Friday, September 9, 2011

Tubby and the Lantern

My favorite book! I remember gazing at the pictures in this one so many times as a young child. It's so enjoyable reading it with my little one and seeing him love it too.
Tubby, the little pet elephant of Ah Mee, makes an enormous paper lantern for his birthday out of all the materials in the family's lantern business. They float over the land and sea all night with the star strewn sky as their backdrop.
In the morning their lantern goes out and begins to go down over the sea. They get rescued by a ship and then escape from pirates by using the steam from the ship to fly up and away and back home.
It's a simple story with just the right balance of excitement and calmness. Add to that the cute little elephant and dreamy blue and purple palette and you have the perfect bedtime story! (Oh, and at the end of the story Ah Mee makes a bunk bed for him and Tubby to share--a great idea in my son's opinion ;-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Milk Jug Butterflies

A big thanks to all my family and friends who wrote to help me not feel homesick. You all are great :-)

Now, for the butterflies.... It was so much fun making these little guys for our window:
I've had the idea bookmarked on the computer for weeks now, but it calls for a plastic milk jug and our grocery store only sells cardboard cartons. We finally made a special trip to the grocery store further down the street to get some milk in a plastic container. The beauty of this project is not only in the end result, but also in the simplicity. All we did was print out some butterfly shapes, tape a piece of plastic over them, and color them in with permanent marker! My little one did the bright colors first and afterwards I used a black sharpie to trace over the butterfly lines that showed through from the printout below. I cut them out and put rolled over scotch tape on the back and he put them up on the window.

 We've been enjoying a book recently that goes along beautifully with this project. It's called "I am a Bunny" and it's illustrated by Richard Scarry. Check out this page:
After making our first three butterflies that came on the printout, we picked out three more from this page to do freehand. Now we just need to go look up the names for some of them! The rest of the pages of this book have similar beautiful drawings full of things in the meadow where the bunny lives...daffodils, summer rain, fall leaves, snow. My favorite is a page filled with dandelion seeds flying through the air. Nearly every page is worthy of being framed!

Here's a link to the original idea. About halfway down the post you'll find the pdf file that has the three butterflies you can print and trace.