Apple Sauce and the Christmas Miracle

Today we read our last Stephen Michael King book for the year.  We have loved getting to know the work of this very talented author/illustrator and will continue to look out for his books in the future.

Glenda Millard actually wrote Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle and Stephen accompanied her text with his trademark water colour pictures.  It is a beautiful story that teaches us that Christmas isn’t just about fancy dinners and presents but more about family, community and the people we love.  It reminds us that ‘Christmas comes from the heart’.

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Piglet and Mama

In the tradition of the children’s classic “Are You My Mother?”, this heart warming story by Margaret Wild speaks to every child who has ever been lost.  It is beautifully illustrated by Stephen Michael King and is perfect for a bedtime story…

Poor Piglet has lost her Mama! All the other mother animals offer help, the duck with a cuddle, the sheep with a daisy chain, the dog with a roll in the mud, but nothing will do for Piglet but to find her Mama. OIIIIIINK! she cries finally in despair, and OIIIIIINK! There you are! cries her Mama. Reunited, they cuddle, make a daisy chain, roll in the mud, all the things the other mothers offered, but now, with her Mama, Piglet laughs and joins in!

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Rain, Rain Go Away….

The front cover for Henry and Amy was the inspiration for our activity this week.  We made umbrellas using patty pans and pipe cleaners.  Henry and Amy would be very impressed!!

 

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Henry and Amy

Henry always felt out of step with the world around him.  When everyone looked up, he looked down.  If he thought it was going to be a sunny day, it usually rained.  Amy could do everything right, she never tied her shoelaces together, or forgot her umbrella.  Amy showed Henry everything she knew, but deep down she wished she didn’t always have to be so perfect.  So Henry showed Amy how to dress funny and roll down the hills sideways.  Together, they could be serious or silly, right-way-round or upside down.  As long as they were together they could do anything!

This story reminded us of a couple of other books we have read in the library – The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog and Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley.  All of these stories illustrate perfectly the importance and value of friendship and how by being with people who see the world differently to us, we can gain a broader view of all our world has to offer.- a good lesson for all of us!

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Our Little Box Creations….

After reading The Man Who Loved Boxes we created our own box using a net. We then used the scrap paper we had left over to decorate our box.  We will be using our boxes in the following weeks to create an obstacle course for the Bee -bots.  Stay tuned…….

 

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The Man Who Loved Boxes

Once there was a man.  The man had a son.  The son loved the man and the man loved boxes.

The man loves his son deeply, but has trouble telling him.  Instead he makes wonderful things for his son from boxes – an airplane, a big castle, a go-cart built for two.  This heartwarming story offers a testimonial to the strength of parental love and an affirmation that communication comes in many form.

The grade twos were totally engaged with this story.  They loved all the different box creations the man produced and thought it would be wonderful to have such a creative Dad.  The text inspired a lovely discusssion about the ways in which we communicate our love for each other, from hugs and kisses, words, both spoken and written to kind gestures and thoughts. It was a terrific book for reminding us that love is so much more than those three little words.

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Creating a ‘something’ out of nothing…..

In the book Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat, Milli becomes brave enough to show her true creative nature. The story encouraged us to be our best creative selves and inspired us to make something out of the bits and bobs we had in our storeroom.  We put our imaginations to work and came up with some wonderful creations.  Here is a sample for you to look at…

 

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Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat

Milli is a person who can take a a nothing….and turn it into a Something.  But in her plain old town full of bustling people, all Milli does is make plain, ordinary shoes.  Until a pair of wandering minstrels come to town, Jack and the Dancing Cat.  They teach Milli how to dance the two-step, the three-step and the tricky twisting backward sliding four-step which makes her feel brave and free.  Brave enough to create many wonderful Somethings: musical instruments with sounds never heard before, purple satin slippers with bells and more.  Milli never again makes a plain, ordinary anything.

We loved this story (especially Mrs McKee).  It is a wonderful book which teaches us to have the courage to be true to ourselves. King’s brilliant, bright, water-colour illustrations show the creativity and specialness of Milli’s ‘somethings’ – he really is so talented!

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Our Amazing Gardens

After hearing the characters from Amelia Ellicott’s Garden dreaming about the type of garden they would have if they had the chance, we came up with our own versions of the perfect garden….

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Amelia Ellicott’s Garden

Amelia Ellicot lives with her cat Mustafah, next door to a block of flats.  She is proud of her garden and her chickens, but she has no one to share them with…..Until one day a storm destroys it all and Amelia discovers the value of friendship.

This is a beautiful, simple story of community and the importance of other people in our lives.  It illustrates perfectly the joy we can bring to others with a little thought and courage to reach out to each other.

We found out today that Stephen Michael King has illustrated many books for different authors.  Amelia Ellicott’s Garden is one of them.  It is written by Liliana Stafford and the interaction between her words and Stephen’s pictures is spot on.  Stephen’s illustrations are wonderfully expressive and very unique to him. We are beginning to recognise his work and get excited when we see his name on the front cover of a book.

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