Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brown Bear, Brown Bear... Book Embellishing Party

Last Friday night, I hosted the Ds Sisterhood for a Brown Bear, Brown Bear book embellishing party.  We had 14 moms and one nana, plus a few adorable kids.  The book is called Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and artwork by one of my favorite artists, Eric Carle.

I borrowed the embellishing idea from Bessie Barth, Music Therapist and Director of Music to Grow On.  She writes, "This was my original idea especially since I had some clients with visual impairments that needed something to experience the book.  I also found that it was more engaging for many of my clients and made it multi-sensory and easier to follow along."  Two of her interns took the idea and really tried to make the book true to textures related to the animals as best they could.

John Michael loves to feel the different textures.  We love the book because of the sing-songy text.  For each page, we sign and say the color and animal name and then make the associated animal sound.  For goldfish, we usually call it orange fish and smack our lips.  It's very funny to watch JM do it! 

It was a tight squeeze in my kitchen, but we managed to craft and enjoy appetizers and wine.
When was the last time you played with glue?
The hot glue station...
Some moms even made two books that night!
Joey, Eva and Sofia played while their mamas crafted.  My daughter, Anna, did a great job entertaining them. 

We finished the evening watching Deedah.  "Deedah is an honest, touching and often humorous account of a seven-year old girl’s relationship with her six-year old brother, who has Down syndrome. The 26-minute film, shot in documentary news style, follows the siblings through their daily lives."

While watching the film, I saw glimpses of Greta (5) and John Michael (almost 3) a few years down the road.  Greta loves John Michael without condition.  She nurtures him, cares for him, plays with him, dances with him, chases him, encourages and motivates him and is an advocate for him to other kids at her school.  He calls her "Deh duh" for Greta and we sometimes call her that, too, just for fun.  This is one of those films that should be seen by every school-aged child, as well as doctors, teachers and other parents. 

I've included several more photos from our book embellishing.  I'm hoping to contact Eric Carle to show him how cool his artwork looks in 3D!

Red bird has red feathers that fly off the page!

The blue horse has yarn hair.  We used hot glue for this. 

Here, we added a suede collar and rhinestone.

The teacher's glasses were made out of blue chenille stems.

The bottom row of children have googly eyes glued on.

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  1. so cute! I am so bummed I missed this :(

  2. Thanks for sharing Deedah with your friends... and sharing your evening with the rest of us.


  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog, Philip! We LOVE Deedah. FYI: For anyone trying... Deedah's link is Looks like Phil was typing in the middle of the night!

  4. WOW, what a great idea! The book looks amazing! Samantha used to love that book, and still reads it once in a while. :-)

  5. It was such a FUN night....sorry for the "boobage" in that first photo...Sofia must have been pulling down on my shirt! YIKES :)

  6. What a creative idea! I used to put little velcro dots in all of Mia's books, but this is so much more fun. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie too.

  7. I still have your email with these pictures. I am determined to get our Ds group together to do this too. What a fun get together

  8. What a great idea!!! I think Ruby would love that book.It looks like y'all had a super time.Wish I was in Cali. :)

  9. i just posted a pict of William when he was 23 mos old, check it out and tell me what you think, :)

  10. You guys are amazing! What a fun time together!

  11. How fun! I want to move there :)!

  12. I love this idea! What were the other textures for the frog, sheep, cat, etc. that aren't pictured here? Thanks for the great suggestions.

  13. Just stumbled across this on the web...LOVE IT! We have a parent group and I'd love to do one of these parties. Can you let me know what you used to embelish the other pages of the book that aren't shown here (duck, sheep, frog, cat)? I'm so uncreative I need guidance. Thanks! Not sure how to contact you...hope my email shows up with this post.

  14. Hi Paula, Thank you for the comments. I'd be happy to send the rest of the info if you send me your email address to I have no other way to reach you. Thanks.