Archives for May 2017

Fireflies GLOW: The Ugly Duckling

Our latest edition of Fireflies Glow is the tale of a fine feathered friend known as The Ugly Duckling, one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most famous stories. You’ll meet a little duck who was disliked and mistreated by all the barnyard animals until they discovered who he really was.

Subscribe to our storytelling podcasts and let your children enjoy on the way to the grocery store.   You have 23 minutes to listen to this delightful reading and have peace in the car.   Priceless!  (And yes, we remember those days….)

Enjoy listening to Gil Moegerle read

The Ugly Duckling.

See our previous post where we reviewed The Ugly Duckling.

Please note that the version read on Fireflies GLOW is the original which is in
public domain and not the version depicted above or Pinkney’s adaptation.

Subscribe to Fireflies GLOW on iTunes  PlayerFM

Poem Share: Red Bird

The First Red Bird

by Evaleen Stein

I heard a song at daybreak,
So honey-sweet and clear,
The essence of all joyous things
Seemed mingling in its cheer.

The frosty world about me
I searched with eager gaze,
But all was slumber-bound and wrapped
In violet-tinted haze.

Then suddenly a sunbeam
Shot slanting o’er the hill,
And once again from out the sky
I heard that honied trill.

And there upon a poplar,
Poised at its topmost height,
I saw a little singer clad
In scarlet plumage bright.

The poplar branches quivered,
By dawn winds lightly blown,
And like a breeze-swept poppy-flower
The red-bird rocked and shone.

The blue sky, and his feathers
Flashed o’er by golden light,
Oh, all my heart with rapture thrilled,
It was so sweet a sight!

Another delightful interpretation of The First Red Bird by Sierra Valone.
“Thank you, Sierra, for reading this month’s poem for us!”

You Are My Work of Art!

From the Author, Sue DiCicco

You Are My Work of Art”,  was in development for many years. The fine art world is difficult for some to appreciate, the notion being pervasive that it is hard to understand, and beyond the average person to grasp. It frightens many away from something that has always brought me a tremendous amount of joy. As my son was growing up, our goal was to introduce him to the world of art and have him feel it was created for him and speaking to him, no matter what avocation he eventually would choose to pursue.
How does one instill a sense of belonging in children and forever cast away the sense of intimidation that has perpetuated in the world of fine art? How does one connect a young child to the iconic images of the art world, and instill an early sense of joy when encountering great art?
We actively toured museums around the world with our son, and engaged him in conversations about the images and how they related to him and his own world.

I wondered how to share the experience with other children that had limited opportunities for such field trips. The sketches developed over the years, eventually finding their way into book form. The poem followed as the images were assembled, designed to introduce any child (and perhaps even their parent) to 8 famous paintings for the very first time. I hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing your review.

Sue DiCicco
August 2011

From Deni:

 

I found this book several years ago, a week before heading to DC to await the arrival of my third grandchild.  I immediately fell in love with it, so into the suitcase it went.   Even though it is geared towards very young children (it’s a board book), it perfectly captures what I was talking about in an early Fireflies’ post – Training your child to appreciate art. The author had the same desire that I had as a young mom; to introduce my children to art masterpieces.  Not only does DiCicco introduce major works of art in her board book, she emphasizes a theme that is dear to my mom’s heart – that our children are OUR works of art.

That night as I was working on posts for Fireflies, I received a text from my friend Julie Hagan – “You have to see this wonderful book I’ve found.”   It was You are my Work of Art, by Sue DiCicco.  She then linked the book to a song that had been very special to both of us as new moms.  If you know it, the mention of it will bring tears to your eyes.  If you don’t, then I’m excited to introduce this song to you; Masterpiece by Sandi Patty.   (Thanks for reminding me, Julie!)   I’ve posted the lyrics to Masterpiece below.  It has been remastered from when we first heard it (in the ’80s – I know…it’s ancient – as are we).

Enjoy, as we celebrate the masterpieces created by God’s hands and placed in ours!

Click here to listen to the song.

 

Before you had a name or opened up your eyes
Or anyone could recognize your face.

You were being formed so delicate in size
Secluded in God’s safe and hidden place.

With your little tiny hands and little tiny feet
And little eyes that shimmer like a pearl

He breathed in you a song and to make it all complete
He brought the masterpiece into the world.

You are a masterpiece
A new creation He has formed

And you’re as soft and fresh as a snowy winter morn.
And I’m so glad that God has given you to me

Little Lamb of God, you are a masterpiece.

And now you’re growing up your life’s a miracle
Every time I look at you I stand in awe

Because I see in you a reflection of me
And you’ll always be my little lamb from God

And as your life goes on each day
How I pray that you will see
Just how much your life has meant to me.

And I’m so proud of you
What else is there to say?
Just be the masterpiece He created you to be.

Slightly Bird-Brained

How did you get my daddy to go to sleep when he was little?” asked my young granddaughter.  “Oh, dear one, let me tell you a story. . .”  And my mind wandered back many years, to The Trumpet of the Swan, and how Louis was determined to become a trumpeter.  Our boys loved the story, especially since their daddy played the trumpet.  They were almost sad when, after many days of reading, we finally completed the book.  Even today when they hear, “Day is done, gone the sun…,” they immediately think of Louis the Swan.  

Slightly Bird-Brained

Growing up in North Dakota and Iowa should have caused me to be a much heartier person. It didn’t.  Each winter I endured the blizzards and ice storms while counting the days until once again a crocus or daffodil would peak through and announce that color was returning to my world.  Oh, what joy when the first robin was spotted!  When at last the sweet chirping of birds could be heard, I knew that warmth was returning as well.

The Byrne childhood home

There was, however, an unfortunate downside to my fondness for the returning bird population.  My dear mother was concerned that should there not be sufficient seeds, worms, etc. available upon their immediate return, I should begin taking out all leftover bread after supper each evening. This should be torn up into teensy little bits and distributed around the yard, particularly under the trees. We had trees everywhere! At first I didn’t mind.  Then after about two days my teensy bits became “bits”, then “chunks”, and soon I just tore the pieces of bread in half, figuring those old birds could figure it out for themselves.

My next chore was to clean out the birdbath. This not only meant making sure that the water in it didn’t get a layer of ice so the birdies couldn’t bathe (heaven forbid we have dirty birdies!), but I was to keep the basin and water clean. Hauling water in my little bucket took a lot of time. If you’ve ever had a birdbath you know how gross cleaning one can be, if not, just don’t ask.

Earlier I mentioned something about not being hearty. That also involves a real distaste for any type of bug or creepy crawly. Therefore, my last spring bird job caused me a great deal of anxiety.  I was to  “till” a small area in our garden since the ground was still quite hard from being frozen all winter. This was to allow the birds to peck more easily for worms. You can’t imagine my delight at unearthing one while digging! Yet even though I may have done my chores slightly bird-brained, our yard always abounded with birds of every color and species. For this I am eternally grateful!

How thankful I am to now be living in a year-round warm climate.  I don’t tear up bread, don’t own a birdbath, and will never dig for worms! But I still love listening to sweet chirping, watching nests be built, and catching a glimpse of a cardinal with its mate on our back fence.

I think it’s time to dust off  The Trumpet of the Swan, and curl up on the couch with all of my dear grandchildren.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of daddies even wanted to take a turn at reading a chapter or two aloud.  And maybe when we finish the book, PopPop may surprise them with a little “Louis” song of his own!!

“All is well, safely rest. . . God is nigh.”

Love,

Button

Mary Byrne Kline

Mary Byrne Kline . aka Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us as we create Heritage 2 Legacy memories
through the delight of a children’s book.