Perfect Picture Book Friday: BOY + BOT

Astute Creating Curious Kids readers know that I typically review nonfiction books each Friday. However, I was lucky enough to win a copy of Ame Dyckman’s first picture book, BOY + BOT, on Tara Lazar’s blog. After reading our new book to more than 20 children over a couple of days, I knew I had to review it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.
Title: BOY + BOT
Author: Ame Dyckman
Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino
Publication Info: Knopf Books for Young Readers, April 10, 2012
Intended audience: Ages 3 through 5
Genre: picture book
Themes/topics: friendship
Opening and synopsis: ”A boy was collecting pinecones in his wagon when he met a robot.
‘Hi!’ said the boy. ‘Want to play?’
The robot blinked. ‘Affirmative!’”
This is a tale of an unlikely friendship — boy and bot — and how they both care for each other in their own way. When bot’s power switch gets turned off, boy thinks he’s sick. When boy goes to sleep, bot thinks he’s ill. The boy feeds bot applesauce; the bot feed boy oil. The boy reads the bot a story book; bot reads the boy an instruction manual, and so on until both are healed.
Why I like this book: I recently read this book to a preschool class of both boys and girls, and both were captivated. This book’s brief text and bright illustrations –by none other than Dan Yaccarino — are perfect for story times or reading at home over and over again.
Resources: Have children imagine what they would do with a robot friend if they had one. What would they play? How would they make their robot friend feel better if he was sick? Using the story framework, older children could rewrite the story with their own words and images.
Making robots out of cardboard boxes is also fun, though you could also do it with a paper bag. Cut a slit up the center of the box or bag, so it opens like a vest. Cut holes for the head and arms. Decorate with dials, switches and gauges made of cardboard, crayons, marker, etc. You also can make mini recycled robots out of toilet paper rolls and pipe cleaners, which I described in our Earth Day post.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.
Arts/Crafts, Field Trip Ideas

Earth Day: Loving the Landfill

Waste Management's Julianne Haness shows us what's recyclable.

Each year, my MOMS Club tours the local landfill in honor of Earth Day. The field trip is always a big hit with kids and moms alike. What child wouldn’t enjoy meeting a garbage truck that holds 10 elephants worth of trash?

And this green gal always learns something new. Obviously your local recycling rules might be different but I realized:

  • I can get additional recycling and green waste cans for FREE! I have a second recycling can on its way.
  • Juice boxes, including orange juice cartons are recyclable.
  • Any plastic, even if it doesn’t have the recycling symbol, goes into the recycling bin.
  • But, keep the styrofoam out of the recycling, even if it has the recycling symbol on it.
  • Never throw greasy paper plates and pizza boxes into the recycling. These are broken down in the equivalent of a big blender to make new paper products. The grease can’t be removed.
  • Key takeaway: when in doubt, throw it into the recycling bin. They’ll sort it out later.
We learned a new recycling song, sung to a tune reminiscent of an Army march. I kept wanting to chant, “Sound off, 1, 2. Sound off, 3,4” each time we sang it.:

“I recycle you should too

I recycle yes I do

Don’t throw paper in the trash

Paper needs another chance

Take  your cans and give ’em a smash

Don’t throw your cans in the trash

I recycle you should too

I recycle yes I do” (courtesy of Waste Management)

Even if you can’t visit the landfill, you can create your own Earth Day fun:

  • Make recycled paper. Create a small screen by laying a rectangular piece of mesh over four popsicle sticks, one for each edge. Attach the mesh with a stapler. Have your child tear up old newspaper. Add it to your blender along with a little water. Adult, blend up your paper mush. Your child can carefully scoop out the paper mush and press it onto the screen, pressing out as much water as possible. Wait until it dries, and voila, paper.
  • Make robots out of toilet paper rolls and pipe cleaners. This comes from FamilyFun (click on link for picture and details). Paint the rolls with acrylic paint. Punch two holes for arms. Cut the pipe cleaner in half and twist each half around a pen to create coiled arms. Attach them at the holes and paint on your robot design.
  • Enjoy some Earth-friendly books. We recently enjoyed Compost Stew and This Tree Counts, which were Perfect Picture Book Friday recommendations.

This year, Earth Day falls on Sunday the 22nd. How will you celebrate?