It's Valentine's Day
How Rocket Learned to Read

Lines That Wiggle

Dear Friends,

Our art shelf is never at a loss for things we have saved from the recycling bin. In fact, it is a struggle for us to let go of a nice little box or an interesting jar, because when we look at them we don't see a box or a jar, but instead see a house or a piece of doll furniture, the beginning of a found art sculpture or just a lovely container for paintbrushes. In fact, one of our favorite sayings is "This would make a nice..."

From time to time, as painful as it is, we have to go through and actually put some things in the recycling bin (gasp!). And without fail, the following week, we will ultimately need an item we had discarded only the week before. Then we will have to utter another of our favorite phrases: "This is why we don't get rid of things!" 

Our book choice this week is all about seeing that a line is not just a line, just like a box is not always a box. We hope it inspires you an makes you smile (see how that works? A smile is a very nice line!).


Lines That Wiggle

by Candace Whitman

Illustrated by Steve Wilson

 Glittering textural lines and simple, rhyming verse make Lines That Wiggle a fun choice for playful read-togethers. While not a typical interactive book, the embossed glittery blue lines simply begs for young readers to trace it while giggling at the brightly colored illustrations with a quirky sense of humor.

Although the book is written in a light hearted manner, it sneakily teaches young readers one of the basic elements of art and how to notice all of the things in their world made up of lines.

In This Issue



Wiggle Pasta


Cook up some lines that wiggle in this Asian-inspired dish that can be served warm or cold. 

Wiggle Pasta

Adapted from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life.


  • 9 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • broccoli florets, cut from 2 small heads broccoli
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. When there are four minutes remaining for the pasta to cook, add the broccoli florets to the pot. 
  2. Place peanut butter, soy sauce, water, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, and brown sugar in a food processor. Process to combine.
  3. Drain spaghetti and broccoli and return to pot, but do not place pot back on the burner. Add sauce and toss so that pasta and broccoli are coated. 



Spaghetti Painting

How many ways can your young readers think to paint with spaghetti? Whatever way they choose, painting with spaghetti is an unexpected way to explore and experiment with lines. 

Spaghetti Painting - Lines that Wiggle - Off the Shelf

Spaghetti Painting - Lines that Wiggle - Off the Shelf

Spaghetti Painting - Lines that Wiggle - Off the Shelf

Spaghetti Painting - Lines that Wiggle - Off the Shelf

Spaghetti Painting - Lines that Wiggle - Off the Shelf

Why We Like It

  • This is a fantastic way to work on fine motor skills.
  • It is a wiggly, messy, fun way to explore color, texture, sensory, and painting with non-traditional tools.

Spaghetti Painting

What You Will Need

  • Spaghetti - cooked, drained and cooled
  • Newspaper
  • Paper plates
  • Paint
  • White construction paper
  • Optional - paintbrush, tongs

How to Do It

  1. Cook and drain spaghetti according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. Cover the work surface with newspaper. This activity does have the potential to be a bit messy.
  3. Set out paper plates with different colors of paint on each plate.
  4. Set out several sheets of white construction paper.
  5. Place a bowl of the cooked spaghetti within easy access of the painting area and let the exploration begin.
  6. Your young reader may choose to:
    - paint with one noodles at time, dragging it across the paper in a variety of patters
    - bounce the painted noodle against the paper to make "springy" prints
    - dip of handful of noodles in paint and make explore the shapes they make
    - use tongs to pick up the noodles then dip and paint
    - place plain noodles on the paper then paint them with a paintbrush, then pick the noodles up to see the patten left behind.

    What other paint and spaghetti explorations will your young reader try?


One Year Ago: Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, is the perfect blend of humor, charm, exceptional storytelling, and valuable life lessons. 

Two Years Ago: A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a story of kindness and true friendship, written and illustrated by the husband and wife team of Philip and Erin Stead. Winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. 


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