Get Crafty – Summer Fun

Shells

Did you escape to the beach for a little summer vacation? We did and brought home a few souvenirs from our walks on the beach. Now that our prize shells are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, it’s time to put them to use with a fun craft idea.

Shell Animals! This is a perfect activity for a rainy day or before a trip to the zoo. You can get as creative and detailed as you want while learning about different traits of the animal that you want to create.

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We kept the supplies simple – of course, shells are the number one ingredient, although we would suggest some larger ones for young children, ours are a little smaller than we would have liked. To decorate your shells you will need, some construction paper, scissors, markers, paint or both. You can also add googly eyes and pipe cleaners for more detail. We made a peacock, a tiger, and our bear came in the perfect color straight from the ocean!

Share your favorite shell creatures with us; tag @arbordalekids on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr! We will send a matching book to our top favorites!

 

Let the Book Madness Begin!

Tip off is here and we are ready to choose teams. On one side we find out which fictional character reins supreme, and on the other side great beasts go head-to-head. Prizes are on the line so choose wisely.

MarchMadness

You guessed it, It is time for March Madness! We are mad about books at Arbordale and this year we have our own March Madness contest for you. Choose your favorites on the bracket downloaded from our website and submit your choices by March 25th. This tournament isn’t winner take all; the top four scorers will win a prize.

Visit our March Madness page for all the dates, details and to download your bracket!

And don’t forget, one of the newest members of the Arbordale team, Midnight Madness at the Zoo is a great March read!

MidnightMad

The Science of Reading

In a recent neuroscience study, researchers focused on the visual side of the brain and concluded that volunteers saw words and pictures and not individual letters. This research could prove very helpful in understanding how struggling readers process words, and improve tactics for teaching.

Arbordale truly believes that reading, and being read to, is a very important part of growing up. So, we are closing out the work with a Friday Reads Giveaway! Comment on this post to be entered to win these three Arbordale books!

Learn more about the Journal of Neuroscience article on Science News.

Arbordale Costume Contest!

The fall air is crisp as the temperatures drop, as the pumpkins find their way to front doors across the country, children begin to plan a great transformation. On October 31st everyone has the opportunity to become someone or something else. Well, when you are not sure what to be for Halloween Arbordale books are here to help make your decision easier.

Here is a reading list for your last minute costume ideas:

 

Fur and Feathers

FurFeathers_187By Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

When Sophia dreams that howling winds whisk the fur and feathers right off her animal friends, she shares some of her clothes with them. But her clothing doesn’t work well for the animals. Seeing their disappointment, she offers to sew each one the “right” coat. Animals line up to explain what they need and why. Polar Bear needs white fur to stay warm and hide in the snow. Fish needs scales, but with slime. Snake needs scales too, but dry ones. And how will Sophia make a prickly coat for Porcupine? The award-winning team of Halfmann and Klein (Little Skink’s Tail) reunite to bring animal coverings (and classification) to life in an imaginative way.

 

If a Dolphin were a Fish

Dolphin_187By Loran Wlodarski, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

“If a Dolphin Were a Fish” is the clever story of a dolphin who imagines that she is a fish, a turtle, a bird, an octopus, or even a shark or manatee. She (and the readers) learn just how special she really is and how special each of her other sea animal friends are too. The Creative Minds section has teaching trivia, crafts and games related to dolphins and some of her sea-creature friends.

 

If You were a Parrot

Parrot_187By Katherine Rawson, illustrated by Sherry Rogers

“If You Were a Parrot” is a whimsical book that has the child imagining what life would be like if he or she were a pet parrot. The parrot’s special feet allow it to climb curtains, bookshelves, and plants. The hooked beak lets the parrot chew all kinds of great food: seeds, nuts, chair legs, popsicles sticks and all, and even a telephone directory! Join the parrot as it goes through its daily routine of climbing, chewing, eating, bathing, and finally, snuggling down for the night after a long day of parrot fun. The “For Creative Mind” section has parrot teaching trivia, crafts and games to supplement learning.

 

Little Skink’s Tail

Skink_187By Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

While Little Skink hunts yummy ants for breakfast, she is suddenly attacked by a crow! But she has a trick to escape she snaps off her tail, and it keeps on wiggling! Little Skink is happy to be alive, but she misses her bright blue tail. Little Skink’s Tail follows Little Skink as she daydreams of having the tails of other animals in the forest. Readers will enjoy pretending with her, trying on tail after tail. The first is too puffy-fluffy, and another too stinky! Then one day Little Skink gets a big surprise and she doesn’t have to dream of tails anymore. The “For Creative Minds” section has information on tail adaptations and communications and a mix-and-match tail activity.

Tweet us your costume pictures @arbordalekids by October 31 and one lucky winner will get a copy of all four of these books!

Read a Book Day: Arbordale staff picks for young and old!

Saturday September 6th is National Read a Book day, and as you may guess we don’t need an excuse to pick up a good book. So we asked some of the staff at Arbordale what they are reading this week and what they would pick from the Arbordale Collection to read to young ones!

Heather, Public Relations Coordinator

HeatherWilliamsFur and Feathers is my Arbordale pick. I have been flipping through the new fashion magazines and who doesn’t love a book about dressing up. Kids even learn what kind of fur, shell, feathers or scales an animal should have.

I am reading The Sleepwalkers Guide to Dancing. I was initially intrigued by the cover and I love books that explore give insight into different cultures and have twists and turns throughout the story.

Tyler, Digital Content Manager

TylerStoeMy pick is Where Should Turtle Be? by Susan Ring and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein. Sea turtles are my favorite animal and I love the artwork in this book.

I will be rereading the Harry Potter series this fall because I am getting ready for a trip to Universal and Harry Potter World. I am really excited!

Emily, Education Programs Manager

EmilyGoochAnimalogy by Marianne Berkes is my Arbordale pick the simple text and illustrations flow so well together.

I’m re-reading my favorite book Mr. Palomar by my all time favorite author, Italo Calvino, after I stumbled upon an article written by his daughter. Palomar is hilariously thought-provoking as he contemplates nature, society, and the universe.

Donna, Editor

DonnaGermanI am reading Death Without Company: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson as a total escape.

And for kids I would read Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis. I think that children can identify with the bear cub especially when he is sucking his paw.

Jordan, School and Library Sales

JordanFredricksonZ: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler As an English major, I’m required to love the works of the great American authors of the 1920’s but recently I think I’ve come to love their wives even more. “Z” gives you a glimpse in the not always bright and shiny but incredibly interesting lives of the Fitzgerald’s as they write books and travel the world, and I just can’t put it down.

The Giraffe who was Afraid of Heights, is my Arbordale pick because it is a cute story about friends getting over their fears together!

 

Happy reading this weekend, and please share with us what you are reading, we love to discover new books!

If you want to learn more about our suggested titles go to Goodreads!

Back-to-School Fiction Reading List

Now that back-to-school season is upon us, it’s time to get the kids back into reading so that they will be 100% prepared for the first day of school! Check out these great books to add to your back-to-school reading list.

Count Down to Fall_COVER_3 Zoo_187 Even_187
Count Down to Fall | ‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day | My Even Day

Count Down to Fall: The first day of Fall is September 23 this year! Celebrate the upcoming season with a countdown of all of the different kinds of falling tree leaves.

‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day: There are only a couple of weeks of summer left! Make time for one more trip to the zoo–but don’t forget to read this fun story about zoo preparation first!

My Even Day: Get back into the swing of things when school comes back around by refreshing your memory of all of the even numbers with this quirky story!

 Giraffe_187 Sort_187 DeductiveDetective_187
The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights | Sort it Out! | Deductive Detective

The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights: Are we a little anxious for the first day of school? Read how the giraffe overcame his fear of heights so that you can figure out how to overcome your own fear of going to school!

Sort it Out!: Now that it’s almost time to go back to school, it’s about time to start getting all of our new back to school supplies sorted and organized! Read about the different ways that Packy Packrat was able to sort out his collection!

Deductive Detective: Help Detective Duck deduce who the cake-eater could be from all of the clues left behind in this fun mystery story.