Saturday, July 6, 2013

Skippyjon Jones in a Board Book!

Read It. Move It. Share It. 
Each month I recommend a picture book for dance educator Maria Hanley to use in her creative movement classes in New York, and then we share our experiences with the book. Our June book was Skippyjon Jones Shape Up by Judy Schachner. When you're done reading about it here, stop by Maria's Movers to read what she has to say about it!

I was at a Scholastic book fair a few years ago and saw the board book Skippyjon Jones Shape Up on one of the shelves. I was familiar with the Skippyjon Jones picture book series by Judy Schachner so couldn't help but open the board book to see how the mischievous Skippyjon character from the picture books would be portrayed in a book for younger children.

If you aren't familiar with Skippyjon, he's a Siamese cat who thinks he's a chihuahua...or at least that's what he likes to pretend he is! He is spunky and imaginative and is usually up to antics that get him into  trouble. In Skippyjon Jones Shape Up, Skippyjon isn't up to as much trouble as he usually is, but he still shows off his big imagination and his tons and tons of energy!  

Skippyjon Jones stays in shape....
by running in a circle.

Then he salsas on a square, 
teeters on a triangle, 

orbits an oval,
and reaches for the stars.

I ended up buying the board book from the Scholastic book fair where I first saw it, knowing it would be great for a dance class. You can use it to introduce students to different shapes, to new movement words, and to a lovable character they can enjoy in books for years to come.

There are actually two other books in the Skippyjon board book series: Skippyjon Jones 1-2-3 and Skippyjon Jones Up and Down. I haven't read either of the books in their entirety, but I have peeked inside them on Amazon and they both look really cute.
Skippyjon Jones Up and Down looks like it would be great for inspiring movement, too. It's actually a book of opposites, including pairs like back and forth and over and under. It also includes action words like "bounces" and "zooms." I mentioned that Skippyjon is super active, right?
After Maria read Skippyjon Jones Shape Up, I'm sure she had her students be super active, too. Let's see what she had them do here!

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