Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Read & Romp Roundup: March 2014

Welcome to the March Read & Romp Roundup! Women's History Month was celebrated widely in March, so several of the submissions feature women who have broken boundaries in the world of dance -- the African American ballerina Janet Collins and the inspiring dancer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker. And of course, no roundup would be complete without picture books and movement ideas to go with them, which are also included. Enjoy!


At Good Reads with Ronna, Rita Zobayan reviews the popular new picture book A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream by Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper. "Inspired by the story of Janet Collins, the first African American ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream is a story of high hopes and grand dreams," says Rita. Read the full review to see why this "wonderful tale of courage, perseverance, and determination" brought tears to her eyes.

Kidlit Celebrates Women's History Month hosts special guest blogger Kristy Dempsey -- the author of A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream. What a treat! Hear from the author herself about her inspiration and experience writing the book. "A Dance Like Starlight is my song of thanks to all the women throughout history who have shown us who we can be and have given us an example to pursue our dreams with passion," Kristy says.


At Booktalking #Kidlit, Anastasia Suen features the new picture book Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby and Christian Robinson. Josephine struggled in her early life but became a celebrated dancer and performer after moving from the United States to Paris in the 1920's. Anastasia's post includes a snippet of text from the book, which is written in free verse. It also includes a book trailer and plenty of examples of the book's illustrations, which are stunning.


Maria from Maria's Movers shares some creative activities to go with the picture book The Squiggle by Carole Lexa Schaefer and Pierr Morgan. With her younger students, Maria used long colorful strings (as squiggles) to explore some of the ideas from the book, and with her older students she made up string dances!


And finally, don't forget to check out the March Book to Boogie post at the Library as Incubator Project. Dance educator Liz Vacco shares movement ideas to go with the classic picture book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. She includes ideas for both younger and older students and recommends music to go with the movement!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Story


A lot of movement-themed picture books are not the best bedtime picks because they can rile up little ones and make it hard for them to fall asleep. But Good Night, Animal World -- a new children's book by yoga teacher and independent author Giselle Shardlow -- was written to be read specifically at bedtime.

The yoga-inspired text and the illustrations by Emily Gedzyk are all meant to help wind children down at night so they can relax and sleep well. What a great premise -- and one that definitely got me excited (especially as a mother) to look inside this book!

Inside, six characters take readers to six parts of the world -- Australia, England, Guatamala, India, Tanzania, and the United States -- to say goodnight to animals from those specific regions. Each page shows an illustration of an animal, accompanied by some simple text (some imagery about the animal and a goodnight message) and a yoga pose. The 13 poses in the book, chosen for their calming potential, include forward bends, restorative poses, gentle twists, and some inversions.

Below is the "turtle" page from the book, followed by a book trailer that includes other images from the book plus some book reviews -- all set to relaxing music, of course!



It's actually hard to see how children wouldn't be calm after finishing this book. "Embrace their creativity and let them experiment with the poses. Whatever helps them release extra energy before bedtime is the perfect pose," says Giselle. The poses are even laid out in a sequence that facilitates flow from one pose to the next. And my favorite part of the book? The resting pose at the end! Just thinking about it is making me super sleepy… I think I need to take a rest!

This post is part of a blog tour hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews, where you can also see the full schedule for the tour. To learn more about author Giselle Shardlow and her series of Yoga Kid Stories, go to her website at www.kidsyogastories.com.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Join the March Read & Romp Roundup!


Today's the official call for submissions for the March Read & Romp Roundup! If you have a recent (or even not so recent) blog post that involves picture books or children's poetry AND dance, yoga, or another form of movement, leave your link in a comment on this post. Or, you can reach me on Facebook or Twitter to let me know about your link. I'll round up all the links and post them together in a few weeks. Hope you can join us this month!

Submissions are open through Monday, March 31, 2014. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Read & Romp Roundup: February 2014

Welcome to the February Read & Romp Roundup! As usual, we have a nice mix of submissions this month, including some poetry. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the reading -- which will hopefully lead to some romping as well!


Amy at Picture-Book-a-Day is back to share a short review of the new picture book A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream by Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper. The book is set in the 1950's and tells the story of a fictional African-American girl who sees the first "colored" prima ballerina --Janet Collins -- perform. The review is part of a roundup that includes some other recent picture books:  Don't Play with Your Food, Mr. Flux, and Yellow is My Color Star.


Amy was also featured in the February Book to Boogie post at The Library as Incubator Project. In her post, she summarizes the picture book Move! by Robin Page and Steve Jenkins and describes her ideas for using it to inspire movement during library story time.


Elly at Yoga & Creative Movement with Elly suggests retelling the classic picture book Fortunately (by Remy Charlip) through movement games and yoga poses. She also suggests having kids tell, act out, or write their own story in a "fortunately…unfortunately" format. Check out her post for all the details!


Kathleen at Wild Things Yoga is a kindred spirit with a love for picture books and movement, especially yoga. This month she shares a lesson plan -- a shorter version for preschoolers and kindergartners and a longer version for first and second graders -- for combining yoga with the picture book The Leopard's Drum by Jessica Souhami. The book, which is a West African tale about a leopard who doesn't want to share a huge drum he makes, also lends itself to discussions about fairness and problem solving.

And last but not least, two guest dance educators join Maria's Movers to share their experiences using different kinds of poetry in their creative movement classes. Becca Beck and Kerry Bevens discuss building dances around poems, using poems as warm-ups, exploring nursery rhymes in class, and more!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Poetry Friday: I'm a Little Snowman!

Happy Poetry Friday! This poem's an original that was published in the February 2014 issue of Highlights High Five magazine, posted here with permission from Highlights for Children, Inc. It's an action rhyme, recited to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot" but with a snow-themed twist. The cute illustrations of the snowman are by Gary LaCoste, and the photos are by Guy Cali Associates, Inc. After you read this post, you can check out Karen Edmisten's blog for more Poetry Friday fun!


I'm a Little Snowman, short and round.
Here are my eyes and the arms you found. 
When the sun in springtime hits the ground, 
See me vanish without a sound.
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