Ms Jones’ Favourite – Banjo and Ruby Red


This week we shared one of Ms Jones’ favourite books.  Some picture books catch you by surprise and Banjo and Ruby Red is one of those.  When I first read the book I was a little worried that it was going to be too sad to share with the children.  However, Banjo and Ruby Red turns out to be a touching story about friendship, caring, tenderness and kindness and the ending leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  Thank you Ms Jones for sharing this beautiful book with us.

The pictures in this book are by one of our favourite illustrators – Freya Blackwood.  She uses water colours to bring all the farm animals to life – the chickens almost leap off the page!  We thought it would be fun to use the water colour pencils to re create one of the pages of the book.  I’m sure you will agree that the finished product was something that even Freya Blackwood would be proud of……

Photo 6-05-2014 10 47 43 am Photo 6-05-2014 10 48 04 am

Working hard on our pictures…….



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Crayons on Pic Collage

After reading The Day the Crayons Quit the Grade Twos drew a picture in Drawing Pad (using the crayon) and saved it to the camera roll.  They then opened up the Pic Collage app, added their picture from the photo library and added text (the title of the story). There were a number of skills involved in this task and we were very impressed with the end result….

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Sing a Song of Bottoms and Bottoms Up!! by Jeanne Willis

Sometimes funny and ridiculous stories is what we all need.  Something to share a laugh with the kids and be a bit silly for a few minutes.  What better way to do that than reading stories about bottoms?


We were very glad Mrs Shave shared her two favourite books with us…

Sing a Song of Bottoms is a great rhyming book.  You meet bears with baggy bottoms, pigs with pink perky ones and peacocks who love to put theirs on display.  It was perfect for reading aloud and it caused fits of giggles. One thing’s for sure – whoever is the winner, bottoms are tops!

Bottoms Up is a book about babies protesting to thier parents about wearing nappies.  The story tells us a number of reasons why bottoms shouldn’t be covered up.  ‘Bottoms are beautiful, bottoms aren’t rude’, the babies insist pointing out that animals don’t have to wear nappies or knickers.  The illustrations are hilarious too, with all sorts of animals looking ridiculous as they dance around in human underwear.

Both of these books really appealed to our ‘silly side’.  We can only hope that Jeanne Willis brings out a third book.  We all need more books like these to brighten up our days!

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One Funky Monkey by Stacey McCleary

Today we read one of Andrea’s favourite books……….

‘One Funky Monkey’ by Stacey McCleary.

One funky monkey as though in a trance, moving and grooving he started to dance – as do the rest of the animals.  One Funky Monkey is a counting book that features some very funky animals engaging in various dances – from hip hopping elephants to jiving giraffes, moonwalking meercats and ‘lion’ dancing lions.  Ultimately they all join a conga line as we count through all the animals one by one.

Andrea loves all the animals dancing in this book and thinks it is such a great way to make counting fun.

After bopping along to the story we made our own ‘funky monkeys’ using marie biscuits, oreos, banana lollies, choc bits and writing icing.






We also documented each step of our biscuit making process so that we could make them again at home.

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Pete and Pickles Comic Strip


We had the opportunity to complete our comic strips today.  We really enjoyed using the fine liners to create our pictures and are very proud of the finished product.



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Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed

Today we read one of Mrs McKee’s favourite picture story books……..

Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed

Pete is a perfectly predictable, practical, uncomplicated pig.  At least, he was….before a runaway circus elephant named Pickles stamped into his life, needing a friend.  Pickles is larger than life and overflowing with imagination.  She takes Pete swandiving off Niagra Falls (sort of) and sledding down the Matterhorn (sort of).  Pete goes along for the wild ride and actually begins to enjoy himself…until Pickles goes too far and Pete tells her she must leave.  Yet sometimes the simple life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Mrs McKee fell in love with this book when she borrowed it from her local library to read to her daughter Sophie.  She loves the illustrations and the messages they send and thinks that the story is “just beautiful” with a powerful lesson on appreciating the differences our friends bring to our lives.

Mrs McKee also loves that the idea for this book grew from a sketch that Berkeley’s daughter drew on a serviette in a fast food restaurant.  When he asked her why the elephant is holding the pig in the sketch, she told him “The pig’s sad.” When Berkeley asks why he is sad she simply says “Because he’s lonely Dad……But he doesn’t even know it.”

Because Berkeley Breathed is an award winning cartoonist, Mrs McKee thought it would be fun to create our own cartoon strip.  After discussing all of the adventures that Pickles introduced to Pete, the grade twos then had to think of another adventure for the two friends. Once they had decided on an adventure they drew it in a cartoon strip using black fineliner and coloured pencil.

Due to Pete and Pickles being a longer story and because we had quite a lengthy discussion about all of the wonderful adventures they shared in the book, we didn’t get time to finish off our cartoon strips.  We will complete them next week so be sure to pop back and have a look at our finished products.

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Spaceboy Spud by Sam Lloyd

Today we read Jody’s favourite book ………

Spaceboy Spud by Sam Lloyd.

It’s bedtime, but Spud can’t sleep.  His alien friends are in a real mess and they need his help to get ready for bed.  So Spud jumps onto his rocket and zooms into space….. What a hero!

Jody loves this book because it takes her back to a time when her children were little and would look forward to their bedtime stories.  This one in particular appealed to her son Daniel because it is funny and makes the boring old bedtime routine much more interesting and entertaining.

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Take a look at our rockets…

We loved Spaceboy Spud’s rocket so much that we decided to make our own.  Don’t they look great!


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Teachers’ Favourites

Welcome to term 2 everybody!  Our focus for this term is ‘Teachers’ Favourites’.  We love this theme because it gives us teachers the opportunity to share some of our favourite picture story books with you.

Today it was Mrs Robertson’s turn.  One of her favourite books to read aloud is ‘The Very Kind Rich Lady and her One Hundred Dogs’ by Chinlun Lee.

This is what Mrs Robertson had to say about the book: “I love this book because it is based on a true story.  There was actually a woman who lived in Taipei who did take in an impossible number of stray dogs.  It is a perfectly titled adorable story about a very rich, very kind lady whose large home and even bigger heart are filled with her one hundred beloved dogs of all shapes, colours and sizes.  I especially love that we are introduced to each and every dog one by one.  Everyone I share this book with loves it (especially my kids) and I am sure you will too!”

After reading the story we had a go at drawing our own dogs. We even came up with names for each of them….


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