof! Woof! And when she met other dogs, they went sniff! sniff! sniff! and woof! woof! woof! They all had a great sniffing, woofing party and their kids all laughed a lot.  This book gets your imagination going, thinking about how different dogs might sound and sniff. And why do they all sniff each other?! Because that’s how we say “Hello!”

And here’s what a dog party looks like at my house —

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Here is a clip of Bret McKenzie and Kermit the frog singing “Life’s a Happy Song”
And then there’s this one Happy Dog!!

Now if you’d like to visit Susanna Hill you might find some more fabulous picture books!
A JOYous PPBF to you all!
And now I have 294 more to read in 2013!