Friday, November 18, 2011

A Flock of Shoes and other signs of winter...

Where do your favorite pink and green flip flops go in the wintertime?  To soft, white sandy beaches of course...without you.  Sorry.  But they miss you.

For anyone who has found themselves having irrational arguments with a child about why sandals/shorts/skirts without stockings/fill-in-the-blank are not appropriate when the temperature drops below 50 degrees here is a book you'll relate to.  I have had many of these inane fights and have resorted to hiding clothese and shoes and then pretending like I have no idea where they could have gone.  If only I had been as clever as Sarah Tsiang.  What 3 year old doesn't want to imagine their beloved shoes on a lovely adventure? 

Teachers and librarians: include this title in a theme about winter migration just for fun, or a unit on signs that the seasons are changing from Fall to Winter.  Three to six year olds will get a pretty good kick out of this one!

A Flock of Shoes by Sarah Tsiang and illustrated by Qin Leng (Annick Press, 2010)

Instead of the rhyme I have ten fingers, and they all belong me....  Substitute toes and see what kind of silliness ensues.

I have ten toes, and they all belong to me.
I can make them do things, do you want to see?
I can open them up wide.  I can close them up tight.
I can clap them together.  Now I make them hide.
I jump them down low.  I jump them up high.
                                Now I fold them together and hold them just so.

Print out postcard templates and invite older children to write a postcard to you from the voice of their shoe or other traveling object.  Where would they like to visit?  Draw that place on the front.

Are you going to do a whole program about things that take it upon themselves to move about? 

Runaway Mittens by Jean Rogers and illustrated by Rie Munoz is much less silly than Tsiang's book, but a lovely winter tie in.  Munoz's portrayal of an Inuit family and community is beautiful and rare.  I love Rogers' and Munoz's collaborations.  They're worth sharing if you can find them.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner is a wintertime classic.  It is as fun as a Flock of Shoes, and invites the imagination to wander and wander and wander.....Dozens of snowman crafts will tie-in, or encourage children to draw their own ideas about snowmen at night or shoes on vacation. 

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