The Blog For Kids

This blog is for kids!
The posts you find here will be mostly for children ages 5 to 10, with some stuff for younger or older kids.
Happy reading!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Maddie Makes a Mess

In honor of Free Comic Books Day, here is a Maddie comic.
Click on each page to see it bigger.
Warning: preschool humor!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pair of Picture Pie Charts 2nd edition

Math is for installing lightning rods.

Math is for using a good stain remover on your laundry.

Math is for fun with pie charts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Author Visit with Jeannie Brett

Maine is home to many beautiful wild animals.
Maine is also home to author and illustrator Jeannie Brett.
Jeannie recently treated her young Maine readers to a visit and signing at Nonesuch Books in South Portland, where she read her newest work of art, Little Maine, a board book featuring riddles about Maine animals. Guests listened to Jeannie read, answered the riddles together, then colored birds and added them to a big felt moose. Jeannie also treated everyone to an illustration demonstration! Here is a short video of Jeannie drawing Maine animals.

Check out Jeannie's web site!
Little Maine is the first of a series of board books published by Sleeping Bear Press.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lost and Found

Have you ever lost anything?
Did you find it?
This is what usually happens to me!

1. lose expensive item
2. realize a week later that you've lost expensive item
3. look for item
4. wait one hour
5. look for item

6. try to remember when item became lost
7. try to re-create steps of when item was lost
8. look for item
9. get annoyed
10. give up

11. consider buying new item
12. refuse to buy new item
13. look for item
14. insist item must be around somewhere
15. look for item

16. give up
17. order new item
18. keep looking for lost item anyway
19. new item arrives in mail
20. find lost item

Has anyone seen my


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blue Shaker (fiction)

“Pass the corn, please.”
Kami passed the corn.
“How was school?” asked Dad.
“Fine,” said Kami.
“Boy, everyone is so talkative tonight!” laughed Mom.
“Just tired, Mom. Pass the salt, James,” said Kami.
“More like bored,” complained James as he grabbed the salt shaker and started to hand it to Kami. Instead of handing it to her he decided to slide it across the table, hard.
The lighthouse-shaped salt shaker slid, then tipped, then spun and flew off the table. It crashed to the floor, breaking and spilling salt in an arc across the tile.
No one moved. “James, just because family dinner isn’t exciting enough for you is no reason to break things,” said Dad.
“I didn’t mean to, Dad! Seriously, it’s just an old salt shaker! Of a lighthouse, for cryin’ out loud. We live a thousand miles from an ocean! ” He got up from the table to clean up the broken pieces.
“Stop,” said Mom, “Everyone just stop. James, I’ll get that in a minute. Sit down. I want to tell you something.”
“Great, a lecture,” said James.
Dad raised his hand and started to bring it down as a fist onto the table.
“No,” said Mom, “Not a lecture. A story.” Everyone waited.
“My grandmother gave me these shakers when I visited her in Maine when I was ten. She died the next year.” Tears welled up in her eyes.
“Sorry, Mom,” mumbled James.
“It’s okay, James. I’m not really sentimental about stuff. It’s just stuff. It’s just that you reminded me of a story.” She pushed her plate away and leaned forward against the table.
“Grandmother collected salt and pepper shakers. She had a tall glass cabinet full of them. I loved how different they all were. Some were identical pairs, like these lighthouses. Some were things that go together, like a horse and a cart.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “She never put salt and pepper in the collection shakers. Anyway, the shakers we always used at the table were very plain. The salt was in a blue bottle and the pepper was in a red bottle.” She twisted her napkin.
“Looks like no one’s hungry anymore,” said Mom.
“I’m going to collect salt and pepper shakers,” said Kami. Mom smiled.
“That’s a wonderful idea, Kami, but there’s more to the story. When your uncle and I were really little, about four years old, Grandmother babysat us while my mother was at work. We had this little game. Uncle Will liked pepper on everything. He’d sing 'I’m a red sh-shake-er!' Looking back, I think he put up with pepper on his food just so he could use the red shaker. He loved the color red.”
Mom took a sip of her water then continued. “So, I was the blue shaker. I couldn’t let him out-do me, so I’d dance around, shouting 'I’m a blue shaker, shaker, shaker!' We’d pretend the salt and pepper were talking to each other.”

“That is so lame, Mom,” said James.
“Is not!” answered Kami.
“Well, we were little,” said Mom, “One day the blue shaker fell and broke. I cried and cried. Grandmother tried to calm me down, but I was inconsolable. She said I could choose a set from her collection, but I wanted to be a blue shaker. It was like the blue shaker was me, broken on the floor, and my brother was still on the table, without me.”
Dad reached over and held Mom’s hand. She smiled.
“But it was just a salt shaker, right Mom, not you,” said Kami.
“Right, Kami. And we’re a family. James, you are more important to me than that lighthouse.”
Dad squeezed Mom’s hand and said, “But there’s a piece of you inside that will always be a blue shaker.”
James got up from the table and picked up the broken lighthouse. “I’ll glue it back together, Mom.”
“Yeah,” said Kami, “Or the pepper lighthouse will be lonely.”

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Think About It: Octopuses (non-fiction article)

***This article is mostly true.
Four sentences are NOT TRUE.***
Read, think, and research to find out the truth about octopuses.

Octopuses are an ocean animal belonging to the cephalopod group of invertebrates. They live most commonly in warm ocean water and are bottom-dwellers. Octopuses eat crayfish, crabs, and mollusks.
The octopus body is soft and has eight arms with rows of suckers. Octopuses use several strategies for protection, including camouflage, ink squirting, losing an arm, and biting with their strong beak.
Octopuses use their arms for a wide variety of tasks. They are intelligent animals, able to learn by watching the behavior of other octopuses.
An octopus behavior recently reported is an amazing ability to use coconuts as a tool for survival.

Scientists working in Indonesia have observed Veined Octopuses carrying empty coconut shells to hide in.
These octopuses crawl to a coconut tree at night to choose a coconut of a useful size. They then use their strong arms to crack the coconut shell against a rock. The octopus carries the two shell halves under its body, walking as if on stilts. A Veined Octopus will keep the same coconut shell until the shell is no longer of a useful size.

The Veined Octopus joins other tree-climbing octopuses, such as the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

Use these sources, along with others, to decide which four sentences are false:
(You HAVE TO check out the first link! It's GREAT!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pair of Picture Pie Charts

Math is for staying out of roads.

Math is for wearing helmets.

Math is for having fun with pie charts.
Come back another day for a new pair of pie charts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow Fun

Do you recognize any of these characters?

The side of our shed looks friendlier...for now!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Whole Nother Story (book review)

This is a very funny book. And it's humorous, too, in case by 'funny' you thought I meant 'odd'. In both cases you would be correct.

Here is some advice: you should keep a box of tissues handy while reading this book. Because when you laugh yourself to tears you wouldn't want to use your socks, particularly if you've named them Steve.

Not to mislead you, this story does involve some danger and misfortune, otherwise the spies and secret agents would feel irrelevant.

Without giving anything away, I will let you know the ending is quite satisfying, and not just because you've reached the last page and can say "Well, that's done."

So, if you want to enjoy an entertaining story, or want to change your name and need some suggestions, read this book.

story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
illustrations by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Have a Heart

When you
...share a laugh
...share a joke
lend an ear
lend a hand
...return a favor
...return a smile
give some time
give some care some joy some love

Then you
have a heart...and...have a friend

<3 Dawn

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Name Games (activity)

I've posted before that I think names are fun to think about.
Sometimes names have interesting meanings.

So, I am reading A Whole Nother Story (very funny, by the way).
Names are a big part of this story. If you read the book, you'll see what I mean.

This book inspired me to have a little fun with names today.
Can you tell what all these names have in common?

Megan Trump
Bella Ursa Tate
Lilly Olive Long
Quinn Thompson
Opal Marie Good
Beth Fran Ford
Ben Brett Quigley
Owen Johnson
Isaac Caleb Umpire

Check out the pictures below to see the answers.

(their initials all say/ mean something :)
You can click on a picture to see it larger.
Do YOUR initials say something?
Do some artwork with your name!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Alliteration Day!

Today is an alliteration!
My first graders discovered that today is:

Friday, February fifth!
All three words begin with the same letter.

We figured out how many days that is possible in a year.

Can you figure it out??
How many times will it happen in 2010?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

PBS Kids Writing Contest!

Calling all kindergarten, first, second, and third grade writers!

You can enter this contest. Yeah, there are prizes, but it's the fun of writing a good story that matters.

Go to this site for more information and to hear last year's winning stories:

this picture: Sam types his story

Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's About Time (a one act play/ comedy of errors)

Cast: Reporter (R) Writer (W)

Scene: Bookstore

R: Tell me about your book.
W: It’s about time.

R: I’m sorry I was late! So, how does your story begin?
W: ‘We’re all out of time.’

R: We just started! Could you explain the major conflict in this book?
W: Time is wasting away.

R: I couldn’t agree more, so how about if you just answer the questions!
What is the most important theme?
W: We can make time.

R: It’s about time!
W: Exactly.

R: Well, good, now we're getting somewhere. What is the title?
W: Take Your Time

R: I was done the question. Just tell the title.
W: That was the title.

R: What was the title?
W: Take Your Time.

R: Right, well, Can you tell me where the story happens?
W: In another time and place.

R: Well, so much for setting. How do the characters try to resolve the problem?
W: Stop the clock!!

R: Wow! It must be such a gift to be hit with inspiration!
W: There's no time like the present.

R: Okay then…Do the characters' actions resolve the problem?
W: That was a waste of time.

R: Well, thank you anyway. Is there a lesson to be learned here?
W: Better luck next time.

R: I don't think so, but I hope you hit the big time just the same.
W: It’s about time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Supersister (book review)

Supersister is a book about a girl who can do things herself.
She is brave! She is helpful!
And her best work is yet to come.
Read Supersister to find out why!
This is a super book!

This is a picture of the author, Beth Cadena, reading Supersister
at a signing at Borders in South Portland, Maine. Guests at the signing made their own super masks. Thanks, Beth! We love your book!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Little Poem for Haiti

Thousands of hearts are but one,
Beating the rhythm of love.
As the gift is sung
It sends a sound
To those in pain and strife.

Thousands of hearts are but one,
Seeking the music of hope.
When the song is done
It tells the truth
It is life, it is life, it is life.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reading Resolutions

The new year is three weeks old. Did you make New Year's resolutions?
A resolution is a promise. Many people make resolutions to eat healthier, be kinder, or do more volunteer work. Those are just a few examples, but people can make any kind of resolution they want.

Why not have a reading resolution!
You could promise yourself to read more comics, more magazines, more chapter books, or whatever you feel is important to you.

Here is a reading resolution project that is important to many people.
The project is called People of Color Reading Challenge.
One of the best things about reading is you get to meet lots of different people. This project will help you meet all kinds of interesting people!

To do the challenge, go to the website by clicking this picture. It is an adult site, so ask a grown up for permission and help.
On the website you promise yourself to read books by and/or about people of color. That's it!
There are lists of titles on the website to help you find books, but most of these books are for teens or older.
You don't have to read the books that are listed, though.
I happen to have, right on my desk right now, a great picture book with a character of color .
It is Not Norman by Kelly Bennett. Great book!
I hope this reading resolution comes true for you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wall of Wisdom

No Wall of Wisdom would be complete without a picture of
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The link below has lots of great information and pictures that you can use to add to (or start) your own wall of wisdom.

What is your favorite quote from Dr. King?
Write it down and hang it up!

clip art from

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kids Can Do It Update

Gabrielle Fuller, age 8 from North Carolina
Isabella Penola, age 12 from New York
have won a writing contest!
They won's "Be a Famous Writer" contest.

Their stories will be made into a video, which you can see on in March. Powell's Books is giving them a gift certificate to its bookstore.
Gabrille and Isabella will also get a copy of their story as a real book.
Gabrielle's story is called "Pretty Princess and Funky Frog."
Isabella's book is called "Spattered Mud and Crushed Petals."

Congratulations to these two young writers!

You can enter's writing contest in September. Start writing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Collections (project)

You probably know what kinds of books you like. Do you like mysteries or adventures? Do you like books about snakes or horses? When you go to a library or a bookstore, you probably look for books that you like. If so, then you already know what kind of book collections you have, or would like to have.
Maybe you collect books from a certain series or books by the same author. You might like fairy tales and have several that would make a collection. I have a collection of Christmas books and buy a new one every December. I also collect cat picture books, and picture books about Japan (here are some in this picture).
You might discover that you have a book collection you didn't know you have!
Look through the books in your house and see if some of them go together (are similar in some way). You could display them like a bookstore would and play 'bookstore'. Get a date stamp and cards and play 'librarian'! Or you could just put similar books together on the shelf.
The next time you buy books, which collection would you like to add to, or what kind of collection would you like to start? Make a list of books you would like to look for.
The kinds of book collections you have tell a lot about you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Acrostic (poetry)

An acrostic is a poem that usually begins each line with a letter so that the beginning letters spell a word going down.
You don't have to worry about rhyming, just have fun!
How would you write an accrostic with the words WINTER NIGHTS?

Windows are lit
In the
Neighbors' houses,
Though it's the dark

No one minds being
Inside when the
Gnawing cold
The frozen
Shadows outside.