Max's Crown of Shapes
Boo to You! Harvest Party Mouse Puppets

Boo to You!

Dear Friends,

Don't you love Lois Ehlert's books? Her use of collage is so inventive, especially when transforming the images of everyday objects into something completely re-imagined. Who else would think to make a cat's teeth out of pumpkin seeds? So often as adults we become very strict in the way things should be perceived and done; things are very black and white. A child's imagination allows them to color their world however they want, with cranberry eyes and corncob ears, of course adapting to suit the occasion!  

While a lot of her books simply use different types of paper to depict the subject, what I love about Boo to You! is the addition of photographed and Xeroxed images of some of her "favorite fall objects".  Children naturally have the tendency to collect little things, and a walk around the block or an outing to the park can result in a treasure trove of art supplies. Put this scavenger trait to good use in creating these adorable little mice puppets for a Harvest Party Puppet Show.

Imagination is such a powerful tool and allows children to “see” how a simple seed or twig can be transformed into a multitude of fascinating items. When you let go and give your young reader the opportunity to express this ability, you will build their confidence in their choices, their creative process, and the validity of their thoughts. Besides all that, it’s just plain fun!

 

Boo to You!

by Lois Ehlert

In author/illustrator Lois Ehlert's Boo to You!, adorable, fuzzy mice figure out a plan to outsmart the scary cat and keep him from ruining their Harvest Party. Throughout the book the mice build their plan, and by the end are ready to meet their nemesis head on and turn him from a scary cat to a scaredy cat.

Ehlert used fall time crops such as pumpkins, corn, and gourds to create her signature mixed media collage illustrations, add scavenger hunt feel to reading the book. Prompt yur young reader to try and identify all the things he or she recognizes on each page. A pictorial list of the items used to create the collages is featured at the end of the book.

 

In this Issue

 

Harvest Party Mouse Puppets

 

Mouse Puppets

Boo to You Mouse Puppets Craft

Boo to You Mouse Puppets Craft

Boo to You Mouse Puppets Craft

 

Harvest Party Mouse Puppets

Required Materials

  • paper plate
  • stapler
  • white glue
  • craft stick
  • scissors

Suggested Materials

  • crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • construction paper
  • fun foam
  • yarn
  • stickers
  • buttons
  • nature items: seeds, seed pods, etc. 
  1. Fold paper plate in half 3 times. Unfold and trace on fold lines with a marker or crayon. 
  2. Have young reader cut on the traced lines to make 8 triangles. 
  3. Color 2 triangles the same color for each mouse. One triangle will be the head and one will be the body. 
  4. Using 2 triangles, assemble the head and body of each mouse puppet. Staple to secure. 
  5. Now for the decorating! Choose a material for the eye: buttons, seeds, stickers, stamps, etc. And the ears: construction paper, fun foam, small leaves, whatever strikes your fancy. Attach with glue and allow to dry.
  6. For the arms and legs, we chose to use yarn. The fluidity of the yarn allows for movement as the puppet moves. Simply punch holes and tie lengths of yarn through each hole. We also knotted them at the end to prevent fraying. You could also use pipe cleaners, construction paper, or small twigs. 
  7. For the tail we picked up seed pods on a nature walk and glued them to the back of the body. 
  8. The final step is to glue a wooden craft stick to the back of the puppet and allow to dry.  
  9. Let's put on a show!

 

Spiced Squash Seeds

The seek-and-find illustrations of Boo to You! are studded with tiny cranberries and pumpkin and squash seeds, and glow with the brilliant reds, oranges, yellows, and greens of various squash and gourds (and even some broccoli!). The seeds appear as everything from cat's teeth to raccoon fingers, and the beautiful turban squash tops a funny face before being disassembled for use against the scary cat. 

I was able to find a turk's turban squash at the grocery store among the array of seasonal produce. These striking squash are related to pumpkins and butternut squash in cooking method and taste!


Turbansquash900

However, for today we are going to use them only for their seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a classic autumn snack. But you can also roast the seeds from any type of squash: from acorn and butternut to carnival and, yes, turban.  

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For both these recipes start with the scooped-out stringy parts from a pumpkin or squash. We used a combination of butternut squash and turban squash seeds. Pick out the seeds (this is easier if the container the seeds are in is filled with some water) and dry them. 

Cocoa and Cinnamon Spiced Squash Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin or squash seeds, 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread on a foil lined baking sheet.  
  3. Bake for 10 to 30 minutes, until seeds are lightly golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
  4. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie-Spiced Squash Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin or squash seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch cloves
  1. Heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread on a foil lined baking sheet.  
  3. Bake for 10 to 30 minutes, until seeds are lightly golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
  4. Cool slightly and enjoy!

 Spiced Squash Seeds

Need a recipe to use up all that pumpkin or squash? Try pumpkin-peanut butter souphomemade pumpkin pie with cinnamon-oat crust, or Miss Suzy's acorn squash pudding

 

 

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