Thursday, February 4, 2016

Make a Monkey Chain for Lunar New Year!

Check out my Lunar New Year newsletter and please sign up!

As part of my Lunar New Year Story Time  for my newsletter subscribers (I'm starting to shift most of my stuff there, so please sign up!), I suggested that readers make a monkey chain decoration!  Isn't it super cute? This is how you do it:

You need:
-a 4.25 x 11 sheet of paper (a normal 8.5 x 11 piece of paper cut in half the long way). 
-a ruler
-a pencil
-this monkey template, printed out, preferably on cardstock
-maybe some tape


1. Measure 2.2 inches from one side of the paper and mark:

nice straight line, don't worry if it's not exactly 2.2 inches, it all gets fudged when you fold

2. Fold on your marking and then use that width to accordion fold the rest of your paper. You should be able to make 4 folds (which will equal five monkeys after cutting).

accordion fold is like making a paper fan

3. cut out the template and trace the monkey onto the folded paper.  It's pretty small, so you might want to use a small piece of tape to help hold the template down while you trace. Make sure the arms of the monkey go right to the edge, if not off the edge of your paper.

a little bit of tape helps it from moving around, but just tack it on gently as you want to take the template off!

it should be traced like this!

 4. Cut out the monkey from you folded paper, making sure you cut all five layers. Do NOT cut along the folds where the monkeys arms touch the edges of the paper (that is where the chain connects!)

When finished, unfold and...Ta-Dah!

Five monkeys to go with the Five Monkeys Rhyme I made Lunar New Year!

*Want to make this a craft with kids?  Consider:

-Enlarging the paper and the template proportionally so that it's easier for them to cut.
-If the kids are young, pre-measure the folds for them
-If the kids are very young, make the chains for them and let them color them red (to go with the rhyme)

See how you can use this monkey chain for a Monkey New Year Story Time in my newsletter! (and please sign up for future editions).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hear me, hear me!

So, I'm super excited (and nervous)  that I will be one of the presenters at TedxNatick on Jan 23rd! I'm writing and polishing a whole new speech--"The Mirrors and Windows of Your Child's Bookshelf"--I am really hoping it will be good. If you love Ted talks, here's your chance to go to one and hear some awesome speakers--tickets are on sale now!

Did I mention I was really nervous about the speech? So, since practice makes perfect, I'm doing a dress rehearsal of the speech at an event at the Eric Carle Museum on  Saturday, January 16, at 1pm! Constructive criticism and encouragement welcome!

Hope to see you!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

memory pearl

"I am Rudolph and these are my extra noses," she says, "I need them in case my old nose runs out of batteries."

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Drum it up for Drum Dream Girl!!!

Don't miss this beautiful, beautiful book! I HEART it and am buying up lots of copies to give away this holiday season, and I'm not the only one.

WNDB has started a #DrumitUp campaign to help get this book the attention it deserves.  So please spread the word and purchase a copy (or two or three!) yourself! You'll be spreading some beauty into the world, which is just what we all need--don't you think?

Drum it up!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Come see me!

I'm having a book event as a fundraiser for Rain Dragon's school! Please come (there's free frozen yogurt, too!)!

Saturday, Dec 5th
80 Main St, Northampton

Hope to see you!

Monday, November 9, 2015

on my desk monday

On my desk today is a copy of the newspaper article featuring my week of school visits in Iowa! It was a great trip--I plan to write up more about it later--but in the meantime you can read the article HERE! Thanks so much for having me, Iowa City Schools!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

this year's pumpkins

I had hoped to revive our pumpkin carving party tradition this year, but fate was against us. I had gotten rid of our old dining table and ordered a new one but  the shipping company somehow lost it. We have been using this red bench as our table for the last five weeks:

I finally just canceled that table and ordered another from somewhere else. Crossing my fingers the new one makes it!
A pumpkin party without a table seemed rather inconvenient, so we carved solo again this year. And again, we themed them to her current obsession. Right now,  she is in love with Curious George. She started with the books but now prefers the TV show. I know, sacrilege!!

But she likes better that "the man catches him" (and George doesn't break his leg) in the TV episode and she is never satisfied with my answers when she asks, "Why did he open the ether bottle? Why did they have to put George in the cold shower to wake him up?" when I read the book(!). And, I've kind of accepted it because the TV show is a bit more contemporary with characters of different races and women working. In fact, Rain Dragon is so interested in the female firefighter that it was one of the characters she chose for the pumpkins:

Hundley (or Pretzel, she always makes me change the name when I read that book), Lady Fireman (that's Rain Dragon's name for her) and, of course, George

In the years past, I mainly used a plain kitchen knife. But this year we bought some new carving tools and what a difference! So much easier!

And they come out so much better too! I think these are our best pumpkins, yet:

I know Rain Dragon thinks so!

Monday, October 26, 2015

on my desk monday

The Ling and Ting: Together in All Weather magnets have arrived! Would you like one? You'll get one with your book when you order an autographed copy of the book at my local bookstore! All the info HERE!