Sudan Writing Board {Tutorial} plus Kadis {Book Review}

I am so excited to once again be a co-host for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. This year I received a children’s bilingual book from Sudan to review, Kadis كديسة by Rasha Hamid.

 

 

This book is unique on so many levels, first it was written in Sudanese Arabic, a dialect I am not too familiar with, but excited to learn.  Second, it is read sideways, which allows more room for the English rhythmical text and Arabic translations. And third, it features sensational photos of Sudan, transposed with  كديسة  (kadis or cat) drawings from artist Sharhabil Ahmed.

 

My daughters and I enjoyed learning about Sudan through the adventures of the cats and we went online to look up more information.  We found that students historically used wood writing boards to practice their Arabic calligraphy and to help them memorize Qur’anic verses.

 

To help us learn the new Sudanese Arabic words in the back of the book, we made a writing board to draw what we were learning on the different pages.  I had received this chalkboard paint as a Plaid Ambassador and the Liquid Chalk was perfect for letting us draw an image, wipe it off, and draw the next.  Just like a real writing board from Sunday!  Except that with the liquid chalk, there is no smudging if someone accidentally touches it.

Supplies

Artist wood panel
Chalkboard paint
Liquid chalk
Pen
Xacto
Foam brush
Blank stencil

Follow the manufactures instructions on how to apply the chalkboard paint. Ours says to add three layers, waiting an hour between coats.  Once the third layer was on, we left it alone for 24 hours to set.

While we waited, we worked on making our stencils for the Arabic word for cat: كديسة and one of the cats from the book. To make the word, we laid the stencil over the book and traced out the letters. To make sure we don’t lose the hole in the last letter ة, we added lines to keep it attached.

My 11 year old daughter made this craft, so I helped her with the smaller turns in the letters, but she did the straight areas to practice working with an xacto.

We decided to go with one of the simpler cat drawings and traced it also. At this point my daughter was able to cut out the whole cat by herself with the Xacto.

We set everything aside for the next day. After the 24 were done and our wood board was dry, we conditioned it according to our directions. First we covered the whole thing with chalk. Then we wiped it off with soap and water.

We waited till our board was dry and placed our stencil on top. We sponge painted the letters.

We also added the كديسة.

Now the fun began as we used the pages of the book to inspire our drawings.

First we stared with a zir, زير, a type of clay water pot that cools water though evaporation. You can find azyar, أزيار, the plural of zir, along the way for travelers to sip on hot, windy desert days. A visual reminder of the generosity and hospitality of the Sudanese people.

While we had our paintbrush out, we also fixed the connection to make our last letter, ة, complete.

Once the chalk paint is dry, it is smudge proof.

However, with just a little water and wrist strength, it can be made clean.

Now our board is ready for our next lesson, about kusseh alsukr, sugar cane, قصب السكر.

 

We can add a hook to the back of the board and hang it up as art.

Grab your copy of this delightful book and support Multicultural Book Day by stopping by on Saturday for the big link party!


If you enjoyed this DIY craft and book review, pleas stop by

Sheep Origami Bookmark {Tutorial} plus Who Hid The Eid Lamb {Review}

Mosque Golden Domes {Tutorial} plus Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns {Review}

 

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials.

Night Moon Paper Plate {Tutorial} plus Night of the Moon {Book Review}

Happy 2018! Let’s celebrate the new year by reviewing a book to kick off Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th.

 

When I received the book Night of the Moon by Hena Khan from her publisher, Chronicle books, I got so excited because it helps explain the moon phases. We have done several moon crafts in our studio to help learn the difference between the Gregorian and Hijri calendars.

 

To see the phases showcased in this book, throughout the month of Ramadan, was fantastic. Especially as we learn them through the eyes of Yasmeen, a young Pakistani-American girl.

 

When Yasmeen is shown the crescent moon, her mom explains “it means a new month is beginning” for Ramadan. Yasmeen then sees the moon in its different phases, as the month progresses, ending with Eid. We are also exposed to Chaand Raat, a popular cultural tradition from South Asia, also called Night of the Moon celebration.

The book illustrations are beautiful, often casting the words in arabesque windows that complement the windows Yasmeen looks out of, while gazing at the moon.

 

We used two paper plates to also create a “window” to showcase our moon phases. Now as we are reading the book, we can change out our moons to match the story.

 

Supplies

Paper dessert plates – 2
Foam glue dots
Glue
Cardstock
Black paint
Foam brush
Color markers
Sharpie
Xacto
Circle punch
Craft sticks

We used the moons in the corners of the book cover to decide how many circles we needed to cut out total: 8, two for each side.

To create the different phases of the moon, we put the circles back in the punch and offset the cuts. Thinner moons means putting almost the whole circle back into the punch.

While our thicker moons needed to be cut slightly larger.

We used the left over cardstock to create a mosque template to outline on the top paper plate.

Once it was outlined, we used the xacto to cut around the roof and the inner circle of the plate.  We used our markers to decorate the mosque, just like in the book.

We also used the markers to outline all eight moons.

We pulled out our black paint next. We painted the plate, around the mosque, and both sides of our craft sticks.

We also painted our second plate, that will be our background.

By now, our craft sticks were dry and we were able to add our moons to the ends. We matched the two sides to each other, and making sure the outlines were facing out.

After we had finished our four craft sticks, we turned our attention back to the plates.  We added foam stickers around the outside of the black, plain plate. We didn’t place any at the bottom, where the mosque will goes, so that we can move the moon across the night sky with our stick.

The final step is to add the mosque plate. Now our plates are ready to follow along with the Ramadan moon in the book.

You’ll have fun changing out each moon as the month gets closer to Eid.

Since both moon sides are outlines, you can change the direction of the moon and not have to make more sticks.

Be sure to check out the book Night of the Moon from Chronicle or ask for it a your local bookstore, library or Amazon.

If you enjoyed making this moon craft, stop by these other DIY tutorials

RyaTie Moon Wall Hanging {Tutorial}
Cookie Cutter Moon and Star Art {Tutorial}

Be sure sto check out A Crafty Arab on Pinterest.

Air Dry Clay Ladybug {Tutorial} Plus Where? {Book Review}

I was recently sent the book Ayn? (Where? in Arabic) by Aya Khairy and Rania El Turk, from Maktabatee.

 

This little board book follows the story of a boy that discovers a ladybug on a head of lettuce his mom has brought home from the grocery story.  He delicately lifts it to carry but it flies away. But where is it?  Kids can lift the flaps of the next few pages to look for the ladybug, who seems to be closer than you think.

 

I took this book to a recent storytelling session and it was a huge hit. The kids loved taking turns lifting the flap and looking for the ladybug. I loved that the book was wordless so I could improvise Arabic words into the story, such as خس (khus) for lettuce, هرة (hirrah) for cat or  دعسوقة (daesuqat) or sometimes أم علي (umm ali) for ladybug.

 

For my next storytelling session, I thought it might be fun to hide a few ladybugs around the library and have the kids look for them.

 

These only took a few minutes to make but you’ll need two days for the clay to dry.  You can use regular clay and fire them in a kiln, or use air dry clay like we did.

 

Supplies

Air dry clay
Paint
Wire / wire cutters / needle nose pliers
Slicer
Pen
Bone folder
Paintbrush
E6000 / magnet

We started by carefully opening the clay so we can cut off a slice.

As soon as we were done, we put away the clay in an air tight container, to make sure it stays moist.

To get the clay ready, we spent a few minutes conditioning it. This means we rubbed it between our fingers and hands to get it soft.

After about five minutes, we divided it up into three balls and spent some time making them round.

We picked the smoothest side to each ball and flatten the other side of it so the best side showed.  Then my daughter placed it in her hand and used the bone folder to make an incision about a third of the way across. This will become the head.

Once the head is done, she placed the bone folder in the mid point and made another incision across. This creates the wings.

Once the body is done, it was time to start working on the face. My daughter took apart a ballpoint pen to use the main part for the eyes.

She then used the ink well to make the mouth.

You can choose to add antennas, or leave out the next step.  If you do decide to make them, you’ll need wire cutters and needle nose pliers to cut and shape them.

Once made, place them over the eyes in the ladybug.

We waited 24 hours for our clay to dry, then my daughter painted the body.

Once the wings had dried, she painted the face black.

She added pupils for the eyes and gave one of the three ladybugs lipstick.

The final step is to use the back of the ballpoint pen for the black spots.

You can leave your ladybug as is, or you can add a magnet with E6000. Earlier, we also added a hole in two of the ladybugs so we can add a wire to the bottom of them. We placed a tiny bit of E6000 to hold the wire.

Now our ladybugs are ready to hide. One in the corner of our magnet board in the front of the library kid’s area and the other two in the planters. Waiting to be found.

Be sure to check out the book Where from Maktabatee or ask for it a your local bookstore, library or Amazon.

Stop by these other book reviews that also include a fun craft tutorial.

Sheep Origami Bookmark

Persian Paisley Painting

 

Please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to learn more about the Arab world.