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Wild Robot

We all know and love Peter Brown’s picture books (think: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild), but this novel, which is his first foray into middle grade, is darling (and a wee bit brilliant). He addresses friendship without barrier, refuses to back down from important themes like death and life, and creates characters with a succinct yet whimsical intelligence. At times, his address seems sparse. His unsentimental view of death, which is a basic necessity in his robot’s reality, is bold. It communicates a clear position that children are big enough and wise enough to think about the nature of life. Yes, I am grateful.

The narrative is easy to follow and simple: a robot washes ashore and comes to life (in more ways than one) on an island full of wild creatures big and small. She mothers a gosling, fights bears, and negotiates armistices of all kinds. She begins our story as a piece of equipment. She doesn’t understand friendship, emotion, community or even communication. She doesn’t know how to be intimate, how to love, and she definitely doesn’t know how to play. Yet, these are the things she learns from her friends; these are the ways she survives. And truly, aren’t these the things that give us life? Are these the things that theologians call the imago dei?

This is the story of a Robot that actually comes to life. This wild Robot causes the reader to consider that it isn’t a beating heart that gives us life. It is our friends, our loves, our ability to learn, adapt, to be both WILD and refined. May humanity come as fully alive as this robot. Teach us more, Peter Brown, about the differences between a fully charged battery and a fully lived life!

Now….who’s ready to be inspired to craft?!

Helping Roz the Robot go wild

This book is complete. As in, this book contains a huge animal party with a fire, dancing, and a costume reveal reminiscent of the cat walk at a drag show – and I mean that with ALL the respect I can muster. It is funny and beautiful and mostly…WILD. Roz steps out of the shadows, into the light of the fire covered in mud, caked with flowers and grasses, and flitting with animal friends. There is no doubt, Roz is QUEEN of the wild things. After reading this short chapter, we decided that we would have to decorate our own Roz. So I pulled out some of my favorite books to inspire, let the kiddos pick out flowers, creatures, and bugs for me to draw. They colored in my drawings, which is one of their favorite things to do. Who doesn’t love a homemade mama-style coloring sheet?

Favorite Critter-Inspiring Books

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Natures Day – by Kay Maquire and Danielle Kroll (Wide Eyed Press)

Disgusting Critters – by Elise Gravel (Tundra Books)

Creaturepedia – by Adrienne Barman (Wide Eyed Press)

Ooko – by Esme Shapiro (Tundra Books)

Field Guide to Creatures Great and Small – Lucy Engelman (WEP)

ABC Summer

Look at these cute summer alphabet crafts my kids and their nanny are getting into! As it turns out, the alphabet is a super fun, and easy way to organize your kids’ summer while keeping them engaged. Crystal (better known around these parts as KeeCoo) has developed a little week-by-week system to create structure for my kiddo’s summer and get Lo actively involved in learning her letters.

Summer Craft Series

How great is that? I am excited to share their system so that you can build your own alphabet summer! Its easy:

  1. Figure out how many week days there are in your summer and assign each day a letter. Some letters will be used twice since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and thankfully….there are way more days in the summer!
  2. For each letter and each day, pick several animals, but maybe one thematic creature (it can after all be past, present, or fictional).
  3. Using your own daily schedule have a time for craft, education videos, outdoor activity or game, and reading time that revolves around the letter theme and animal.
  4. Make sure you talk talk talk about that letter and make those noises and most of all….PLAY, CREATE, PARTY!

Other ideas –

Books

Get some great ABC books to follow along, and go to the library from some letter inspired books (If you are working on C get a bunch of books about cows and chickens). We are in love with Oliver Jeffers Once Upon an Alphabet and the beautiful watercolor illustrations in Kim Krans ABC Dream

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Dress Up

We used face paint too. C is for cow – MOOOOOOO!

If you follow me on Instagram @afriendlyaffair, I will post the rest of their alphabet crafts as they unfold through the weeks. Hopefully you will find some inspiration. Good Luck, mama!