Monday, October 1, 2012

Out of the Blue by Vanita Oslschlager

Happy October Good friends.
Today, I've found a delightful book that can be used by home-schools, in the classroom, or even at home. Out of the Blue uses fun illustrations of what idiom phrases describe literally. The reader will then have to guess the “real” meaning of the phrases. If you're unsure, Vanita Oelschlager has added an explanation at the bottom of each page. You'll need to be able to read upside down. Of course, turning the book over works as well.

At the end of the book, readers are invited to learn more about these figures of speech.

This is a great book to use for beginning lessons on idioms, especially in younger grades. The phrases are simple, and focus on colors words.

Happy Reading,
The Queen


Book Title: Out of the Blue
Author:  Vanita Oelschlager                                                             Illustrator:Robin Hegan



Book Information:

Publisher and date: Vanita Books (May 1, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 40 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book: Language Arts
ISBN: 978-0983290421



Book Theme:
Idioms, play on color words, language arts lessons



Book Summary from Netgalley
Out of the Blue shows children the magic of idioms - words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different. Children are curious about words, especially phrases that make them laugh ("Tickled Pink"), sound silly ("Shrinking Violet") or trigger images that tickle a child's sense of the absurd ("A Red Letter Day"). Out of the Blue uses outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally.



Activity Adventures

Young Readers:
Idioms are confusing for younger children to grasp. As you go through the book, talk about how people have common sayings that get repeated and repeated until eventually, they become part of our cultural way of speaking.
Use the upside-down phrase explanation to talk about what the saying means. 

Older Readers:
Look up the origins of the idioms listed in the book. Find more idioms and illustrate a literal picture of the saying.

Crafty Ideas:
Find a book of idioms. Read or write a few phrases on a board, picking some of the more simpler sayings. Don't explain the meaning behind the phrase yet.
Tell children to close their eyes, get a picture of what the phrase means, then illustrate it. In a classroom, the drawings can be hung up and discussed. Did everyone see the same thing? Are the pictures different? Why? Finally, after talking about what the idiom might mean, tell children what it really means and where the phrase originated from. 




What are idioms?
(taken from Vinita Books)
Every language has “figures of speech”, or idioms. They are kind of a short hand way of explaining something unfamiliar or complicated.

The English language has thousands of them. You cannot understand them because the group of words together has little, often nothing, to do with the meanings of the words taken one by one.

Hundreds of years ago, the words might have meant what they said, but today they do not.

In order to understand a language, you must know what the idioms in that language mean. If you try to figure out the meaning of the idiom word by word you’re likely to get nowhere – you will get befuddled or confused. You have to know the “hidden” meaning. You need to read between the lines and behind the words.




Authors Arena

Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current caregiver and, for almost ten years, author and poet.

She was born and raised near Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee.

She has also supported and helped Jim as he built Oak Associates, ltd. into a successful investment management firm.

Today, as an accomplished author, Vanita shares openly the experiences that she, Jim and their families have had with multiple sclerosis. She has likened MS to living with an elephant, one that won't go away or be ignored. Together, she and Jim have found ways to live with this "elephant", and to share some of the larger lessons about life they've learned through the disease.

Her first book of idioms, Birds of a Feather (2009), dealt with birds, insects or animals. The second, Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries (2011) uses food idioms. Out of the Blue uses color idioms. All three are fun – and instructive.


Illustrator: Robin Hegan

 Robin Hegan has many artistic talents but she enjoys illustrating children's books the most. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Integrative Arts. Robin resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.

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