I'm so excited for this month's Family Dinner Book Club book and craft project! Family Dinner Book Club is one of my favorite projects - it's a monthly book club for your entire family to enjoy. On the first of each month, Jodie from Growing Book by Book shares our book with conversation starters & service projects. Sarah from Daisy at Home shares a full book themed menu, and I share an easy table craft. Join us on Facebook for updates and new ideas all month long!
This month's choice is amazing - among many other accolades it's the winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book, a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015, and a Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015. There's no doubt that it is a wonderful book for families to share and we've got a really simple craft to go along with it!
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This month's highly acclaimed Family Dinner Book Club pick is Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena with pictures by Christian Robinson. A wonderful tale of urban life that focuses on being thankful and volunteerism, the book follows CJ and his grandma as they take their weekly bus ride across the city. Along the way, they meet a wonderful cast of characters as CJ's grandma helps him to appreciate the world around him.
For our craft to go with Last Stop on Market Street, I decided to replicate the bus that CJ and his grandma ride every Sunday. This is an open ended project, which allows children to decorate their bus inside and out any way they'd like! It also makes a wonderful companion to the book, in that you can talk about the people that CJ and his grandma meet on the bus and recreate them. Or you can discuss the people that you meet in daily life and express them through stickers, drawing, or with paint.
First, you need to make your bus! You will need:
- Clear plastic sheet protector (the heavier weight the better for clarity)
- White & blue card stock
- Black construction paper
- Scissors or an Xacto knife
- Art materials - people stickers, crayons, markers, or paint
Start by cutting off the bottom and hole side of your sheet protector, creating a piece that folds on just one side. Glue your blue card stock to the inside of one side, creating the inside of your bus. Allow to dry.
Next, cut windows and a door shape out of your white card stock. I made two large windows (I used Post-It notes for size), a door, and a lower window to closely replicate the bus in the book. Use scissors or a craft knife, whichever you are more comfortable with.
Now glue this piece on to the outside of your sheet protector, on the opposite side of the piece that you glued the blue card stock to. This will be the outside of your bus. Add two circles cut from black construction paper for the tires and allow to dry.
You'll see that you can now open the bus to decorate both the inside and outside, and the windows are see through, just like a real bus!
Now invite your children to decorate the bus any way they'd like! You can have them use stickers or draw, either from their imagination, from the book, or from people they meet in their daily life. Anything goes!
Each bus will be unique, just like the people that we meet every day, and the people that CJ and his grandma meet in Last Stop on Market Street.
We had a lot of fun making our bus, and talking about all the different people inside. It's the perfect companion to this month's Family Dinner Book Club.
Don't miss the rest of the Family Dinner Book Club! Visit Jodie at Growing Book by Book for this month's conversation starters and service projects, and Sarah at Daisy at Home for an amazing book themed menu!
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