January 31 – It’s National Storytelling Week

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-one-day-the-end-cover

About the Holiday

Are you a raconteur? Do you love to weave a tale so intricate and intriguing that your listeners are on the edge of their seats? Or are you the one leaning forward, all ears, feeling the tingling thrill of that story? Either way—this day is for you! The Society for Storytelling instituted National Storytelling Week 17 years ago to promote the oral traditions of this art in England and Wales. Since then it has become an international event. So take some time to tell or listen to a story—or even write one of your own!

One Day, The End: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories

Written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich | Illustrated by Fred Koehler

 

Hey! I have a fantastic story to tell you! Ya gotta minute? Ok! See… “One day I went to school. I came home. The End” What do you mean, “Is that it?” Don’t you get it?  So many things happened—funny, messy, worrisome, happy. It was an amazing day! I didn’t say that? But it’s all right there! Where? In the middle. In the pictures!

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-one-day-the-end-took-a-bath

Image copyright Fred Koehler, text copyright, Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Courtesy of Boyds Mills Press

On other days the little girl who so creatively told about her day at school becomes a detective to find her lost dog who’s gone off to chase a squirrel, invents ingenious ways to hide from her brother, and creates something awesome for her mom. She also runs away from home, but of course comes back, and shadows her cat to a surprising discovery. On yet another day mistakes, mishaps, and frustrations just make her feel like stomping. And on still another day she  relents to a much-needed bath…and shares it with her dog!

What does she do after all these adventures? She wants to write a book about them…and she does!

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s One Day…The End is such an ingenious concept that readers will keep turning the pages just to see what clever idea comes next. Each story consists of a first sentence that introduces a plot and the last line that wraps it up. Sure Dotlich could have fleshed out the characters, detailed the setting, added dialogue, and symbolized a theme, but sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words, and this is where Fred Koehler comes in.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-one-day-the-end-stomping

Image copyright Fred Koehler, text copyright, Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Courtesy of Boyds Mills Press

Koehler takes these kid-centric tales and fills in the exploding science experiments, ice-cream trucks, accidental oopsies, distractions, clues, and more that make up each day’s adventure. With humor and an eye for real-kid emotions and actions (the little girl pours glue from the bottle held above her head), Koehler creates a unique plot for each story.

In “One day I felt like stomping” the little girl doesn’t stomp for no reason: her cat eats her pizza lunch, she splatters herself with purple paint, and her fishing pole breaks. She just feels like…! The word STOMP grows bigger across the page and even gets stomped on itself as the girl vents her frustration in a puddle, on a pile of leaves, and—almost—on a flower. But seeing the daisy saves her day and she saves the daisy. Haven’t we all been there?

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-one-day-the-end-wanted-to-write-a-book

Image copyright Fred Koehler, text copyright, Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Courtesy of Boyds Mills Press

One Day…The End is a joy to share with kids and would make a great addition to home bookshelves. They’ll love to spend time pointing out the humorous details and depth of story each page holds, and may even like to “tell” the story as they read. This book would be a fantastic jumping off point for kids wanting to write their own stories or for teachers wanting to demonstrate the elements of active, detailed story writing. As Dotlich says on the first page: “For every story there is a beginning and an end, but what happens in between makes all the difference.”

Ages 4 – 8

Boyds Mills Press, 2015 | ISBN 978-1620914519

Discover all of the amazing books by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, plus lots more, on her website!

Learn more about Fred Koehler and his work and get freebies – including a One Day, The End coloring page – on his website!

Tell a Story Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-story-maze

Story Maze

 

This puzzle may look like a regular maze, but there’s a secret to it! Within this maze is any story you’d like to make up. Why do you go left instead of right? Are you avoiding a zombie or a rainy shower? Why do you go up instead of down? Is it because you can you float? What lurks in that dead end you’ve entered? There are as many cool stories as you can imagine right in those little pathways. And when you find your way to The End, you’ll have written a story! Print the Story Maze and the Solution here!

picture book review

April 27 – Tell a Story Day

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-one-day-the-end

About the Holiday

Are you a raconteur? Do you love to weave a tale so intricate and intriguing that your listeners are on the edge of their seats? Or are you the one leaning forward, all ears, feeling the tingling thrill of that story? Either way—this day is for you! So take some time to tell or listen to a story—or even write your own!

One Day, The End: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories

Written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich | Illustrated by Fred Koehler

 

Hey! I have a fantastic story to tell you! Ya gotta minute? Ok! See… “One day I went to school. I came home. The End” What do you mean, “Is that it?” Don’t you get it?  So many things happened—funny, messy, worrisome, happy. It was an amazing day! I didn’t say that? But it’s all right there! Where? In the middle. In the pictures!

On other days the little girl who went to school in the story above becomes a detective to find her lost dog, invents ingenious ways to hide from her brother, and creates something awesome for her mom. She also runs away from home, but of course comes back, and shadows her cat to a surprising discovery. On yet another day she just feels like stomping. And on still another she  relents to a much-needed bath…and shares it with her dog!

And what does she want to do after all these adventures? She wants to write a book…and does!

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s One Day…The End is such an ingenious concept that readers will keep turning the pages just to see what clever idea comes next. Each story consists of a first sentence that introduces a plot and the last line that wraps it up. Sure Dotlich could have fleshed out the characters, detailed the setting, added dialogue, and symbolized a theme, but sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words, and this is where Fred Koehler comes in.

Koehler takes these kid-centric tales and fills in the exploding science experiments, ice-cream trucks, accidental oopsies, distractions, clues, and more that make up each day’s adventure. With humor and an eye for real-kid emotions and actions (the little girl pours glue from the bottle held above her head), Koehler creates a unique plot for each story.

In “One day I felt like stomping” the little girl doesn’t stomp for no reason: her cat eats her pizza lunch, she splatters herself with purple paint, and her fishing pole breaks. She just feels like…! The word STOMP grows bigger across the page and even gets stomped on itself as the girl vents her frustration in a puddle, on a pile of leaves, and—almost—on a flower. But seeing the daisy saves her day and she saves the daisy. Haven’t we all been there?

One Day…The End is a joy to share with kids. They’ll love to spend time pointing out the humorous details and depth of story each page holds, and may even like to “tell” the story as they read. This book would be a fantastic jumping off point for kids wanting to write their own stories or for teachers wanting to demonstrate the elements of active, detailed story writing. As Dotlich says on the first page: “For every story there is a beginning and an end, but what happens in between makes all the difference.”

Ages 4 – 8

Boyds Mills Press, 2015 | ISBN 978-1620914519

Tell a Story Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-story-maze

Story Maze

 

This puzzle may look like a regular maze, but there’s a secret to it! Within this maze is any story you’d like to make up. Why do you go left instead of right? Are you avoiding a zombie or a rainy shower? Why do you go up instead of down? Is it because you can you float? What lurks in that dead end you’ve entered? There are as many cool stories as you can imagine right in those little pathways. And when you find your way to The End, you’ll have written a story! Print the Story Maze and the Solution here!

picture book review

April 14 – Look up at the Sky Day

The Knowing Book by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Matthew Cordell picture book review

About the Holiday

Some holidays require rushing around, shopping, and lots of preparation. Today’s celebration is just the opposite! Today is dedicated to slowing down, looking up, and appreciating the beauty above you. Whether the day is sunny, cloudy, rainy, or downright stormy, the sky is always intriguing. Today take some time to scan the skies; make shapes of the clouds, appreciate how tall some trees really are, watch birds flit overhead, or just take in the depth of color. Be inspired – and Relax!

The Knowing Book

Written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich | Illustrated by Matthew Cordell

 

A little bunny opens the door to a wide world. But before starting on life’s adventure, the bunny receives some gentile advice and reassurance: As you start on your journey, it’s good to begin with something you know. If you wonder what that is, look up at the sky. You know it has always been above you and will remain that way forever. Taking your first steps, carry that assurance with you as you choose which door, path, or trail you will take. You may get lost, but embrace the hum or cry that comes from inside because they will help.

You can be sure that magic is all around you. But you must look because sometimes it’s found in the most unexpected places. Take quiet time to imagine what’s out there and for others to get to know you then step into the unknown. Carry a map, curiosity, and adventure and trust yourself. You will know when to run toward something and when to run away.

Pretending leads to knowledge, so play at who you are and who you aren’t; what you want and what you don’t want, and let your imagination fly. Don’t lose sight of the small things, the fun things, the childhood things because these are invaluable. Always listen to yourself, for you know the song in your heart.

As the sky darkens, look again. “It holds a wing, a hoot, a chill. Allow the breeze of each to slip through the cracks of your window and into your sleep.” And when you look up into the night sky never forget that the stars have always been above you and always will be, and that “all the paths you take will join to lead you home.”

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s The Knowing Book is a lyrical tribute to the inner voice that guides each person on their life’s journey. The assurance that every action, song, imagining, and path combine to create the person you are meant to be resonates, whether the reader is a child just starting off to kindergarten, a young person graduating from college, or an adult navigating life’s changes. The value of play, reflection, and experimentation as well as the importance of understanding who you are and who you are not is beautifully expressed in this charming and wise picture book.

Venturing out into the world Matthew Cordell’s sweet rabbit embraces the sky with the kind of beaming smile seen on excited children. The rabbit picks up a friend and together they explore the world. Cordell’s softly illuminated images in blues, yellows, pinks, and greens are appropriately uncluttered, leaving the particular experiences open to each individual reader. The buuny and bird travel to the vast seaside, over undeveloped fields, and through dreamy landscapes of imagination. They look up into the endless blue sky of day and the deep mystery of night. It’s only when the rabbit returns home that details are sketched in.

The Knowing Book is a beautiful reminder of the whims of life and a gentile reassurance of one’s ability to flourish. As it invites multiple readings for so many occasions, The Knowing Book would make a wonderful addition to anyone’s bookshelf.

Ages 5 and up

Boyds Mills Press, 2016 | ISBN 978-1590789261

Look Up In the Sky Day Activity

CPB - Cloud craft

Fluffy Clouds Craft

 

It’s fun looking up at the clouds and imagining what shapes you see. Bring those fluffy, white clouds into your room with this craft!

Supplies

  • White girls’ dress bobby socks in various sizes
  • Fiber fill, 20-ounce bag
  • Fishing line, different lengths
  • Needle
  • Clear adhesive mountable hooks or clips

Directions

  1. Stuff the socks with fiber fill, pushing it far into the sock and adding more here and there to make various lumps and give it a rounded, cloud-like shape
  2. When the sock is full, tuck the end of the sock in to close it
  3. Cut lengths of fishing line. The lengths will depend on how and where you will hang the clouds
  4. With the needle or by hand, feed one end of the fishing line into the top of the sock and out to attach the line for hanging.
  5. Knot the fishing line
  6. Attach the mountable hooks or clips to the ceiling
  7. Hang your clouds!