A Picture Book & A Project

My Book Inspired A Makey-Makey Maker!

Photo by Colleen Graves

Photo by Colleen Graves

So many cool things have happened as a result of the writing/publishing of DOLL-E 1.0. I am so humbled to be a part of a circuit of creatives! So many hands touched this book from its conception to birth … critique groups, editors, art directors, publicists, my husband, my kids, my mom, sales departments, educators, librarians, bookstores, etc.!

 

And now another creative hand has tinkered with this book and made its existence even cooler … a real coder and “maker” … a girl named Colleen Graves! She creates activities and guides for Makey-Makey (that appears multiple times in the illustrations of Doll-E 1.0). So, Colleen was charged up to create an activity guide for creating your own doll or robot from spare parts and a Makey-Makey, then adding words to its database using Scratch! It. Is. RAD!

 

If you are a STEM or STEAM teacher, I truly hope you check this out and share your creations with us! It’s reading, creating, problem solving, programing, electronics, engineering, and fun all in one! Colleen suggests this project works best with grades 3-6. So without further adieu, here is the guide:

https://labz.makeymakey.com/cwists/preview/1657x

 

And here is Colleen’s blogpost about the inspiration behind creating the guide:

Making and Literacy Guide for Doll-E 1.0

 

 

 

Balancing Doll-E Robot STEM Activity!

Read “Doll-E 1.0”, then click on the FREE activity to print it onto card stock.

You’ll need:

  • card stock
  • crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • scissors
  • poster putty (or glue)
  • 2 pennies

How to draw Doll-E and Blutooth! (Free Activity Sheets!)

Learn to draw Doll-E and Blutooth characters from my new book, DOLL-E 1.0! Just print and enjoy! Happy drawing!

Nice work, Andre!

“Power Down, Little Robot” and draw a robot in 11 steps

"Power Down, Little Robot"

“Power Down, Little Robot” by Anna Staniszewski and illustrated by Tim Zeltner

 

I spied this at Target and after I read it- I just had to have it for me and my girls! The text is super clever with play on techie words which is why this book will entertain an older picture book kid as well as a super young one! Usually, “going to bed” books seem a little young for my almost 5-year-old these days, but this was right on!

The little robot activates his stalling program when he doesn’t want to go to bed. All kids and parents can relate, and this is a really fun way to talk about it!

Inside "Power down, Little Robot"

Mom scanning for rust monsters.

Now, try you hand at drawing a robot yourself…

-Shanda and HJ

PB&P: “Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma” and make a silly skeleton!

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma

They’ve done it again! The husband and wife picture book team, David Soman and Jacky Davis, bring us another flipping BEAUTIFUL and thoughtful book to add to the Ladybug Girl series.

Lulu is sure of what she wants to be for Halloween… or is she? Time is running out and she is out with her family picking apples. Then something happens to remind Lulu of what she knew all along- who she is and what she wants to be for Halloween!

All the books in the Ladybug Girl series are on the longer side compared to most modern picture books, but I think it’s a good thing for kids’ attention spans to be challenged to stretch. It is written well, so you and your kiddo will barely even notice the longer format. My girl loves every second I read these books to her!

And here’s a little SILLY SKELETON you can make!

Skeleton Craft by Shanda McCloskey

1. Download and print the sheet of bones (above) onto white card stock.

2. Have a parent help cut out all the bones.

3. Watch HJ’s demonstration here:

Kids can glue them together in a silly pose. (Use brads or string at the joints if you want the legs and arms to move.)

4. Hang it up for Halloween!

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Happy Halloween from Shanda and HJ!

Laney and "Creepy" the dancing skeleton with a big heart! Great job!

Laney and “Creepy” the dancing skeleton with a big heart! Great job!

Introducing HJ’s Draw Show!

Check out HJ’s awesome new show – she named it :) – that teaches kids how to draw things! HJ loves art and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. So from now on, when I highlight a book (A Picture Book & A Project), HJ will have a drawing lesson to go with it!

Here is HJ’s cousin, Laney! She followed the steps to make her own spook-tacular jack-0-lantern with chalk!

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A Picture Book & A Project: “Little Red Writing” and Pencil People!

"Little Red Writing" by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

“Little Red Writing” by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Isn’t this a cute gift idea for a kid?! I wish we had a birthday party to go so I could give this :) Valentine’s Day is coming up, too. Not bad for a $22 surprise. I found the pencil toppers and pencils in the dollar section at Target, the composition book at the grocery store, and the book at the bookstore.

Okay, back to the picture book and project!

One day, Little Red and her classmates get to write their own stories. As Little Red begins to write, she finds that there are many challenges she has to overcome to make an exciting story. She even has to face a scary pencil sharpener with quite big teeth!

Photo Feb 08, 10 12 56 AM

Photo Feb 08, 10 11 29 AM

Shanda: This book had me at Melissa Sweet- one of my favorite illustrators! And she does not disappoint! Of course I also can relate to the perils of writing a story. There are many layers to this book, so that kids of ALL ages can enjoy it. HJ is 3 years old, and she loved the excitement of the story. Older kids can really see nouns, adjectives, adverbs, EXCLAMATIONS!, and run-on sentences come to life. This would be fantastic to use in a classroom before a writing challenge.

HJ: It’s really awesome when the mean wolf came! (She likes to say the “GRRRRR!” parts.)

Photo Feb 08, 10 10 56 AM

The project for older kids: Write you own story (with illustrations) in your very own composition book, just like Little Red!

The project for younger kids: Attempt to write your own story in your own composition book, just like Little Red! I think HJ enjoyed just playing with the pencil people best :)

Photo Feb 08, 10 13 57 AM

She started off saying she was writing a SCARY story!

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Busy, busy! But in the end, things got epic when some of the pencil people took something from the other pencil people…

Thanks for stopping by! This post is dedicated to the new life and new story of Ellie Pearl Jones! Born yesterday! (She’s the daughter of my cousin, who is really like a sister to me :)

Also, sorry I haven’t posted in quite a while. I’ll tell you why soon…

Love,
Shanda & HJ

A Picture Book & A Project: “The Day the Crayons Quit” and recycling crayons!

Cover from "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by oliver Jeffers

Cover from “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
PHILOMEL, 2013

I’ve never given much thought to how I treated my crayons when I was a kid…. but now I know… crayons are people too! I’m glad they finally spoke up :)

SHANDA: I love this book SO much! It really brought me back to when I was a kid! I felt like the Critic on Ratatouille when he tastes the food at the end, and it takes him all the way back to his childhood :) There’s plenty to laugh about in this book too! HJ and I could be kids together for a few minutes! Great job Mr. Daywalt and Mr. Jeffers!

HJ: She cracked up when Peach Crayon wouldn’t leave the box because he was naked :)

naked_crayon

 

So we made a whole bunch of old naked crayons for our project…

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Then we broke them into small pieces and divided them into the spaces of an oven safe mold. *Note- SCRATCH the paper cups you see in the photo. It works better without them. Also, they would turn out much cuter than ours did if you used a silicone candy mold that had cute shapes like flowers or something. Melt them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

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Then allow them to cool completely, and use a knife to “pop” them out!

We bagged some up for church (for HJ and her cousin, Laney :)

Happy considerate coloring!

A Picture Book & A Project: “I’m Bored” and how NOT to be bored with a potato!

"I'm Bored" by Michael Ian Black, Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012

“I’m Bored” by Michael Ian Black, Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012

This kid is so bored she starts talking to a potato that thinks SHE is boring! So, she has to set the record straight: Potatoes are boring and kids can do ANYTHING!

SHANDA: I am taken with these cute, yet wild illustrations! And I love the illustrator’s success story. She really thought she was more of a writer, but was discovered big time at an SCBWI portfolio showcase!

HJ: (She likes to say “I’m bored” in a potatoey voice). If you can imagine that.

Now, grab a potato, a parent, a knife, paint, and paper! The best way NOT to be bored with a potato is to make potato stamps! Have fun!

potato1

Here’s a great link to show parents how to cut a potato stamp!

potato2

potato3

potato5

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We made a gift bag with our stamps… but kids can think of lots of cool stuff to decorate! What can you come up with?

 

A Picture Book & A Project: “Little Mouse” and drawing a mouse!

Sometimes your mommy might call you her little mouse, but that’s silly because you’re probably nothing like a mouse at all!

"Little Mouse" by Alison Murray DISNEY HYPERION BOOKS, 2013

“Little Mouse” by Alison Murray
DISNEY HYPERION BOOKS, 2013

SHANDA: I have been hungry for a new book! So, I let myself walk into a bookstore and judge the books by their covers, literally! I didn’t read this before I bought it. I just loved the art, and took it home :) Lucky for me, the writing is lovely too. It’s really a book of comparisons and what animals you might be similar to. I am drawn to the color palette, lines, and shapes this illustrator uses. My favorite page is the precious hug at the end. The simplicity isn’t too simple for me. This is the sweet spot I’d like to find in my own work.

HJ: I like this book because I’m not like a mouse either!

 Final mouse drawing :)

Here’s the project… Learn to draw a mouse on your own! Watch the video below…

 

How to draw a mouse: tutorial by a 3-year-old from Shanda on Vimeo.

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author