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For the Child in All of Us

page_1_thumb_largeAlbert Einstein once said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Inside My Imagination ($15.95, Cuento de Luz, Age 5-7) by Marta Arteaga is a captivating book about a girl who enters a magical paradise, all created by her own imagination. She “breathes in a story” while taking young readers through her mind and ever-changing random thoughts. Her visions are enchanting, and she tells us how they flow together making her more and more creative and giving her more and more original ideas.

The hardcover book is of the highest quality, and the delightful illustrations by Zuzanna Celej are misty and imaginative, perfectly fitting for the somewhat poetic prose.

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The true beauty of Inside My Imagination is that it encourages readers to think outside the box. It lets them know that it is perfectly okay to use their imaginations, and in fact is a wonderful thing to do. It can take them to never before explored places and send them on a path of discovery of new ideas. More importantly, it teaches them that their imagination is what gives them the freedom to be themselves.

– Reviewed by Debbie Glade

Make Art a Part of Your Every Day Life

Debbie Glade reviews a creative and resourceful book about how to bring art into your child’s life.

Art is Every Day: Activities for the Home, Park, Museum, and City ($16.95, Zephyr Press, Adults) by Eileen S. Prince is your go-to guide for helping your child experience art in every day places. This meaty paperback outlines 65 unique projects for parents, grandparents and teachers to share with the children in their lives.

One of the projects in the book is creating a Photo Design Quilt. Essentially children take photos of patterns they see around the house, print them out on paper and create a quilt-like pattern. A few of the many other ideas include making vegetable prints by cutting veggies and using them like stamps, drawing noises and smells, drawing using only Primary colors and color rubbing leaves you find in a park.

The author writes a nice narrative for every project, explaining what skills that project will teach the child, as well as concepts to discuss with the child. I like the fact that the author suggests ways you might wish to modify the projects. This encourages creative thinking in the child and may inspire them to come up with their very own art projects.

Art is Every Day truly inspires kids to think like an artist no matter where they are. And with a book like this, readers quickly learn that creating art is simple, fun and affordable. After reading it, I felt like weaving paper with the stack of old magazines and catalogs I have.

The only suggestion I have that could make this book better would be adding more color photos.

Let’s Put on a Puppet Show!

Making Puppets is Fun for the Whole Family!

Regular contributor, Debbie Glade, tells us how easy it is to create a clever puppet character.

61oertvi26l_sl500_aa300_I’ve often read that children who perform regularly for their families are more successful in school and in their careers years down the road. I think the reason for this is that it brings out creativity and develops social skills at an early age. 10-Minute Puppets ($10.95, Workman) is a fabulously creative book. The author, Noel MacNeal is a puppeteer and a producer and performer for Sesame Workshop. He was also the voice of the Bear in Disney’s The Bear in the Big Blue House.

I’ve always been fascinated by puppets, because they are such fun to make and such fun to use. Parents and grandparents delight in watching their kids perform too. In 10-Minute Puppets, you’ll get endless ideas about how to make everything from finger puppets to shadow puppets. You can even make your own hand puppet simply by attaching eyes! What I love about the book is that some of the puppets can be made in just a few minutes, with supplies you are sure to have hanging around the house. There are even instructions on creating theaters and tips on how to put on a great show. In the appendix are a bunch of fabulous templates you can use.

This is an ideal book for parents to buy so they can keep their kids entertained. It is also perfect for elementary teachers and day care centers to get the creative juices flowing in the classroom – in a most fun, educational and affordable way.

debbiegladeDebbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.

You Can Change The World

31 Ways to Change the World (Candlewick Press, $8.99, ages 8-12) is reviewed today by Debbie Glade.

0763645060med31 Ways to Change the World is the result of suggestions from thousands of children. The theory is that “Small Actions x Lots of People = Big Change.” Inside this ultra colorful and busy book are 31 really cute and crafty, yet simple actions we can take every day to make the world a better place to live. I love that the book teaches kids about consumption, waste and preservation, plus treating others well. For example, Action #11 teaches you to the love the stuff you already have. Other actions include teaching your granny to text, giving people compliments, taking shorter showers and not starting a war. Hey, maybe this book should be for adults too. In any event, the premise of 31 Ways to Change the World is all for the greater good, and it really is clever. I’m sending my copy to my daughter, who is a freshman in college. I know she’s going to love it. She’ll particularly enjoy Action #25, which is “Talk Trash to Your Parents.”

debbieglade1Debbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.

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