Archives for July 2016

Sophie Goes to School


You know those books you pick up, fall in love with, and can’t explain to anyone why you fell in love?  That’s how it was with Sophie’s Squash by Pat Ziethow.   I’m not sure where my  “love at first sight” moment happened…but I remember smiling and thinking – “This book is going home with me.”  (OK – so it doesn’t take much to convince me to take a book home with me.) I loved that a little girl fell in love with a squash.  I loved that she named it and the name she chose was… Bernice!! I loved that she continued to love it even as it became a bit “softer”.  Sophie’s Squash mine.

I couldn’t wait to introduce Sophie and her best friend, Bernice to my favoriteDavis' squash Kentucky and Washington,DC junior book critiques.    We even created and named our own squash friends.

Imagine my joy when I discovered on June 28, 2016, Sophie’s Squash Go To School was released!  And yes….   it’s now mine too.

Deni Corbett

Sophie’s Squash Go To School

This charming sequel to the beloved Sophie’s Squash is the perfect antidote to the back-to-school jitters. Sophie goes to school for the first time and has no interest in making friends that aren’t squash. Here’s a gently humorous read-aloud that proves that making friends, just like growing squash, takes time.
On Sophie’s first day of school, nobody appreciates her two best friends, Bonnie and Baxter, baby squash that she grew in her garden. Even worse, one classmate, Steven Green, won’t leave Sophie alone. He sits by her at circle time. He plays near her during recess. And he breathes on her while she paints. Steven just wants to be friends, but Sophie isn’t interested. Still, Sophie knows that her squash friends won’t last forever. Maybe it would be nice to have some human friends after all. . .       






Coming Soon! Ada Twist, Scientist

Are you a fan of Rosie Revere, Engineer or Iggy Peck, Architect?  If so, then you may be excited to know that Ada Twist, Scientist will be available September 2016.  I haven’t previewed Ada Twist…just pre-ordered it!   My hope is that it’s another winner.

Andrea Beaty has set up a wonderful Pinterest board full of ideas to go along with her book.  Check it out HERE.  It will be a great resource if you end up using Ada Twist, Scientist in your learning environment next year.

Deni Corbett


The creators of the New York Times bestselling picture books Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect are back with a story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world. Ada Twist, Scientist, from powerhouse team Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, is a celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion.

Like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie, scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere have earned their places among the most beloved children’s characters, and they have inspired countless kids and adults to follow their dreams and passions. Now in her own charming and witty picture book, determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of the question “Why?,” is destined to join these two favorites.

Review by

You’re a Grand Old Flag

Words (Lyrics) by George M. Cohan
Illustrator:  Warren Kimble

Let’s learn a patriotic song for the 4th of July!   Do your children know this one?

LISTEN to the US Air Force Band playing, You’re a Grand Old Flag.


It’s the emblem of the land that we love!

Get ready to salute the flag as Warren Kimble pays tribute to one of his favorite subjects–America!  George M. Cohan’s classic patriotic anthem, beloved by young and old alike, provides the perfect backdrop for Kimble’s playful portraits and stunning panoramas.  From sea to shining sea, the stars and stripes appear somewhere on every spread for young readers to find.

This American standard provides a rousing soundtrack for sporting events, picnics, and in classrooms around the country.  Sing along with the sheet music in the back of the book as you learn important facts about our flag.  Red, white, and blue: hats off to you!                        Booklist Review

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Independence Inspiration

Looking for some last minute ideas to include the kids this 4th of July?  Here are some of the recipes and activities we’ll be using to celebrate America’s birthday!

Edible Eagles

In the kitchen today is Chef Noah with a delightful eagle food craft just perfect for your 4th of July festivities.

Chef Noah has gathered all the necessary items for this activity.  You’ll need:

  • pastry brush
  • small bowl with corn syrup
  • marshmallows
  • coconut
  • chocolate covered marshmallow cookies, pinwheels or chocolate covered Oreos
  • cashews
  • black piping gel

Place one chocolate covered marshmallow cookie onto workspace.  Prepare marshmallow by painting the sides with corn syrup.

Roll the marshmallow in the coconut and apply to top, leaving the bottom without coconut.

Add coconut covered marshmallow to chocolate covered marshmallow cookie (end without coconut is the bottom and should be directly on top of the cookie).

Use cashew for a beak.  Insert into marshmallow.

So far, you should have this:

Using black piping gel, give your eagle two eyes.

 And you will end up with adorable eagles!  Cute for a kids’ place setting at your family gathering or as a kids’ activity in case of rain.

Patriotic Pie

Supply list:

  • 1 can of blueberry pie filling
  • 2 cans of cherry pie filling
  • 1 pie plate
  • 2 premade pie crusts
  • ravioli cutter
  • star cutter
  • rolling pin

Place one pie crust in pie dish.

Add cherry pie filling to 3/4 of the pie and blueberry pie filling to the remaining 1/4.

Open up the other pie crust on a cutting board.

Use the ravioli cutter to cut stripes.

Place on pie to form stripes.

Cut out stars from the pie crust and assemble on the “blue” field.  Bake for 35- 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

Uncle Sam Hat

Things you need to gather:

  • Oatmeal container
  • Foam sheets (12 x 18 work wonderfully) in red, white and blue
  • Paper Plate
  • Glue Dots
  • Foam Stars
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto blade and cutting mat

Measure your oatmeal container. Ours was 16″ in circumference so we cut a piece of blue foam into a 16″ x 3″ piece.

Flip your oatmeal container upside down.  Using glue dots, adhere the blue piece around the oatmeal container (as shown below).

Measure from the top of your blue line to the top of the container.  Cut strips of red and white foam to fit the space.  Since our circumference was 16″,  we cut our strips to 1″ wide and 6.25″ high.

Using glue dots, adhere the red and white stripes on to the container, alternating between the two colors.  Cut a white foam disk to fit the top of the container.

Get your foam stars for the decoration step!

Decorate the blue band (or anywhere else you want) with the foam self-adhesive stars.

 Cut the center of the plate into 6 sections with your X-acto knife.


Place plate on the bottom of the hat and secure the paper plate tabs to the inside of the hat with glue dots or hot glue

Apply any last minute design elements.

 Your little ones will love celebrating in freedom style.

Author: Rachel Skvaril

Sugar Artist

Fondant Flinger