Tuesday, November 3, 2015


An alluring title invites young readers into an exquisitely illustrated world where the magic of snow and fairies meet. Set in the forest, under the winter moon, the first page beckons the imagination with enchanting imagery and written possibilities.

With a few turns of the page, this story offers vibrant images of fairies, flowers, and sunshine in spring... followed by summer celebrations and a leafy, acorn- filled fall.  Bursting with questions, color, and coziness...(along with a wee bit of fairy dust), Where do Fairies go When it Snows is a delightful read aloud—especially for those who love mystical little creatures who nap under mushroom caps

From questions such as: “Do fairies hibernate like bears, hedgehogs, and raccoons?” to “Ways You Can Take Care of Fairies in the Winter,” this story, written by Liza Gardner Walsh and  illustrated by Hazel Mitchell, is a celebration of joy, wonder, and what-ifs.

A Mr. Arachnid Library favorite for illustrations.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Halloween Themed Picture Book Review: Turkey Trick or Treat


Who says Halloween treats aren’t for turkeys? With a few tricks under his feathers, and heaps of “Oh, Gobble, Gobbles,” Turkey is b-a-a-a-c-k!  This time, in Turkey Trick or Treat, where trick-or-treating has never been more fun!   

Outfitted in one crazy costume after another, Turkey is on a mission—a quest for candy.  Whether dressed as “a gobble, gobble ghost” or “a baa-baa-ballerina,” a few ingenious ideas from his barnyard pals send this comical character floating, dancing, and sailing from house to house on Halloween night.

Written by Wendy Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper, Turkey Trick or Treat overflows with oodles of witty wordplay and laugh out loud illustrations.  This entertaining tale is loaded with clever chitchat and rollicking repetition, making Turkey Trick or Treat the third in a trio of picture book “must haves.”

Coming to shelves later this month, Turkey Trick or Treat is a funny and cozy story that lives up to its “hilarious companions.”  Highly recommended for trick-or-treaters of all ages, this book is a Mr. Arachnid Library favorite! 

Happy Halloween (in August)!  And happy reading!

Turkey Trick or Treat. Copyright © 2015 by Wendi Silvano. Illustrations © 2015 by Lee Harper. Published by Two Lions, New York.

Buy now by clicking on the cover images.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Color Your Heart Out

...with these tender lovin' treasures. 

Students from our reading and enrichment groups have been having so much fun getting ready for Valentine's Day. This week, we read books like Diane de-Groat's Roses are Pink Your Feet Really Stink and created these awesome "Color your Heart Out" "Color My World" Crayon Valentines. 
Shaped like hearts, these Valentines are not only fun to make, they're easy, too!  I'm not sure who enjoyed making them more...me or the students?  In fact, I liked this so much, I made them again at home with my son.  Preston loved them, too!

I first saw this idea in a magazine years ago and have revisited it from time to time.  It never gets old! 


1. Made with melted Crayola Crayons, we started our project by gathering together lots of old crayons.

2. Next, we peeled off all the paper.  By the time I did this with my last student, I decided it might be more motivating if we raced to see who could peel their paper the fastest.  This sped things up quite nicely!

3. Then, we broke the crayons into pieces and separated them into color families.  This also made a nice discussion on grouping and patterns.

4. Finally, we used a heart shaped silicon baking mold to melt our crayons in.  We placed them in a preheated oven at 250 degrees and baked them for 20 minutes.  We let them cool for about 25 minutes and then gently removed them from the mold.

We packaged our crayons in pink tinted bags with some other treats, but there are all kinds of creative ways to package these Tender Lovin' Treasures.

Here is a link to a Martha Stewart video where she packages Crazy Crayons.

Also, there are zillions of ideas on Pinterest.  Check out and be sure to follow our Valentine Boards.  Lori's totally cool Be MY Valentine Pinterest Board!

Another resource for terrific Valentine Ideas and photos is: The Nerd's Wife.

Crayons made by one of our awesome students, Scott B.

~Step into the shoes of your inner child and dance with the Moon! 

                                                                                                       Happy Valentine's Day!

                                                                                                         XOXO Lori & Ted

Mr. Arachnid's Library:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roses-are-pink-your-feet-really-stink-diane-de-groat/1101116157?ean=9780688152208

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fingerprint Art is sooo Much Fun!

It’s amazing how a simple stamp pad, 
paper and a few markers can transform your child’s
fingerprints into little masterpieces like bugs, fairies, octopuses and more...The ideas are truly endless and the keepsakes are priceless!

I’ve used this activity so many times…and, it’s always a hit!  
At my son’s 3rd birthday party—a Pizza Party Pirate Style, I set up a fingerprint art station where the kids lined up to create ocean themed fingerprint art which they stamped onto ocean themed scenes.  They used their thumbs to create fish and octopus bodies and then used a marker to draw in the details such as the eyes and face.  To complete their octopus creations, they added 8 squiggly little legs.  The activity was simple to set up, simple to instruct and left the kids feeling very proud.  Even the most reluctant artists can use their own fingers to create adorable little creatures.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turkey Trouble {Picture Book of the Week}

Thanksgiving is next week and we've got Turkey on the brain..."Turkey Trouble" that is!  "Stuffed with clever wordplay, groanable puns, and easy-to-ham-it-up animal sounds, the chuckle-inducing narrative makes a crowd-pleasing read-aloud. Turkey's get-ups are exuberantly silly and the animals' sardonic facial expressions are sublime" said the School Library Journal, and we couldn't have described it better!

Written by Wendy Silvano with illustrations by Lee Harper, Turkey Trouble is both a classroom and family favorite! With lots of "great ideas" and a few "Oh, Gobble, Gobbles!"  Turkey Trouble is truly the perfect Thanksgiving read aloud and hard-cover "must have" for your children's book collection!

A Mr. Arachnid Library favorite!

Click on the link to check it out: Turkey Trouble 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall Family Fun List

There's a chill in the air...You know what that means...The magic of a new season is beginning to stir.  

Here comes FALL!

List making is a normal thing around here...We're always making To-Do lists ( both at home and around the office), but a seasonal list of things to do is something new.  We tried it this summer and it served as the perfect guide for summer fun making...so here we go again! 

1.  Explore a pumpkin
2.  Carve pumpkins
3.  Visit Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA (http://www.dutchwonderland.com/plan-a-visit/about-dutch-wonderland) to participate in their fall festivities
4.  Take a trip to Salem, Massachusettes
5.  Bake up a storm--starting with Pumpkin Pie
6.  Read one of our very favorite books for fall:  The Perfect Pumpkin Pie
7.  Make a bird feeder
8. Visit a pumpkin patch
9.  Go on a leaf hunt
10.  Make leaf rubbings
12.  Listen to our: Should I Stay or Should I Go Bird Migration song  (www.toucheedi.com)
13.  Listen to our Hibernating Kind of Bear song  (www.toucheedi.com)
14.  Learn about Bird Migration and Animal Hibernation with Preston
15.  Decorate the house with mums, pumpkins and Scarecrows
16.  Go to a movie or host a movie night
17.  Watch:  "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" 
18. Drink Apple Cider
19.  Go on a hayride
20.  Visit the Bloomsburg Fair

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Nighttime Nature Ride = Simple FAMILY FUN

     I was recently surprised by the local nightlife here in the outskirts of small town PA.

     I have two boys.  Ronnie-16.  Preston-4. Like most families, we're often on the lookout for things we can do together that everyone will enjoy.  Last night was no exception. 
     When our evening plans to visit with family were cancelled, the scent of disappointment wafted through the car like and old Sippy cup full of sour milk.  In an attempt to save the evening and do something fun as a family, we decided to take a scenic ride through the countryside.
     With Ronnie’s new spotlight in tow, we headed out to the back roads of Central PA. Our only goals: to enjoy the scenery and spot a few deer. 
     As it turned out, we found there is a lot that goes on when the sun goes down.  From bats and skunks to deer and possum...there is a real busyness in the woods at night.  I mean, I knew there were nocturnal animals, but, I never expected to see so many in one evening. 
     The first little guy we came across was a very arrogant possum.  He sat in the middle of the road nibbling away on his bedtime snack.  Instead of being scared away by our headlights, his stare seemed to say, “Do you mind?”  We imagined various ways of interacting with this guy.  
     We also saw many deer (13 in total), and many zipping-zapping bats—nothing too impressive at first.  But, then, we saw a mischievous coyote and a very sneaky red fox tiptoeing along the side of the road.  Where were they going?  Perhaps, to grandmother's house to join the BIG BAD WOLF or maybe they were headed to "Bloomingdale's to buy a hat that would turn out to be a mistake." 
     As we were heading home, the last and most exciting creature we spotted was a large owl.  His wide wings caught my attention.  We watched as he spread his wings and with silent flight, he pushed his talons forward, lowering them like landing gear, to snatch something out of the air.  He left out a loud screech and flew to the top of a tree where we saw his head shift from side to side nearly making a complete circle.  We were in awe!
      Who would have thought there was such nightlife here in PA?  On the way home, we decided that our simple ride had provided a lot of entertainment. We also decided, we will do it again.  It might be fun to keep a journal of all the creatures we spot along the way.  
       So if your looking for some simple and relaxing family fun, head out on a nighttime nature ride.  Don't forget your spotlight!