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We are all unique, with our own talents and abilities. When children know this deep down inside, they're free to be themselves, feel good about themselves, and reach their full potential. This inspiring song about diversity (sung by Grammy winner CeCe Winans) is brought to life by Melodee Strong's beautiful illustrations.
Feathers and Fools is an allegory about how wars can begin with a simple fear of others based on misconceptions. For some time the swans and peacocks have lived peacefully by a pond. One day the peacocks begin to contemplate the differences between themselves and their neighbours. This then leads to the fear that the swans may one day change the peacock's way of life. With this fear fully ingrained in their minds, they begin to build arms against their neighbours. "We shall hurl these arrows at their throats and slaughter everyone should they ever try to change our way of life."
Upon hearing this, the swans began to build arms against the peacocks in fear that they would be attacked. The fear grew as each group acquired more and more arms against each other. The peacocks soon mistook the action of a swan as an act of aggression and thus, a war began. "Soon cries filled the sir and blood darkened the earth." When all the feathers had settled, there were no birds to be found, both swans and peacocks had been destroyed.
Foxs antiwar story touches on a common issue many nations face and how humans handle the concept of war. As history has revealed, humans have begun wars often times with very little knowledge of their opponents on the battlefield. The author artfully displays how mankind, although similar in many ways can decimate each other because of our lack of knowledge of the similarities amongst all groups. At the end of the story, Fox gives us a hopeful ending with the hatching of a lone peacock and a lone swan. These young birds meet and notice how similar they are and soon become friends. "So off they went together, in peace and unafraid, to face the day and share the world." Fox recognizes that present and future generations hold the keys to ending war.
The main characters, swans and peacocks are interchangeable with any nation, country, or people who have endured wars and their aftermaths. The book also emphasizes the importance of learning from history and not repeating it. Illustrator Nicholas Wiltons paintings bring out the beauty of the worlds of the peacock and swan. With acrylic jewel tone paints, he captures the beauty of the peacocks bright feathers and the swans graceful profile. As the story progresses, you can see the changes of the birds body language and actions helping bring emphasis on how the building toward war changes reactions and opinions of the two sides. The paintings were created to evoke the feeling of a folktale or fable with its aged looks and block style borders. Feathers and Fools is a wonderful book that could open the possibility for the discussion of topics such as war, the arms race, and similarities amongst people and their ways of lives. This book could be used at all levels for discussion.
Help young children understand and express their feelings. This lively book gives little ones the words they need to tell you how they feel.
“Leonard the Larch,” otherwise known as the Western Larch, is the first book in the series. Darcee has chosen Leonard as the “Jokester” of the forest because he loves to spook all his tree friends whenever he gets the chance. Halloween was Leonard’s favorite time of year because that was the only night Mother Earth didn’t discipline him for causing trouble. Each year, Leonard sought after the perfect costume to spook all his friends until finally, Mother Earth suggested he could be a spooky skeleton. He was very excited about the idea and later that Halloween night, he had the best time of his life scaring all his friends with his new costume. Now that he found the perfect disguise, he asked Mother Earth if he could be a spooky skeleton every year. That is why, every year, around Halloween, Leonard’s needles turn yellow and fall because he is getting ready to spook us all!
Darcee has been teaching Forestry for almost six years and a common question asked by many is, “What is happening to our Larches, are they dying?” She is always excited to share her story explaining that the Larch is perfectly fine and healthy. She has learned that some people have actually cut down their Larch tree because they thought it had been attacked by the mountain pine beetle. For this, she knew how important it was for her to create her legends to help educate not only children, but adults too, using Legends that can be shared from one generation to the next.
All of the crafts found in the book are tested by Darcee’s Scout group. She always gets her Beavers and Cubs to complete each craft and if it is successful, she will then put it into her book. The craft included in Leonard the Larch teaches you how you can make amber in a day. This was completed by her son Alexander and he entered it into the School District Science Fair, where it was very well received and made the local newspaper as a huge success.
Can you make amber in a day? Yes you can, and the illustrated instructions tell you how, step by step. Keep in mind, no one can make “real” amber in a day; this amber is plasticized amber that can be molded into any shape you desire, but remains soft and slightly tacky. “Real” amber takes millions of years under high pressure to form the beautiful golden colors that can be seen in jewelry and other art.
It is very easy to get all the different trees’ names confused with each other. When Darcee takes her classes on field trips, she often finds that kids automatically call a tree that is an evergreen, a pine tree. There are many different trees that grow amongst us, so Darcee put photographs of the tree’s bark, cones, needles, branches, and profile to show the differences in each tree. Also included are descriptive clues to aid in proper identification.
Vivid poems and illustrations describe an alphabet of places special to children. The book journeys from art room to zoo, with stops along the way at an ice cream cafÃƒÂ©, a science museum, a library, a jungle gym, and the ocean. Children explore memories, imagine places they would like to go, and realize their world is expanding. Written in verse with an appealing variety of rhymes and rhythms, Places will touch both children and adults, who may remember favorite places of their own.
Colorful poems and lush illustrations invite children to explore and experience their world through the sounds around them. The book begins with acorns cracking under bicycle wheels and ends with zippers on sleeping bags zipping during a family camping trip. In between are flapping wings, snapping icicles, popping corn, and more. Children are encouraged to listen more closely to the sounds in their everyday lives, imagine sounds they haven't yet heard, experiment with creating sounds, and even sharpen their listening skills. Written in verse with an appealing variety of rhymes and rhythms, Sounds will delight both children and adults.
From the beginning of time, high above the hidden valley, Snow Leopard has sung the stars to life, the sun to rise and the moon to wax and wane. She has woven words of protection to keep the hidden valley safe from the world and as she sings, a child lies dreaming the song down in the valley beneath. But time is passing, and Snow Leopard needs to find a singer who will follow her. But while she is searching, soldiers come looking for gold and slaves... Jackie Morris's poetic text weavesthe spirit of nature into a universal myth for our time, drawing threads of transformation into a children's story glistening with wonder. Set against the stunning landscapes of the Himalayas, her superlative illustrations of the nearly-extinct Snow Leopard offer a message of hope at a time when many of the world's wildest places are being worn away by human beings.