Berry Books for Summer
Off the Shelf Shop: Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

by Barney Saltzberg

Ni Hao, friends!

Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep is not usually a book we would feature on Off the Shelf. You see, Chengdu is a 'sleepy-time' book, perfect for reading to young readers preparing to go to bed. This is one of a huge category of children's books which is not usually conducive to the art activities and recipes that we usually feature on Off the Shelf. But Barney Saltzberg has put a new twist on the classic going-to-sleep book by filling the pages of his book with action, both by Chengdu (who tosses and turns and climbs and more) and for the reader (with several fold-out pages). Does Chengdu ever fall asleep? Find out!

In this Issue

 

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Saltzberg's illustrations were the springboard for this exploration of lines and circles. This activity combines several elements, beginning with the experiment of painting with colored paint on black paper then using homemade stencils to layer circles over the painted lines. The resulting artwork is Chengdu-inspired but free enough to express your young reader's individuality. While you might want to make the stencils ahead of time, kids may want to help trace the circles.

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils

Supplies

For stencils:

  • Cardboard from a cereal or similar box
  • Cans or lids to trace
  • Marker
  • Scissors or X-acto knife

For artwork:

  • Black paper
  • Green, black, and white paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Homemade stencils
  1. To make stencils (Parent step): Trace a circle on a deconstructed box. Leaving a border of a few inches, cut out a rectangle with the circle in the center.  Cut out circle with scissors or an X-acto knife. Repeat with various size circles. 
  2. Using green paint, paint lines on black paper. Let dry.
  3. Using stencils, paint black and white circles over green lines. 

P.S. Were circle stencils a big hit? Try making stencils of squares, triangles, or even tracing cookie cutter to make a stencil collection. 

Continue the fun of this activity by turning one or all of the white circles into pandas by using a marker to add a face and ears!

Chengdu Art with Cereal Box Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep


 

Learn About Pandas

This video features panda photos and facts for kids.

 

Bamboo Stir Fry

Bamboo Stencils - Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep - Off the Shelf

Because the bamboo grove plays such a big part in the book, we knew we had to include bamboo shoots in our recipe. Although bamboo shoots can be difficult to find fresh, they are very common canned in the international aisle of grocery stores. They are very mild and tend to take on the flavor of the other ingredients cooked with them, in this case carrots, sugar snap peas, and water chestnuts.

Like most stir fries, this recipe is easy to adapt to your family's tastes or what you have on hand: try adding cooked chicken, zucchini, broccoli, green onions, etc., and/or serving over cooked brown rice. 

Bamboo Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (from one large carrot)
  • 1 8 oz. can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. 
  2. Add carrots, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and stir for about one minute. Add water and cover, steaming for 2-3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. 

 

More from Off the Shelf

More Barney Saltzberg: Beautiful Oops!

Two Years AgoThe Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

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