#kidlit Fatima and the Clementine Thieves Inspires STEAM Activities

The new picture book Fatima and the Clementine Thieves by Mireille Messier and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard is fantastic. Not only is it a top notch example of a multicultural book, but it inspires any number of hands-on STEAM activities. How can one picture book do so much?

Summary:  Living in Morocco, Fatima’s family has an orchard of clementine oranges. Right before harvest, someone or something destroys some of the crop and breaks the trees. When they discover the orange thieves are elephants, what can Fatima and her grandfather do to stop them?

With help from her friends the spiders, Fatima comes up with an unusual and humane solution to her family’s problem. Mireille Messier‘s fable has wonderful underlying messages about the importance of collaboration, thinking outside the box, nonviolent solutions to problems, and how little things can make a huge difference.

What I love about the book:

  • That it features clementine oranges, which are a familiar, popular snack for small children.
  • That the author is bilingual and the book is available in French.
  • Gabrielle Grimard‘s luscious illustrations capture the time and place beautifully. You can just smell the citrus on every page.
  • The spiders

Like the orange, Fatima and the Clementine Thieves is a collections of sweet, complex-flavored messages wrapped up in a easy-to-handle package. Pick up a copy to savor with a young reader today. They will enjoy it.

Related STEAM Activities

It is easy to find great activities to accompany this book.

  1. Spiders play a major role in the story. Try some of the spider-science themed hands on activities at Growing with Science blog, like the climbing spider and making a spider web.

Clementine Orange Fractions

Gather

  • Clementines (or mandarin) oranges
  • Knife (for adult use)
  • Plates

Introduce the idea of fractions. Have an adult cut an orange in half most of the way through. Then cut another in fours. Finally cut one in eighths.

Have the children peel back the outer layer and look at the sections inside.  Have them count the sections in their fruit. Write down the counts. Do all the fruit have the same numbers of sections?  What fraction of the whole is a section in their fruit? For example, if there are eight sections in the fruit above, each section is 1/8 of the whole (roughly).

Of course, they will want to eat the results.

Art Activity

In the story, Fatima offers clementine peel flowers to the spiders.

Slice the oranges in the same way as the previous activity. Let the children peel the fruit. The peels can be used as “flowers” (see photograph below). Create scenes with different-shaped peels, other fresh plant materials, and/or your choice of art materials. Photograph the results. (See a creative example here).

For more advanced lessons, show how a three dimensional round object can be flattened into two dimensions.

Note:  The peels will curl drastically as they dry, so will need to be pressed if they are to be preserved.

Want to read more children’s books about spiders? See our list organized by genre and age at Science Books for Kids.

 

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Red Deer Press; 1 edition (June 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0889955298
ISBN-13: 978-0889955295

Disclaimer: Just so you know, the publisher supplied this title for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the title links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

@SueFliess Has Two New Little Golden Books Out

I know, I said I was on sabbatical here at Wrapped in Foil, but I just had to quickly mention that Sue Fliess has two new Little Golden Books for the youngest readers (see recent post about two of her other books). If you have or know some young children, you will want to take a look at these.

Puppy Princess by Sue Fliess and illustrated Steven Salerno

Preschoolers are sure to learn some new words while they follow a busy puppy princess through her day.

 

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Publisher: Golden Books (July 12, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0553512099
ISBN-13: 978-0553512090

Bella’s New Baby by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Violet Lemay

A prefect book to introduce children to the idea a new sibling is on the way.

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Publisher: Golden Books (January 12, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0553510649
ISBN-13: 978-0553510645

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

 

Save

Save

Save

#kidlit: Observing Nature with Grandma is a Slowpoke

Are you the type to stop and smell the roses?

-pink-rose-200

I have to admit that when we go for a hike in my family, I’m the one who always gets left behind. Not only do I smell the roses, I check for insects, admire the colors and probably take a photograph or two. That’s why I really enjoyed Janet Halfmann‘s new picture book, Grandma Is a Slowpoke, illustrated by Michele Coxon.

Told in the first person from the point of view of a young girl, this sweet story takes the reader on a walk through the woods. The girl is eager to be off, but Grandma is a slowpoke. She wants to stop and observe the animals around her. They discover much as they watch squirrels, geese and even ants along the way.

Even though the story might seem simple on the surface, it actually runs deep with meaning. It is a commentary on the importance of slowing down in our fast, fast, rush, rush society. It is also a gentle commentary on what time spent with grandmothers might have to offer. With the increasing fragmentation of families, our culture may be forgetting the enormous value of a little quality time with an older relative.

The back matter includes two pages of additional animal facts about the animals encountered in the story.

Grandma is a Slowpoke is perfect for sharing at story time, at bedtime, and any time in between. With so much to discover in these pages, be prepared to read it again and again.

 

Canada-goose-1

Where is your favorite place to take a nature walk?

Publisher: Star Bright Books (February 15, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1595727108
ISBN-13: 978-1595727107

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the author for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Children’s Books About African-American Ballerinas: Janet Collins

This week the spotlight is on children’s books featuring African-American ballerinas. Today we have a historical-fiction picture book kindled by the life of ballerina Janet Collins:  A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dreamby Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

Told from the point of view of a young girl who dreams of being a ballerina, this book reveals the importance of seeing role models who are able to succeed. In this case the role model is Janet Collins, who became a prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera House in the 1950s.

In real life, Janet Collins did inspire African-American women to take up ballet, including Delores Brown and Raven Wilkinson. In turn, Raven Wilkinson became a mentor for Misty Copeland.

This book has gotten a lot of positive feedback. Right now on GoodReads A Dance Like Starlight has 116 reviews, which is almost unheard of for a relatively new children’s book. Everyone raves about Floyd Cooper’s illustrations, as well. You can catch a glimpse at the video trailer on Dreamscape.

A Dance Like Starlight encourages young children to dream big, regardless of their circumstances. It is a wonderful message to share.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Philomel Books; First Edition edition (January 2, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0399252843
ISBN-13: 978-0399252846

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

leaf-borderVisit our other posts this about Children’s Books Celebrating African-American Ballerinas:

Monday:  Michaela DePrince

Tuesday: Misty Copeland

Wednesday: Debbie Allen

Thursday:  Janet Collins

Friday:  Beautiful (African-American) Ballerina

African-American-Ballerina-Books