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Best Children’s Books About Bugs (Insects)

Sketch of the inside of the dollhouse. The dollhouse open for action.

A sketch showing the overhead view of the factory. Sketch of the front of the factory. Goodnight Moon is a sweet, picture-postcard lullaby that has been helping young children get to sleep for years. I wanted the costumes to blend that sweetness with a bit of whimsy. My jumping-off points were vintage postcards from around and photos of early vaudeville performers. Those kinds of images have a fantasy feeling to them.

There is something fun about the clothes that is unusual—either in color, pattern or shape that makes them different from what you see walking down the street every day. In Goodnight Moon actors play characters who are animals—or even objects, like the Dish that ran away with the spoon. We also have puppet animals that look like animals Mouse and the kittens. It made sense for us to place the actors playing animals in the same world as the animal puppets by having the actors wear animal ears.

Bunny ears! Dish in performance. For the Dish, shape was one of the most important things to think about. Of course we wanted the audience to recognize she was a plate, but the actor also needed to be able to move and dance easily in the costume. Creating a skirt that would keep its round shape when she moves and repeating that shape in her hat makes it clear that she is a dish, while allowing the actor to move freely. It also makes her look very different from the animal characters.

The vaudeville research was especially great for the bear costumes. The striped tailcoats idea came from a photo of performers wearing similar coats. They seemed like the perfect thing for tap-dancing bears to wear. The mix of patterns in the coats and pants of these vaudeville performers inspired the Bear costumes. Sketch of the Bear costumes. Musical Bears playing musical chairs. Goodnight Moon is full of puppets. Douglas Paasch, who worked with SCT for many wonderful years, designed the puppets for the world premiere production in There are many different ways to make puppets and to use them to tell a story.

Are We Picking Children’s Books For Us Or For Our Kids?

A rod holds the puppet up, and attached controls make her head and legs move. This is perfect for a painting that comes to life—the painting becomes its own world. Inspiration often comes from unexpected places. There is a big puppet festival in Bulgaria every year and one year Douglas got to go to it. It was his first time in Bulgaria and he fell in love with the music.

He used a folk song he brought home from Bulgaria for the music we hear when the stuffed toys—the Giraffe, Elephant, Girl and Boy—play on the bookcase. There is nothing Bulgarian about the book Goodnight Moon, but the music created the perfect mood for the action between the toys. You just put your hands on them and move them. Because of this we see the actors when they are manipulating the puppets, and that adds the right touch to a sweet little story about cooperation on the bookcase.

The lamp is a special kind of puppet. There are cables inside it that run down through the table on which the lamp sits, under the floor and behind the wall. Then behind the wall, the cables connect to a handle that controls how the lamp moves.

A TV monitor shows the onstage action, so the person puppeteering the lamp can see what Bunny is doing and make the lamp react, surprising Bunny and the audience, too. Photo credits L-R : The lamp behaving itself; The lamp playing with Bunny; A masterfully created book makes a passive reading almost impossible. Goodnight Moon , for example, allows the reader and audience to create a story together which comes from them as much as from the pages.

Do you see the three little bears? The three bears are waiting for their friend! In this way, Goodnight Moon gives adults the chance to model creative thinking and let the child be the storyteller. Every child benefits from creative play. They need activities which encourage all aspects of creativity: elaboration, abstract thinking, the creation of unique and unusual ideas, curiosity and open-mindedness.

Picture books and the act of storytelling are both profoundly effective in engaging these skills. Picture books are also effective in developing literary skills.

In a study of students with developmental disabilities, parents and their children responded to wordless picture books by creating a narrative that used more diverse vocabulary and more complex sentence structures. We are just now beginning to fully appreciate the power of books like Goodnight Moon , which was originally published in But regardless of which title is in hand, remember that when children ask us to read them a picture book, they are inviting us to help them prepare for the future. Every child needs the opportunity to be audience, interpreter and storyteller.

Engagement with a picture book with an adult creates these roles organically and simultaneously, and plants the seeds for creative thinking — along with priceless memories of reading with someone special. Goodnight Moon is a book. And a play. It is also a poem.


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In a poem, the way words sound is important. It is as important as what they mean. The first part of Goodnight Moon sounds jumbled and exciting. We are meeting the jumbled and exciting things in the great green room. The second part of Goodnight Moon sounds more soothing. Read aloud the first words of Goodnight Moon.

The accents are underlined. It has a total of 72 words, 10 double page spreads, including some wonderful sound effects! Perfect for reading with toddlers. Another great creative commons book brought to you by Bookdash.

Curriculum Connections

Find out what happens to little ant and his love of reading, in this rhyming and wonderfully illustrated creative commons picture book by BookDash. A father convinces his children to help him decorate their Christmas tree in the hope that they will remember the true joys of Christmas Time. This beautiful Christmas rhyme is perfect to share with the entire family during this festive time. Lost and Found — A beautifully rhymed and illustrated book about a lost yo-yo…will it be found? Great for young readers and those learning to read. Another great Creative Commons book from Pratham and Storyweaver.

Kiran Kasturia, Zainab Tambawalla. This book combines rhyme, days of the week, and weather for a great learning experience.

Ook the Book: And Other Silly Rhymes by Lissa Rovetch

Another great creative commons book from Storyweaver. Also available in German. Why do bees and butterflies like flowers so much? This book helps us find out. From Mummy Nature Series: A mini nature lesson wrapped up in colour and rhyme.

See a Problem?

Rasana Atreya and Priya Kuriyan. Danny the Dragon was always causing problems with his fire, so the other dragons decide to teach him a lesson. An unlikely friend helps him out. Another great free kids book provided in creative commons by StoryWeaver and Pratham. He knows how to swing. A playful rhyming story about a sloth. Suitable for learning to read with large text size and beautiful rhyme and repetition. Another great creative commons book from BookDash. Annie Harmon. The Night Before — Have you ever thought there was a dragon chasing you? Did you wonder what terrible things they might do when they catch you?

This award winning, beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book, describes the adventure of a boy running from a huge, scaly dragon. Gabe Fankhauser. A collection of fun rhymes with pictures. Each page makes an exclamatory statement with an observation, often with alliteration.