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Posts Tagged ‘Lois Ehlert’

Leaf Man

November’s already on its way out, and before all the trees are completely bare, I needed to actually talk about fall kinds of things–like leaves, maybe.

So before Thanksgiving, I whipped out one of my favorites: Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. I’m always looking to stretch my kids’ imaginations and this book, in conjunction with Look What I Did with a Leaf! by Morteza E. Sohi does just that.

Ehlert begins with a Leaf Man–one meant to travel on the winds. And that he does, flying over rolling mountains, leaf animals, foliage, and crops. Eye-catching colors and interesting design elements (the page tops curve or zigzag here and there) keep the class focused, as do the illustrations made from leaves. For kinders, the ability to see past the actual object and onto another level can be a learned skill, and they take delight in being able to do just that.

I always remind my class that leaves can be found everywhere. We talk about the different kinds of leaves and acorns that we find on our campus, and that the variety is greater in the community around them. I’ve never followed up with a Leaf Man of our own, although the urge is there. I’ve got too many crafts already with the holidays, but I’m determined to squeeze it in this year after a fall walk to collect leaves. And as an extension into writing, I’m going to have them add the sentence “My Leaf Man went to _________________.” at the bottom of their art.

Following this book up with the non-fiction book Look What I Did With a Leaf! extends the project even further, for now they can contemplate elephants! Cows! Turtles! Fish!

Then, if you want another book to tie in, why not Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf , also by Lois Ehlert. All three work perfectly together, and your kindergartners will be enthralled and delighted by fall and the leaves around them.

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Snowballs

I have three boxes of snow-related winter books–and it doesn’t snow very often at all here in Southern California. Perhaps that’s why.

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of things to give my kids an idea of snow. We’ve had snowball fights with crumpled paper balls and built an igloo out of stapled-together milk jug bottoms. I don’t do either of those any longer–I have a difficult time with a single use of crumpled fresh paper and while the igloo was fun, it needed constant repair. Those staples pop.

So now I mostly stick to books. One of my more recent acquisitions is Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.

I love Lois Ehlert’s illustrations. If you go searching for her books, you’ll find a mix of realia and paper and paint. Snowballs is an excellent example of her collage techniques. She also manages to add some surprises which delight kids–in this one, the book flips to the vertical to show the various snowmen. And snowcats. And snowdogs. (I can’t tell you how much I love the illustration of Spot, and my kids form a line right behind me.)

My class loves to discuss what she used to create them all–corn, coffee beans, screws, nuts, shoelaces–no carrot noses here!

And after the read, we paint our snowmen bodies on blue 12×18″ construction paper, wait for them to dry, and then decorate our own snowmen with things I’ve gathered over the years. One-hundred collections that the children and families are willing to donate make a great selection of objects to use for embellishment.

Snowballs is a great read for this age. It’s a springboard for the children’s creativity and well worth the acquisition. This one is easily found in online bookstores.

snowballs interior

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