Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook by Jane Yole

Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook
 by Jane Yolen

Sink your teeth into this literary feast: half storybook, half cookbook. This 197 page book is divided like a cookbook into breakfast, lunch, soups, dinners, and dessert sections. It offers about 20 different fairy tales as retold by Yolen. Each tale comes with at least one recipe and interesting facts and tidbits in the side bars.

It's very fun-- I just love the concept of combining tales with recipes! My son likes to read this book and rates it 4.5/5!


Friday, May 20, 2011

MyPuzzle.org-- All Kinds of Puzzle and Logic Games

Want a good place to play free puzzle and logic games? Try MyPuzzle.org!

There are all kinds of games including sudoku, jugsawdoku, kakuro, freefall, mahjong, mine sweeper, blix, and 3D games. The categories include number puzzles, picture puzzles, word puzzles, and more. And you can decide which level of difficulty to play with many of them.

Have fun!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Making of a Lego Brick

For those inquisitive minds interested in how Lego bricks are made, this link will take you to an interactive video which goes through the stages of the process!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Online Math Resource: Math Playground

Math Playground has all kinds of online math games to play.

In their own words: "Welcome to Math Playground, an action-packed site for elementary and middle school students. Practice your math skills, play a logic game :and have some fun!"

They have thinking blocks, manipulatives, worksheets, flashcards, multiplayer learning games, word problems, math videos, a computation section and a math apprentice section. And as far as I can see, all free!

This has been linked up at
Favorite Resource This Week

Monday, May 16, 2011

Interested in Inventions?

One field of interest that my son keeps returning to is that of inventions and inventors. This is such a wonderful topic that can bridge all kinds of subjects. However, I'm not posting a well researched list of resources, rather I thought I'd share a specific branch of this topic that my son is keenly interested in!

The World's Worst Inventions: The Most Stupid Gadgets and Machines Ever Made by Jack Watkins. 

These types of books are well read in this house!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Math: My Puzzle-- A Place for Puzzle and Logic Games

I posted this already, but it disappeared! Weird. I'll Try again.

Want a good place to improve math skills and play free puzzle and logic games? Try MyPuzzle.org! There are all kinds of games including sudoku, jugsawdoku, kakuro, freefall, mahjong, mine sweeper, blix, and 3D games. The categories include number puzzles, picture puzzles, word puzzles, and more.

Don't get too addicted ;-)

This is linked up with...

Favorite Resource This Week


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book: Step Into Narnia

Well the Narnia exhibit at the TWOS has come and gone, but the magic doesn't stop there. I have photos of this lovely picture book that my son enjoyed as a companion to the exhibit, book, and movie. It was a bit too simple but the pictures were engaging and it did have just enough information to consume.

Step Into Narnia: A Journey Through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by E.J. Kirk

see more photos below!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Product Review: Strawz, the Connectible Drinking Straws

These Strawz are so fun! We found them at the Art Gallery of Alberta, but they are available all over online including Amazon and ThinkGeek (just google strawz)!

44 pieces, four different colours, dishwasher safe, coloured connectors are TPE (a food safe plastic), and the straws are polypropylene. Age 6 and up! In fact Vat19 has a more suggestions geared towards the legal age drinking crowd ;-)

Simply fun, they are also great for fine motor skills, creativity, and motivation. Tired of playing with Lego or building blocks? Try these straws and then relax and drink with your creation ;-)


Friday, May 6, 2011

AGA-- Drawn Outside children's gallery

Brian Jungen
We went to the Art Gallery of Alberta the other day to see Brian Jungen's sculptural installations before it closes on May 8th. It was nice to be able to take photos in an art gallery! Of course, this was the only gallery in which photos were encouraged ;-)

The other galleries we enjoyed were Sherri Chaba: The Silence of Chaos, Walter J Philips: Water and Woods, Nature and Spirit: Emily Carr's Coastal Landscapes, Haida Art: Mapping An Ancient Language, and Lawren Harris Abstractions.
Brian Jungen

My son's favourite was the children's gallery space created for hands on experiences and I don't blame him. While walking through Sherri Chaba's delicate work, I so wanted to touch it! I wish art galleries would bring in  more exhibits that are specifically meant to be interacted with. I've heard art students often have a project to design art for people who are blind-- meaning they are textural... touchable! I'd love to see the AGA use a gallery space for touchable art!

Drawing Outside is the new children's gallery complete with a climbable landscape. Lots of textures, colour, and lines everywhere to explore. Kids can make rubbings of the textures or play with the magnetic table. There are two pieces of art on the walls with moving sections. There is a card with a search and find list and a video that runs constantly (silently).

If you live in the area or are visiting and if you are bringing children, make sure to pick up the "Let's Explore Art" booklet at the front desk. It can be a fun way for them to explore the galleries. It has search and finds, places to answer questions, and sections to draw in. It makes it more interactive!

Also, the AGA website helps to explore art at home too! The newest art projects are print making (to compliment Walter Philips) and abstract forest collage (to compliment Emily Carr).


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pablo Picasso: A Mini Unit

An introduction. Well, my son already knew of Pablo Picasso, but we watched the above video and a few others on YouTube then proceed to books!

Picasso and Minou by Maltbie is a fun way to learn about Picasso. It's mostly a true story with a bit of fiction thrown in (explained in the end notes) packaged in a lovely illustrated book. For an Amazon look-inside follow the link! Ages 4-8, but I think can go higher.

Getting To Know The World's Greatest Artists: Picasso by Mike Venezia was also a nice introduction but much more factual and chronologically based. This also has an Amazon look-inside and seems to be recommended for Grades 1-3 or ages 9-12 (nice to know Amazon doesn't have conflicting concepts on its pages, lol). Mike Venezia has a whole series of books and videos that introduce famous people: artists, composers, etc.

When Pigasso Met Moostise by Nina Laden was a funny and fiercely colourful story that my son enjoyed. Amazon look-inside. A homage to Picasso and Matisse.

These were two other books we borrowed from the library: What Makes a Picasso a Picasso? and Who Was Pablo Picasso?
They were great ideas but didn't get examined much.

Inspired by the videos, out came the paints and wonderfully large paper!

Here my son creates a colourful Jabba the Hutt  ;-)

And out of the blue, while having fun with the iPhone app Doodle Buddy, my son declared this creation of his...

"The Creative Process of Pablo Picasso!"


 I first ran across these sticker books over at Almost Unschoolers blog and have since spotted them at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Basically there is a write up and photo of the artist followed by 6 examples of his or her work.
Along with each example is a partially completed example that you can use the stickers in the book to complete.

Or, as my son prefers, to make your own masterpiece!

For some online fun, go to Picasso Head and create your own Picasso inspired head or just browse the gallery and see what others have done.

For a Picasso Artist Study.

This has been linked with Picasso-An Arty Crafty Party over at Our World Wide Classroom!

Our Worldwide Classroom

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Peter Kent's Engaging Historical Books

One thing lead to another and we ended up with four of Peter Kent's books (borrowed from the library). Peter Kent is the author and illustrator of these great books that are engaging my son so thoroughly. They are a great way to provide simple historical overviews as a supplement or introduction.

Hidden Under the Ground: The World Beneath Your Feet
Complete with a table of contents, this fascinating book takes the reader on a journey through time and into underground spaces. Lots of trivia is interspersed with his detailed drawings. The usual and obvious under worlds are covered: caves, caverns, a tomb, and animal habitats. However, he gets creative and includes afterlife underworlds (middle ages perspective), cliff dwellings, hidden rockets, power plants, the street beneath our feet, and dungeons. Throughout the pages are questions to engage the reader into the pictures. The questions are mostly searching for 'how many' of something.
This book has a table of contents, introduction, a glossary, and an answers section.

Great Buildings: Stories of the Past
After the introduction, Kent takes the reader to the great pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Beauvais Cathedral, the Eddystone Lighthouse, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the Panama Canal, the Woolworth building, the Chek Lap Kok airport, and finishes off with a summary of seven more great buildings of the world. The buildings that are focused on are covered over two double page layouts with lots of pictures and interesting facts.
 This book has a table of contents, introduction, and an index.

Peter Kent's City Across Time: From the Stone Age to the Distant Future

This was one of my son's favourites. He enjoyed seeing the progression of cities from the old stone age through the ages to modern times and into the distant future. The detailed illustrations are what really brings this book to life as this book has the least amount of text out of the four books. However, what is said is still interesting.
This book has a table of contents, introduction, a glossary, an index, and further information. The further info are online sources of information that complement what was covered in the book.

Peter Kent's Big Book of Armor: From Armadillos to Armored Cars
This was my son's favourite and he even wants to buy his own copy. Again, this is where Kent gets creative and really investigates what can be included as armor. The usual armor, throughout the ages, is discussed and illustrated in detail, but he also goes into safety suits, armored vehicles, forts, athletic gear, and animal armor.
This book has a table of contents, introduction, a glossary, an index, and further information. The added information here are lists of where to see the various armor, tanks, ships, trains, and forts in their museums around the world.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Books: Diary of...

Diary of what?

Diary of a Worm (2003)
Diary of a Spider (2005)
Diary of a Fly (2007)

All by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss.

This is a fun trio of books that were an old favourite and which have made a recent come back in our home. Although not a challenging read, my son finds something in them that still appeals. perhaps it's the fun and quirky sense of humour.

And if you're trying to encourage or inspire journal writing, these certainly won't harm. However, they do take the traditional route of dairy = daily activities and thoughts. Click on the pics for a closer and clearer picture.
From Diary of a Worm

From Diary of a Spider
From Diary of a Fly

This is linked up with...

Science Sunday
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...