Saturday, 15 October 2016

Australian Dinosaurs - with freebies and three giveaways

Hi everyone

When my son was little he just dug dinosaurs in a major way.  Today I am going to review a new picture book published by Magabala Books titled, "Return of the Dinosaurs" by Bronwyn Houston.  

I am also going to link to dinosaur freebies from some of my generous and talented friends in Australia and New Zealand and run a giveaway for a couple of my own dinosaur picture book rhyming game resources and a free copy of the featured picture book for Australian readers.

Quoting from the publisher:
"Return of the Dinosaurs presents an amusing and imaginative look at what life would be like for dinosaurs today if they reappeared at Broome's iconic landmarks."

This newly published picture book will be available in November 2016. It captures images of the many dinosaurs, birds and marine life that roamed the Kimberley coastline (in the far north of Western Australia) more than 130 million years ago.

The author/illustrator of the richly textured layers of artwork is Bronwyn Houston and she is descended from the Nyiyaparli and Yindjibarndi people in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The opening lines are:
"A long time ago, dinosaurs lived around the Kimberley coast and their ancient footprints can still be found.  Imagine if dinosaurs came back to visit Broome!  What would they do?"

What a wonderful invitation for imagination and inquiry!  Dinosaurs that appear in this witty and imaginative story include the: Brachiosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Megalosauropus, Broomensis, Parasaurolophus and Stegosaurus.  It's amazing how many early readers can still pronounce some of these complex dinosaur names and recount many detailed facts!  This picture book would be an interesting read aloud for students in the early years (dinosaur fanatics) or a terrific independent read for other students.

I am going to revisit the picture book and share some of my favourite features:
  • The little additional speech captions from the dinosaurs featured in the stories add humour
  • The picture book introduces key landmarks around Broome and the Kimberley region, for example, Cable Beach and natural phenomena such as the Golden Staircase to the moon
  • Text-to-text connections can be made to "Finding Nemo" with the caption, "Friend or Food"?
  • The end of the picture book features information about Broome dinosaurs with text features including maps and labels
Free teaching notes for this newly published picture book are available to download here.

You can read more about the dinosaur footprints in the far north of Western Australia here and view a clip from Catalyst about the Kimberley dinosaurs here.  There are plenty of other clips if you do a YouTube search.  You can read more about Australian dinosaurs here or here.  

You can read my previous blog post about "I'm a Hungry Dinosaur" and download a freebie here or you can preview my rhyming games resources for this title and also "I'm a Dirty Dinosaur" by clicking on the titles with the red hyperlinks or the images of the resources.  

Both titles are by Janeen Brian and these resources are included in my giveaway at the end of this blog post.
Dinosaur freebies from my generous friends (feel free to share your own links in the comments section).  To download the freebies click on either the hyperlink or the image, but please be kind enough to follow their TPT stores and leave ratings/feedback...good karma :) Unfortunately, the hyperlinks are not changing colour to red, so please either click on the titles below or on the images below to download these resources.

Shape Bingo from Teaching Trove

Addition and Subtraction Mats from Jem's Bright Buttons
If you have any other favourite resources about dinosaurs, please post the links in the comments section below.  

Don't forget to enter the giveaways :)  There are three of them, including winning a free copy of the picture book reviewed in this blog post (for Australian readers) and one of my two dinosaur rhyming words games (open to everyone).  Enter as many times as you like and make sure you scroll through to view all three giveaways :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have a great week everyone and to quote Ellen, "Be kind to each other" x

Monday, 10 October 2016

A new resource for "Sugarplum and the Unicorn" by Julia Donaldson

I just love text sets and I just love Julia Donaldson's picture books, so when I came across "Sugarplum and the Unicorn" I just could not wait to make a reading comprehension resource for it.  You can preview that resource by clicking on the red hyperlink under the title, or here.

Below is a set of texts that would work well together as companion texts.  My reading comprehension resource for "Thelma the Unicorn" by Aaron Blabey has been really popular and one of my best sellers.  You can preview it here.  

All three picture books have similar themes of wishing to be something more than you are. 

You can view a book trailer for "Thelma the Unicorn" here.  You can view the author, Aaron Blabey reading the book aloud here.  He is one of my favourite Australian picture book authors :)

This is an overview of my reading comprehension resource for "Thelma the Unicorn".
Other titles that might work well in this text set include:
"Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great" by Bob Shea

"Bob is a Unicorn"

"Uni the Unicorn" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (song based on the book

These picture books are terrific for helping children realise the importance of accepting yourself as you are, which is an important life skill.

Teacher reference:

"I Believe in Unicorns: Classroom Experiences for Activating Creative Thinking" by Bob Stanish.  Has anyone used this book to support creative and critical thinking?

Can you think of any other picture books that would fit into this text set?  If so, please share in the comments.

Have a great week everyone...