Hans Christian Andersen

23 04 2012

April brings us so many exciting things, like Easter, April Fools Day, and National Garden Month. But April is also home to the birthday of the great author, poet and children’s story writer Hans Christian Andersen!

Andersen was most famously known for creating popular stories such as Thumbelina, The Ugly ducking, The Emperors New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea.

Andersen lived from April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875 in Denmark. Within this time, he wrote an incredible 168 tales most of which have been translated into many different languages.

A movie was released in 1952 starring famous actor Danny Kaye. This movie incorporated many of his fairy tales. The opening scene of the movie describes it best: “Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales.”

What is your favorite Andersen tale?


2011 Texas Book Festival

20 10 2011

Now that’s it’s getting colder, we can think of nothing finer than snuggling up with a blanket and reading our favorite books. And with that in mind…

The 2011 Texas Book Festival is here! Bringing authors and readers together for literacy, ideas, and imagination, this is a free public even that happens every year at the State Capitol here in Austin. This is the 15th annual Texas Book Festival and it will be taking place Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23.

To kick-off this exciting festival, here at ACM we’ll be hosting an event Friday October 21st from 3:30-5:30 where you can meet Doreen Cronin author of  M.O.M. and Eileen Christelow author of Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed.

Happy reading!

Summer Reading Club

8 08 2011

Finding ways to spend your vacation is half the fun of summer. But after many, many days without school sometimes you may find yourself bored. Well, writer Jenny Rosenstrach was taught by her mother that “Only boring people get bored”.

Have you ever thought about the challenge of a summer reading list? Jenny has playfully created a point system to encourage her children to entertain themselves with fabulous books whether it be a picture book, a chapter book or even a comic book. After reading a few books and obtaining a specific number of points, her child will be able to collect prizes. Here is Jenny’s detailed account of her Summer Book Club.

Scholastic gives kids the task of logging the minutes that they read not just how many books that are completed. Scholastic invites kids to Read for the World Record and attempt to have the name of their school placed in the 2012 Scholastic Book of World Records.

If you’d like a list from Scholastic of books for ages 3-5 click here!

Ages 6-7? Click here!

Ages 8-10? Click here!

Ages 10-12? Click here!

Take a look at how we use children’s stories here at the Museum.

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Writing Poetry with Math

2 04 2011

The month of April is commonly known as National Poetry Month and  Mathematics Awareness Month.

While poetry and math seem to be very different, they actually have a deep connection.

In most poetry, math helps to create the poem just as much as language does. Mathematical concepts create the shape of the poem, the length of the lines and the pattern of the poem’s rhythm and rhymes.

You can see how math helps the rhythm and rhyme of poems by looking at the patterns of a limerick. A limerick is a short, funny poem with a specific rhythm and rhyme scheme (a-a-b-b-a). You can hear the rhythm of a limerick when you say it out loud.

Here is an example from an anonymous poet:

A circus performer named Brian
Once smiled as he rode on a lion.
They came back from the ride,
But with Brian inside,
And the smile on the face of the lion.

Can you hear the rhythm? Do you recognize the rhyme scheme?

To celebrate this month, try making your own limerick or finding the patterns in rhythm and rhyme in other poems.

You can also download an April calendar with fun math and poetry tasks here: Poetry and Math in April.

Dr. Seuss Book

2 03 2011

For Dr. Seuss’s 107th birthday, we wanted to feature one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books, The Lorax.

The Lorax

This is a great story about how we effect our environment. In this book, a character who calls himself the Once-ler moves to a town and cuts down all of the Truffula Trees to turn them into garments. The Lorax doesn’t agree with the Once-ler and what he is doing. He speaks for the trees and tells the Once-ler that he must stop. The Once-ler doesn’t listen however, and the town becomes completely treeless, and the Lorax leaves. In the end, the Once-ler gives a young, boy the last Truffula Tree seed, so he can plant it and create a whole new city full of trees.

This book reminds us about our impact on the environment and that we can each do our part to help.

Which Dr. Seuss books inspire you?

Favorite books

11 03 2010

Lately it’s been a bit rainy and a little cold.  When the weather is like this, I like to stay at home and read a book.

Two of my favorite books are about penguins, one of my favorite animals.

365 Penguins written by Jean-Luc Fromental, illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet.

The first is 365 Penguins. In this story, a family receives a penguin one day. As you can guess, one penguin starts arriving everyday after that for a year.  The family has no idea where they are from or what to do with them. I like this book because it uses math and has a funny story.  I also really like the illustrations.

ay. As you can guess, one penguin starts arriving everyday after that for a year.  The family has no idea where they are from or what to do with them. I like this book because it uses math and has a funny story.  I alseally like the illustrations.

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.

A longer book to read during a rainy day is Mr. Popper’s Penguins.  This story is about a family who also receives a penguin in the mail.  Eventually there are more penguins than the family knows what to do with.  Mr. Popper has to figure out where to keep the penguins and how to afford them.  This book is great because the penguins all have their own personalities and they like to have a lot of fun.

What are your favorite books?

Rainy Day Fun

15 01 2010
Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  A rainy day is perfect for making crafts, reading or playing games.

Today at the Museum everyone made the most of the rain by playing in Tinker’s Workshop, exploring, or going to Storytime.

Everyone listened and watched as Paul read "The Mixed-Up Chameleon" by Eric Carle.

Later, someone else made a card with paper cutouts in the workshop.

What do you do on rainy day?