Ninja Mouse: Haiku

Quietly, stealthily Ninja Mouse: Haiku, written and illustrated by J. C. Thomas, creeps into your heart.

It isn’t easy to know what to expect when you see the cover of this book. The fierce mouse in the ninja garb and the comic book/graphic novel illustrations might lead the potential reader to believe this will be an action-packed story full of conflict and violence. Instead it is an almost silent journey of discovery, beautifully delivered entirely in haiku.

The illustrations in this book are inspiring. There’s something about dignity of the mouse, set against nature scenes, the dark versus light, and the splashes of color that are mesmerizing. Each two-page spread consists of the left-hand page divided into thirds, with the haiku text spread throughout. The right-hand page is a full scene with the Japanese text down the right side.

The book trailer gives a taste.

Author J.C. Thomas has a degree in International Relations and East Asia studies and he is currently an elementary school teacher. He is also a sixth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. This combination assures that the book is authentic, detailed, and useful for the classroom. There is a note about haiku in the back that explains how it differs in Japanese.

Ninja Mouse:  Haiku would be perfect for poetry month and to accompany a unit on haiku, especially for reluctant readers who might be drawn in by ninjas and comics. It would also be a wonderful accompaniment for a unit on Japan and East Asia studies.

Suggested related activity:

This book is so inspiring, it begs to be accompanied by an activity for children to create haiku and then illustrate it. For example, Scholastic has a haiku lesson plan. The Exploring Nature Educational Resource has a number of drawing lessons, like this one for a grasshopper.  Please feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments, if you choose.

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: SuperUltraGo! Press (October 16, 2014)
Language: English and Japanese
ISBN-10: 099132403X
ISBN-13: 978-0991324033

Disclosures:  This book was supplied by the author for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Let’s Build

One of our favorite authors, Sue Fliess, has a new picture book out, Let’s Build, with illustrations by Miki Sakamoto.

Sue truly gets young children, plus has a real flare for rhyming text. The text is fast-paced and gently humorous, as you can see in the book trailer:

Yes, hardware stores do seem to go on for miles! (Although certain DIY types don’t seem to mind that.)

Let’s Build is a quick, lively read for a slow summer day when the kids are looking for something to do. Perhaps it will inspire them to build their own “fort” out of blankets, chairs, and couch cushions.

Other activity suggestions:

For those who want to give something more concrete at try, This Old House has instructions for building a fort they say can be constructed in about three hours. Yes, you could build a fort in a day!

Danae has a great Pinterest Board of Tree Houses and Forts (plus other play structures. Check out the A-frame made out of wooden doors!

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3rd
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Two Lions (May 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477847243
ISBN-13: 978-1477847244

Disclosures:  This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science

Although I got carried away and did a full review at Growing with Science, I also want to share this wonderful new resource here.

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Reading poems to children throughout the year has many benefits. It increases their vocabulary, makes them more comfortable reading, and can make topics more memorable. The new book, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Teacher’s Edition): Poems for the School Year Integrating Science, Reading, and Language Arts by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, gives you the tools to do so.

The K-5 Teacher Edition has 218 science-related poems by 78 poets. It is set up so the teacher can read one poem a week for a 36 week school year, for each of grades K through 5.  Every poem has a 5-step (“Take 5!”) mini-lesson with connections to the new Next Generation Science Standards.

student-editionsSeparate student editions are also available for each grade that have 36 poems (plus a few bonus poems).  Each poem is on a separate page and illustrated with line drawings.

For budding scientists, hearing science poetry might increase their interest in language arts. For budding poets, reading science poetry will make them realize that any topic can be fodder for a poem. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science is win-win!

Be sure to visit the publisher, Pomelo Books, for printables and additional resources. Also, Poetry Friday is an ongoing blogger celebration of poetry for children. Check the Kidlitosphere Central website to find out more about it.

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Pomelo Books (February 28, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937057976
ISBN-13: 978-1937057978

Disclosures: The book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.

Treasure for Toddlers/Preschoolers: How to be a Pirate

Yesterday I saw an adorable toddler tell his brother he was sending his paper boats to “Davy Jones’ Locker.” How to be a Pirate (Little Golden Book) by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Nikki Dyson would be a perfect book to share with this pirate-obsessed youngster because it is tightly packed with similar pirate talk as well as swashbuckling adventure.

how-to-be-a-pirate

As she proves once again, Sue Fliess is a master of the fun-filled, fast-paced rhyming text that is so appealing to little ones.

Ahoy, landlubber! Come with me.
Board me ship upon the sea!
Not a pirate? Don’t know how?
Ye can learn to be one now!

The text is paired with Nikki Dyson’s illustrations, which are full of bright colors and movement. Check out the official trailer:

 

 

Looking for treasure? Reading How to be a Pirate will reveal the gold is not only on the binding of the book, but also inside.

Activities to accompany the book:

1. Make a paper boat and float like a pirate.

If you don’t have a favorite pattern, Paper Boat has instructions, more links and stories.

 

paper-boatGrowing with Science has a bathtub buoyancy challenge for older kids. Just try not to send your boats to Davy Jones’ Locker!

2. Dig for buried treasure

What youngster doesn’t love to play in sand? It is also an important sensory/tactile activity. You can add to the enjoyment by burying some pirate treasure a small sandbox or plastic bin full of sand for your child(ren) to find.  Supply plastic sand toys to help with excavation.

Suggestions for treasures for over three year olds (some of these might be choking hazards for children younger than three):

  • gold-painted rocks
  • marbles
  • fake coins
  • plastic gems
  • buttons
  • colorful sea shells
  • bead necklaces

Older kids might enjoy a treasure map and treasure hunt in the sand.

For more ideas, visit:

The Stuff for Junior Pirates page at the Official International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) website

My Pirate Activities for Toddlers/Preschoolers Pinterest page

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Series: Little Golden Book
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Golden Books (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0449813096
ISBN-13: 978-0449813096

Disclosures: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.