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Dream Something Big this summer at the Orion Library!

Combine math, art, and reading with your children this summer at the Orion Township Public Library and "Dream Something Big"!

"Dream Big - Read!" is our theme for the Orion Township Public Library's Youth Summer Reading Program. Here is a fantastic biography picture book to inspire young builders and dreamers alike. Dream Something Big: the Story of the Watts Towers, written by Dianna Hutts Aston with collages by Susan L. Roth, is a visually stunning biography of an artist you may never have heard of before. Simon Rodia was simply Uncle Sam to his neighbors in Los Angeles. Over 34 years, Sam built towers from broken bits of tile, glass, and cement that soar up to 99 feet high. His incredible recycled-art structures are now a National Landmark.

At the end of this gorgeously illustrated book you’ll find jaw-dropping photos of the Watts Towers. I’m including a close-up of the towers here so you can see the details as well as a photo that shows just how huge these works of art are. Share Dream Something Big with your kids and do a fun math activity. Just how tall is a 99-foot tower? Get out the rulers and chalk and head to the playground or a parking lot. Divide 99 by the number of kids you have and let them take turns measuring and marking out each foot in 99 feet. Stand at one end of the length when you are done and imagine that distance soaring into the sky. Decorate the 99 feet with chalk “collages”, coloring bright shapes to resemble Sam’s art. Build your own towers with scrap materials, pipe cleaners, clay, etc. and encourage your students to “dream something big” like Sam did.

 

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Dianna Hutts Aston May 28, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Hi, I'm Dianna Aston, the author. What a great activity you're planning around the book. Writing this story changed my life. If you're theme is dreaming big, I think you'd like another of my books, "The Moon Over Star." You can find out about it on my website, www.diannahaston.com. That one is also an audio-book. Thanks for including it in your summer program.
Kristen Remenar May 29, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Wow, hi, Dianna Aston! We love your books at the Orion Library! Thanks for the heads-up about "The Moon Over Star"!

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