August 1 – It’s Family Fun Month

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About the Holiday

Summer vacation is winding down (already?!), but there’s still plenty of time to get the family together for some fun. Whether you take a trip to a faraway place or stay closer to home, there are parks, movies, attractions, sports, and, of course, libraries and bookstores to explore. Today’s book also gives you a good idea for an activity that adults and kids can do together.

Lucky to Live in Connecticut

By Kate B. Jerome

 

This “Read Together—Do Together” book, just one in the 41-book series that focuses on different states in America, is part picture book, part scrapbook, and wholly fun! It begins with an upbeat rhyme that makes kids feel great about the place where they live: “Connecticut is home—and I think quite a lot / that I’m lucky to live in this wonderful spot. / Why is it special? That’s easy to see. / It’s the place that begins the whole story of me!”

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Copyright Kate R. Jerome, 2017. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing.

On the next page a dapper fox invites kids to draw a picture of themselves on the blank, white page and add their name and age. This personal travelogue of the state of Connecticut begins close to home with a little blue house just waiting for an address and a note about a favorite spot nearby. While kids are filling these in, they also learn that “Connecticut is in the northeastern part of the United States.”

Since Connecticut is well-known for its hospitality, two praying mantises—the Connecticut state insect—are pouring out tea for the reader and a friend, whose name gets added to the page. Turning the page, kids find more spots to add friends’ names as well as the name of a favorite activity.

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Copyright Kate B. Jerome, 2017. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing.

Feeling hungry? Well, you’ve come to the right place! “Connecticut cooks are so skilled they can please any guest. / (No surprise that they think homemade food is the best.)” And what foods do locals and guests enjoy? Lobster rolls, apple cider, and apple cider donuts. But what do the readers like? They can write their favorites in the puffy chef’s hat the little fox provides!

There’s so much to see and do in Connecticut! Just a few of the fun attractions you can visit are: Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, the Connecticut Science Center, and the New England Air Museum. Add the places you like to visit best right alongside these. Everyone supports a certain team—whether professional or local. “Go ahead! Color the T-shirt in your team colors!”

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Copyright Kate B. Jerome, 2017. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing.

With its ocean shoreline, lakes, hills, rivers, farms, fields, and lots and lots of trees, Connecticut is also home to a wide variety of animals, birds, and fish. Which ones do you like best? Write their names or draw their pictures on the page provided. Many famous people come from Connecticut. A few are: Barbara McClintock, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist; Noah Webster, the author of the first English dictionary; and Annie Leibovitz, a photographer. Who is your hero? Write their name and say why.

Good music can be found in all parts of Connecticut, from local bands to famous orchestras. Remind your future self of your favorite songs on the little spiral notebook page. There are plenty of inventors in Connecticut too! What are you good at making? “In this state celebrations are always great fun. / People laughing and sharing is just how it’s done.” Doesn’t the three-layer cake on the next page look scrumptious? Two layers are just waiting for you to write in your fav celebrations.

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Copyright Kate B. Jerome, 2017. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing.

By now the scrapbook is getting full, so let’s add just a couple more things. It’s always fun to look back on what you wanted to do when you grew up. A musician, a construction worker, and a doctor all are excited to see what you will say. Two final pages let you create a family tree and trace your hand. As you close your book you will always know:

“As my own story grows I will never forget / all the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met. / Yes the memories I have of this wonderful place / are the ones that will always bring smiles to my face.”

Directions on how to build a time capsule with children follow the text.

Kate B. Jerome’s clever story and scrapbook makes for a fun family activity. Every child is proud of their state and town, and this book lets them add their personal touches to the things they see and do. Peppered with trivia and local shout-outs, the book will delight kids who will respond to hearing familiar names and seeing other favorites. The pages provided for drawing and writing give young children plenty of space for their creations. The illustrations are vibrant, friendly, and welcoming, inviting kids to spend time to make memories they’ll look back on fondly.

Ages 4 – 7

Arcadia Publishing, 2017 | ISBN 978-0738527963

Discover more about Kate B. Jerome, her books and her illustration work on her website!

National Family Fun Month Activity

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Lights On-Lights Off Game

 

This easy memory game is fun to play with the whole family, and you can be sure that when the lights go out there will be plenty of giggling from little ones.

Supplies

  • Five to twelve (or more) small items
  • A table or floor space

Directions

  1. Lay out a certain number of items on a table or the floor. For younger children use fewer items. Older kids will enjoy the challenge of more items
  2. Give players a certain time to look at the items and memorize them. Young children may need more time than older children.
  3. Turn the lights off and have one person remove one or two items.
  4. Turn the lights back on and let kids figure out which items are missing
  5. Rearrange the items and play again, giving each player a chance to remove an item.

Picture Book Review

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