Draw Rainforest Animals by Doug DuBosque, a years-ago gift to Jane from her aunt, has been seeing a lot of action around here lately. Excellent tutorials and such fun material.
Boa by Beanie
Sloth by Rilla
Quetzal, Spider Monkey, Kinkajou by Rilla
Companion to last month’s Galloping Horse. She’s still working hard on getting those legs just so, as you see. I’m loving this chance to watch a young artist hone her skills. She’s made big strides (so to speak) already.
I believe next up is Trotting Horse. All three are from the horse page in the Usborne Book of Drawing.
detail from “Girl at Desk,” Carl Larsson
1) I like to pull out a bunch of our poetry books and let each kid (from Rose on down) pick one, and while I’m busy with something else, the kids each choose a poem to read to the rest of us. They enjoy the hunt, and I love hearing which poems have captured their hearts.
2) The Art Puzzle HD app. Another mom on my local homeschooling list mentioned it—we were sharing our favorites—and I love love love this app. You select a puzzle from paintings by artists like Van Gogh, Klimt, Bruegel*, Picasso, Renoir, and Dali. (More paintings are available via in-app purchase.) There are four levels of complexity and I’m finding even the second-easiest level to be challenging in some of these pieces—all Monet’s little dabs of color make for a puzzling puzzle indeed. There’s a gentle soundtrack of classical music (limited in repertoire but lovely choices—The Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Clair de Lune, the Elgar cello concerto I love—things I’m happy to listen to over and over, and am happy to have my kids hear). You can toggle the music off whenever you like. If you like (or wanted to like but the kids’ interest flagged) Mommy, That’s a Renoir, you’ll like this app. Best picture study resource I’ve seen in a long time. My only complaint is: no Carl Larsson!
*Wikipedia tells me he dropped the H from his name at some point. Who knew?
3) Earworms continues to be a hit with my older girls. Rose and Bean are nearly done with German Volume 2 now. Rilla and Huck have picked up a lot along the way. Jane is enjoying the Japanese version.
4) A liberal dose of fairy tales and nursery rhymes for my younger set. Nothing new here, just noting it because it’s bringing me so much joy these days.
5) Winter Holiday as a read-aloud. Though I do still hanker after the Gabriel Woolf audio recordings that Alice’s gang fell in love with ages ago. (Scroll down to the final comment on that post—hilarious!)
6) Sunday family Shakespeare readings. Still working our way through The Tempest. Sunday can’t come fast enough.
Year after year, kid after kid, those Draw Write Now books continue to inspire.
We forgot to read a book today! Rilla was busy drawing all through the early part of the morning, and then we worked in the garage for a while, digging out the Christmas things and filling some boxes for a garage sale our circle of friends is having this weekend—a fundraiser for a family who is adopting the dearest little newborn girl.
The big laugh of the morning came when we found, shoved behind other boxes, an unopened box from our move here six years ago—all taped up, marked in my friend Lisa’s handwriting “Ugly Bat Thing.” A skeletal metal bat someone gave Scott as a gift to celebrate his days editing, and then writing, Batman comics. Then proceeded a spirited debate over whether it is, in fact, ugly. (The six-year-old votes no, emphatically.)
Earlier, and I shared this on Facebook at the time but I have to archive the moment here, I was sitting in my rocking chair when Rilla came sprinting into the room to ask what color hair I would like if I didn’t have brown. Easy one: red. She darted away. Back again a moment later with this question: “If you were a mermaid, would you want to wear a shirt? Or be like a real mermaid. You know, bare.”
I asked if a seashell bikini were an option, but nope. Six-year-olds can be very strict. You want to be a real mermaid, you gotta go for broke. I, however, made the mom choice and requested a t-shirt.
She roadrunnered away. Back again a bit later: “What’s your favorite underwater animal?” Easy one. I didn’t read Ring of Endless Light eighteen times for nothing.
Off again, zip-tang. A little later, I got to see (at last) what she was up to.
This portrait, I learned, was part of a set: here are the four girls. Rose hates swimming, so Rilla made her an elf.
The jellyfish kill me.
I’m hoping tomorrow brings a set of mermen portraits to complete the family collection.
Rilla made a book of drawings this morning, several pages stapled together. “Chibi and Non-Chibi Drawings,” she wrote on the front, explaining that the chibi ones were traced from her favorite drawing book, and the non-chibi ones, like the little fellow above, were not traced, “just drawn regular.”
The little ruffly breast-feathers just melt me.
I wrote about Wonder Box in my GeekMom review of subscription boxes for kids:
I discovered Wonder Box when I was looking for a birthday gift for my three-year-old godchild, the brilliant daughter of my fellow GeekMom, Kristen Rutherford. When it comes to presents, I’m usually sort of a one-note giver — books, books, and more books — but this time, I wanted to give something different, something Kristen and Vivi could do together. Something hands-on, creative, and fun. The second I saw Wonder Box, an assortment of crafts and activities aimed at kids ages 3-6, I knew I’d hit a bullseye. You can order Wonder Box as a one-time gift, or sign up for a monthly subscription.
More details in the post. They’re now offering a $5 discount on orders through Jan. 13—use code HOLIDAY5-03 at checkout.
“Mommy, listen: ‘Always drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals.’” (Points to illustration.) “It’s BLOOD. Isn’t that funny??” (Uproarious laughter.)
She went with the bat. As usual!
Also: yesterday’s Thicklebit.