Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blue Spruce 2015: My Blue is Happy; Loula is Leaving for Africa

The Blue Spruce™ Award program brings recently published Canadian children's picture books to Ontario children ages 4 to 7 in kindergarten through to grade two.
This program promotes reading for enjoyment and begins to develop the reader’s skill in evaluating a picture book based on story, text and pictures. Students read 10 nominated picture books during the school year and vote for their favourite book in the spring. The best picture book is selected by student voting, and the winning author is presented with the Blue Spruce Award.

My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young
A lyrical ode to colors — and the unique ways we experience them — follows a little girl as she explores the world with her family and friends.  Your neighbor says red is angry like a dragon’s breath, but you think it’s brave like a fire truck. Or maybe your best friend likes pink because it’s pretty like a ballerina’s tutu, but you find it annoying — like a piece of gum stuck on your shoe. In a subtle, child-friendly narrative, art teacher and debut author Jessica Young suggests that colors may evoke as many emotions as there are people to look at them — and opens up infinite possibilities for seeing the world in a wonderful new way.

This is great for explaining the concept of perception or comparing different experiences without getting too complicated.  The  activities and questions you can involve students in practically leap off the page.  
LESSON IDEA: Great for exploring colours or feelings.
Explore what different colours mean to individuals. Try verbal comparisons; artistic interpretations of what colours mean (like in the book); or, word association games; etc.

Loula is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villenieuve
Loula has had enough of her terrible triplet brothers and decides to run away to Africa. Luckily, her mother's chauffeur, Gilbert, knows just how to get there. Together, Loula and Gilbert ride camels, cross a desert and, most important, use heaps of imagination in this heartwarming adventure.

Oh to have a chauffeur...and one who joins in on the adventures of the imagination (without turning creepy). Loula's chauffeur is a gem, thinking of thinks like needing a boat to get to Africa and tickets for the boat.  The best imaginary adventures have some detail to make them feel true!
LESSON IDEA: planning
Display a map of the world.  Plot your location and where Africa is.
Have the class suggest a list of what you would need for your trip (food, clothes, tickets, ship, food for whales, plane, sunscreen, postcards, etc).  They could also plot the route they would take on a map handout and draw items from the list where they think they would use them. 

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