Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter bunnies

In some ways holidays are easy weeks to plan because you don't have to come up with a theme for that week; it's expected that you'll read Christmas books at Christmas, Easter books at Easter, etc. But on the other hand, there are only so many good holiday books out there. There's dozens of holiday books published each year, but I'm not going to read just anything at my storytime... there, doesn't that sound snooty enough? But truly, so many of these books are disposable, meant to be purchased by parents just because it has "Valentine's Day" or "Halloween" on the cover, and with no regard to the quality of the writing on the inside. Ok, enough ranting. I knew this was going to be a fun storytime as one of my moms had agreed to bring her bunny for all the kids to see and pet. But we started off with a few decent holiday books...

Book 1: My First Easter by Tomie dePaola
A short board book illustrating some of the things that happen around Easter. Nice that it includes both the religious and the secular: there's an egg hunt and new clothes for church on Sunday. I do just love dePaola's illustrations. He makes everything so clean and simple, and yet there's always something more to find in all of his pages.

Book 2: Owen's Marshmallow Chick by Kevin Henkes
Another great board book by a wonderful author/illustrator. Owen gets a number of different candies in his basket, each one named his "favorite" before he eats them up. Then he comes to the marshmallow chick, the same color as his blanket. Instead of eating it, he plays with it all day and calls it his "favorite" before he puts it on his shelf with his toys. Very cute and you can just see the excitement in Owen's eyes as he picks up each item in his basket.

Book 3: The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen
Before I brought out our "surprise guest", I read this story about the supposed origins of the Easter Bunny as a pet white rabbit in the home of an old couple who dye eggs, weave baskets, and deliver them all to the village children on Easter. Then one year the old couple are still asnooze when there is work to be done, so the bunny finishes their tasks and delivers the baskets. Little by little the bunny takes over, then moves to his own place with his own troop of bunny helpers to get all the baskets made and delivered each year.

Book 4: An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston
Actually this would be book 2.5, as I read it between "Owen's Marshmallow Chick" and "The Story of the Easter Bunny", but only for the daycare groups where I didn't have the live bunny coming. A beautifully illustrated book, it shows the wonderful variety of eggs: bird eggs, insect eggs, fish eggs, and more. A peaceful book that still manages to engage and astonish kids of all ages.

Experiment: Vacuum/Egg experiment
I had video taken of this as well, but my helper had the camera turned the wrong way, so until I get that figured out, the still photo will have to do.  I've always wanted to try this experiment, but didn't think of doing it here until a coworker suggested it. You light a small piece of paper, drop it in a flask, then immediately put a hard-boiled egg on top. The vacuum created by the fire sucks the egg down into the flask with a satisfying pop! And, if you have a neck that is just a little bit too small (like I did), then it also tears the egg in half.  Naturally there was a little talk about fire safety beforehand, but the kids just loved it. Hooray for science!

Theme used week of March 29, 2010.
Next week, we're talking about rainbows.

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