New York in Pajamarama + Cityscape Sponge Art

I am so excited to introduce a fantastic, interactive New York book for kids: New York in Pajamarama. Not only that, but I actually did a book-related activity: a cityscape sponge printing art project.

New York in Pajamarama and cityscape art project

This is an unusual post for me. Normally I share a reading list on Mondays and I rarely do a related book activity (too much work for lazy moms like me!), but today we are the New York representatives in “Booking Across America,” a collaborative project hosted and organized by Growing Book by Book.

(Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)

New York Book Pick:

Both boys and I swooned over a new interactive kids’ book set in New York City: New York in Pajamarama by Michaël Leblond and Frédérique Bertrand. The story follows a boy who gets ready for bed, but when the lights go out his magical striped pajamas transport him to the hubbub of New York City, the city that never sleeps.

New York book and sponge art project

New York in Pajamarama is a truly unique book which uses an “Ombro-Cinema” technique to create the illusion of movement. Included with the book is a sheet of acetate imprinted with narrow black lines. When reading the book, kids slide the acetate across the book’s illustrations.  The movement of the acetate across patterned lines imbedded in the illustrations makes the book come alive. The nature of this illustrative magic is perfect for creating the dynamic movement of city life with its sparking lights, racing taxis, rustling leaves in Central Park, frantic shoppers and dizzying skyscraper-induced vertigo.

More: 23 Picture Books featuring New York City

It was nearly impossible to get a good photo of my kids reading the book because they loved it so much they kept fighting over who would get to control the animation! I highly recommend New York in Pajamarama, especially for kids who might have a wee bit of trouble sitting still for story time. Here is a great video made by the publisher, demonstrating how the book works:

The book is already available in Europe, but those of you in the States will have to wait until the release date in April. But put the book on order, you don’t want to miss it! Apparently it was the fastest selling picture book in France in 2011!

Cityscape Sponge Art:

To go along with our celebration of life in the Big Apple, the boys and I made cityscape art by stamping shapes cut from sponges. I confess I sort of had grand ideas in my head of how this project would turn out. I had to remind myself: “process not product!” My goal should not be to make a Pinterest-worthy art project! In any case, the boys had lots of fun. Here’s what we did:

I cut two packages of ordinary kitchen sponges into various shapes: squares, rectangles and triangles. I covered the table in paper and squirted paint onto trays and plates. I like to reuse take-out containers or washable plastic plates in order to reduce waste. It’s easy to use disposable plates; I’m not perfect but I try to avoid doing that.

Cityscape sponge painting project for kids

The boys dipped the sponges into the paint and printed shapes to make buildings and skyscrapers. Kidd declared that he made the Empire State Building, but decided his crooked tower would be the leaning tower of Pisa. That’s okay, because NYC has an international population!

New York Cityscape sponge printing art project for kids.

After the paint dried the boys used color Sharpies (they love color Sharpies!) to add details. I suppose you could say our finished product is as dizzying as the actual city!

Cityscape Coloring Page:

This post is chock full of goodies. As a bonus, Melanie Hope Greenberg has graciously donated a New York City cityscape coloring page! So if you don’t have the energy to set up a sponge art painting project, just print it out for some instant coloring fun.

New York City Coloring Page by Melanie Hope Greenberg

Download and Print: City coloring page by Melanie Hope Greenberg

P.S. Melanie also illustrated A City Is, a collection of poems by the late Norman Rosten. It’s out of print but definitely worth seeking out and Melanie will even autograph it for you if you purchase it directly from her.

As I said at the start, we are joining in with 50 other bloggers to bring you a book and activity for each of the 50 States. Want the complete list of 50 States books and activity posts? You can find it at Growing Book by Book. Growing Book by Book is also hosting several giveaways this week to celebrate Booking Across America, so head over there!

I received a review copy of New York in Pajamarama from the publisher. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this blog and the time it takes me to write and share these posts with you.

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  1. Karyn says

    Stopping by to check out some of the other USA books- I represented UT. I love your book choice, it looks so fun! Your sponge city is darling, too!

  2. says

    An interactive book and a really adaptable extension = a thank you for sharing. Working my way through the states enjoying all the variety of resources and creative ideas.

  3. says

    Working my way through the states enjoying all the variety of resources and creative ideas. Love all the new books being introduced through this event.
    Love the adaptable activity you shared and will be looking for this book. Love interactive books and this one is different.

  4. Nina says

    I’m loving these state-based book selections. Often, geography plays such a huge role in a story that it’s practically its own character.

  5. says

    I love that painting idea. it is so easy, i am sure Aarya would like to dab too (though I doubt I can have a similar type of ‘painting’ work). That book looks fantastic :)

  6. Debbie says

    I stopped by to see what book was going to represent the state of New York. Unfortunately, I am disappointed to see that the book is about the “city” of New York and not something that represents the whole state. It’s no wonder when I tell people I’m from upstate New York they look at me funny and ask if that’s close to NYC? The cityscape project you did is great. I’m just so disappointed that those seeking to know more about New York will miss things like the mountains, rivers and farms that make up most of the state’s geography, including the capital, Albany.

    • MomandKiddo says

      Debbie: Thank you for your comment! I knew that some may be disappointed we chose a book that centered on NYC. The guidelines of the project did not require a book that represented the entire state, and you may have noticed from visiting all the other great posts that many books covered only specific aspects of states, not necessarily the entire state. Do you have a book recommendation for New York State? if so, leave the title here, I’d love to add it to my reading list! Thanks!

  7. says

    Both the book and the project looks great. It’s a great blog hop too if I ever return to geography studies. Right now it seems so unlikely – daughter is getting older and is marching to her own drum.

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