Mice

Mice make great characters. Remember the one who ran up the clock? And the three blind ones? Everyone likes a good mouse story. (We hear there’s an entire World – and a Land – built by a certain mouse in red shorts.) Here are a couple of our favorite mouse books. Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh Young children are drawn to bright, bold colors, particularly the primary red, yellow, and blue.  This book taps into a child’s playful curiosity about color and teaches a few lessons about how those primary colors combine to form the rest of the spectrum.  The three white mice in Walsh’s story dip themselves in paint jars and begin an adventure in color exploration that will delight young artists and their parents. When I was a kindergarten teacher, we read this book and then used finger paints to learn about color and addition.  Children chose a color for each hand, made a print of each, and then smooched their hands together to create two handprints of the combination color.  For example, one red hand plus one blue hand equals two purple hands.  They loved it.  If you’re at home and want to get really messy, try…

Not Every Post Needs a Theme

  The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster To a little girl, the window in her grandparents’ home is magical.  From the outside, she can peek in and see her Nanna and Poppy in their kitchen with “all kinds of pictures from the olden days.”  From the inside, she can see the world – the neighbor’s dog in the garden, the pizza delivery guy, or perhaps even the Queen of England coming for tea. Raschka won The Caldecott Medal for his playful illustrations full of bold colors and happy faces that seem to be the work of an incredibly talented child.  They fit perfectly with the narrator’s voice, artfully constructed by the great Norton Juster, author of my personal favorite,The Phantom Tollbooth.  Juster knows how children think, which makes this story sound as if a child really were writing it, rather than an adult’s interpretation of a child’s world.  Case in point: “When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up.” The Hello, Goodbye Window reminds adults that children see magic in the mundane.  In my classroom, I read this book to young children and then began a conversation about what…