Hugo and Miles in I've Painted Everything
A Pair of Red Clogs

Sneakers, the Seaside Cat

by Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by Anne Mortimer

Sneakers, the Seaside Cat is the story of "a little fat cat" who travels with his family for a seaside vacation. Sneakers uses all his senses to explore new experiences, from the roar of waves and the rolling in of the fog to all the curious animals that inhabit the sand and water. 

Margaret Wise Brown is one of our all-time favorite picture book authors, with her characteristic rich descriptions and child-friendly narratives. Whether your young reader has experienced the beach or not, this story will bring it alive, so you can almost smell the salty sea air and feel the sand beneath your feet. Enjoy!

In this Issue

 

Painted Foil Seaside Collage

Painted Foil Seaside Collage - Sneakers, the Seaside Cat - Margaret Wise Brown - offtheshelfblog.com

Shimmering waters of the sea inspired us to choose the technique of painting on foil in this week's art activity. Start with a base of blue paint on foil, which dries somewhat transparent and with the occasional bubble. When light reflects off the foil through the paint, it mimics the glittering light of shallow ocean water. Then use various art supplies to create elements from the story, such as a butterfly, seaweed, rocks, fish, and sand, to populate your scene. 

This is a fun activity even if you haven't read the book, and a great way to feel closer to the ocean. This is also a great technique to explore even if you don't create an ocean scene: simply try exploring with the method of painting on foil. The paint glides over the foil in a much different manner than it does on paper, and young readers will enjoy the new painting experience.

Painted Foil Collage - Sneakers, the Seaside Cat - Margaret Wise Brown - offtheshelfblog.com

Painted Foil Seaside Collage

Supplies

  • Cardboard cut to desired size
  • Foil
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue
  • Construction paper, tissue paper, scissors, hole punch, sequins, etc, for creating elements (see note above) 
  1. Cover a piece of cardboard with foil to create your "canvas". 
  2. Swirl, squish, and dab paint on to foil. Let dry.
  3. Cut or tear paper to create elements for your collage, and apply with glue. Add other details to complete your collage. 

 More fun with foil: Shining Aluminum Foil SculpturesFarmer's Tree Collage

 

Watch and Learn: Crabs

Extend your young reader's seashore adventures with these two videos. The first is an animated exploration of why crabs walk sideways, and the second lest viewers get up close and personal with a real crab eating its lunch!

Video 2: Lunchtime at the Seashore video viewable here

 

Tomato Crab in Seaside Hummus

Tomato Crab in Seaside Hummus - Sneakers, the Seaside Cat - Margaret Wise Brown - offtheshelfblog.com

 Would you be as curious as a cat if you saw this crab peeking out of your bowl? Don't worry, it's just a garden-fresh tomato perched on top of homemade hummus. Fun to make and yummy to eat! 

Kids can help drain, rinse, and measure the chickpeas and add all the other ingredients to the food processor. Or, if you are short on time, you can simply top store-bought hummus with a tomato crab. Serve with fresh veggies, pita chips, or maybe even (sea)shell pasta! 

Tomato Crab in Seaside Hummus - Sneakers, the Seaside Cat - Margaret Wise Brown - offtheshelfblog.com

Tomato Crab in Seaside Hummus - Sneakers, the Seaside Cat - Margaret Wise Brown - offtheshelfblog.com

Tomato Crab in Seaside Hummus - Sneakers, the Seaside Cat - Margaret Wise Brown - offtheshelfblog.com

Tomato Crab in Seaside Hummus

Hummus recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's Easy Homemade Hummus recipe

Hummus Ingredients

  • 2 cups drained and rinsed cooked chickpeas, from 2 15-ounce cans 
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • water
  1. Place chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and process until almost completely smooth. Add water and continue processing until you have reached your preferred consistency. 

To make crab: Spoon hummus into a bowl. Cut the bottom third off a tomato widthwise; place larger piece cut-side down on hummus. Cut two "claws" from the rest of the tomato and arrange under the body. We used two lentils for eyes, but you can use whatever you have on hand.  

 You Might Also Enjoy: Spider Crackers with Sweet Potato Hummus

 

More from Off the Shelf

More by Margaret Wise Brown 

More Seaside Tales 

More Cats

 

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