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Malamander Lapbook Freebie!!!

Malamander Lapbook Freebie!!!

Who loves a FREEBIE? I have created a fun lapbook freebie to go along with one of our favorite books, Malamander! I love Middle-Grade novels…like a LOT! One of my favorites from last year is a book that I have talked about on more than 

H is for Honey Bee- Another Home-Run from Sleeping Bear Press

H is for Honey Bee- Another Home-Run from Sleeping Bear Press

My love for the Alphabet book series from Sleeping Bear Press is no secret. I have been using them since the beginning of our homeschool journey and tie them into just about every subject. Today I want to share with you a brand new title 

The Shadow Elephant- A Tender Story of Sadness and Friendship

The Shadow Elephant- A Tender Story of Sadness and Friendship

For anyone who has ever dealt with an overwhelming feeling of sadness or depression, The Shadow Elephant will really strike a chord with you. We will all be touched by depression at some point in our lives…whether it is our own or that of a friend or loved one. Shadow elephant is a gorgeous new picture book publishing in September that tackles this topic so tenderly and beautifully. It is both a story of sadness, but also of friendship. I can’t wait to share this one with you.

Shadow Elephant

Picture books have an ability that very few books have. They have the ability to take a difficult topic and present it in such a beautiful and relatable manner. The topic of sadness and depression is such a relevant one in our lives today, yet it is still a topic that people steer clear of. It is still taboo. People are afraid to speak about it for fear of what others will think.

Shadow Elephant is the story of an elephant who is so overwhelmed with sadness that his entire world is blue and covered in shadows. In contrast, all of his animal friends on the Savannah are so full of light and color. I was so immediately struck by the images. The shades of blue and the posture of the elephant just convey so much pain and emotion.

Elephant’s friends hate to see their friend so sad. So, they decide they want to do all sorts of things to cheer him up. They try to make him laugh and do things that he has always loved in the past. Nothing seems to work. The animals leave their friend, defeated by their inability to help him. Elephant has reached his lowest point. He is alone with his sadness. Then a mouse appears and asks to sit next to Elephant to rest. Mouse doesn’t try to make Elephant laugh or smile. She just sits there and shares the same space with Elephant. Mouse begins to share her story and before long elephant is crying. Then Mouse begins crying. It isn’t long before the new friends have cried their last tear and both feel so much lighter. Elephant emerges from the shadows, and together with Mouse, they begin to walk away.

My Thoughts

Wow, you guys. This book really hit me. The combination of the beautiful writing by author Nadine Robert and the emotive illustrations by Valerio Vidali were simply amazing. This book is going to stick with me for a long time. There are very few picture books that so delicately and tenderly tackle the topic of sadness and depression. I was truly blown away by just how well they conveyed these deep feelings of sadness. The shadows and the blues, the different postures of the elephants…just WOW. Perfect.

One of the things that I loved the most about this book was the emphasis that it is OK to feel your feelings. Even though Elephants friends had wonderful intentions when they were trying to cheer him up and make him laugh, Elephant really just needed to feel his feelings. He needed someone like Mouse to just sit with him and BE. Not be happy, not pretend everything is OK. Just BE. It is OK to cry, and sometimes it is just the release that we need.

What a wonderful book this would be to help kids understand feelings that they may be having, or to help them better understand what friends or family may be going through. We need to have more books that address the topic of depression or any type of deep feelings. We often think that picture books have to be cheerful and happy, but I honestly think that books like The Shadow Elephant are SO necessary and important.

For More Info

I would like to say a huge thank you to my friends at Enchanted Lion Books for sending this my way for review…and for publishing such incredible books.

The Shadow Elephant will release on September 22nd, 2020.

https://amzn.to/316L8a1

The Shadow Elephant is a beautiful and tender story dealing with sadness and friendship
Away with Words- The Daring Story of Isabella Bird

Away with Words- The Daring Story of Isabella Bird

Are you someone who feels most comfortable and content when you are at home or do you thrive out in the world? I absolutely love going out and exploring…but, I am such a homebody. I feel most content and happy when I am at home 

Drop in to The Booknerd Cafe!

Drop in to The Booknerd Cafe!

Calling all Booknerds!! Have we got a place for you! My dear friend, Arlene, and I have co-created a fabulous Facebook Group called The Booknerd Cafe. It is just for booknerds! If you are a booknerd, bookworm, book hoarder, booksniffer…whatever you want to call it…this 

State Park Observation Sheet Freebie!

State Park Observation Sheet Freebie!

State Parks are such amazing educational resources! I have been blown away with the things we have learned during our visits to the many Florida State Parks. We have learned about beaches, sea creatures, mangroves, manatees, Florida History…you name it…we have learned it! Does your home state have a great State Park System?? I wanted to create a printable that we could take with us to record some of what we experience! So I thought you guys might like one too!

State Park Observation Sheet Printable

One of our favorite things to do when we visit our State Parks is to look for as many birds and animals as we can find. That is usually pretty easy to do here in Florida!

I thought it would be fun to have a sheet to record our findings at each of the State Parks we visit so I created this simple printable. It has a place for the kids to record the park we are in, where it is located, when we visited, and record some info.

Since we also have a State Park Passport book from the Florida State Park System, I thought it would be fun for the kids to illustrate their own “stamp” based on something they observed at the park!

I would love to see yours if you guys decide to use them! Tag me on Instagram and I will share in my stories!! I hope you enjoy it!

To read more about Florida State Parks click here.

Friday Freebie- Reading Log!

Friday Freebie- Reading Log!

It has been a minute since I have shared a freebie!! I am super excited about this one! My good friend Arlene and I were talking about reading logs (I mean, who doesn’t, right?) and she said: “Hey, you should create one”. It just so 

A Ben Of All Trades- A Stunning Look into the Life of Young Benjamin Franklin

A Ben Of All Trades- A Stunning Look into the Life of Young Benjamin Franklin

We all know about the many accomplishments and contributions of Benjamin Franklin. He was such an important person in the history of the United States. But, what was Ben Franklin like as a child? A Ben Of All Trades- The Most Inventive Boyhood of Benjamin 

Music For Tigers- A Captivating Middle-Grade Read

Music For Tigers- A Captivating Middle-Grade Read

There is nothing better than getting so entranced by a book that you are able to finish it in one day. Music For Tigers completely captivated me from the very first pages. It was full of lovely and diverse characters, adventure, mystery, messages of conservation, and so much heart! A truly beautiful combination!

Music For Tigers

Music For Tigers is the beautiful story of a young girl named Louisa. Louisa is from Canada, but finds herself having to spend the summer in Tasmania with her uncle…who has been described to her as “a little odd”. Louisa is less than thrilled to be in the wilds of Tasmania…first off, her uncle is definitely a little strange, and second…there are way too many creepy crawlies for Louisa’s taste. She is a violinist who would much rather be playing music than trudging through the bush.

It isn’t long before Louisa realizes that there is much more to her uncle and his camp than meets the eye. He has some very interesting pets, there are strange odors in the night, and she hears tales of a place called Convict Rock. Louisa finally begins to learn more of the story through a series of journal entries made by her great-grandmother Eleanor. It would seem that Convict Rock was established as an animal sanctuary by Eleanor to protect the Tasmanian Tiger. It has long been believed that the Tasmanian Tiger was hunted to extinction…but…could it be possible…that after all this time, there is still one out there?

My Thoughts

I absolutely adored this book. Author Michelle Kadarusman is a beautiful storyteller. This was the first book I have read of hers and I am eager to read more. She transported me to the wilds of Tasmania…I could almost see the ginormous spiders!! I love that she tackled so many important topics in the pages of this book. Topics like species extinction, environmentalism, neurodiversity, and anxiety are woven beautifully throughout the pages.

The relationships in the story were so beautiful. Being able to watch the bond grown between Louisa and Uncle Ruff was so heartwarming. I also loved seeing such a special friendship build between Louisa and Colin. It is such a breath of fresh air to read a book with characters that are so relatable and so real. I also absolutely loved the strong message of conservationism!

I was completely captivated by Music For Tigers and I think you will be as well. This would make a wonderful book to read aloud with your kids. I would also highly recommend this book as an addition to any unit on the environment or species extinction!

For More Info

Music For Tigers was released on April 28th, 2020 and is available for purchase! Sending a huge thank you to my friends at Publisher Spotlight for sending me an ARC of this beautiful book for review.

Music for Tigers is published by Pajama Press.

Our Favorite Energy Bite Recipe- Free Printable!

Our Favorite Energy Bite Recipe- Free Printable!

Do you have a food that is a staple in your house? For us, it is Energy Bites! The kids make these weekly and the whole family loves them! They are super easy and relatively healthy…I mean…they have chocolate chips…but those are mostly healthy, right?