Start making plans now to celebrate reading, creativity and imagination on March 2, Dr. Seuss' birthday. Lots of resources for young readers are available.|
Get acquainted with the author through Janet B. Pascal's "Who Was Dr. Seuss?"
Play a game from Cheryl Potts' "Poetry Time with Dr. Seuss Rhyme." In the car or during dinner, take turns giving clues about one of his characters and see who can identify the character. For example, "Who was nice to his guests?" (For the answer, check the end of this column.)
Enjoy "The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories," a reprinting of seven stories Seuss published in women's magazines. Bring them to life with the following related activities.
-- After reading "Gustav, the Goldfish," read Helen Palmer's "A Fish Out of Water." Notice the similarities? Dr. Seuss gave his wife, Helen, also a writer, permission to use the characters and plot of his goldfish story any way she wanted. Discuss the differences, too, and which version you prefer and why.
-- Line up different-sized containers, like those in the story. Pretend rolled-up socks are fish, and try to toss them into the containers.
-- After reading "The Strange Shirt Spot," use a black crayon to scribble over return address labels that come in junk mail. Players sit in a circle and pass around a dark sock (the "spot") while listening to music. When the music stops, make the "spot" stick to the person holding the sock by attaching a blackened label somewhere on his/her clothes. Play as long as everyone is having fun. The winner is the player with the fewest "spots" when the game ends.
Play a match game based on "Green Eggs and Ham." Write its rhyming pairs -- Sam-I-am, ham, there, anywhere, house, mouse, box, fox, car, are, see, tree, be, rain, train, goat, boat, may and say -- on index cards, one word per card. Lay them face down in four rows of five cards each. Take turns flipping over two cards. If the words rhyme, keep them and turn over two more. If they don't rhyme, flip them back face down and give the next player a turn. When you've matched all the rhymes, the winner is the player with the most pairs.
After reading "Fox in Socks," make up pretend rhyming titles, such as "Sheep That Creep," "Dog Chases a Frog," etc. Or create your own tongue twisters.
To find other rhyming picture books, check the automated catalog (at libraries and rivershare.polarislibrary.com on computers) for "stories in rhyme."
In "Everyday Creative Play," Lisa R. Church suggests stashing books bought inexpensively at clearance sales, thrift stores, garage sales and library used book rooms. Give them to your children when they're sick, having a bad day or going through tough times or when they're stuck inside when the weather's bad.
-- Answer to the quiz question: Thidwick in "Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose."
Check It Out, covering the world of family literature and written by local librarian Dee Anderson, runs monthly.
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