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Showing posts with label pigs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pigs. Show all posts

The Year of the Pig -- Fun Facts, Craft Round-Up and Book Review

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is officially the Year of the Earth Pig according to the Chinese Zodiac. I thought it would be fun to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a look at fun facts about pigs as well as the Year of the Pig and of course some pig crafts and a fun Chinese pig story. We will start with fun facts about pigs!!

Saving Marty -- a Wonderful Middle School Book

Disclosure: Penguin Random House was sent me this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

Today I am going to share with you a book for middle schoolers that had me engrossed. The book is Saving Marty by Paul Griffin. Lorenzo Ventura is eleven and he lives with his mother and grandfather. His father died in the war. His best friend is a Colombian Korean American girl who wants to be a famous singer. His mother is always worried about money and keeping the farm. They live in rural Pennsylvania. When his mother sells the pigs that a neighbor left with them

50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids - Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent a this ebook to review free of charge from Georgina Bomer. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.


Continuing on our theme of National Craft Month, we are reviewing another wonderful craft book, 50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids by Georgina Bomer. This book is available in paperback through Amazon, Kindle version, or ebook through Craftulate Shop.

Winter Wonderful DVD Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: NCircle Entertainment gave me a copy of the DVDs free of charge and is supplying the ones for the giveaway free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the DVD on NCircle Entertainment's site for your convenience. You can also find their DVDs at local retailers!


Today we are sharing four fun DVDs with you and at the end of the post there is a giveaway for all four!! Thank you to NCircle Entertainment for providing these DVDs.

Virtual Book Club for Kids: The Amazing Pig by Paul Galdone


It is time for the Virtual Book Club for Kids!! This month the featured author is Paul Galdone. Since so many of his books are classic tales, I considered doing Cinderella and counting it as my Fairy Tales in Different Cultures, but to be very honest, I couldn't think of a fun craft or activity to do that we haven't already done with some form of Cinderella. So we decided to feature The Amazing Pig.


For those that do not know about the Virtual Book Club for Kids, a group of blogs bring you a club where each month an author is chosen for us all to feature a book of our choice from that author. Then we have a blog hop where anyone can link up a craft or activity to go with a book by the chosen author for the month. The blogs that bring you the Virtual Book Club for Kids are:
Toddler Approved- The Educators' Spin On It- Rainy Day Mum- 3 Dinosaurs- Learn~Play~Imagine - Crafty Moms Share - Reading Confetti- Inspiration Laboratories - Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Kids Yoga Stories - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom- Ready-Set-Read - Boy Mama Teacher Mama - PlayDrMom - Fantastic Fun and Learning - Growing Book by Book- Royal Baloo - The Outlaw Mom® Blog - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Teach Preschool - Mama Smiles - Coffe Cups and Crayons - Juggling With Kids - Here Come the Girls-

The Amazing Pig is a Hungarian folk tale. A king proclaims that whoever can tell him something he does not believe can marry his beautiful daughter. The son of a peasant decides to have a try at it. When he gets to the castle he joins the long line of noblemen, princes and knights. He watches many of them leaving upset. When it is his turn the peasant's son tells the king about his family's amazing pig. He tells him how it lays eggs and his father cuts bacon from it every day. He continues his story how the pig goes to the tailor and buys the family's clothes with coins he picked up on the road. The story goes on and on and the king keeps saying, "I believe you," until the peasant's son says he hired the king's grandfather to be a swineherd. Since the king says it cannot be true, the peasant's son marries the beautiful princess. They live very happily and then the peasant's son inherits the kingdom. The people of the kingdom say he was the wisest and most honest king. They believed everything he told them except the story of the pig.


To go with this book, I thought we would make a pig craft. I found a simple one made of hearts at DLTK Kids, Heart Pig Paper Craft. I thought one made of hearts was perfect for the week of Valentine's Day. I printed out the template in color and in black and white, however Hazel had a busy weekend and did not finish coloring the black and white one. Here is our finished color one. We somehow lost one of the feet, so I cut out another heart from pink paper.


I also did some worksheet type activities. The first is a page of different activities and the child needs to determine if it is a true activity for a pig or a false one. I mostly used pictures from Microsoft Word Clip Art and they had pigs doing all sorts of different things. Then the letter of the week last week and this week in Hazel's class is P, so I made up one where she had to read words beginning with p and then a table of pictures and words where she looked for what rhymed with pig. If you would like a copy of the worksheets you can get them here.

Now I also want to share with you that besides being Valentine's Day, Friday is also International Book Giving Day. Since the purpose of the Virtual Book Club for Kids is to introduce new authors to children and to get them to read more, I thought this was the perfect time to share the International Book Giving Day. It is a day to give a child a book or donate a book to a library, classroom or charity. We are giving Hazel a book, a book to her classroom, a book to our public library and our public library has put together a book drive for an organization that provides books to children through doctor's offices and we bought a bunch for that as well. I hope you will join us in giving children books on Friday!

Now for the blog hop!! If you have done any activities or crafts to go along with a Paul Galdone book, come share it here and also come check out all the amazing ideas others have done with his books.


Friendship with Charlotte's Web



Some Pig!This weekend Hazel and I went to the local music theater to see a production of Charlotte's Web. Now I have fond memories of the book and story from growing up, but I haven't read it (or seen the movie) since I was a child. In preparation of the show, I took the book out of the library. I also found the picture book, Some Pig by E.B. White at the library.

We started with the picture book, but I was disappointed that it really only told the story of the first chapter. Charlotte was not introduced in it at all. So then we started reading the original Charlotte's Web. We would read a chapter or two a night. Hazel really enjoyed this. I also wanted to prepare her for the ending with Charlotte dying. I must admit at first Hazel had trouble keeping the characters straight, especially only reading a chapter a night. But at the end she knew who was who by name. We finished reading the book last Monday night. We went to the show on Saturday.
Coloring Page Source
Now we have gone to this theater to see Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs and Rapunzel. (We have tickets to see Cinderella's Wedding, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast this summer there.) At the end of Charlotte's Web, Hazel cried. She cried because it was over and she did not want to leave the theater. She wanted to see the show again. I convinced her to stop crying by telling her we would break our no television rule and let her watch the movie, so we had to make a trip to the library before they closed Saturday to get the movie. She also announced that Charlotte's Web was her favorite show of them all. I was a little surprised since we had already seen Rapunzel, but she liked Charlotte's Web more. 



Now my favorite part of this story is the friendship. There are so many wonderful messages throughout this story. First there is the message when Fern asks her father how it is fair to kill the pig just because it was born small. 
"'But it's unfair,' cried Fern. 'The pig couldn't help being born small, could it? If I had been very small at birth would you have killed me?'"
Such a wonderful message about nature and God's creatures without the religious part even being mentioned. For those that do not know the story, her father let's her keep the runt of the litter and she names him Wilbur. Well, Wilbur grows quickly under Fern's care and eventually her father says it is time to sell him. He decides she can offer him to her uncle who lives down the street for $6 and that way she can visit Wilbur any time she wants. So Wilbur moves to the Zuckerman's farm and lives in the barn cellar. 

Around the barn cellar are the sheep who do not want much to do with a pig, a rat named Templeton and a goose who is sitting on her eggs waiting for them to hatch. Wilbur is looking for someone to play with him like Fern always did. Then he hears a voice saying she will be his friend. Wilbur does not see who is talking since it is night time, but is happy to have a friend. The next morning he discovers his new friend is a spider who eats flies or rather drinks their blood and is named Charlotte. This disgusts him a bit, but a friend is a friend and he was desperate. 

The sheep and rat tell Wilbur that the people are fattening him up so they can kill him for meat. He becomes distressed. Charlotte promises him that she will find a way for him not to be killed. She finally thinks of one and begins writing messages in her web. The messages are "Some Pig", "Terrific", "Radiant" and "Humble." The Zuckermans become famous for having a pig so special that there are words in a spider web. They enter him in the county fair and decide if he wins he will not be killed. At this point Charlotte is becoming very weary and needs to lay her eggs before she dies, but she goes with him to the fair and writes "Humble" in her web there. He does not win the first prize but gets a special ribbon that is even better. Therefore, he is saved. This is when he discovers Charlotte will not be returning to the farm with him since she will die in a matter of days. He takes her egg sac home with him with the help of Templeton. 

Now my favorite quote of the story is Charlotte's response to Wilbur's question of why she wrote the messages in his web. 

"'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you.'"

 With this story being about friendship, it seemed only fitting that we saw Hazel's best friend at the theater after the show. They played for a bit outside on the big rock by the entrance. Hazel posed by the crocuses while he was on the rock (sorry I won't show you his face). I actually got some really cute ones of them both on the rock.
Coloring Page Source

As you can imagine we are thinking a lot about spiders and pigs now. I would expect you may see some crafts along those lines soon. We have already taken some books out on spiders so we can learn more about them and why Charlotte had to die. I also started a Charlotte's Web Pinterest Board if you want to see some ideas. Our favorite character in the show was Charlotte. I may have convinced Hazel to be Charlotte for Halloween. We will see if she wants to closer to the time. 

I also made her a Match Game to go with the book. Here is a copy of it if you want it.