We’re BACK! Storytime and Pram Jam and everything is back this week which is VERY exciting and we can’t wait to see you at our Storytime and Pram Jam sessions…
But, I’m here today to talk about an author/illustrator that I really enjoy. Oliver Jeffers. And I decided I couldn’t write about the ones that have shown up in our Storytime posts before even though Lost and Found (on the blog),  The Way Back Home, and How To Catch A Star (on the blog) are all beautiful books that I love. When I was thinking about what to write in this blog I was also in the process of going through some books and came across A Child Of Books which is wonderful and prompted me to think about just how many of Oliver Jeffers books I enjoy. That book doesn’t have his illustrations in it but it’s still how I’m going to kick of the books in my blog.

Books

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers, with Sam Winston

This book is a celebration of the magic of books and reading as well as the wonderful power of imagination. And it has a very sweet story but the real power of this book is the illustrations. Sam Winston uses the text of many wonderful stories (e.g. The Swiss Family Robinson, Moby Dick, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, along with others – the whole list is on the end paper just inside of the cover) to enhance the illustrations whether it is creating waves to wondrous worlds, mountains to climb, or dark caves. The illustrations are beautiful. The newspaper picture is especially fun to read.

An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

There are a never ending number of Alphabet books out there but I really like the way that Oliver Jeffers illustrates and it’s also nice to see a non-themed alphabet book with fun things like iceberg, parsnip, and whisk.

And more books…

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s hilarious…it made me laugh when I was in a not particularly good mood. The premise is this…a kite gets stuck up a tree, the boy, and the main characters are always little boys who I suspect are all indeed named Oliver, throws a shoe to get it out and the shoe gets stuck…and that’s pretty much how it goes until the boy has a whale, firemen, and a small boat up there. Then he gets the saw. It’s okay, because finally he gets his kite back – shame about the whale.

The Day The Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt

One day a little boy goes to get out his crayons and finds letters from all of his crayons instead – some good, like the very happy crocodile colouring green while others are a little less so like the now very short blue. It’s got humour and illustrations that children can identify with. This is a lovely book. And you can check out the sequel ‘The Day The Crayons Came Home’ for more fun.

Rhymes

To celebrate his book ‘This Moose Belongs To Me‘ I thought we would have a moose rhyme:

Five Sleepy Moose
Five sleepy moose on a great big hill.
The first one said, “I like lying still.”
The second one said, “I’m about to yawn!”
The third one said, “Please don’t wake me until dawn.”
The fourth one said, “My eyes are starting to close.”
The fifth one said, “It’s time for a doze.”
So they pulled up their covers and all said, “Goodnight!”
Then the five sleepy moose were out like a light.

Craft…no an Activity

Rather than a craft today I though I would take a leaf (this is going to be funny in a minute) from the Hueys and encourage you to talk about Zero.

I’m sure you’ve heard me talk before about the amazing power of ZERO but I’m going to do it again. Zero is a wonderful number to talk about and we don’t talk about it enough. Every time we count we silently start with zero and there are some really easy things you can do that will allow children to develop their understanding of this very powerful number. Did you know that mathematicians often included something like zero in their calculations but it was an Indian mathematician that developed our understanding of just how important zero can be.

So, today I’m going to encourage you to do activities with your kids that involve counting with zero in mind.

Much like in the picture above, find things around us like leaves, toys, eggs, and all manner of other fun things and show that when we count we start with zero before we say one, and when we count backwards we always end with zero even if we don’t always say it. I’m a big fan of cooking with kids and this can be an excellent opportunity to practise number and counting skills. Ask them to get you three eggs for that cake and then count them down as you crack them (together or alone) all the way to NONE or ZERO.

I would love to know what your favourite Oliver Jeffers book is or how you like to incorporate zero into your life!