Wednesday, June 26, 2013


skywire, nik wallenda, discovery channel, the man who walked between the towersSunday night much of the world watched Skywire on the Discovery channel as Nik Wallenda completed a 1500 foot high wire walk across the Grand Canyon. This amazing feat certainly had social media buzzing, and it may have even inspired a few kids to stretch a cable across a backyard swingset to create their own version of skywire. If your kids are interested in high wire walks, "The Man who Walked Between the Towers"  by Mordicai Gerstein may be a picture book they would enjoy.
** This post contains affiliate links. For your convenience, you can click on the picture or the title and find the book on Amazon**

Book Review: "The man who Walked Between the Towers"

the man who walked between the towers, picture books, skywire The Man Who Walked Between the Towers  is the true story of Philippe Petit who took a high wire walk on a cable stretched between the World Trade Center Twin Towers in August of 1974. This 2004 Caldecott medal book, tells how trained French high wire walker, Petit, planned his unauthorized walk while the towers were being constructed. The author describes Petit's experience on the wire using creative paintings and beautiful text. As the story unfolds, Petit walks, dances, lies down, and is eventually arrested. Fold out pages add drama to the high wire feat. The book ends with a tribute to the missing twin towers and to the memories that live there. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal, the winner of the 2004 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Picture Books, and the winner of the 2006 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video.

Writing Activities: The man who Walked Between the Towers

"The Man who Walked between the Towers" and Skywire both provide excellent writing opportunities to extend learning.  Children can use the book, "The man who Walked Between the Towers" to compare the experience of watching Wallenda's walk on Skywire on the Discovery Channel. Nik Wallenda has many similarities to Philippe Petit that children may notice. Wallenda at 34 years of age holds 7 world records. He claims he is always always looking up in a a city and thinking about good places to walk. The book claims that Petit did the same thing!
Of course, there are some differences between Philippe Petit's feat in "The man who Walked Between the Towers" and Nik Wallenda's walk on Skywire. Petit chose not to obtain permission to walk between the twin towers. It has been said that Wallenda would not have  been able to obtain permission from the National Park Service to walk across the actual Grand Canyon landmark.  He chose to walk near the Grand Canyon in an area provided by the Navajo nation instead. There is a lot of controversy surrounding Wallenda's walk as well as Petit's walk.
The controversies surrounding both Wallenda's skywire and Petit's high wire walk may inspire some students to write argument or opinion pieces. They might want to argue if Petit should or should not have sought permission before walking on the wire. They may want to give their opinion on walking on high wires or walking on high wire on television. Children can do additional research and discover that some are suggesting that Wallenda would like to walk between the Empire state building and the Chrysler building. Students could write opinion pieces on whether that walk should or should not be allowed.

Picture Book of the Day: "The man who Walked Between the Towers"

the man who walked between the towers, skywire, picture books

"The Man who Walked Between the Towers" is an excellent book for kids from kindergarten through sixth grade. Each day I work with a group of bloggers to  share a Picture book of the Day on my facebook page. "The man who Walked Between the Towers" will be my choice to for picture book of the day this week! Make sure you like my facebook page so you don't miss any of the great books that bloggers share each day.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fourth of July Activities for Kids and Mom's Library

free resources, fourth of july activities for kids 

Welcome back to another Mom's Library! Each week I co-host this linky party along with True Aim. Each week we offer a giveaway and lots of free resources are linked up! Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the next Library! Follow the Mom's Library Pinterest Board to see all of our featured posts.Check out last week's Mom's Library for Summer Boredom Busters

This week I am celebrating America's birthday with my Mom's Library features. These activities were linked up to Mom's Library last week. I can't wait to enjoy these activities and crafts with my boys in the next week.

Fourth of July Crafts, Activities, and Books for Kids

Fourth of July Preschool Activities from

free resources, fourth of july activities for kids

Easy Firework Craft shared by Play Eat Grow
fourth of july, fireworks, crafts for kids

4th of July Color Rice and American Flag from Powerful Mothering
kids craft ideas, fourth of July

Flag craft for kids from Educational Arts and Crafts

flag craft for kids, fourth of July

Fourth of July Fans from Milk Jugs from Crafty Journal
crafts for kids, fourth of July

Fourth of July Picture Books from
Fourth of July, picture books


This week's giveaway is a Kiwi Crate Craft Box. Check out these craft boxes that make crafting with kids easy! Then, enter to win a Kiwi Crate Craft Box.
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Mom's Library Link Up

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Community Helpers Preschool Theme

Are your kids interested in learning about the people in their neighborhood? Community helpers can be a fun preschool theme. Reading books about community helpers is often interesting to a large number of the kids in a preK class, because the theme offers such variety. Here are a few of our favorite book on the community helpers theme. If you are looking for more preschool themes, check out my books by theme page here at ready-set-read. There are books to accompany themes such as back to school, me and my family, animals, colors, shapes, gardens, dinosaurs, transportation and more!

community helpers, preschool theme, picture book

Community Heroes

community helpers, preschool theme, patricia hubbell, picture book Firefighters: Speeding! Spraying! Saving! (Things That Go) by Patricia Hubbell. Patricia Hubbell has several books that would work well in a community helper theme. These rhyming texts with clear, bright illustrations invite children to join in on the reading. Kids may want to get up and rush down the street like  a speeding police car or slide down a pole with the firefighters.

community helpers, picture books, preschool themes Police: Hurrying! Helping! Saving! (Board Buddies) by  Patricia Hubbell

Officer Buckle and Gloria, community helpers, preschool theme, picture book Officer Buckle & Gloria (Caldecott Medal Book) Officer Buckle and Gloria is a classic book that adds a narrative text to a community helper theme. In this story, Officer Buckle's public service talks suddenly become very popular when he is joined by his police dog, Gloria. Unfortunately, Officer Buckle is dissapointed when he realizes that his safety speeches were only so popular because Gloria was doing silly tricks behind him. Luckily, Officer Buckle realizes teamwork with his partner, Gloria, was helping to reach kids with important messages and he doesn't give up his speeches for long.

Construction Workers

transportation preschool theme, community helpers, picture books

Many children will love to learn about jobs in construction in your community. Many of the books in my transportation theme would work well for covering construction workers.


patricia hubbell, check it out, preschool theme, picture books Check It Out!: Reading, Finding, Helping Check it Out! Reading, Finding Helping by Patricia Hubbell This books gives a behind the scenes look at the life of a librarian. It proves that a librarian has more jobs that just "reading".

wild about books, judy sierra, picture book, preschool theme, community helpers Wild About Books Wild about Books by Judy Sierra
This is the funny tale of Springfield Librarian, Molly McGrew who accidentally drives her bookmobile to the zoo. Being the wonderful librarian that she is, she causes the animals to fall in love with reading and eventually a library is built at the zoo.


Teacher!: Sharing, Helping, Caring Teacher! Sharing, Helping, Caring by Patricia Hubbell
This book paints the picture of a day in the life a a teacher. It showcases a preschool or kindergarten classroom, so it  would work best for a preschool theme. A firefighter even shows up at the end of the book, linking this part of your theme to the community heroes part!

back to school, picture books, community helpers

Back to School Books would also work well for children who are interested in learning more about teachers.


Froggy goes to the doctor, jonathan london, picture books, community helpers Froggy Goes to the Doctor by Jonathan London This is a very silly book about a doctor visit and Froggy isn't on his best behavior, still it shows the job of a doctor pretty well. Kids like the silliness of the froggy books and can usually dechipher between Froggy's inappropriate behaviors and having more appropriate behaviors when they visit the doctor.

My Friend the Doctor by JoAnn Cole focuses on a child's visit to the doctor. It is not only good for learning about doctors but for helping children who are preparing for a doctor visit.


Biscuit visits the doctor, community helpers, preschool theme, picture books Biscuit Visits the Doctor by Allysa Satin Capucilli This popular puppy, Biscuit, takes kids on a trip to a Veterinarian's office and gives kids a peek at the job of a Vet.

community helpers, picture books, we work at the vet's We Work at the Vet's (Where We Work) This informational text is simple enough for preschoolers, yet provides a great deal of information. It also provides young readers with an opportunity to explore nonfiction text features.

Community Helpers Early Reader Book

community helper, printable, early reader

I have created a set of early reader printable books that align with preschool themes. One of the books included in the printable set is "Community Helpers". It labels community helpers within a simple, repetitive text. The other books in this bundle include themes such as outer space, pets, animals, and beach. These books are available for purchase in my teachers pay teacher store.

printable books, sight word readers, early readers, community helpers

I'm still adding community helpers books to our home library all the time. My oldest son decided that he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, so I'd love to find a great picture book on being a scientist. My little guy still plans to be a dinosaur when he grows up. Do you have a favorite book about a community helper? Share it in the comments below.