Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (recommended for ages 9-12)
The plot – The novel is set in Florida, where Roy, a new arrival to the city, makes two oddball friends and a bad enemy, and joins an effort to stop the construction of a pancake house which would destroy a colony of burrowing owls that live on the site.
What the novel nudges us to understand – AT the forefront this novel provides a pro-environment, anti-development message. But its various subplots also nudge parents and children to understand different aspects that shape an individual personality. The novel addresses several issues that children face as adolescents and decodes the reasons behind their behavior at that impressionable age. For example, the story’s most intriguing character is Mullet Fingers. The boy is a runaway who at the surface is always up to juvenile behavior.
It is only later in the plot that his reason for being a runaway and his good intention, his mission to protect the miniature owls, is revealed to the reader. Again not all the parents in the Hoot have been shown to be responsible or perfect. Instead they’ve been written very pragmatically and the author hasn’t shied away from showing how their personalities, choices and decisions have shaped the lives and personalities of their children. A perfect example of leading by example and how important it is in a parent-child relationship.
What works – The novel addresses themes such as friendship, teamwork, the conflicts of growing up, kinship, environmentalism and integrity through its characters and their conflicts. These themes are woven well into the storyline and don’t feel forced or preachy. The comic twists and quirky characters make this novel with heavy messaging a fairly light, fun read.
Do get your child to read Hoot this World Earth Day to help them understand how towns, cities, structures built by people are forcing animals to flee their natural habitat or die a painful death. It’s time to raise a generation which believes that the environment truly matters.
#worldearthday #storiesthatmatter #makeadifference #everycontributionmatters #raiseenvironmentawarness #lovetheworld
Clay as a medium of art and expression has been a popular with children and parents for decades now. And the medium has a massive number of benefits for your child as well. Playing and creating with clay helps develop memory as well as fine motor skills in children. Clay is also a tactile, 3D medium of art and studies have shown that it has a major calming effect on children, allowing them to express their emotions and ideas with ease.
This month NFK recommends great clay Playing options across various age groups:
- Melissa & Dough – Shape, Model & Roll
This set is a great way to introduce your child to playing with clay. It comes with number of different moulds and 3 rolling pins which helps improve your child’s fine motor skills, including rolling, gripping and shaping the dough.
- Faber Castell Art Coloring with Clay
This DIY art and clay kit comes complete with project ideas and how to execute them. It is a great way to nudge your child to take on new creative challenges and discover the artistic potential hidden in them.
- Faber Castell Pottery Studio
Ages 8 and up
This kit is different because it actually gives your child an entire pottery experience, complete with their own potters wheel! Nudge them to explore their creativity with a foot pedal operated wheel, lots of air dry clay and an array of brushes and colors to give their creations that perfect finishing touch.
So toss aside those smart devices and screens and join your child in exploring their creative abilities even as you discover yours. It’s time to play with clay.
#clayplay #nfkrecommends #playtimefuntime