Miss Nelson is Missing

What a great book to compliment Gil’s latest Heritage2Legacy podcast, My Favorite First (Controlling) Teacher.  If you haven’t met Miss Nelson and/or Viola Swamp then let me be the first to introduce you to them both.    And don’t forget to listen to our August H2L podcast HERE!

We have moved our Heritage 2 Legacy posts and podcasts to its very own website.
Heritage2Legacy.com

Miss Nelson is Missing
Author:  Harry Allard
Illustrator:  James Marshall

Summary

A classroom of unruly students treat their caring and lovely teacher with complete disrespect. They throw spit balls during story-time and refuse to sit in their seats during math. They take advantage of their teacher’s good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute. Near her wits’ end, Miss Nelson doesn’t come to school one day. Instead, the kids have a vile substitute–the nasty Viola Swamp–who loads the boys and girls with homework and never gives them a story hour. By the time Miss Nelson finally returns, the children are so grateful they behave well. But now Viola Swamp is missing…

Viola Swamp

Thank You, Mr. Falker

As school begins soon (or maybe you have already sent your little ones out the door for their first day of school) we are thinking about teachers – amazing, memorable teachers.   Real quick – who is one of your favorite teachers of all time?

Here’s our favorite book about a favorite teacher, Mr Falker.

Publisher’s Weekly Review

Fans of Polacco’s (Thundercake; Pink and Say) work know well her talent for weaving her colorful family history throughout her picture books. Here Polacco shares her childhood triumph over dyslexia and discovery of reading in an inspiring if slightly formulaic story. Young Trisha is eager to taste the “”sweetness of knowledge”” that her grandfather has always revered (here symbolized by drizzling honey onto a book and tasting it, which harkens back to Polacco’s earlier The Bee Tree). But when she looks at words and numbers, everything is a jumble. Trisha endures the cruel taunts of classmates who call her “”dumb,”” and falls behind in her studies. But finally the encouragement and efforts of a new fifth grade teacher, Mr. Falker, trigger a monumental turning point in Trisha’s life. She begins to blossom and develop all of her talents, including reading. Polacco’s tale is all the more heartfelt because of its personal nature. Young readers struggling with learning difficulties will identify with Trisha’s situation and find reassurance in her success. Polacco’s gouache-and-pencil compositions deftly capture the emotional stages–frustration, pain, elation–of Trisha’s journey.

 

Thank You, Mr. Falker
by
Patricia Polacco

In this exclusive video interview with Reading Rockets, children’s book author Patricia Polacco recalls the day that her teacher discovered her dyslexia.

 

Also, check out this wonderful read aloud VIDEO to see & hear
Polacco’s tribute to her favorite teacher, Mr. Falker.

Chrysanthemum

Here’s another one of our top picks for August, celebrating the best in teachers, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  Take a minute to revisit this delightful favorite, or meet a music teacher who knows exactly how to relate to a tender mouse-child with an unusual name.

Review:
With perfect trust in her doting parents, Chrysanthemum (a mouse) knows that her name is, as they tell her,  “absolutely perfect”–until she goes to school and is teased about it by her classmates, especially the imperious Victoria. Doubt sets in, to be allayed each night by  “hugs and kisses and Parcheesi,”  but then reintroduced next day.

Fortunately, a charismatic music teacher whose name happens to be Delphinium makes flower names a new fad. The ending here is preposterously tidy, contributing to the humor of a warmhearted story that celebrates the security of a happy family while gently satirizing its members.

Henkes’s language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight. Another winner from this perceptive artist.  KIRKUS review

Great classroom Chrysanthemum ideas/Pinterest HERE.

And here’s a reading of the book, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Hankes.  Enjoy!

 

“How I Spent My Summer Vacation”

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Author and Illustrator: Mark Teague

Here’s another fun book to share with your children as you wrap up another summer of creating memories together.

Wallace is determined that this year, when asked in school to share how he spent his summer vacation, his story will not be like the rest of the class.  He is a boy with an incredible imagination and once he gets started on his summer’s adventure, well,  he just continues to increase the excitement!  It begins rather innocently with his parents putting young Wallace on a train to visit his Aunt Fern.

But I was captured by cowboys, a wild-looking crowd,

Their manners were rough and their voices were loud.

The Cattle Boss growled, as he told me to sit, ‘We need a new cowboy, our old cowboy quit.

We could sure use your help, so what do you say?’ I thought for a minute, then I told him, ‘Okay.'”

After reading this entertaining book,  you might just plan a backyard barbecue or an adventure of your own!

Mary Byrne Kline

 

Pictures From Our Vacation

Pictures From Our Vacation
Author and Illustrator: Lynne Rae Perkins

SNAP! With their new cameras

SNAP! a brother and sister SNAP! take pictures of their family vacation.

But when they look back at their photographs they see: the back of Dad’s head, feet (not sure whose), a container of noodles. 

Even the motel was disappointing: no water in the pool, the badminton racquets were shaped like potato chips, it rained for days. When the family goes to visit relatives at the farm, everything changes.  Tasting strawberry and whipped cream dessert and making memories with cousins fills their hearts and minds with pictures like no camera ever could.

“It’s hard to take a picture of a story someone tells, or what it feels like when you’re rolling down a hill or falling asleep in a house full of cousins and uncles and aunts.  Those kinds of pictures I can keep in my mind.”

———————————

This is a great book to share with children as they come back to school after summer break to ignite “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” discussions and journal writings.   We also chose it for our July H2L book prompt!

Mary Byrne Kline

 

 

 

 

Knots on a Counting Rope…

This is far more than a story; it is a tender dialogue between a weathered, aged Indian grandfather and his grandson around a cozy campfire as the sun is setting and darkness is quickly falling.  They sit cross-legged, facing one other, each holding onto a rope with small knots along the length of it.

“Tell me the story again, Grandfather. Tell me who I am.”

“I have told you many times, Boy.  You know the story by heart.”

Yet once again patiently and gently Grandfather relays the story of the night the child was born.  The child was not strong, but born weak and frail, and  been born with a dark curtain in front of his eyes.

Grandfather shares how he’d carried his infant grandson outside to the horses and that the boy raised his tiny arms up to touch them. With each retelling, another knot is tied in the rope.  As the boy grows, he gains strength, and Grandfather teaches the boy to ride his own pony. Every day along a trail, he follows his grandfather on his pony until he can ride holding his own reins.

One day his Grandfather tells him, “You have raced the darkness and won! You now can see with your heart,  feel a part of all that  surrounds you. Your courage lights the way.”

Far more than a story; this is a lesson in love and trust between generations that will warm your heart. You may even feel yourself lingering over the exquisitely beautiful illustrations.

Mary Byrne Kline

Review by Publisher Weekly

Gathered near a campfire under a canopy of stars, a Navaho Indian boy hears the tale of his birth from his grandfather. Born on a windy night, the child was weak and frail. In the early morning, Grandfather brought him out to meet the morning. Two blue horses galloped by, stopped and looked at him; the baby raised his arms to them. Grandfather said, “”This boy child will not die. The great blue horses have given him the strength to live.” Named Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, the child later needs that well of strength to deal with the fact that he is blind. Rand’s atmospheric, vivid paintings evoke the tale’s sensibility as they move it along. The beauty and vastness of the Western sky and the intimacy of two loving figures by a campfire are portrayed with equal fluidity. A rich tale of intergenerational love and respect, this is bittersweet and unsentimental. It is a moving collaborative effort that reverberates long after the book is closed. Ages 5-8.

An absolutely fabulous read aloud VIDEO is available at Storyline Online  – The SAG Foundation.   Enjoy and then consider purchasing a copy for your home library!

Peter Pan

“Our newest edition of Fireflies Glow is the legendary tale of a boy who refused to grow up.  A lad of adventure including run-ins with a famous pirate captain named Hook.  A youth who lived with friends in the mysterious caves of a beautiful island known as Neverland.   His magical story begins on the next Fireflies Glow.

Gil Moegerle: Master Storyteller

Subscribe to Fireflies GLOW on iTunes  PlayerFM
Subscribe to receive notification when a new story is posted.

NOTE to parents:  There will be 9 – 30 minute podcasts of Peter Pan published.  We will begin loading them as they are produced, however you may want to wait until the book is completed before introducing it to your children…. depending on their patience levels!

FirefliesGLOW: Adventures of Sammy Squirrel

“We four siblings grew up with a large number of animal friends. They included an owl, a squirrel, a toad, a snake and half a dozen more. Maybe I should explain. Most were imaginary, given to us by a grandparent who loved flights of fantasy. We will introduce you to these companions in the next edition of FirefliesGLOW’s “Tell Me a Story.”

Gil Moegerle: Master Storyteller

Subscribe to Fireflies GLOW on iTunes  PlayerFM
Subscribe to receive notification when a new story is posted.

A bird on the plate is worth two in the fridge….

Birds are a huge source of entertainment in this household.  The boys and I recently added a large birdfeeder outside our dining room window so we could keep better tabs on the neighborhood bird drama.  We live on the water and have feathered friends of all kind; from small sparrows to geese.  We even have one “city pigeon” that comes in every afternoon for his regular fly-by snack.  Our freezer always maintains extra bread for duck feedings and we have even had to start purchasing our bird seed from Sam’s to keep up with the high demands of our beaked buddies.
To say that the boys were excited to do a bird themed snack would be an understatement.  I knew we were going to have to provide some pretty incredible meals for my two bird-loving boys.  Thankfully, there was no shortage of ideas out there.  Since, we couldn’t choose between a few of them, we planned a whole day of bird themed meals.

BIRD’S NEST BREAKFAST

I found the idea for this on Pinterest and its just incredibly easy for a fast but adorable birdie breakfast for your babies.
All you’ll need is:
  • Bread (toasted according to your little one’s preference)
  • Hard boiled egg (we made this really easy by buying them right from the store)
  • Teensy tiniest bit of a carrot
  • Edible marker (thought you could easily use a small piece of raisin for her little eyes)
Simply cut your toast into strips.  Levi likes his with a little butter so we buttered it first.  Arrange your bread pieces in a nest shape.
Cut a small triangle shape from the end of a carrot for the birds beak and position on the egg.  With your edible marker, add two eyes.  Levi decided our bird was a girl (or “grill” as he pronounces it) so we gave her pretty little eyelashes.
Nestle her into her little warm and “toast”-y nest and serve to your overly enthusiastic little one.

FOR SNACKTIME:

Another very easy idea for a quick snack.
What you’ll need:
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Grapes
  • Carrot
  • Edible Marker

I snapped the pretzel sticks into smaller “twigs” and just tossed them into a small bowl.  Dot little eyes on grapes and set them in their “nest”.  Cut small triangles from carrots and place on the birds and you’re done!

FOR DINNER:

And finally for dinner, spaghetti noodles with bird meatballs on a celery branch.
What you’ll need:
  • Center stalk of celery (with the leaves on the end to look branch-like)
  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Meatballs or like we used, mini-hamburgers
  • Mozarella Cheese
  • Carrot
  • Edible Marker

Place celery branch across plate, use a fork and twirl a large section of spaghetti into a nest shape.  Place noodle nest on its side.  Tuck in two meatballs or mini hamburgers into the nest.  For the eyes, I cut slices of a cheese stick and used a piping tip to make a smaller circle cut out.  You could most certainly use the entire slice though.  Add a black dot in the center of the cheese slice with an edible marker or you could use a caper, piece of black olive or a piece of raisin.  Whatever you happen to have laying around in the pantry.  Position the eyes on the meatball/ hamburger.  Cut a small triangle out of a carrot and place under eyes to form the beak.

The boys loved this idea so much that we had a version of it for dinner the next night as well.  The second night, I made a nest of rice and tucked their meat into it.  Just as easy and just as entertaining for the little ones in your life.
Contributing author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

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