Picture Books Review

With the start of December and Advent, I thought I would share each post where our Mouse and the Miracle Mouse (Holy) has been up to. (He now has an elf friend named Elfie who often is hidden with him.)
Holy on Window with Angels and Elfie Hanging on Tree

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share with you five wonderful picture books that help grow imaginations and wonder. These books will help the reader learn about the world and use their imaginations. We had so much fun exploring this five books and highly recommend them. I also shared some round-ups of crafts to go with three of the books. First I am going to start with a wordless book.

Quest by Aaron Becker 

 We start by reviewing Quest by Aaron Becker. Now Quest is a sequel to Aaron's first book, Journey. We discovered Journey quite coincidentally in the summer of 2013. We were visiting my parents on Cape Cod and I made plans with a friend I have had since middle school and her family. They wanted to meet at a bookstore where Aaron Becker was doing a book signing since their son goes to daycare with Aaron's daughter. We of course bought the book and had it signed. We fell in love with it. The pictures are beautiful and they leave so much to the imagination and for the reader to find to make the story. Well, Quest does the same. In fact when we opened the package of books (and there were quite a few) from Candlewick Press, Hazel went straight for Quest and has looked at it on her own many times since. The story continues with the girl from Journey and the boy she meets at the very end of it. They get pulled into a magic kingdom that needs help getting their color from being taken away. It is such a fun and magical story. On Candlewick Press's Quest page there is a link to download the Teacher's Guide which is written by Aaron Becker and are tips on reading a wordless story to a group of children. 

Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif 

The next book is Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgitta Sif. This story reminds us to be ourselves and it is ok to be different. Frances Dean is a girl who loves to dance. She loves to dance when she is alone or with the birds.  However she is embarrassed to dance in front of people. She slowly stops dancing because of this embarrassment but is not happy. Eventually she realizes she needs to be herself and finds acceptance with her dancing.

The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham

The next book is a wonderfully creative book called The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham.  One day a young girl discovers a door in her bedroom she never saw before. She decides to see where it leads. It goes to the zoo. After visiting with the animals she decides to bring back a cuddly bear cub to sleep with her. Each day she goes to the zoo and brings home different animals. Some work better than others. It is a fun book and makes the reader think "what if". We really love this one!! To go with this book here are some zoo themed posts.

1) Scavenger Hunt at the Zoo
2) Visits to Museums and Zoos
3) Felt Zoo Preparation
4) Fabric Zoo
5) Learning about the World Through Animals

Grandma Elephant's In Charge by Martin Jenkins 

Next is Grandma Elephant's In Charge by Martin Jenkins.  I loved reading this book! It tells a story and has facts about elephants throughout it. The story itself is also a fact about elephants.  Herds of elephants usually include the grandmother and her daughters and grandchildren. An elephant is not fully grown until ten years old. The grandmother is in charge of the herd and determines where they go and protects them. To go with this book I had big plans to do some elephant crafts, but we have not had the time to do it, so I am sharing some elephant crafts we did previously and some from other blogs.
 Our Elephant Crafts and Experiences
1) Riding an elephant at a country fair
2) Gerald mask
3) Felt elephant Decoration 

 Elephant Craft Round-Up

1) From East Coast Mommy: Alphabet Series: Letter E
2) From I Heart Crafty Things: Paper Plate Elephant Puppet Tutorial
3) From The Preschool Toolbox Blog: Zoo-Themed Valentine's Activities for Preschool
4) From  I Heart Crafty Things: Cupcake Liner Elephant
5) From Craftulate: ABC Animal Handprints
6) From The Inspired Treehouse: Printable Activities for Kids: 3D Circus Stars
7) From The Craft Train: Cut & Fold Toilet Roll Elephants
8) From Buggy and Buddy: Sponge Painted Elmer the Elephant
9) From From Crafts on Sea: Suncatcher Elmer the Elephant Craft
10) No picture, From Kids Yoga Stories: the elephant yoga pose 

 On the Wing by David Elliott

Our last book for today is On the Wing by David Elliott. This book has short verses about various birds including the hummingbird, Caribbean flamingo, crow, oriole, woodpecker, great horned owl, sparrow and bald eagle. Each verse teaches a little bit about the bird. This is a fun book to learn a little bit about birds and has beautiful pictures. To go with this book I had big plans of doing different bird crafts, but again did not get around to them. However we have done many bird crafts especially flamingos since they are Hazel's favorite.
1) Ping Pong Ball Flamingo
2) Paper Plate Flamingo
3) Handprint Flamingo
4) Pipe Cleaner Flamingo 

Some of our other bird crafts:
1) Paper Plate Ducks
2) Needle Felted Birds
3) Bird Nest Crafts
4) Peg Doll Birds
5) Pine Cone Swans
6) Birds for Our Homemade Nests
7) Bird Nest Treats
8) Gift for the Birds
9) Pine Cone Ducks

1) Felt birds 
2) Paper and Tissue Paper Birds 
3)  Paper Plate Sea Gull  
4) From Artsy Craftsy Moms: Pipe Cleaner Feather Peacock 
5 - 7) From I Heart Crafty Things: Paper Bag Crow Puppet, Toucan Craft, and Robin Craft
8) From Craftulate: Feathered Bird Craft
9) From Buggy and Buddy: Nest and Bird Craft
10) From  Craftulate: Play Dough Birds

And finally some owl crafts!

1) Cup Owl Puppets
2) From The Inspired Treehouse: Fall Nature Owl
3) From I Heart Crafty Things: Textured Owl Craft
4) From Kitchen Floor Crafts: Owl Paper Bag Puppet
5) From Artsy Craftsy Mom: Toilet/Tissue Roll Owl Craft

 You can also check out my Bird Pinterest Board for even more ideas!