Posts Tagged ‘ballet’

Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Four

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart


In today’s Getting Ready to Read Class, the letter of the day was ‘D’ and our theme was “Dinosaurs.”

The children knew some words that begin with /d/: dog, duck, doghouse, diamond, Dad (and Daddy), dig, doll, dragon and more.

We played “Simon Says.” Most of the children understood that “Simon Says” is a listening game. The key with “Simon Says” is to listen carefully. If the leader says, “Simon says do this,” then you do go ahead and do the same thing. If the leader just says, “Do that,” then you should not copy the leader. You should stand still until the leader again says, “Simon says do this.”

We also played around with opposites. Almost all of the children know that hot is the opposite of cold and up is the opposite of down. In today’s Getting Ready to Read class we tried some trickier opposites: cool (warm), early (late), tall (short), ending (beginning).

Today we also explored rhyming words: fish, wish and dish, fan, man and pan. Learning about rhyming words helps your child to develop “phonemic awareness.” You can find more information about phonemic awareness here.

Today’s Getting Ready to Read story was good fun. We read: Brontorina by James Howe, illustrated by Randy Cecil

This lovely story is about Brontorina Apatasaurus. She is just as large as you might expect but nonetheless dreams of becoming a ballerina. Unfortunately, Brontorina does not fit into Madame Lucille’s dance studio and she does not have ballet slippers. Undeterred, Brontorina attempts to join in the class. She follows all of Madame Lucille’s instructions and even pops her head through the dance studio ceiling. Fortunately, small challenges are not enough to deter our heroine and, with a little bit of problem solving and creativity, Madame Lucille finds a way to accomodate her.

Brontorina at

Brontorina at

Three “Can’t Miss” Picture Books

Posted on October 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Highlighting three special picture books for young children…

Little By Little written by Amber Stewart, illustrated by Layn Marlow

For young children who are attempting to learn a new skill, learning ‘little by little’ is a great approach to take. Here we follow Scramble, a young otter, as he learns to swim in spite of his own reluctance and unwelcome criticism from Bear and Beaver. Lovely, warm illustrations accompany a gentle story that will give confidence to toddlers and preschoolers as they take on new challenges.

Little by Little at

Little by Little at

Snow written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer
What could be more wonderful for a young child than waking up to freshly fallen snow? Ms Rylant’s evocative writing and Ms Stringer’s lovely paintings beautifully capture the wonder and delight of a snowy day. An exuberant young girl shares the special day with a friend and her grandmother. This beautiful book will surely leave you wishing for a magical snowy day to share with your youngster.

Snow at

Snow at

The Jewel Box Ballerinas by Monique de Varennes, pictures by Ana Juan

To an outside observer, Bibi Branchflower appears wealthy. She has many, many prize possessions but is terribly lonely; she does not have a single friend. One day she visits a small shop and purchases an exquisite jewel box. Upon opening the box, she is captivated by the two beautiful but sad ballerinas inside. Little does Bibi know that her purchase of the jewel box and the care she shows the ballerinas will result in an amazing transformation for herself and the dancers. This thought-provoking story is best-suited to children aged 4 and up.

The Jewel Box Ballerinas at

The Jewel Box Ballerinas at

Picture Books Exploring Individuality – Both Set in Scotland

Posted on September 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Introducing two picture books exploring diversity and celebrating individuality

Picture Books Exploring Individuality – Both Set in Scotland - ArgyleArgyle written by Barbara Wallace and illustrated by John Sandford
Picture book about individuality and self acceptance published by Boyds Mills Press

Argyle’s life was exactly the way he wanted it. He was the same as all the other sheep and that was just fine with him. While roaming the highlands, Argyle discovered some especially tasty grass and some very colorful flowers. Day after day he ate the flowers until… “One day MacDougal’s wife, Katharine, said, “Why dinna ye tell me about the many-colored sheep, MacDougal?” The ensuing fuss is not at all to Argyle’s liking. Placed in a pen by himself, he can’t roam and he can’t eat the delicious, colorful flowers. Thankfully, it does not take long in the “special” pen for him to lose his many colors. He returns to looking and feeling like a sheep and that is just fine with him.
Argyle is a lovely, gentle folk tale that reminds us being different may not be all that it seems. Sometimes being the same as everyone else is just fine.

Argyle at

Argyle at

Picture Books Exploring Individuality – Both Set in Scotland - Katie Morag and the Dancing ClassKatie Morag and the Dancing Class written and illustrated by Mairi Hedderwick
Picture book about individuality published by Transworld Publishers

Katie Morag & the Dancing Class is a new and delightful picture book from Mairi Hedderwick. Also set in Scotland, it has been decided that the Isle of Struay children will benefit from dancing classes. Despite the efforts of her two grandmas, Katie Morag has more interesting things to do than learn ballet. Much to Granma Mainland’s dismay, Katie prefers wellies to ballet slippers and never manages to arrive at her ballet class on time.

One Saturday morning, Katie misses the entire class, arriving just as The Big Boy Cousins begin their tap dance class. As those who know Katie might suspect, she is more inclined toward tap dancing than ballet and before long Grannie Island is rummaging in her cupboards for metal tacks.

Katie Morag has long been a favourite in our household. We first me her in Katie Morag Delivers the Mail and have enjoyed her many adventures and misadventures very much. There is a gentleness to the stories and a wonderful sense of community. In this book, the contrast between the two grandmas (Granma Mainland and Grannie Island) is highlighted. Of course, both want what is best for Katie but it is Grannie Island who understands her best.

Katie Morag and the Dancing Class at

Katie Morag and the Dancing Class at

For further ideas about celebrating diversity, be sure to visit our Celebrating Diversity with Picture Books page and our page with Quotes about Diversity.

If you are pulling together resources about sheep and lambs, you may be interested in our Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme printable.

image of PDF icon  Baa Baa Black Sheep

How Will You Celebrate Pink Shirt Day?

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Our next few posts will include suggestions for celebrating Pink Shirt Day.

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

The Only Boy in Ballet Class - written by Denise Gruska and illustrated by Amy Wummer

Tucker loves to dance and especially likes ballet.

“It feels right to him. Like breathing.”

His unconventional passion means that his classmates view him as weird and he is generally the last person chosen for team sports. Rather than joining other boys for football practice, he rushes to a dance class. Enroute, he endures teasing but, once he arrives at the studio, his heart swells and he feels pride in accomplishment.

At home, Tucker’s mom is very supportive of his involvement in ballet,

“I don’t like that you love to dance. I love that you love to dance!”

A visiting uncle is not nearly as compassionate. He thinks Tucker ought to play football.

An afternoon ballet recital is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his love of ballet, as Tucker takes on the role of a prince during a performance. Tucker’s mom and sisters are delighted with the show. Unconvinced, Uncle Frank remains committed to the merits of playing a more ‘manly’ sport.

While walking home from the recitial with his family, a member of the neighbourhood football team spots Tucker and asks, “Hey, Twinkle Toes, wanna play football?” With Uncle Frank at his side, Tucker is hard-pressed to say, ‘no.’ Before long he is wearing a football jersey and helmet and suddenly finds himself involved in an important play during a championship game.

“In the point of a toe, he was on the shoulders of every boy who had ever made fun of him, and they were carrying him across the field chanting, “Tuck-er! Tuck-er! Tuck-er” Even Uncle Frank was dancing.”

Although adept at using his dance steps to avoid being tackled, ballet remains Tucker’s joy and he is shocked but pleased when a group of football players decides to join his class.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class website

Best suited for children aged five and up.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at

Download our interlined paper for beginning writers

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Paper Pink Shirt Day #2

Storytime Standouts offers interlined paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our Interlined Paper page.

Additional Pink Shirt Day Resources
Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

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