Mechanics & Literature: April 2023
April’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections spotlight dynamic characters navigating complex situations and feelings. Your family will be entertained and inspired as they explore:
- and literary devices.
And this month’s Quill is all about bugs! Your kids can skitter, hop, and fly into nature studies, exploring life cycles and habitats as they practice early reading, writing, and math skills.
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Are you ready for a new Quill to buzz its way to you? The April Quill (Bugs) is here! (And if you are wondering, we are using the term “bug” in a broad sense to include any tiny creepy-crawlies.)
In this Quill we’ll discover the fun facts tucked into author and illustrator bios; flutter, flap, and sting our way through a look at an array of action words; stare into the face of danger in an exploration of the warning signs used by bugs—and people; survey family members to find out which insect is best beloved and which is most loathed; delight in the symmetry of insect marketing as we build a butterfly; and spot shapes in buggy bodies as we build even more bugs!
Note: You can use any bug picture books you have in your stacks or find at your library.
- Inch and Roly by Melissa Wiley
- Insect Detective by Steve Voake
- The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer
- Bugs by the Numbers by Sharon Werner & Sarah Forss
- Who Would Win? Ultimate Bug Rumble by Jerry Pallotta
- Origami Insects by Anna George
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly
Your family will have fun getting to know eight-year-old Marisol and watching her overcome her fears. Warm humor and a dash of adventure make this story a special delight.
A story’s details are easier to digest in bite-sized bits, AKA chapters! And that’s what we’re looking at in this month’s literary device section.
- investigate italics,
- ponder personification,
- consider commas,
- discover dashes,
- holler about hyperbole,
- observe onomatopoeia that makes our hearts go pitty-pat, and so much more!
Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed
Celebrate Eid traditions, the sharing of festive meals, and the giving of gifts in this joy-filled short-story anthology.
April’s literary device is the narrative arc. We’ll explore the ways this important device gives a story a spine—its beginning, middle, and end!
- get moving with action verbs,
- mess around with mood,
- investigate internal monologue,
- change the tone with end marks,
- consider complex characters,
- explore what makes graphic novel storytelling tick,
- keep the story flowing with em dashes, and so much more.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
This powerful piece of historical fiction takes readers to Madrid in 1957, which is under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. This novel is a page-turner sure to inspire lively conversation in your family!
In this Boomerang, we’ll:
- whisper secrets and scrawl furtive letters,
- dress up dialogue with action,
- analyze allusions,
- examine the evidence with primary and secondary sources,
- revolve around repeated imagery with extended metaphor and simile,
- forecast the future with foreshadowing,
- probe the past and ponder shifting perspectives and point of view, and so much more!
For ages 15-18, check out the Slingshot.