When I lived near a golf course in our old house a few miles away, I would spot red foxes running at dusk on the sidewalks. My friend Susan told me about her encounter with a coyote one winter afternoon. She and her black labrador were on the snow covered golf course for a walk when they were approached by a lone coyote. Unwilling to turn his back on the coyote, her dog put himself between her and the coyote and walked them backwards for two miles back to the street; eyes on the coyote the entire time. Susan thinks there was a litter of pups and the coyote was being protective.
The thing is, I live nine miles west of Boston in a pretty tightly packed suburban area. It’s not farms and huge backyards where I live. Most houses sit on a quarter of an acre.
In this article, Why Wild Animals Are Moving Into Cities, and What To Do About It, by Popular Science, researcher Stan Gertz estimates that more than 2,000 coyotes now make a comfortable living in the Chicago metropolitan area. He notes that “some urban coyotes have even been spotted crossing streets in busy traffic—at the light, looking both ways, just like human Chicagoans.”
My son was obsessed with Pokémon when he was four years old. For two years, I read nothing but Pokémon books to him. The books he liked were Find and Seek or Pokémon directories. Neither types of books have much plot. I also bought him tiny Pokémon plastic figures off eBay that I would carry around in a plastic baggy and whip out at restaurants for him to play with. They had to be ordered from Hong Kong. This is serving me well now, when my kids catch Pokémon because I actually can describe them.
Jigglypuff? The pinkish one?
Poliwhirl? Doesn’t that have a swirly thing for eye? Oh, it’s on the stomach.
Ghastly? Ghost Pokémon!
I love Pokémon. I love how kids can wander in this safe world where nothing really bad ever happens. When PokémonGo came out, I knew it would motivate my son to finish his summer math workbook in order to get a cell phone. As a rising 6th grader taking the school bus for the first time, he needs a phone. Read more…
My son loves Canada. He was the first to declare that he’s moving to Canada if Trump wins, and his sisters agreed. We’ve been to Canada a few times; it’s a road trip for us and we’ve visited Montreal, Toronto, and Ontario for the Women’s World Cup.
Quebec City is considerably farther from our previous Canadian trips, but now our kids are old enough to handle the car ride. Instead of worrying about kids melting down in the car, we are a little worried by our inability to speak French. We are going to have to take a quick crash course, especially on food for reading menus.
My husband has been reading a guide book on Quebec City, but this is what I came up with.
Quebec City Day 1
image from Wikipedia
1. Aquarium du Quebec
We like aquariums. This one sounds great: Aquarium du Québec is a public aquarium located in the former city of Sainte-Foy in Quebec City. The 16-hectare facility is home to more than 10,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Read more…
Forbes has a great article on money lessons you should be teaching your kids, with milestones for ages 5, 10, and 15. Let’s see how I’m doing with my kids:
Money Lesson Goals for 5 Year Olds
- Savings Goal – a savings goal has three elements: (1) what you want to buy, (2) when you want to buy it and (3) how much it will cost at that time.
- Bank – a place that helps us safely store, organize and manage our money
- Check – a way to pay for items where we write a note asking our bank to send our money to someone to pay for our purchases
- Bills – notes letting us know how much we owe for our purchases
- Trade Off – A decision we have to make when we are considering whether to save for something or spend our money
My son learned to love reading because of graphic novels so they will always have a place in my heart. He’s reading chapter books now, but he still enjoys a funny notebook novel. I’m excited to share some newly published ones, and I’m giving away a few them as well (at the bottom of the page).
How about you? What graphic novels or notebook novels have your kids been enjoying? Please share!
Doodle Adventures: You Draw the Story
This is a fun concept, particularly for summer reading. It’s a doodle book combined with a graphic novel. The reader gets to decide the story by drawing it in and you don’t necessarily have to be an artist.
The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs by Mike Lowery
I wasn’t sure how my son would react to this doodle graphic novel since it looked a little easy for him, but he raced through it and enjoyed doodling along to create his own adventure. Since we had an ARC (advanced release copy), I’ve giving away this brand spanking new hardcover book! [doodle graphic novel, ages 6 and up]
Please welcome Ashley who blogs at Booktomato as my guest author. She’s sharing her favorite Shakespeare books for kids.
My 10th grader, Grasshopper and Sensei, is studying Shakespeare in English class. She has a very bad concussion (her 4th, all from volleyball), and she couldn’t read Shakespeare without getting a headache flare up. I used an early chapter book series, Tales from Shakespeare, to help her understand the storyline and it really helped. While some of my fellow Cybils Early Chapter Book judges preferred the original, I like how this series makes Shakespeare more accessible.
Tales from Shakespeare: Hamlet by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony
Hamlet as an early chapter book retold in modern day English with illustrations on every page. At just 47 pages, this is a quick read that focuses on conveying the plot. Quotes from the original work are pulled out as well. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Tales from Shakespeare: MacBeth by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony
The format of this early chapter book is the same as above, but about MacBeth. We used this for my daughter’s 10th grade English class instead of Spark Notes to understand the plot. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]
How about you? Are your kids reading simpler versions of Shakespeare and how do they like it? Thanks for sharing! Read more…
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Nature is often a theme of Japanese art. Today, I am giving away two Japanese art coloring books and sharing some Japanese art by Hokusai from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I hope this helps to entertain your kids this summer.
p.s. More art posts for kids:
45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter
10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids
Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading
Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids
Let’s learn about Ukiyo-e!
The ukiyo-e genre of art flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries The term ukiyo-e translates as ‘pictures of the floating world’.
Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works.
Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai