Posts tagged: Southwestern US books

Rocks (Weekly Unplugged Project) – Petroglyphs

By , March 30, 2008 7:29 pm

It has been a week full of rocks during Spring Break at our house in Albuquerque: a trip to Petroglyph National Monument, climbing over big rocks on a mountain hike, choosing pretty tumbled rocks to buy at the Natural History Museum gift shop, collecting rocks in the courtyard.

So, although I didn’t realize that we would be so into rocks this week when I chose the Unplugged Project theme last Sunday, it has been an excellent week for a rock project.

My son was too busy with his new Legos this week to care much about projects, but my oldest daughter wanted to make her own petroglyph. The children have both recently studied petroglyphs at school and I think that Petroglyph National Monument made a big impression on them.

We found what we thought would be a suitable flat rock (note: if you try this, make sure you choose as soft a rock as possible), and used a hammer to break a piece of it off to use as a chisel. We were trying to be authentic!

My daughter drew her design on the rock with a pencil. She was trying to reproduce one that we had seen at the Monument.

She then scraped the rock with the other rock to engrave the design.

Well, this proved to be slow going (the rock was not soft enough), so she got fed up and moved on to authentic Native American method number two: the Dremel Tool! My husband supervised this step and the petroglyph was quickly completed.

In case anyone is interested, here’s another fun rock idea that we once did: cracking open a geode!

Other petroglyph resources:

+ Draw your own rock art printable

+ Hawaiian petroglyphs to print and color

+ Info about petroglyphs:

+ Fun art project: Sandpaper Petroglyphs


If you joined us for the Unplugged Project this week, please leave a link in Mr. Linky, as well as a comment in case Mr. Linky fails at his job. If you didn’t join in, please consider taking part next week!


Next week’s Unplugged Project theme will be:


Hope to see you then!

Don’t Call Me Pig! – A Javelina Story (Conrad J. Storad, Illustrated by Beth Neely & Don Rantz)

By , October 3, 2007 8:34 pm

This funny book teaches children and adults alike about javelinas (pronounced: “HAVELEENA”) and yes, most people think that they are a variety of wild pig – nope, they are “peccaries.”

As a resident of Arizona, we actually encounter javelinas from time to time, and these encounters are all the more interesting now that we have learned so much from this wonderful book! My children adore this book and love shouting out the oft repeated refrain: “Don’t call me pig!”

In addition to the fun, rhyming text, the book features marvelous and funny illustrations of the javelinas. Both the text and the illustrations describe their physical characteristics and their life in a manner that is appealing even to young children.

For adults who want the straight facts, there are two pages at the end of the book that discuss javelinas in a more narrative manner. This book should appeal to any child who is curious about wildlife, or the southwestern United States. It would be a great book for teachers too. My kids learned a lot, and so did I!

Try a Southwestern Bedtime Story Tonight

By , August 31, 2007 8:02 am

One of the wonderful things about living in the Southwestern US is that there is a whole unique genre of regional literature, including children’s literature. There are not many other parts of the United States that come to mind with such a strong regional literary presence.

After finding my review of their book Baby Animals of the Southwest, publisher Rising Moon (Northland Publishing) asked me if I would be interested in reading and reviewing other books. I am very interested in Southwestern and multicultural children’s literature and I loved the idea of helping support a local publisher (Northland was based in Flagstaff, Arizona, not far from me).

Unfortunately, I heard on the news last night that Northland has just been purchased by a large East Coast publisher and has already closed its doors (which explains the lack of response when I requested some high resolution images of the book to add to this post).

Just when I was feeling like a “cool blogger” for having been asked to write a book review, “my publisher” goes out of business! Maybe I should have written my review sooner?? Oh well. They were kind enough to send me the book, and it is a great book, so I will write the review anyhow!

I was interested in Southwestern bedtime stories, so they kindly sent me Bedtime in the Southwest, by Mona Hodgson, illustrated by Renee Graef.

The southwestern animals in this story resist bedtime in ways that all parents will recognize (bouncing on the bed, ignoring Mama, begging for juice, etc,)… but at the end, the animals demonstrate the proper way to go to bed “scoot into bed and snuggle in tight, and offer big hugs and then say goodnight.”

The text is very simple so that it will appeal to younger children. The illustrations are humorous and very cute and depict such animals as prong-horned antelope, skunks, hummingbirds, and coyotes for example.

I gave this book the test of all my children (ages 7, 5, and 19 months). They all enjoyed it, but my 19 month-old actually made me read it twice more. She loved the story and for some reason, she found the skunk page absolutely fascinating!

If you are looking for an unusual, quality children’s bedtime story with cute art, give Bedtime in the Southwest a try. This might be a really fun one to read to a reluctant sleeper too!

Baby Animals of the Southwest (Rising Moon Books)

By , June 13, 2007 10:42 am

This board book is not your ordinary inventory of baby cows, pigs, and ducks. As a resident of the Southwestern US, I could not resist buying this for my 17 month-old, and she loves it!

This book contains adorable photos of the following babies: prairie dog, bighorn sheep, roadrunner, skunk, red-tailed hawk, javelina, mountain lion, coyote, bobcat, and quail.

It is a sturdy board book format. Each two-page spread has a photo and a simple sentence about the animal (for example: “A baby javelina has a snout.”).

What a welcome change from all the baby farm animal books out there!

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