About the Holiday
National Day of Unplugging is a 24-hour respite from the ever-present technology that can rob us of seeing what’s right in front of us, of actively participating in events, or partaking in activities like playing outside or even reading a physical book. Constant digital connections can also disrupt sleep. This year we’ve been even more tied to our devices for work, school, and socializing, but taking a day to decompress and enjoy nature or just some quiet, contemplation can be refreshing and revitalizing. To celebrate today, push the off button and enjoy a more relaxing day! What you discover may be surprising – just like today’s book!
A New Green Day
By Antoinette Portis
Nature provides many surprises from tiny glimpses of underground industry to shocking displays of overhead power. In between are moments that often go unremarked but which enrich our days and, when we stop to think about them, provide new insights. In her lyrical riddles, Antoinette Portis invites readers to listen as animate and inanimate parts of nature describe themselves and then to guess at their identities.
The day begins with this riddle: “‘Morning lays me on your pillow, / an invitation, square and warm. / Come out and play!’” Can you guess? Will you answer? Or will you doze a minute more? When you do rise and go outside, you may notice a “‘glistening ink’” on the sidewalk that tells you someone passed through during the night. Who might it have been?
Each riddle, composed of poetic perceptions and whimsical metaphors, is printed in a monochrome square on the righthand pages, enticing readers to contemplate the possibilities before flipping the page. There they discover the answers in sumptuous and lovingly crafted illustrations designed with sumi ink, vine charcoal, leaf prints, and hand-stamped lettering. Each pairing gives kids reasons to head out the door or watch through the window with new perspectives. Who wouldn’t revel in an experience like this: “‘I am cool pudding / on a muggy day. / Let your toes / have a taste!’”
Dynamic, absorbing, and fun, A New Green Day is a perfect take-along for summer outings as well as a captivating addition to any story time. The book is highly recommended for home, classroom, or public library bookshelves.
Ages 3 – 7
Neal Porter Books, 2020 | ISBN 978-0823444885
Discover more about Antoinette Portis, her books, and her art on her website.
National Day of Unplugging Activity
After enjoying the outdoors, bring the beauty of nature inside with this easy-to-make dragonfly craft.
- Wooden clothespin
- Wax paper
- Bright green craft paint
- Bright blue craft paint
- Green glitter
- Blue glitter
- Paint brush
- Thread or fishing line (optional)
- Adhesive magnet (optional)
To Make the Body
- Paint the top part of the clothespin (to the point where the metal hinge crosses the wood) green
- Sprinkle green glitter on the wet paint, let dry
- Paint the bottom part of the clothespin blue
- Sprinkle blue glitter on the wet paint, let dry
- If the glitter doesn’t completely stick, apply a thin layer of glue with a toothpick and add more glitter
To Make the Wings
- Cut two 5-inch-by-3/4-inch strips from the wax paper
- Cut a curved edge at each end of the wax paper strips, cutting straight down from the top and curving around the bottom corner
- Cut curved notches in the center, top and bottom, of each wing to allow the wings to fit into the clothespin
- Open the clothespin and slip the wings in, curved edge down and allowing the top wing to overlap the bottom wing slightly
Attach the thread or fishing line to the dragonfly to hang, or to make a refrigerator magnet, attach an adhesive magnetic strip to the back.
You can find A New Green Day at these booksellers
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