Saturday, May 25, 2013

Need a unique gift? Product Spotlight: Paper Hat Press

I am in love with Paper Hat Press products. These are the types of gifts families and children will keep forever! Custom-made with beautiful illustrations, they create books, sketchbooks, and my favorite...stickers! I had the pleasure of checking out their products and it made me think about how important books are in my classroom. Here's why kindles will NEVER replace actual books! (via the Paper Hat Press blog)
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image via http://bit.ly/LV8Jz6
Living and working in New York City can sometimes feel like everyone and everything is functioning at lightning speed! What I love most about being an elementary school art teacher - beyond sharing the beauty of art and art-making - is that in a small way I promote the beauty of observing and taking in the moment through doing a read aloud. One book with a similar message that’s been a perfect complement to my lessons is “Sky Color” by Peter H. Reynolds. There is nothing more magical than when nearly thirty young children are gazing at you like you are a gatekeeper to a fantastic land of word and pictures.
I have an affinity for all books by Reynolds (“The Dot”, “Rose’s Garden”) and recently read “Sky Color” to my 2nd graders. It’s about a young girl named Marisol and the setting is appropriately in a school. While working on a group mural project, Marisol wants to paint the sky, but there is (gasp!) no more blue paint! Confused on what to do, she begins to observe the colors in the sky as she takes the bus home, looks outside her window before she goes to sleep, and has a whimsical dream where she’s floating in a sea of colors swirling together. You’ll have to read the book to see what happens next!
The blue paint just happened to run out in my art room and I wanted to remind the children to stop and take a look at the world around them – especially when they are depicting the sky in their own artwork. I couldn’t help but laugh while reading this story since my students have definitely chanted at one point or another, “there’s no blue left for the sky!”
The connecting project involved painting the background for a piece that would eventually become a collage of their community. Their “sky color” mixtures are beautiful, unique, and memorable – just like the book. Ever since we read it, I hear my students referring to the story in conversations to each other as they work. That could be the best kids’ seal of approval!
I’ve always been a visual learner and loved when my parents, grandmother, and older sister would read to me. The fanciful illustrations and imaginative stories of Paper Hat Press books are perfect for guiding a family read aloud at home. With summer on its way, what could be better than having a Paper Hat Press sketchbook for the creative child in your life to keep a drawing journal documenting their vacation adventures? I may order one for myself too!