August 17 – Black Cat Appreciation Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-splat-the-cat-and-the-late-library-book-cover

About the Holiday

Because black cats have become associated with bad luck, they are more likely to end up in animal shelters and less likely to be adopted. Today’s holiday was established to raise awareness of this fact and assure people that black cats are just as loveable, cuddly, and purr-fect as other cats. If you’re thinking of adopting a new pet, why not consider a black cat like the subject of today’s book!

Splat the Cat and the Late Library Book

By Rob Scotton

 

Splat’s toy box and closet are overflowing with stuff Splat doesn’t use anymore. His mom suggests that they give some of it away to kids who need it more. While Splat likes the idea, he’s a little afraid to open his closet door, because whenever he does…SPLAT! Splat recovers from being covered, though, and separates his things into three piles: Trash, Keep, and Donate.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-splat-the-cat-and-the-late-library-book-book-discovered

Image copyright Rob Scotton, courtesy of HarperCollins

Splat has fun showing Seymour his mouse friend his old clothes and toys until he comes upon an old library book—a very old library book—a way, way overdue library book! Suddenly, Splat’s dad comes in to see how things are progressing. He thinks Splat is doing a great job and starts gathering up the clothes for the local shelter, the toys for the children’s hospital, and the books for the downtown library. “‘Not the library!’” Splat shouts. “‘Why not?’” asks his dad. “‘They’re having a book drive today to get more books. People don’t always return the ones they check out.’”

Poor Splat! His tail wiggles wildly as he imagines how ginormous the fine will be. Maybe he’ll be sent to jail. Or perhaps he’ll have to walk the plank. Splat grabs his piggy bank, hoping to find enough money for the fine, but only a thin quarter rolls from the slot. All too soon, the family is headed out to deliver their donations. At the shelter Splat tries to help carry in boxes, but maybe he’s too distracted because everything just goes SPLAT! Things go better at the hospital where the kids love getting all the new toys.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-splat-the-cat-and-the-late-library-book-in-jail

Image copyright Rob Scotton, courtesy of HarperCollins

As his parents wheel the pile of books into the library, Splat tries to run the other way but his mom catches him by the tail. Inside Mrs. Sardino, the librarian, is very impressed with their donation. She rattles on and on about how hard it is to give away books and how many she has at her own house and…Splat can’t take it anymore. “‘I did it!’” he confesses. “‘My library book is WAY overdue. I didn’t mean to. I just loved the book so much I didn’t want to return it. And I loved it so much I hid it in my closet. And then I forgot that I’d hid it.’”

He’s ready to take his punishment when Mrs. Sardino interrupts him. “‘Um, Splat,’” she says. “‘It’s only a week overdue. You owe twenty-five cents.’” Splat reaches into his pocket and pulls out his quarter. “‘That’s okay,’” Mrs. Sardino tells him. “‘This time I think we can let it go. Besides, your generous donation more than makes up for it.’”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-splat-the-cat-and-the-late-library-book-walk-the-plank

Image copyright Rob Scotton, courtesy of HarperCollins

Fans of Splat the Cat will love this new adventure that addresses common concerns of kids who not only forget to return a library book but are remiss in any other number of required actions—homework, permission slips, housework, etc. Splat the Cat and the Late Library Book reveals that often the perceived infraction and it’s “punishment” far outweigh the reality. Relief from fear and worry is only a conversation away.

New readers will find that Splat is endearing, Seymour a faithful best friend, and his parents and other adults loving and understanding. They will want to explore the whole series. Each vividly colored page provides plenty of giggles as Splat contends with his overstuffed closet, tries on way-too-small clothes, envisions his prison and pirate punishments, tries to run away, and of course goes SPLAT in the process. The fast-paced action and comical scenarios make this a perfect read for story times or bedtime. Discovering this black cat is very good luck indeed!

Ages 3 – 8

Harper Festival, Harper Collins, 2016 | ISBN 978-0062294296

Enter the world of Splat the Cat on Rob Scotton‘s website!

Black Cat Appreciation Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-playful-cat-dot-to-dot

Playful Cat Dot-to-Dot

 

Discover what the cat is doing in this printable Playful Cat Dot-to-Dot. Then color it!

Picture Book Review

April 13 – National Bookmobile Day

About the Holiday

Today we honor the more than 930 dedicated library professionals who bring books to remote places, shut-ins, and others in the community who have no access to libraries and the services they offer. For over 100 years, bookmobiles have delivered information, technology, and resources for life-long learning to Americans of all walks of life.  To celebrate today’s holiday show your support for bookmobiles by thanking your library workers in person or by sending them a letter or email. You can also consider donating to a book drive or book fund to keep this vital service going!

CPB - Biblioburro 3It’s not often that kids are able to read the same story from two different sides. In today’s post I review two picture books about the inspiring Luis Soriano Bohórquez. The firstbook is from Soriano’s viewpoint, and the second focuses on the children whose lives are changed by his courage and dedication.

 

Biblioburro: a True Story from Columbia by Jeanette Winter Picture Book Review

Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia

By Jeanette Winter

 

Luis lives deep in the jungles of Columbia surrounded by his beloved books. In fact, Luis loves books so much that his entire house is filled with them, floor to ceiling. “What will we do with them all?” asks his wife, Diana. Luis thinks about it and suddenly has an idea. He can share his books with people who live in the faraway hills! How will he get them there? By burro!

Luis buys two burros and names them Alfa and Beto. He builds special crates that will fit on their backs to carry the books. He paints a sign to carry with him: “Biblioburro”—The Burro Library—it says. Every week Luis takes the burros to far off villages, but it is not an easy trip. On his way to El Tormento, the hot sun makes the burros thirsty. When they stop at a stream to drink the water, Luis has a hard time pulling Beto away from the cool oasis.

Among the jungle trees, bandits wait. As Luis passes through a lonely section of his path, a robber jumps out and demands silver. Luis has no money, so the bandit takes one of his precious books, demanding silver “next time.”

At last Luis reaches El Tormento. The children run to greet him! Before they choose their books, however, Luis reads them a story. Today he has brought along a special treat—pig masks for everyone! As the children wear their masks, Luis reads the story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. After the story the kids choose their books and head for home.

Luis leads Alfa and Beto on the journey back as the sun sets. At home he and his burros have a well-deserved dinner. Luis is tired from his long journey, but as Diana sleeps he sits in his rocking chair reading into the deep, dark night—just the same as the children of El Tormento.

The final page presents factual information about Soriano and his life. He has inspired many to donate to his cause, bringing education and literacy to hundreds of people since the year 2000.

Any book lover will be fascinated by this true story of a man dedicated to bringing books to children living in remote areas of Columbia. Jeanette Winter’s straightforward tale reveals not only the imagination and care it took to make Luis’s dream a reality, but also the perils he faces in carrying out his mission. Winter’s lyrical tone emphasizes the isolation of the far-off villages Luis visits and his solitary travels. The story is full of suspense and humor that will draw children into this unique biography of Luis Soriano Bohórquez.

Winter’s vivid illustrations bring the Columbian jungles to life—vivid green leaves and flowers are home to orange snakes, yellow caterpillars, multi-colored toucans and parrots, and other native species. Kids will wish they could reach out and pet the sweet burros that work so hard to carry the books. As nighttime falls, the hues cool to muted teals and blues—the color of dreams.

Ages 5 – 9

Beach Lane Books, Simon & Schuster, 2010 | ISBN 978-1416997788

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown and John Parra picture book review

Waiting for the Biblioburro

Written by Monica Brown | Illustrated by John Parra

 

On a faraway hill in a small Columbian village, a little girl named Ana wakes to a day of feeding the farm animals, taking care of her younger brother, and collecting eggs to sell in the market. When the long, hot day is over, Ana retreats to her room to read her most precious treasure—the one book that her teacher gave her before she moved and the school closed.

Ana has memorized the book and wishes she had more, but there is no one to provide books or education in her tiny village. To make up for it, Ana imagines her own stories and tells them to her brother before they go to sleep. But one day everything changes. Ana hears an unfamiliar clip-clop and a loud iii-aah! Iii-aah!

Ana runs outside to see a most unusual but wonderful sight! Riding past her house is a man with two burros loaded down with books! All the children leave the fields and run to this stranger. “Who are you?” the children ask. The man says he is a librarian and a teacher. His burros are Alfa and Beto, and his name is Luis Soriano. Together they are a moving library. Luis reads to the children and teaches them the alphabet. He then tells them they can choose books from the crates strapped to the burros’ backs and keep them until he returns.

Ana gazes at the selection—there are so many cuentos, so many stories! She hugs the books she has chosen and, before Luis goes on his way, tells him someone should write a story about Alfa and Beto. Why don’t you? Luis encourages her. With a promise to return, Luis is gone. Ana shares her books with her brother, reading until she can’t keep her eyes open.

It seems like forever and no biblioburro! “When will he come back?” Ana pesters her mother. Finally, unable to wait for a new story, Ana takes the librarian’s advice and creates a book about the biblioburros. Just when Ana has almost given up hope of seeing Luis again, she hears the now familiar iii-aah! Iii-aah. She runs to show Luis her special surprise. Not only does he read her book to the other children, he carefully packs it away on the burro’s back “ready to be carried away over the hills and through the fields to another child “who is dreaming of the stories the biblioburro will bring.”

Monica Brown’s telling of this inspirational story reveals how much one person’s actions can touch another. Through her expressive language and rhythms, Brown effectively reveals the thoughts and feelings of a little girl thirsty for knowledge but without any means of acquiring it. The girl’s enthusiasm for books and learning is infectious and will resonate with children. Listeners will empathize with her longing and celebrate when they hear of the biblioburro’s arrival.

John Parra’s well-known paintings are a highlight of this book, filling each page with the radiant sun, colorful architecture, exotic animals, tropical vegetation, and other sights of the jungles and hills of Columbia. Ana’s hopes and dreams are also illustrated in Parra’s unique style, creating a world of imagination fitting for a budding young writer.

Ages 5 – 8

Tricycle Press, Penguin Random House, 2011 | ISBN 978-1582463537

National Bookmobile Day Activity

CPB - Bookmobile

Make a Box Bookmobile

 

Bookmobiles are love on wheels! If libraries are some of your favorite places, you’ll like making this box bookmobile! You can even use it as a desk organizer!

Supplies

  • Printable Book Shelves and Sign Template
  • Cardboard box, 16-oz pasta or other recyclable boxes work well (I used a 5” x 7 ¼ -inch pasta box)
  • Small wooden spools or wheels
  • Paint
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Strong glue
  • Paint brush

Directions

1.Gently pull the box apart at the seam and lie flat with the unprinted side facing up

2. To Make the Awning:

  • On one of the wide sides of the box, measure a rectangle 1 inch from the top of the box, leaving at least 1 ¼ inches at the bottom of the box and 1 ¼ inches on both sides
  • With the x-acto knife or scissors cut the sides and bottom of the rectable, leaving the top  uncut
  • Paint the top and underside of the awning (if you want to make stripes on the awning lay strips of tape side by side across the awning. Remove every other strip of tape. Paint the open stripes one color of paint. When the paint dries replace the tape over the paint and remove the tape from the unpainted stripes. Paint those stripes a different color.)

3. Paint the rest of the box on the unprinted side any way you like, let dry

4. Cut the Printable Book Shelf template to fit the size of your window opening, leaving at least a ½ inch margin all around

5. Tape the book shelf to the inside of the window

6. Reconstruct the box, making the original seam an inside flap

7. Glue the flap and sides together

8. If using small spools for wheels, paint them black. Let dry

9. Glue the wheels to the bottom of the box

10, Attach the Bookmobile sign, found on the printable template, above the awning

** To Make a Desk Organizer from the Bookmobile

  • Cut an opening in the top of the bookmobile with the x-acto knife or a scissor

April 4 – National School Librarian Day

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

One of the best parts of going to school is visiting the school library! Whether you go to the library to listen to a story or do research, the librarian is there to help you discover amazing books! School librarians thoughtfully read hundreds of books a year to choose just the right ones. Many school librarians are also involved in multimedia education and programs for school assemblies, morning news programs, and special meetings.

Today, thank your school librarian and tell them how much they mean to you!

The Midnight Library

By Kazuno Kohara

 

A little librarian opens the doors to her library only as the sun goes down. Working with her three assistant owls, she helps the forest animals find the perfect book. The animals read quietly and the library is peaceful until one night when a band of squirrels begins playing their instruments in the reading room. The little librarian shushes the squirrels and they apologize, saying they’re just working on a new song. The librarian has the perfect solution and shows the band to the upstairs activity room. Peace reigns once more in the library,

Later that night it begins to rain—inside! The little librarian climbs the ladder to look at the roof, but instead of a leak she finds a wolf sobbing away. Her book is so sad, she says, that she can’t read on. Gently, the librarian takes her to the storytelling corner where she, the owls, and Miss Wolf read the story together. The wolf discovers the book has a happy ending, something the library workers knew all along.

All too soon the sun peeks over the horizon, and it’s time for the library to close. The patrons file out one by one, but who is left plodding along with his book in the corner? It’s a tortoise who says he is not leaving until he finishes his book—only 500 pages to go! Once again the little librarian has the answer! She gives the tortoise a library card and reveals that he can take the book home with him and finish it there. The tortoise leaves happy and feeling lucky with the book strapped to his shell.

The owls and the librarian tidy up the shelves and grab one last book—bedtime stories for the sleepy owls.

The Midnight Library is a perfect bedtime—or daytime—book for budding bibliophiles and library lovers. While simply written, Kazuno Kohara’s story has a dreamy quality and is as inviting as a favorite library reading nook. Just as libraries are comforting in their hushed rooms and neatly organized shelves, the little librarian of the story is reassuring as she quickly and calmly resolves the issues that arise in her domain. 

The characters are sweetly drawn, smiling with pleasure at being in their favorite place, and the picture of the owls holding Miss Wolf’s hands as they read her book together is particularly touching. The pages are composed of three colors—the structures inside the library are the black of night’s shadows; the walls and characters are the gold of starlight and moonlight; and the beloved books are the violet blue of the deep night sky. As you reach the end of the story, you will look forward to the next night when you can visit the midnight library again.

Ages 3 – 6

Roaring Brook Press, 2014 | ISBN 978-1596439856

National School Librarian Day Activity

CPB - Librarian Thank You card

Create a Thank You Card

 

Today’s a perfect day to make a card to thank your school librarians or the librarians at your local town library. Here’s one that you can use to tell your librarians why you love them and what you like best about the programs they create for you! Print the Thank You! card, draw a picture on the front and/or inside, sign your name, and write a message. Then fold it and give it to your favorite librarian. Get the Thank You! card here.

March 29 – Smoke and Mirrors Day

The King and the Magician by Jorge Bucay and Gusti Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

Abracadabra! With a puff of smoke and a few mirrors, I have made this blog post appear out of thin air! Okay, so maybe that’s not quite true, but today is the perfect day to try a little magic. On Smoke and Mirrors Day we celebrate the practitioners of this most mysterious art, who often extend and retract mirrors within a cloud of smoke to accomplish their deceptions. The term is also used generally whenever someone is trying to pull the wool over another person’s eyes. Whether you like sleight of hand, disappearing acts, or the magic of a soothing cup of tea, have fun, make a little mischief, and enjoy the day!

The King and the Magician

Written by Jorge Bucay | Illustrated by Gusti

 

In a faraway land there once lived a King who was very powerful. Not only does he love power, he commands that everyone in his kingdom obey and admire him. Trembling, his subjects reassure him every day that he is the most powerful man in the kingdom.

One day, however, the King hears a rumor that down in the village lives a Magician who can predict the future. The King fears that this man will become more powerful than he, and he sends his spies to learn more. The spies return and reveal that not only can the Magician tell the future, he is loved and admired by everyone.

The King becomes terribly jealous and plots to do away with his most hated enemy. He devises a plot to trick the Magician. He will host a party, and at the end will ask the Magician if he can truly predict the future. If the Magician says “No,” he will be exposed as a fraud, and the king will kill him. If the Magician answers “Yes,” the King will ask him to predict the date of the Magician’s death and will then kill him. The King is pleased with his scheme because either way, he will be rid of his rival.

On the night of the party, the King summons the Magician and asks him the fatal question. The Magician is more than just a seer or a sorcerer—he is wise. He looks at the King and states, “the Magician of this kingdom will die the exact same day as his King.

Now the King is in a terrible quandary. He does not want to risk the possibility that this old man’s prediction is true. He must now protect the Magician in order to save his own life. He quickly concocts a ruse and asks the Magician to stay the night in the castle, saying he wants to consult with him about some royal matters. In fact, he just wants to keep an eye on him.

The Magician agrees. The next morning the King goes to the Magician and asks his advice on some kingly decisions. The Magician offers good suggestions, and the king accepts them. As the months go by, the King continues to rely on the Magician for guidance, and slowly the King learns to be fair and wise. He becomes the respected and admired ruler he always wanted to be.

The King realizes that not only is the Magician a trusted advisor, he is a loyal and beloved friend. One day, wracked with guilt over his one-time plot to kill the Magician, the King reveals the story. The Magician listens to the King’s secret, and shares one of his own.

He relates that when the king questioned him on the night of the party, he saw the king reach for the hilt of his sword and realized his intentions. He then divulges that he made up the prediction of their shared death date to teach the King a lesson—one the King has learned. He says, “It is our lives that have become entwined, not our deaths.”

For many more years the King and the Magician live as friends and confidants. The kingdom grows stronger and the King kinder and more loved by his people. One day the Magician dies. The King is sad, and realizes he is no longer afraid of his own death. The King has learned the Magician’s lesson well, and even though his advisor is gone, he continues to make wise and beneficial decisions.

Ten years later the King writes a letter to his son and heir. In his letter, the King cautions his son that during his life he may come across someone or something that “will arouse fear and jealousy in your soul” and will want to destroy them or it to alleviate his fear. Instead, says his father, “open  your heart or your home” because “what you thought was your most feared enemy, is really your most powerful friend.”

Jorge Bucay has written a classic tale of wisdom verses power wrapped around a clever psychological trick that initiates the kind of thought which leads to true enlightenment. The straightforward storytelling and the pacing of the plot build suspense, while lyrical descriptions create a beautiful flow that depicts both the quandary of the King and the kindness of the Magician.

Gusti’s lavish illustrations, reminiscent of hieroglyphics and Medieval tapestries, are rendered in dark, rich brown, rust, black, olive and blue hues that gorgeously portray the splendor of the King and his castle, but also signal the somber weight in his soul. The regal tone even extends to the gilded text. The King is drawn as an imposing rounded figure, towering over everyone else in his kingdom, but his feet and hands are tiny, lending him a bit of a comical yet vulnerable air. The King’s eyes narrow with cunning as he plots his evil deed but widen in doubt and despair as the Magician works his special brand of magic.

Ages 4 – 8

Abbeville Kids, 2014 | ISBN 978-0789212047

Smoke and Mirrors Day Activity

CPB - Magic Word Scramble II

 

Say the Magic Word! Word Scramble

 

Magic is all about mystery—and so is this scrambled word puzzle! Print the Say the Magic Word! word scramble. Then unscramble each magic-related word and, using the letters in the circles, discover the mystery phrase. Here’s the Solution!

March 17 – Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

Every kid is incredible! This special day, established by Camp Fire USA in 1997, gives adults an opportunity to tell the kids in their life how much they mean to them. Whether you write your special young person a letter or just sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk, your words of encouragement and appreciation will make a difference.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy

By Oliver Jeffers

 

Henry is a little boy who loves books. He loves them for dinner, he loves them with French fries…Wait! What? Yup! Henry loves to eat books! This quirk all began by mistake when Henry isn’t paying attention. But his love of words grows until he’s eating a sentence then a page and finally a whole book!

Henry doesn’t have a favorite kind of book either. He’ll eat anything—even math books and dictionaries. And he’s eating them as if they’re going out of style! Henry discovers something amazing about his diet—with every book he devours, he gets smarter. He digests every bit of information, which comes in handy when helping his dad with the crossword puzzle or his teacher in school.

If a few books can make him smart, thinks Henry, then a lot of books can make him smarter—possibly the smartest person in the world! And so he tests his hypothesis. He eats every book he sees. But things begin to go wrong. He has nightmares; his stomach hurts; and in a frightening twist everything he knows gets jumbled up. Suddenly, Henry doesn’t feel so smart anymore.

After getting some advice, Henry gives up books cold turkey. He feels lost and out-of-sorts. Then he spies a half-eaten book on the floor of his room and picks it up. Instead of eating it, though, he opens it and begins to read. And that book tastes was sooo good! Henry discovers that he loves to read, and figures if he reads enough he may still become the smartest person on earth. Besides…broccoli is actually pretty tasty.

In this picture book about the love of reading, Oliver Jeffers has created a feast for the eyes as well as an extended pun. The story of Henry devouring book after book in the quest for brilliance is played out in typewriter text on a backdrop of various colors of notebook paper, book pages, graph paper, book bindings, maps, ledger pages, and more. Henry is as adorable as all of Jeffers’ kids, and the story is funny and as satisfying as your favorite meal. The page (and cover) cut at the end of the book leaves the reader happy that maybe, just maybe Henry didn’t give up his favorite snack entirely.

Philomel Books, Penguin Young Readers, 2006 | ISBN 978-0399247491

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day Activity

CPB - Bookend 1

 Absolutely Incredible You Bookend

 

Do you devour so many books that they’re falling off your shelves? Keep them neat with a bookend that’s as incredible as you are!

Supplies

  • Wooden initial of your first and/or last name, available at craft stores
  • Chalkboard paint in your favorite color
  • Paint brush
  • Chalk

CPB - Bookend 2

Directions

  1. Paint the wooden letter with the chalkboard paint
  2. Let dry
  3. With the chalk, write words that describe what makes you absolutely incredible!

March 2 – Dr. Seuss’s Birthday | Read Across America Day

The Sneetches and Other Stories Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

Read Across America was designed by the National Education Association as a day to raise awareness of the importance of reading and to motivate people to read more. What better day could they have chosen to celebrate the joys books can bring than March 2—Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday! With 46 children’s books to his name, Dr. Seuss is one of the world’s most beloved authors, and one whose imagination has entertained generations of readers.

For more information on the Read Across America program visit www.nea.org/grants/read-across-background.html

The Sneetches and Other Stories

By Dr. Seuss

 

If you love reading chances are Dr. Seuss has something to do with it! He wrote so many stories that there are fantastic and fantastical creations to fit everyone’s fancy! Today I’m reviewing my favorite collection of Dr. Seuss tales—I hope you’ll like it too!

The four stories in this collection touch on such topics as individualism, prejudice, stubbornness, fear, and just the ridiculous. Perhaps the best-known tale is The Sneetches, in which a community of Sneetches, some of whom sport stars on their bellies and some who do not, fall prey to a slick salesman and his star-on and star-off machines. The Sneetches run themselves ragged trying to be popular and keep up with the fad of the moment. In the end, Sylvester McMonkey McBean has made monkeys of them all and drives away with a smile and all their cash. He thinks they’ll never learn, but he’s wrong—the Sneetches are actually richer for McBean’s visit and become a closer-knit community.

In The Zax, a North-going Zax and a South-going Zax are strolling along on their individual tracks when they meet face to face in the middle of nowhere. Neither one will move the slightest inch to the left or the right to let the other pass. They stand “toe-to-toe” in unbreakable stalemate, even if it means the whole world must halt along with them. “Of course the world didn’t stand still,” Dr. Seuss tells us. The middle of nowhere became somewhere. Buildings went up, people moved in, and a highway was built right over the Zax, who are probably standing there still.

Ah, the poor mother in Too Many Daves! If only she’d had a little more imagination and forethought in the name department she may have saved herself a lot of trouble. One after one, however, she named her sons Dave—all 23 of them! Too late she thinks of all the other names she could have used, and here is presented a list of names that far outshines any baby naming book on the market. Be ready for giggles when you get to “Stinky.”

My very favorite story is What Was I Scared Of?. It has just the right combination of spookiness and humor to satisfy any budding mystery buff. One night while picking berries the hero of the story spies a “pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them.” The pants begin to show up in the oddest of places, no matter how hard the storyteller tries to escape them. The pants are rowing on the river, riding a bicycle, and walking the same path. When the pants and the narrator peek around the same bush, however, they’re both in for a surprise. “Why, the pants were just as scared as I,” the narrator reveals. Instead of gloating or running away, our intrepid hero learns that feelings are often shared and he becomes a friend to the pants that once so frightened him.

Of course these stories are all told with Dr. Seuss’s inimitable word choice, rhymes, names, and rhythm accompanied by his whimsical characters and landscapes.

Ages 4 – 9

Random House, New York, 1961 | ISBN 978-0394800899

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday/Read Across America Day Activity

CPB - Reading Bug Book Plate (2)

I Have the Reading Bug Bookplate

 

There’s no better feeling than leafing through the pages of your own book! Now, to keep precious books from getting lost, you can dress them up with this printable I Have the Reading Bug Bookplate!

Supplies

Directions

  1. Print the I Have the Reading Bug Bookplate
  2. Cut out the bookplate
  3. Write your name on the line at the top
  4. Using glue dots or removable mounting squares attach the bookplate to the inside front or back cover

February 16 – Innovation Day

CPB - Girls Think of Everything Innovation Day

About the Holiday

Today we celebrate all those people who look at a problem and design a solution, or who just ask, “What if…?” and search for answers. So put on your thinking cap, look around you, and do something new, novel, and completely unexpected. Who knows…you may be the next great inventor!

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

Written by Catherine Thimmesh | Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

 

Throughout history women have invented new and clever ways of doing things—necessity is the Mother of invention, after all. In her fascinating picture book, Catherine Thimmesh highlights ten women and two girls whose creativity has changed the world.

Here, you’ll learn the intriguing stories behind each invention, the struggles for recognition, and the ultimate victory of innovation. Did you know that the original recipe for chocolate chip cookies was just a time-saver? Or that people once thought windshield wipers weren’t necessary? You’ll also discover how liquid paper, flat-bottomed paper bags, and the Glo-sheet came to be. Women in science have contributed Kevlar, Scotchgard, the COBOL computer language, and the space shields that protect the International Space Station, satellites, and more.

Catherine Thimmesh is an excellent storyteller, drawing you into the actions and minds of these women innovators and the situations or environments that fostered their talents. Melissa Sweet accompanies each profile with portraits of the inventor and colorful collage illustrations that build on the text and tell stories of their own.

Ages 7 – 12

Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 2000 | ISBN 978-0618195633

Innovation Day Activity

CPB - Invention Word Scramble

Invention Word Scramble

 

Every invention started out as a jumble of ideas in someone’s head. In this Invention Word Scramble you can unscramble the letters of some of the world’s greatest creations. Solutionincluded. Odog cklu!