Monday, March 9, 2009

Margot Apple's Birthday

Born in Dearborn, Michigan in 1946, illustrator Margot Apple turns 63 today! I'm featuring a couple of her works as reviews for today!

Danneberg, Julie.
Cowboy Slim.


Charlesbridge Publishing.

Slim has always dreamed of being a cowboy. However, when he finally has the chance to reach for his dreams, he discovers that he isn't your typically cowboy - unable to lasso a dogie, has trouble riding. Slim doesn't give up though. He continues to attempt to be the best cowboy he can and during a thunderstorm, very unexpectedly, Cowboy Slim finds himself saving a herd of cattle just as they near the edge of a cliff. It wasn't his ability to rope, whip or ride that saved the herd though. Instead, their fears of the storm were calmed by his poetic words.

This is a cute story that children who love playing cowboys will enjoy! Apple's brightly colored illustrations, show the emotions that Cowboy slim is feeling as he fails to succeed as a "catalog cowboy" and would allow even pre-readers to imagine a story on their own.

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:
Shaw, Nancy.
Sheep on a Ship.


Houghton Mifflin Company.

Much like Shaw's other "Sheep" books, Sheep on a Ship takes readers on another hilarious adventure! The rhyming text will keep readers on their toes and alert at all times. This series of "Sheep" books seems as though it would act as a wonderful introduction to rhyming words and word families in the early elementary classroom!

The sheep have once again set out on an adventure, they're out to sea on the ship. During their trip, while the sheep are napping, a sudden storm comes up. As the ship shakes about, the sheep wake up, only to discover that they need to move quickly if they are to survive the sinking ship. Tearing down the masts, they quickly create a raft and jump off the ship. Luckily, they were able to out-ride the worst of the storm and can see land on the horizon and glad that that trip is behind them!

Related Teaching Activities:
Other Books in the "Sheep" series:
Root, Phyllis.
The Name Quilt.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

I almost wanted to cry as I read this story - it was that sweet! Grandma teaches Sadie an important message - a message so important, everyone should have this book as a reminder that it's not the material things that we have but the memories that are found within us that allow us to remember people and events of the past. I honestly believe that this book belongs on every bookshelf!

Sadie is spending the summer visiting her Grandma and as part of each day, when Sadie is tucked into bed at night with Grandma's "Name Quilt," she chooses a name off the quilt and Grandma tells her a story about that name. However, one day, the pair decides to hang out the linens to air out and set off for a day of fishing. They tire quickly and lay back for a nap. When they awaken, the sky has clouded over and strong winds have begun. The name quilt, along with all the other linens blow away in the wind. That night, Sadie feels sad that the name quilt is lost. However, Grandma quickly shows her that even though the material item (the name quilt) is gone, the memories remain. Together, they set to work to create a new name quilt and even add a new name to it - Sadie's!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' Deanna H. said...

My mom collects children's book about quilts. I haven't heard of the Name Quilt before but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for the review!