Last week I was on the edge of my seat, along with other lovers of children’s literature, as this year’s Youth Media Awards were announced by the American Library Association. I’m always thrilled when one of my favorites wins, and I rush to read the winners and honor books that I am not familiar with. These books exemplify the richness of children’s literature and are some of the best-of-the-best picture books from 2017.
Kids can help out their grown-ups in the kitchen, but they can also make wonderful dishes all by themselves—or with just a little help. Take Mollie Katzen's Number Salad from her kid-friendly cookbook, Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes. It's delicious, nutritious, and a fun way to practice numbers. Here's how to make it:
Put into a bowl:
1 handful of coconut
2 tablespoons of O.J. concentrate
3 pieces of orange
4 slices of apple
5 cubes of cheese
6 slices of banana
7 pieces of melon
...and stir 9 times.
This recipe, complete with friendly, hand-drawn pictures and useful hints, can be found online here. Children may also enjoy Mollie Katzen's Honest Pretzels and 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Kids Who Love to Cook and Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up.
How can you help the Earth? There are lots of ways to get involved in conservation whether you're a kid, teen, or adult. Check out the local activities, Web sites and library materials listed below for some great ideas.
One morning, the old wooden dam on the Rappahannock River went up in clouds of smoke. It was a huge thing—ancient and strong, built in layers to tame the river so that the power of the water pushing against it could provide electricity for the town. But it had been years since anyone tapped that power. Now, the dam was falling apart, and it was decided that it had become dangerous. So the Army Corps of Engineers blew it up one morning, and the river was flowing freely again—just as it had in previous centuries. By getting rid of the dam, the river had a chance to go back to being more like it once was. There would be more fish, which would mean more birds, and, really more of everything.
Wouldn't it be cool if even a few of the old stories were true? Legends say that giants walked the Earth; Atlantis vanished under the sea; and Greece and Troy fought a devastating war over a beautiful woman. Amazing, but true: all these stories are based on facts.
Archaeologists digging in China discovered the fossils of Gigantopithecus, a giant ape standing 9 or 10 feet tall. These huge but probably gentle apes died off 500,000 years ago. Traditionally, villagers collected their bones and made them into medicines. They called their finds dragon bones. Some have wondered whether pockets of the animals may have survived into later centuries, giving rise to the legend of Big Foot.
Cells make up you, your friend, your hamster, and your mom's broccoli surprise. If it's alive or ever was alive, it is made of cells. Space scientists looking for life on Mars are trying to find microbes made of simple cells—not little green men—and biologists who search for cures to diseases work with cells. Small as they are, cells determine how life unfolds from its beginning to its end.
Attention, teachers, caregivers of preschoolers and kindergartners! Learn how to promote motor, music, social, and pre-literacy skills by incorporating creative activities into your classroom routines. Join us at our latest Grow a Reader Workshop!
Around this time of year, I always feel like I have gotten out of all my routines, and I think our children sometimes feel the same way. After weeks of staying up later than normal, traveling, and attending special events, it can be a challenge to get “back into the swing of things” after the holidays. Along with re-establishing school night bedtimes and homework schedules, January is a great time to refocus on a reading routine. Sharing some new stories with children can remind them how fun reading is and rekindle their passion for reading time. Try these fun stories with unexpected twists to delight the young ones.
Tart or sweet, cherries are a favorite flavor, and there's more to cherries than meets the eye. Cherries actually belong to the rose family. Cherry's rosy relatives include other stone fruits such as almonds, apricots, plums, peaches, and nectarines.
February is a terrific month to dig into cherries. For years, people have made cherry pies to celebrate George Washington's birthday on February 22. Why do we think of cherries when we think of our first president?