- Published on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 09:59
(Scroll down to view the book images and instructions!)
We all have different talents and gifts, right? Some people can sing while others can dance. Some can write while others make art. Back when I taught Art Masterpiece (volunteer) the kids would often get upset when they looked at a neighbor's project: "Mine doesn't look like that! I need to start over again!"I'd say, "No, you do not need to begin again. The entire point of art is to create something unique. Something special that does not look like anything anyone else has done!" At that point, they'd perk up. "Oh! Okay. Well then mine is special?"
"Of course it is, yes."
Long ago I used to wonder why I could not sing like a Star. Why hadn't I been given that gift? I love music; it's in my soul. I wanted to sing but alas - I continued to feel drawn to writing. Over the years I have found myself more and more interested in the art of storytelling. I recently wrote a blog post on which two people commented, "You are such a great storyteller!"
It hit me at that moment: Maybe I need to get over the fact that I can't sing like a Star. I'll never have a CD unless I pay someone off in order to get it created. Sigh...But maybe this is okay! Maybe I am doing exactly what I need to be doing for those who need it. Not everyone will want a book from me. Not everyone will see this as a valuable investment of 20 or 30 dollars. Some people will, though, and for those people...I am doing just what I need to be doing. I am telling a story about their kids, through the books I write and design. Every book is made from hand; start to finish, right here in my home. For someone who can storytell, this is not a grand thing. For someone who owns their own book-making equipment - big deal, right? They might look at me and think, "I could do that."
But if not? For those people - it's a gift worth giving. Those are the people I'm here for. Those are the kids I work for!
Last week I finished a book for a new customer. The mother works in theatre and when she saw my site she emailed me: "Can you make a self esteem book? Is that something you can do?"
Ha.That's what PCS is all about, my friend!
I set out to make the book. Two weeks later it was complete. It has now been shipped and they are awaiting it's arrival. In the meantime I asked the mother if I could share a few pages with my readers. Perhaps some of you are lovers of making books from home and would like to use this idea. I'm willing to share it (I know - so nice!).
Each page of this book focused on a different term:
Every term I used related to a photograph of Jet. He was doing things like:
- Climbing a tree
- Riding a scooter
- Snuggling mommy
- Hugging his sister
- Playing a guitar
- Standing on stage at the theatre
- Dressed as a Superhero
- Jumping a hurdle
- Sharing with his friends
The final page contained a Batman image that can be colored over and over again (he loves Batman and by offering a coloring page, the book becomes even more functional - providing a fine motor skill activity).
Here is what the book looks like fanned out:
(After I write and design a book, I print, cut and laminate every page in heavy duty lamination. I then cut each side of the laminated pages so that every page is even. I bind the book with a heavy coil using a binding machine. I then round the corners with a special hand-sautered tool that will cut through thick lamination - the crafting corner rounders DO NOT WORK for this).
I decided to ship a mirror with this book. I got the mirrors from Treasures 4 Teachers. They had been donated and Barb kindly shared some with me. After writing this book I thought, "I ought to send a mirror along so that it can be used with the final page!" The parents can read this book and when they get to the last page they can pronounce, "Look in the mirror - that boy is YOU!" and pull the mirror out and place that in front of his face. This turns the book into a more interactive game; as well as a literacy and self esteem tool.
Make something like this from home:
Even if you do not have the equipment to turn this into a printed and bound book, you could utilize the concepts with the following items:
- Heavy duty paper
- Hole punch
- String (or staples)
Possible addition: Print and glue a coloring sheet to the back page. Google "Free coloring sheets" to find one your child would enjoy. It won't have wipable capabilties (like the laminated pages) but even a one-time use page will create a great activity and memory for your child!
Keep in mind: You will want to write the text to be age and reader appropriate. Also, try not to fill up the pages with lots and lots of images, stickers or clip art. That actually detracts from the concepts being taught. Read more about the value of 'keeping a book simple' for effective learning.
Whatever you do and however you create your book - have fun with it. Involve your child in the process, if possible, unless the book is going to be given as a surprise gift. Enjoy reading it together but also allow your child to read the book alone. Children benefit from being read to and from learning to self-read.
ABOUT the Author:
Shara Lawrence-Weiss is the owner of Mommy Perks, Kid Perks and Personal Child Stories. She has a background in early childhood, nanny work, published freelance, marketing and special needs.