Looking for costume ideas which celebrate children’s literature? Here are some of my favorite photos of kidlit character costumes and the books which inspired them. Some are elaborate time-consuming creations. Others you can quickly put together with a few simple items. Share the delight of children’s books with a character costume!
Waylon! Even More Awesome
Are you ready for another serving of awesome? I certainly am. Sara Pennypacker delivers another tale of awesomeness with Waylon! Even More Awesome, the second of a three volume series featuring Waylon Zakowski. The boy we first encountered in the Clementine series is back and he’s bringing a friend, his recently acquired pet, Dumpster Eddy. Because mom is allergic to dogs and Eddy is a canine on the run, Waylon is constantly in search of a new home for his dog. More often than not, this includes ten day stays with Animal Control. This isn’t so bad. Waylon and his on-again off-again friend Baxter visit the police station each day, playing with their pooch and taking him out for walks.
Unfortunately things are about to change. There is a new Animal Control officer and he has no intention of allowing Dumpster Eddy to continue his stays at the station. Eddy is about to be shipped off to a far away animal shelter. The boys must think fast and come up with a plan to save their dog and provide him with a home. They hit upon the ingenious idea of building an elaborate igloo or dogloo, complete with a special pad for cold nights. However when you’re working with a free-spirited dog, a hard-nosed official, and cold Massachusetts weather, there are bound to be complications.
Award-winning artist Marla Frazee’s black and white line drawings perfectly capture the relationship between this ten year old and his beloved mutt.
The story is chock full is Waylonisms: his fascination with science including the creation of a comic entitled Cosmo-Quest and OAT, the One Awesome Thing game. Waylon, the boy who constructs battles between the food items on his plate “mashed potatoes could take the chicken nuggets any day...they were thick enough to wall off peas, wait out any siege” and carries Dumpster Eddy, safely zipped up inside his coat has won my heart.
OAT: One Awesome Thing
Waylon enjoys playing OAT: recalling One Awesome Thing about his day.Try creating your own OAT bookmarks. What awesome thing happened to you today? Its a simple and easy way to maintain a positive outlook.
Make homemade oatmeal cookies and share your OAT and delicious cookies with someone special. Awesomeness all around!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
recipe from Bittersweet1, Allrecipes
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Here’s the thing about Jason Reynolds’ latest book for young adults: It is simultaneously a book that I breezed through quickly and conversely a book that took me a very long time to digest. Long Way Down is a novel told in verse. So if you’re counting pages and words, it appears to be a very quick read. However consuming lines of text is merely the beginning. It barely scratches the surface.
To read this book requires some time to contemplate the depth of emotion Reynolds infuses into each carefully chosen word and every thoughtfully crafted page. The portrait he paints is complex. This is not an easy read and Reynolds offers readers no easy out. The work of processing this story is indeed work.
Fifteen year old Will (the choice of a name seems deliberate) is coming to grips with the death of his older brother Shawn. He determines that his only recourse is to take his brother’s gun from the bedroom dresser drawer and shoot his brother’s killer. With the weapon tucked inside his waistband, Will heads to the elevator, ready to travel down his apartment’s eight floors and avenge Shawn’s death.
The language is poetic, vivid, and rich in symbolism.
AND THEN THERE WERE SHOTS
Pressed our lips to the
pavement and prayed
the boom, followed by
the buzz of a bullet,
didn't meet us.
The pacing is breathtaking. What initially appears to be rough starts and stops speeds up as the car descends closer and closer to the ground floor or the elevator's L button.
This is a book to be discovered while alone and also to read aloud. It is a book for quiet contemplation as well as group discussion. It is a story that continues to resonate with readers well past the final page.
Thank you, Jason Reynolds. The legacy of Walter Dean Myers lives on.
Bonus: Interview with the Author
Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet art by Jessie Ford
Mrs Peanuckle's Vegetable Alphabet art by Jessie Ford
But really, it's the striking graphic design and the charming little touches which make these board books eye-catching. Young readers will enjoy discovering the expressive faces gracing the individual fruits and vegetables.
Creating Graphic Design: A Student Project
What makes a graphic design stand out? An examination of art created by Ford provides opportunities for observation. Why not distribute copies of these books to budding artists and discuss principles of effective design. Ask: How does the artist use color, contrast, size, scale, shape, and placement to create a graphic that is interesting and informative?
Students might be encouraged to try making a graphic design. A common item that students have is a backpack. Why not create graphic designs based on "What's in my backpack?" or "What's in my lunchbox?"
Always up for a challenge, I decided to try making a graphic design using an item from my lunchbox. (In this case it is a chocolate chip cookie.) Of course, that meant I would be starting with a capital letter "C."
After locating a few simple materials, I was on my way.
Solid colored heavy printer paper seemed like a logical choice for a background material. Scissors helped a free-form cookie take shape. I added pops of color with some yellow and purple post-it notes. Waxy brown crayon markings served as the chocolate chips. A hole punch made short work on the remaining scraps and gave the design some pizzazz.
Using children's board books to teach students principles of graphic design is a fresh and fun approach to teaching visual arts. This activity is suitable for students of all ages
Additonal Books in the Mrs. Peanuckle Alphabet Series
All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry
But the desert and particularly Real Marvelous have a power over its inhabitants. There are witches and curses, death and plagues. And the ever present wind. Always the wind.
The story is brimming with evocative language that casts its own spell on readers. There are numerous references to Biblical literature: Sarah posing as a cousin to protect her relationship with James, the escape after killing an overseer of the field workers, and a series of plagues including a devastating attack of bees. The book's mystical elements are rich in symbolism. Enter a world of heat and pain, longing and loss. The images remain long after turning the final page.
Images from Texas
We wait for weather or disease or bees or a sudden accident to come and pick one another off..
I learned later that desperate people turn, like an apple gone to rot from the inside out.
The stars in the night sky are overwhelming in number and in their random patterns. Some are glowing. Some are dim. Some are clustered, and other seem to stand apart. Someone has to be the first to point out how they connect. Constellations aren't obvious until the moment they are.
I worry that my heart is not very hard anymore. It's getting tired and worn out, like maybe its fibers are coming undone.
I don't believe in signs and symbols, but in reality, facts, and things I can see with my own eyes. A freak storm of bees is just that: a freak storm of bees.
James and I have always had our plans, but plans are different than expectations. Expectations are firm. You expect the stars to appear at night because they've always appeared at night...Plans are more like half dreams.
Imagine by John Lennon ill by Jean Jullien
Listen up, kids. A long time ago (1960) four young British musicians formed a rock band. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr called themselves The Beatles. They became quite famous. Initially they composed and recorded songs with titles such as "I Want to Hold Your Hand." But as time went on, they experimented with several other types of music. The lyrics of their songs were varied, ranging from the frivolous to love ballads to philosophical concepts.
Eventually the band broke up and the four artists went their separate ways, making their own recordings. Imagine, written and performed by Lennon, was released in 1971 and is one of the all-time top performing, best selling singles. It is traditionally performed at venues which promote peace and unity or healing from tragic events.
The lyrics to Lennon's song form the text for this picture book .
Messages of Peace
A Google search for "peace quotes" resulted in many appropriate messages. I picked three
Peace messages were carefully folded and secured with Washi Tape. My birds were ready to take flight.
Bonus: Imagine Video
Want to know what Lennon's music sounded like? View this recording by Lennon and his wife Ono. Can you sense the plea imagining world peace in this video?
I like talking about books and interesting ideas. I like thinking about how books affect my life. Not particularly interested in giving out stars or in rating books.
Audio Publishers Association
2013, - present Audies judge
American Library Association Book Awards and Lists
2017 YALSA Award Nominating Committee
2016 Excellence in Nonfiction
2014 Margaret Edwards Award
2012 Odyssey Awards.
2009, 2010, 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens.