Today we had the great joy of reading a New Mo Willems Book called I Lost My Tooth!, which kicks off Mo's new series, Unlimited Squirrels. In partnership with Disney Book Group, below we are sharing our review of the book and a super fun Mo Willems Book Activity to go with it.
We started a “2 books before bedtime” routine with our kids from the time they were infants, so in the 8 years since our first child was born, we have read a LOT of books.
One day at the library when my daughter was a toddler, I noticed a mom reading a book her to son. When she started the book, she read the title, author's name and illustrator's name aloud.
At first it seemed like funny thing to do. I thought, “That kid just wants to hear the story, he doesn't care about the author!” But I tried it anyway, and as it turns out Mo Willems was the one to prove me wrong.
My kids TOTALLY know who Mo Willems is. They know what books he's written, the funny “Easter eggs” he leaves throughout his books, and that he also draws his own pictures. In fact their love of Mo's books has made them into kids who seek out new books by their favorite authors. They're 6 and 8 now, and I love that they know how to spot books by writers that they like.
We had a brief family moment of mourning when we found out the Elephant and Piggie series was coming to an end, so imagine our sheer delight when we found out Mo was starting a new series!
New Mo Willems Book Series: Unlimited Squirrels
In the Unlimited Squirrels series, a whole scurry of squirrels (yes, that IS what you call a group of squirrels!) shares wacky tales, furry tails, bonus jokes, quirky quizzes, nutty facts, and LOTS of squirrels!
In I Lost My Tooth!, Zoom Squirrel loses a front tooth. This book came at just the right time, as my 8 year old just lost a tooth and my 6 year old keeps wondering when he is going to lose HIS first tooth. So they love the subject matter.
In the book, all the Squirrels leap into action when they discover the missing tooth is- GASP- a baby tooth! It's a super cute story and Mo works in some fun facts along the way.
My 8 year old daughter is in a big joke stage, so she loved the jokes at the end, as well as reading all the names of the squirrels (Wink Squirrel, Blink Squirrel, Zoom Squirrel and on and on…) and then getting to the last one- Norman.
My 6 year old son is in a reading boom, now that he can read independently. He loves the familiar Mo Willems word bubble format and the funny way that Zoom squirrel talks because of his missing tooth.
Heads up to my teachers out there: I Lost My Tooth! would be a perfect book for National Children's Dental Health Month in February or National Dental Hygiene Month in October.
Mo Willems Book Activity for Unlimited Squirrels
For Unlimited Squirrels, I wanted to focus on the beginning reader age group since that is where my son is at, and it is the target age for these books. I also loved that the books make it fun to learn new facts, so to match that, I wanted create a playful way to learn sight words.
So- TA-DA! We made an Unlimited Squirrels New Word Wheel, and it turned out so cute!
You can prepare the word wheel with or without your child's help, but there are a couple steps that should be done by an adult, and I will note them as we go.
This word wheel can easily be adapted for any of the Unlimited Squirrels books or any sight words list.
- 2 Paper plates per word wheel (make as many as you like!)
- 1 Squirrel Color & Count Sheet from right here on Mo Willems' super fun website
- Markers or Crayons
- Glue stick
- 1 Metal brad per word wheel
- The book to read: I Lost My Tooth!
Obviously start out by reading the new Mo Willems book, I Lost My Tooth! Then you can make a word wheel to go with it.
- Print out the Unlimited Squirrels Color & Count sheet from the Mo Willems Book Activity Website
- Select 1-2 squirrels on the sheet that you want to use, color them and cut them out (Great cutting practice for the kids, or an adult can cut it once it is colored)
- Glue them onto your plate as close to the edge as you can get, but not on the curved part of the plate
- Have an adult use scissors to cut a hole near each squirrel. Note: If you are using more than one squirrel you have to make sure their word bubbles don't overlap. So the first one should be along the outer edge of the flat section of the plate, while the second one should be about an inch in from the outer edge
- Using a marker, draw word bubbles around the holes, pointing towards the squirrels' mouths
- Have an adult find the center of the two paper plates and puncture a small hole through both of them
- Flip the bottom plate upside down and use the brad to fasten the plates, back to back
- Now you can use a pencil to write your words in each bubble, then shift the bottom plate to get to a blank spot, then write the next words. Repeat until you get back to your original words
Now you have a super cute word bubble activity that you can use over and over again. You can either erase the words or create multiple word plates to interchange. Ta-da! Enjoy your nutty new word wheel!
Have you read the New Mo Willems Book, I Lost My Tooth! yet? Let's hear your favorite part in the comments below!