by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Jen Corace
Some of the most memorable moments of childhood are the funny little things kids will often unintentionally say. Whether it is mixing words up or putting their own twist on a word (we will still pull out Lexie's "sul-de-cat" when she really meant cul-de-sac) kids language skills and listening skills often are not in sync.
In Telephone, author Mac Barnett revisits the old game of Telephone and shows the craziness that happens when Peter Bird's mother sends the message out through other birds that it is time for Peter to come home for dinner. Guaranteed giggles from young readers as they follow the message from one bird to the next and how that message changes.
In this Issue
Invite your young reader to create their own flock of Telephone birds! With just a few basic supplies, the story will come to life with a project that makes a wonderful storytelling prop or colorful piece to hang. What sort of conversation will your young reader's birds have?
Birds on a Wire Craft
- Wire coat hanger
- Construction paper
- Tape (optional)
- Clothespins (mini or regular)
- Cut out shapes to make the body and head for the birds. You can trace lids if you want, but kids often prefer to do free-form drawing and cutting to create their birds. This is great for encouraging creativity and a sense of accomplishment!
- Glue the head to the body.
- Glue or tape feathers to the back of the body.
- Use construction paper scraps and markers to create eyes, a beak, and any other desired features.
- Clip each bird to a wire coat hanger, using two clothespins each for legs. Birds are less likely to tip if the clothespins are attached on an angle. You can also tape the back of the bird to the hanger to secure.
You can find these and other book-related pins on the Off the Shelf Pinterest Picks board.
You will notice in Telephone that Mama Bird fixes a pie for dinner, and we imagine it is a Birdseed Pie! This "pie" is more suited to breakfast or snack time than dinner (and to young readers than young birds), and is chock-full of whole grains, fruits, nuts, and other bird-friendly ingredients. Making this recipe offers many opportunities for young reader involvement, from measuring to mixing to pressing into a pie plate. Don't be surprised to hear birds pecking at the window, asking for a bite!
Adapted from The Meaning of Pie.
Makes one 9" pie, serves 8.
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup flax meal
- 1 cup of your favorite cereal; we used 1/2 cup Honey Nut Cheerioes and 1/2 cup Rice Krispies
- 1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
- 1/4 cup dried fruit; we used a mixture of dried cranberries, dried blueberries and raisins
- 1/4 cup salted almonds
- 1/2 cup honey
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oats and flax meal on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the dried fruit and almonds.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats and flax mixture, cereal, powdered milk, fruit, and almonds, until everything is evenly distributed.
- Place the honey in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for one minute. Pour the honey over the oat mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are evenly coated with honey.
- Butter a 9" pie plate. Transfer mixture to pie plate and compress with a spatula or buttered hands. Let cool completely. Slice and serve!
You Might Also Enjoy: Reader's Bird Seed Treat
More from Off the Shelf
- One Year Ago: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham
- Three Years Ago: Jamberry by Bruce Degan
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