Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to Beat the Late-Winter Blahs (in 3 Steps)

We thought that Spring was in the air, but this morning we woke up to . . . SNOW! To beat the late-winter doldrums, we've gathered up some blah-busting books. What's in our pile? Take a peek, and then pick up a few for yourself to beat the blahs in three steps . . .

When the world seems dull and gray, one way to brighten your spirits is to add some color. And texture! And line! These activity books go way beyond the generic stay-within-the-lines coloring books of the past. They provide prompts for creativity and individual expression.

PhotoPlay! Doodle • Design • Draw 
by M.J. Bronstein 
Using a mix of quirky photos and text, kids are encouraged to draw from imagination and fill in the scene. Be it a tasty birthday cake for Bob, a pet for Grace, or Ravi’s imaginary friend this offbeat photo-based doodle book invites creative minds of all ages to draw outside the lens.

Scribbles: A Really Giant Drawing and Coloring Book 
by Taro Gomi
Taro Gomi, author-ilustrator of Everyone Poops, has a full set of these activity books that encourage imagination and creativity through free-form doodling. With text and scribble prompts in Gomi's playful style, this not-your-average coloring book will get kids doodling outside the box.

The Usborne Big Book of Drawing, Doodling and Coloring
by Fiona Watt, Illustrated by Erica Harrison and Katie Lovell
We like this activity book because it’s bright and colorful! It also includes prompts for drawing Zentangles, which are especially popular with the 7-11 set. 

If you want to pair your doodling with a creativity-themed story hour, gather round with these imaginative read-alouds:

Harold and The Purple Crayon
by Crockett Johnson
Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement.  

by Aaron Becker
Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in this year's Caldecott Honor Booka wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination and unexpected friendship.

The Dot 
by Peter Reynolds
With a simple, witty story and free-spirited illustrations, Peter H. Reynolds entices even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a markand follow where it takes us.

Doodle Day 
by Ross Collins
Mom has just one thing to tell Harvey on Doodledayno drawing allowed! But surely drawing one little fly can't hurt. Or can it? When Harvey's drawings come to life, only one thing is capable of stopping Harvey's rampaging doodles . . . Mom!
Beautiful Oops!
by Barney Saltzberg
An interactive book that shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. Includes pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

  • Take heart! Spring really is around the corner, so savor the last days of winter with these snowy day picture books and novelsperfect for curling up with next to a roaring fire.
  • SNOW  
  • by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman 
  • Snow has been around a long time. Kristen says, "It’s the first book that I encountered an igloo as a child. Also, this encounter left me with the impression that people eat meat in igloos. I grew up in a small town in Idaho that was often buried in snow. The kids in this book and their dog seemed confused and emboldened by snowstorms in a way that I didn’t totally understand, but really admired."

  • by Florence and Louis Slobodkin 
  • Too Many Mittens was originally published in the ‘50s, but the tale of a vanishing red mitten doesn’t feel dated. When one twin boy loses a red mitten, even though it’s quickly found, this doesn’t stop the good citizens of Michigan from delivering other lost mittens to replace it. The boy and his family are overwhelmed by how many lost mittens are floating around and device a plan to help all the lost mittens become found.   

  • Breadcrumbs 
  • by Anne Ursu
    Hazel's best friend, Jack, has disappeared with an icy stranger. Is Hazel brave enough to venture into a wild, wintry world to rescue him? This modern fairytale offers a thrilling adventure and a poignant meditation on friendship. 

  • The Long Winter 
  • by Laura Ingalls Wilder 
  • You think the weather these days is bad? As Pa Ingalls would say, "Pshaw." Join Laura and her family as they struggle to survive the harrowing winter of 1880-81. 
  • Snuggle up with three more cozy tales by the Cottagers and friends . . . 
  • Knitty Kitty
  • by David Elliott, illustrated by Christopher Denise
  • What could Knitty Kitty be knitting? Something to keep three mischievous kittens toasty and comfy, of course. But after the snow falls and the moon comes up and it’s bedtime for kittens everywhere, what will keep them all warm and snug?

  • The Coziest Place
  • by Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Jon Davis
  • After a fun winter's day of sledding, a family of bears returns to their cozy home. They share big bear hugs, grilled cheese, hot cocoa, books, and cookies. Gentle, rhyming text and soft, inviting illustrations make this a perfect choice for bedtime.

  • Snowbaby Could Not Sleep
  • by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Jim Ishikawa
Snowbaby can't sleep! After counting snowflakes, snuggling up in blankets of snow, and singing don't put him to sleep, Snowmama and Snowpapa aren't sure what to do. But with a snip here and a clip there, they create the perfect friend to help Snowbaby fall asleep, at last. 

Baking Day At Grandma's 
by Anika Denise, illustrated by Christopher Denise 
SNEAK PEEK! (Pubs August 2014). Three bouncing little bear siblings, wrapped tight in their winter clothes, can't wait to tromp through the snow for Baking Day at Grandma's!  In a rhyming text that begs to be sung, the bears and their grandma pour and mix and stir--with breaks for hot cocoa and dancing--to create the perfect wintry treat. Then they wrap it up in ribbons to show that sweets are even better when they're shared. With a recipe in the back, this is a perfect family feel-good story for the fall, winter, and any holiday spent with grandparents.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo you saved the best for last! ;-)
    I will admit to feeling a bit hostile toward the latest snowstorm. Didn't even shovel a single flake!