South American books and animals and such


Honestly, I was kind of bleah on the books we got from the library this time.  Nothing to truly inspire great projects.  So our lapbook for this is rather bland, and forgettable.

So, all I have to share with you are lots and lots of animal printables.  Nothing exciting, but my kids still love to do these.
Tree Frog and Army Ant
Tapir and Macaw
 Sloth and Jaguar
Fruit Bat Boa Constrictor
My kids continue to be fascinated by anything and everything that a jaguar can eat, probably because of their love for GO Diego GO, much to my dismay.  As annoying as I find it sometimes they’ve learned a lot from the show, and they do incorporate it into their play A LOT.

013Since I have nothing exciting to say about these, but still wanted to share them, I’ll show you an amusing picture of my kids.


So, I’ve taught them a “bad habit,” I firmly believe the best way to eat Wendy’s fries is to dunk them in a frosty, and I’ve taught my kids.  Then they started getting silly, and using them as straws.

I’d show you our other exciting South America forays, but really the closest was the crayon resist, and it didn’t turn out great.  So all in all, I found our trip to South America disappointing, but I console myself with I can do it again and BETTER when we go back to individual countries, and by that time I’ll have had more time to dream of ideas.  Sigh……….

What we read the week of April something to something

Wonderfully original title I know, but I was feeling lazy.  And I know we read lots more books, but these are the ones I particularly remember.


Boa Constrictors– to continue my kids obsession with all things animal.  This one was okay, but not AMAZING.  But, my boys thought it was the coolest thing in the world that the snake could swallow a rabbit whole.  Yes, they’re definitely boys.


Two Bear Cubs– I thought they weren’t super interested in this, but then they wanted to read it again.  The two bear cubs are playing in the river, and are having fun when they fall asleep on a rock that grows into a mountain.  Mother Bear searches all over for them and gathers other animals to help her look.  And, in case you’re wondering we read this as part of our study in California.  I hadn’t realized El Capitain was in California, I always thought it was in New Mexico.  Well, now I know better.  As a side note, this would be a super fun book to act out if you had a larger group of kids and a playscape.

Sea Elf– This is about sea otters, who I always think are cute and fascinating.  I find it interesting that they hammer a shell open to get at the meat inside.  My kids enjoyed it, but were a little confused by the idea of you laying in bed and then becoming the sea otter.  The method of transformation was confusing, not that you were.


Butterfly Fever, this was the subject of our start last week, but they’ve kept it hidden in their rooms with the boys taking turns “reading” it.  Very cute story.


Poison Dart Frogs– have I mentioned my boys liking things that are gross?  Well this is a series of books aimed at that concept.  And it fits in well with their other obsession, animals.


Berenstain Bears and the Real Easter Eggs– this is another one that has been the subject of many fights over who gets to take it to bed.  My kids go on Berenstain Bear kicks and then everyone wants to have all of the books in their room.  And apparently it’s time for another round.


Well, that’s what I remember of what we’ve read.  This is the downside of writing my post after I’ve taken them back to the library, I don’t always remember everything.


Now head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns to find out about other great books!

MckLinky Blog Hop

stART: South American inspired


love and roast chicken

This isn’t particularly inked to anyone book.  We’ve been reading lots of books about South America, and every single one of them had me thinking of crayon resist painting.  So finally, after readin “Love and Roast Chicken” (which to be truthful would have been a great one for making stamps, because it reminded me of wood carving drawings, but we didn’t have the styrofoam……), we finally had time to do the craft.  It seems like lately all we’ve been doing is run errands and do stuff all over.  Oh, that totally reminds me I need to check out a book soon……  It’s totally a  spring book.


Supplies: crayons, paper, watercolors,……


The kids were somewhat thrilled with this, but really they just wanted to get to the painting.  Valerie, from Frugal Family Fun (if you don’t read her blog, head over there now, she has BRILLIANT ideas), said gauchos are the coolest thing from South America, and we talked about them and how they’re like our cowboys as we colored pictures of them in  bright colors.  Except for Batman, who decided his gaucho would be black.  I’m not kidding, black, all black.

Sadly, they weren’t super interested in gauchos.  It would have helped if I could have found any books on them at all to show pictures, or anything, but no, not at our library.  I even talked about how they had lassos and boots…….  But no, just give me the paint Mom.

I kept encouraging them to color it all in, and color hard, but they weren’t really interested.  But, finally we got to the watercolor, and they’re interest perked up a little.


And paint they did.  I thought watercolors would be a little harder to stain yourself with, and that we wouldn’t need baths after this….. But, NOOOOOOO.  Princess still managed to paint herself and need a bath afterwards.  This did make us a little late for the next thing we were supposed to be doing.  I’d have a picture of her painting, but as soon as she was done she stripped herself naked, and ran to the bath tub declaring “I take bath first!”  With the boys chasing after her, “No we’re taking a bath first.”

For those of you with lots of kids of both genders, how do you handle this whole bath thing?  We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re too old to take one together, but it’s an hour plus process once both sets of kids take baths.  I suppose we could go upstairs and I could just run between the two bathrooms to keep an eye on them, but that doesn’t seem like a good plan.  I’d get a lot of exercise…….


End result:  the pictures were muddy, the crayons resisted okay, but it wasn’t super amazing, that the kids oohed and aaahhhed over.  I remember doing this in elementary school and being amazed.  I’m wondering if she used tempara paint that was watered down.  I don’t know for sure, but ours were rather blah.

I’m thinking next time we’re going to use cool-aid paint that I’ve seen over at Superheroes and Princesses and Frugal Family Fun those keep turning out bright and colorful.  That seems like the plan to me.

So, for more great book-inspired art projects head over to A Mommy’s Adventures.

What we read this week, a bit of a surprise to me

Well, usually I’d do a carousel here, but it looks like most of the books I want to spotlight aren’t there.  So, I’ll just do the ones that caught me by surprise because I had to read them each about 10 times, and I only exaggerate a little.


Happy as a Tapir-This is a strange little zoo where the animals at night take off their animals suits and talk with their friends, twice  a year they trade suits.  The little guy who is the tapir isn’t allowed to trade yet.  And, therein lies the problem, and he comes up with a solution, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is.  I swear this week I’ve read this book to them 10 times.  3 times in a row the first time we read it.  I am rather tired of this book, and I think the other “animals” were kind of mean to him, and I thought it was odd, but my kids LOVE this book.  Seriously, I’ve read it to them more times than I can count.


Up and Down the Andes– Is a story about the Festival of the Sun God in Peru and how everyone is gathering for it.  I loved the pictures, and I’m trying to think of how we could do a cool project to go with it.  I”m thinking some kind of crayon resist.  Again, we read this one two times in a row.


Deer in the Woods– I randomly had Batman insist I had to read this one to them again, and then he wanted to take it to bed with him.  This is unusual because he usually wants Scooby Doo for his bedtime book.  So, I was pleasantly surprised by that one.


Cassio’s Day–  The day in the life of a Brazilian kid.  Okay, so I have this dilemma, and I’m trying to figure it out.  In the book they would put in lots of words in Portuguese (I’m remembering correctly, that Brazil speaks Portuguese right?), and I was kind of frustrated by it because they weren’t always translating what it was so I was having to guess what it was, and all in all it just felt awkward.  So, does anyone know of some good day in the life books for different countries?  Honestly my kids had very little interest in this, but they’re more into animals.

Here’s the South America and Wisconsin books and a couple random other books we read


How’s that for a post title?  I’m sure all of those “pro-bloggers” would be rolling over in their graves……

First let me tell you about the books we read that I couldn’t put in the carousel because Amazon doesn’t like them as much.  Okay, I really don’t know why they won’t let me put it in there.

Jaguars– the kids loved this because Diego has a baby Jaguar, and they were intrigued to learn that people used to have jaguars as pets.


Legend of El Dorado– Ummm…..  This one was a little weird.  But, it did lead to some fun discussions about what other people believe.  The kids were amused that they believe a giant dragon was god.  But, I don’t think I’d really recommend it for preschoolers.  It was just a little odd.  Though, I did love the illustrations, they were so bright and vibrant.

World Book Encyclopedia presents Rain Forest Animals–  I LOVED this one, and maybe I’ll accidentally forget to return it to the library.  Okay, that would be a very expensive way to buy it.  But, it’s a nice concept.  They go through and present a few different animals of a certain type and give you some fun facts.  Then after five or six animals have been introduced they do a puzzle page.  You know, find five bats, how many claws does the sloth have?  So on and so forth……

Now to the ones in the carousel

The Little House Books– we checked out about four or five of these.  The kids were kind of luke-warm on County Fair, but enjoyed it.  It’s a nice story about a young boy waiting to see if he wins a prize.  I like the simplicity of it.  The Deer in the Woods is about when Pa goes hunting to catch a deer, but doesn’t bring home one because he wasn’t willing to shoot a mother deer with her baby.  Which of course led to a great discussion about hunting and when you should and shouldn’t hunt, and why did he need to hunt.

Edwina the Dinosaur who Didn’t Know She was Extinct– This was another hit this week.  Edwina is very popular in town, and there’s a conflict between her and a boy who is trying to convince her that dinosaurs are extinct.  I highly recommend this one, for anyone who’s kids like dinosaurs or who are having problems with another kid.  It’s a good example of how to handle conflict.

Giant Ball of String– Jeff and I loved this.  The kids liked it too, but weren’t as aware of what they were doing to solve the problem. 

Digging Armadillos–  was okay.  I’m just sad because Caroline Oswald doesn’t have any books for our current set of animals, and her books were that good.  Really, they were perfect.  Now that I’ve found a book that tells exactly what I’m looking for in kid books, I’m having a hard time with the others that aren’t.

Here’s what my kids want to know about each animal: what does it eat, what eats it, and where do they live.  They also like to learn random facts about them.  Beyond that they’re not as picky.

I totally know there were a bunch more books that were popular this week, but I am so not remembering.  Well until I do head over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns for more book suggestions.