Go Away, Big Green Monster!

Need a fun, quick read to get your kids (and you) smiling? Try my favorite monster book:

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Book Info

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (January 1, 1992) Fiction or Non-fiction: Fun, fun, fiction
Ages: 3-6
Theme: Monsters ūüôā Imagination and Conquering Fears

Opening Sentence: “Big, green monster has two, big yellow eyes”BGM2

Synopsis: The book takes you page by page introducing the monster and all his scary features. Then you work in reverse through each feature again, telling the monster, “You don’t scare me! So go away scraggily, purple hair” etc. until you come to the fun ending “And don’t come back… until I say so.”

Why I like it:¬†It’s just plain fun (and very short) ūüėČ I’m also a sucker for books with cut out pages, or moving parts. LOVE THEM. This one is so entertaining with the layering and how it works so perfectly building up the monster, then taking him away again. Simple, but brilliant!

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Activities:

BigGreenMonsterPlaydough
Click Here to see on http://www.makinglearningfun.com

Literacy Activity

Coloring, Lesson and Snack Time Ideas

Face Pieces Coloring Page

Video

Song

 

Buy the book on Amazon.com

See a complete listing of ¬†‘Picture Perfect Books’ here


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Famous Authors Interviews – Words of Wisdom

Be prepared to be shocked… authors, even the extremely famous ones , are real people – like you and me. ¬†I know, shocking huh? ūüėČ

Honestly though, while I’m glued to my computer for my day job, I enjoy listening to interviews with these real people. Their¬†thoughts are inspiring and motivating – especially if you’re a writer too.

I was capitvated by J.K. Rowling’s interview with Oprah (see below). If you have 45 minutes it’s worth the watch (or listen, like I did). If not, I’ve included links to some other famous childrens author interviews I enjoyed (that are a lot shorter).

Be prepared though – you’ll want to write as soon as you’re done listening. Might want to save some time for that for later.

— click on the author’s name to see the video —

Author InterviewsJ.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series) -CLICK HERE-:

She is the ultimate rags to riches story. One of my favorite things about her is her ability to remember what life was like before fame and to not lose sight of that. So refreshing!

Jon Scieszka (True Story of the Three Little Pigs) – CLICK HERE-:

What a funny guy. I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on reading and boys – how they struggle to read more than girls. I just enjoyed this interview in general, his happiness is contagious.

Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) – CLICK HERE-:

I enjoy Spinelli’s writing style – so I was eager to hear his interview. I loved that hated¬†reading the required reading in school because I always struggled with that as well.

Beverly Cleary (Ramona and Beezus) – CLICK HERE-:

Beverly was a children’s librarian before becoming an author. She got in to writing because the children weren’t satisfied with the books that were available.¬†She never received a rejection letter – ever!

 Lois Lowry (The Giver) РCLICK HERE-:

Lois Lowry dropped out of college and finished after he children were all in school. She never submitted a story formally. She was approached by an editor and asked to try writing a story for children – which turned in to her first novel.

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Mo Willems

Mo Willems (Elelphant and Piggie, Pigeon) -CLICK HERE-:

Mo fell into writing almost by accident, but man am I glad he did. I LOVE the Elephant Piggie series.

Katherine Paterson (Author of Bridge to Terabithia) -CLICK HERE-: 

She stresses the importance of reading as an author. She also talks about the real life death that inspired the book The Bridge to Terabithia.

Kate DiCamillo (Author of Because of Winn-Dixie, Mercy Watson) -CLICK HERE-: 

Kate says she loves to finish stories but doesn’t actually love to write them. Each morning she has to convince herself to get the writing done.¬†Man, I can relate to that some days.

Before you head off to to do some writing yourself, would you share comment below about something that motivates you to write? Thanks!

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When life gives you lemons, better buy some sugar.

Happiness Door

The man looks at me then at my overflowing basket of groceries. He raises his eyebrows and turns,¬†sealing¬†his single apple in the plastic bag with a twisty tie. I know that look. I know what he’s thinking and¬†the answer is yes, it’s 10 pm and yes, those are ALL my groceries.

I used to love¬†grocery shopping. I made elaborate shopping lists and spent hours during the day checking every item off. ¬†I nodded as I passed the other moms with screaming kids – avoided eye contact with the ones that looked really ticked off. Stopped to chat with every old lady that that cornered me to say, “Your daughter has the most beautiful red hair.” And bribed my kids more than once with candy so they’d stay in the cart. Life was good. I was on the stay-at-home¬†mom team and this is how we did grocery shopping.

Then the rest of life happened. My kids got older. My husband’s teaching salary didn’t stretch as far as it used to and I started working. Now with all four kids in school, the carpooling headache that goes with that and a part time job to fill in the dull spaces, I find myself doing the weekly grocery trips¬†late at night.

Shopping_cartI may not be on the stay-at-home mom grocery team anymore, but I ‘m still on a team. Most of it’s made up of businessmen in plaid shirts and flat front khakis. They look like they’re buying just enough food to get through the night. We¬†have gym-goers¬†whose taut glutes make the rest of our team question the choice to put¬†three packs of oreos in our carts. We have¬†a few single parents who I nod at respectively while they attempt to hush their¬†screaming child in pajamas. And me, cart overflowing with goldfish and carrot sticks. Call us the Bad News Bears of the grocery world, if you want.

In reality, my Bad New Bears aren’t my favorite grocery companions (shh.. don’t tell my teammate who just finished lifting). I like the chatty old ladies, and not being the only one in line with a full basket – but this¬†is what life is for me now and that helps me see there’s not a perfect formula for happiness in life (or grocery shopping). Every version of life has bitter moments and sweet ones. Being a stay-at-home¬†mom was wonderful, I loved grocery shopping during the day but tired of being on call for my children every hour of every day. Now, as a working mom, I no longer have to change diapers or wake up with kids at night but do miss the snuggling and random stillness when all the naps magically aligned.

I was happy then, I’m happy now. And hopefully I’ll be happy in every phase to come – even when¬†I’m the old lady cornering a stay-at-home¬†mom in the bread aisle to tell her how beautiful her daughter’s hair is.