Book Guide

Snuggle Mountain - A Guide for an App

Each guide that I create offers its own interesting slant. Each are great fun to do in their very own way, and the lovely Lindsey Lane's Snuggle Mountain was no exception, at all. For you see, this charming picture book is now being sold as an app (and sales are going quite well, I might add). Lindsey and illustrator Melissa Iwai have taken a flying leap into new, uncharted e-territory, and I am thrilled have a chance to tag along for the ride.

Lindsey and I often chatted about making a guide. Being that this book/app is so unique, I wanted to create something that would offer teachers, parents, and librarians something substantial to pull from, something that they would use time and time again. The Traits entered into our conversation. I happen to love working with the 6 + 1 Traits of writing. Kids respond so positively to the method. The activities are clear, lively, sound, and so kid-centered. Being that they are founded on the child's creativity rather than stringent academic confines, the work that comes from the young writers is delightful! So, why not make a Traits guide for this delightful picture book/app? Woot!

The guide consists of a number of lessons all centered on the text and illustrations, rubrics to evaluate each trait, writing paper, and a very cool poem page (my fave!). To best benefit from the guide, have the book or app in hand, as the lessons require close consideration of Snuggle Mountain before letting those creative minds soar!

A Simple Saturday Harmonica

One of the things that I love when working with author and dear friend Kelly Bennett is that she gets me. She knows that I am all about fostering a sense of creativity and whimsy through the use of simple, everyday things. And, both Kelly and her terrific new book, One Day I Went Rambling, celebrates the Simple Saturday spirit. It's a great story. Trust me. Zane, Kelly's protagonist, personifies the intention of this website right down to the tips of his untied tennis shoes. Rock on, Zane. Rock on!

So, today for your Simple Saturday, One Day I Went Rambling, homemade band musical pleasure, let's make a harmonica. (I confess, the construction process is going to be shamefully easy. Oh, well. What else is new, right?)

All you need to gather up is a comb and a piece of tissue paper (Or, in my case, tear off 3 squares of toilet paper.). We're sure not breaking the bank with this one, are we? 

Then, to make a Simple Saturday harmonica, fold the tissue/toilet paper over the teeth of the comb. That's it, my friend. Truly. That's it.

To play your Simple Saturday harmonica, gently lay your lips on the paper-covered comb teeth and hum. The vibrating resonations of the paper between the teeth with both tickle your lips and delight your ears. It's a really cool experience. I promise. 

If you are not satisfied with the sound your comb harmonica is making, you're trying too hard. Loosen your lips and hum lightly. There you go. Good job.

Heck, while you're at it,  maybe you can learn how to play the Beatbox Comb Harmonica, a variation of Yuri Lane's rocking theme. Isn't this guy amazing?

You know, I'll bet Zane would find a way to play a beatbox comb harmonica.

And I'll bet you can, too.