Thursday, May 28, 2009

Imaginations at Work!

I've decided to use today for some much needed review catch up! Two great books for you today - both showing the ways in which our imaginations allow us to "run wild"!

Grandits, John.
The Travel Game.
May 18, 2009.
Clarion Books.

Based on Grandits' own life growing up in Buffalo, NY (just a few short hours from me), this book literally takes readers on an adventure! Tad and Aunt Hattie have a standing tradition of breaking out the globe and George P. Smither's 1001 Pictures from Around the World and of course, your imagination! All Tad and Aunt Hattie have to do when they need an escape from the family-run tailoring business is close their eyes, spin the globe, and put your finger down on the globe. Wherever your finger is... that's where they "travel" to. Naturally, they don't actually pack up and head to that location on vacation. Rather, Tad breaks out the trusty atlas and looks up the location of where they've "landed." From there, they learn as much as they can about that city/town!

Love, love, love this book! I could see myself having so much fun "playing" this book, even as an adult! I loved it so much, I went ahead and created a companion activity to be used with the book, so head on over here and download the activity to use with the kids... heck, this might be the perfect summer vacation "getaway" for your family - all you need is the companion activity worksheet, your imagination, a globe, and internet access (I couldn't find a picture atlas that would be conducive to this activity, but if you find one or know of one, please, please, please, let me know!). The book/activity would also be a great "fast finishers" activity in an upper elementary classroom!

Here's what you do.
  1. Get out your globe!
  2. Either print a copy of the activity page, or save/open the file on the computer (I would suggest this, so you can copy and paste the flag and photos of the location)!
  3. Let your child spin the globe and place a finger on it to stop the spinning.
  4. Together, or if older children can be trusted alone, using the internet and the activity sheet, take a virtual vacation and find out all that you can!
  5. Keep your filled in activity sheet and create your own "Travel Game" book, adding each worksheet to a binder. This will make for a great resource reference for schooling/school projects in the years to come!
Also, since the companion activity sheet is a word document, feel free to edit the categories all you like! If they're too complex or not complex enough for the kids, fix 'em up to meet your needs!

Keane, Dave.
Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain.
May 18, 2009.
Clarion Books.

Bobby Bramble is constantly on the move - somersaulting, climbing, bouncing, sliding... you name it, he'll do it for sure! While it's great for a kid to be active, Bobby's activity level is a cause of great concern for his mother... she warns him constantly that fall and crack his head open like Humpty Dumpty. As a carefree child, Bobby takes little heed to her warnings! Then, sure enough... one day, it happens... and when he cracks open his head, we discover that his brain is as active as him! Somehow, the neighbors must all come together to catch his runaway brain before it's too late. I'm not going to give away the ending, but rather leave you in suspense to discover just how much humor is located within the pages of this book!

Children will surely relate to this one (or most of them will, anyways)! However, I highly doubt it will slow down the energetic child... it might actually cause them to be even more daring than they might ordinarily be! This book would be great for story hour at school or the library and would even make a great bedtime story for younger children (4-9)!

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