Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rainy Day

Rainy days are part of this time of year.
After such unusually warm and sunny days, it's a little hard to appreciate the cooler, wetter weather of springtime.
I was thinking of all the books that have rain as part of the story and wanted to share one with you today. I chose Chalk by Bill Thompson.

 Chalk is an amazing wordless picture book that begins and ends with rain. I think you can tell just how cool this book is by looking at the cover alone.  Don't you want to open it and see what it's all about?

Here's a clue.

Three children walking through a playground one rainy day find a bag filled with chalk. They begin to draw with the chalk and some amazing things happen. The drawings come to life.
That's a good thing as long as you're drawing sunshine and butterflies, but what happens when you draw a sharp-toothed dinosaur?

That part is actually a little scary (the illustrations are so intense and realistic). Listeners under five years may need some extra security until the dinosaur problem is resolved by one of the children and another piece of chalk.

Inserts on several double page spreads allow you to see the "before" moment. Pause and ask, "What is that child thinking?" You can retell the story over and over, adding details, as children notice more with each trip through the book.

A wordless picture book must have extraordinary illustrations to carry the story. This one does.

Art Extension Idea:
Chalk with Water
Materials: Colored chalk, heavy white paper, small cups/bowls, water, towels to clean up
Procedure: Give children paper, containers of water and chalk. Let them draw with the dry chalk first. Next, show them how to dip the chalk into the water before putting it to the paper. Encourage them to draw as they wish. Notice and discuss the difference between the wet chalk versus the dry chalk.
Enjoy the experience of discovery and creating art together.

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