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BLAST Elementary Thematic Program
Jungles and Rainforests & Chris Van Allsburg

(January and February 2013)


Exploring Jungles and Rainforests

Recommended for grades K-2

What is the difference between a loris and a sloth? How tall can a Kapoks tree grow? Is a blue morpho butterfly's wingspan really eight inches? The jungles and rainforests of the world are home to some amazing creatures and plant life. We'll have fun exploring the region through stories, songs and informational text. Students will leave with new knowledge and maybe even a souvenir from their trip.


Martin, Francesca
Clever Tortoise: A Traditional African Tale

Clever Tortoise leads the other jungle animals in teaching bullying Elephant and Hippopotamus a lesson by tricking them into engaging in a tug of war with each other.


Bishop, Nic

All snakes are predators. Some find prey by hunting. Others lie in wait to ambush their victims. Then they swallow them whole! Join acclaimed naturalist and photographer Nic Bishop and explore the scary, scaly world of snakes.


Fleming, Candace
Oh, No!

Young children will delight in repeating the refrain "Oh, No!" as one animal after another falls into a deep, deep hole in this lively read-aloud.


Rosen, Michael
Tiny Little Fly

With a tramp and a roll and a swat, Great Big Elephant, Great Big Hippo, and Great Big Tiger try to capture Tiny Little Fly as he teases each one in turn.


Andreae, Giles
Giraffes Can't Dance

Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music.



Wilson, Karma
Hilda Must Be Dancing

Hilda Hippo tries other, quieter, activities when her jungle friends are disturbed by her dancing, but nothing else makes her happy until Water Buffalo suggests swimming and she finds a new way to express herself.


The Strange World of Chris Van Allsburg

Recommended for grades 3-5

No author tells stories quite like Chris Van Allsburg. His tales are full of mysterious happenings and surprising twists that keep your brain guessing. During this interactive program, we will dive into the strange world of Van Allsburg and hope for a safe return!


Van Allsburg, Chris
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

When Chris Van Allsburg was invited to the home of Peter Wenders, he discovered fourteen drawings that were, like pieces of a picture puzzle, clues to larger pictures. But the puzzles, the mysteries, presented by these drawings, are not what we are used to. They are not solved for us, as in the final pages of a book or a film's last reel. The solution to these mysteries lie in a place at once closer at hand, yet far more remote. They lie in our imagination.



Van Allsburg, Chris
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

Who is Harris Burdick? For more than twenty-five years, readers have been puzzling over the illustrations by this enigmatic artist. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with his intriguingly titled pictures. And now, some of our most imaginative storytellers attempt to solve the perplexing mysteries of Harris Burdick.



Van Allsburg, Chris

On his birthday, Calvin and his friend Rodney see a magician perform, then copy him by hypnotizing Calvin's little sister, but the joke is on them when they are unable to snap her out of it.



Van Allsburg, Chris
The Sweetest Fig

After being given two magical figs that make his dreams come true, Monsieur Bibot sees his plans for future wealth upset by his long-suffering dog.