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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.