Because of Thursday

Thursdays have always been lucky for Annie Fetlock. She was born on a Thursday. She won her first cooking contest at the age of eight on a Thursday. She met the love of her life, Mario, on a Thursday. They were married on a bright Thursday afternoon and their two children were both born on a Thursday. Annie is known far and wide for her Poke Pasta Salad and has the most popular restaurant for miles around.

When Mario suddenly passes away, Annie’s joy and love of cooking disappears. Before too long, a little kitty appears and Annie takes the kitty in, and, of course, calls it Thursday. Annie is back making Poke Salad in no time. Thursday the cat is known for amazing twirls and tricks and one day his twirls land him in Annie’s draining rigatoni, causing the pot of hot oil, garlic, and peppers to spill into the pasta! Then the entire container of Parmesan cheese overturned into the mix. The customers were horrified until they noticed that what looked like a big mess had the most amazing aroma and turned out to be the most delicious pasta dish ever created! Ugly Pasta—the dish that would make Annie famous for miles around—was born. And of course it was a Thursday! 

A Fine Dessert

Love this story – love the illustrations… don’t ask me which I love more.   The simple storyline, based on the oldest dessert in western culture (over 300 years old) combined with the detailed illustrations by Sophie Blackall, create a rich backdrop on which to have inspired conversations with children as together you snuggle, share, and learn.    Oh – and did you know that the illustrator actually used blackberry goop – to paint the endpapers of the book?  Fun trivia!
This author also illustrated one of my all-time favorite book finds – Finding Winnie.  Sigh…it’s wonderful.  OK – I probably will have to devote a shelf to Sophia Blackall books now.

Begin by watching this video – an KidLit visit with the author and illustrator as they demonstrate how to make the actual recipe using the various authentic kitchen tools (a whisk).

You say spatuler… I say spatula. (Watch the video.)

If you are following us on Heritage2Legacy.com, and have chosen a treasured family recipe to share with loved ones, consider the different kitchen tools your ancestors used when creating the original version of your recipe.   What did great-grandma use before there was a KichenAid on the counter?

Deni Corbett

LINK: Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall Create A FINE DESSERT!

From Penguin Random House:
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat
In this fascinating picture book, four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool. This richly detailed book ingeniously shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history.

In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by a slave girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego.

Kids and parents alike will delight in discovering the differences in daily life over the course of four centuries. Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research.

Pumpkin Soup

This is a sweet book about a family, a friendship and a favorite soup – not too salty…just right!  With a recipe in the back of the book, Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper fits perfectly into this month’s theme.   Read and enjoy with your child(ren) and then make some soup, while sharing together about what makes a good friend.

(resources at the end of this post)

If you are following us on Heritage2Legacy.com, you might consider using this book if your family recipe is a soup favorite!

By the Kate Greenaway Medalist, Helen Cooper

Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend. Rendered in pictures richly evoking autumn, Helen Cooper’s delightful story will resonate for any child who has known the difficulties that come with friendship. Included at the end is a recipe for delicious pumpkin soup.                        Amazon Review

Teaching resource for this sweet book.

Sensory activities for this book.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe inspired by the book

Our October Booklist

Our theme for this month is

Fall Leaves

Here is a booklist to take to your local library.  It’s full of our favorite books including my latest find – and what a find it is.  Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow.  Please find this book and experience the beauty of the illustrations as you enjoy a walk through the woods.   All of our activities on TheFirefliesClassroom.com will be based on this book.   Join us!

CLICK HERE

Favorite Books & Enchanted Attics

Favorite Childhood Books and Enchanted Attics

By Gil Moegerle

September 26, 2017

Why, when we were children, were attics magical? Why did they trigger our imaginations the moment we stepped through those creaking doors or, better yet, as we pulled down that hidden ceiling door, climbed that folding ladder and our eyes pop up above those rafters? Surely, we thought, mysterious and glorious adventures awaited. We were certain inside that dusty trunk over there were amazing artifacts from olden days. And what about this old wardrobe mom and dad hauled up here when they got a new one? Surely treasures grander than any pirate’s resided behind those old doors.

The stairs leading to my enchanted attic…

Granddad Moegerle, Pop Pop we called him, had an attic. We walked up wooden stairs in the living room to reach it. To the left was a partially finished guest bedroom where we slept during sleepovers. Straight ahead was a bath. Then there was that door to the right that called to me. Behind it, a stand-up, unfinished storage attic. I remember asking once if I could sleep in there instead of the guest bedroom. Why? Mystery. Adventure.

That’s why, many years later, I partially finished the attic of my condo, then built a model railroad layout the entire length of the place. Because I knew that saying to my grandchildren, “Want to go up in the attic?” is about as magical as a grandpa gets…

Subscribe to future Chasing Fireflies’ Podcasts .    iTunes .      Libsyn

Miss Rumphius

Author and Illustrator: Barbara Cooney

On a balmy day in Bath Maine, in July 1989, a soft-spoken woman with a snow white braid winding through her hair, became my friend. Her name was Barbara Cooney. Several of my teacher friends and I were attending a small conference of authors and illustrators.  Ms. Cooney was among them, exuding a presence of gentleness. When sharing her books with those attending, she would most often quote entire passages by heart, and with such enthusiasm and feeling that those of us listening sat in complete awe. Among those books was Miss Rumphius.

The story of Miss Rumphius is based on Ms. Cooney’s great-aunt.  Beginning as young Alice living by the sea, then traveling all over the world, and finally becoming “the Lupine Lady,” Miss Rumphius never forgot the admonition from her grandfather as a child. “You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” he had told her.  Planting a small garden of her beloved lupines by her house by the sea, she wonders just what that could be.

I have several reasons for choosing this book as one of my favorites. Having personally met the author was, of course, special.  That I adore fresh flowers in my home all the time and delight in the “Lupine Lady’s” act of  beautification – yes! But perhaps most of all is the root of the story; the grandfather’s admonition to make the world more beautiful. Why?  Because I can hear my own dear mother saying to me and my sisters as we were growing up, “Girls, always leave a  place better than you found it!” But that is a story for another time. . .

Please go buy some flowers, put them in a prominent spot, and just enjoy their beauty. Then curl up and read this lovely book and thank Miss Rumphius for making the world a little more beautiful.

Mary Byrne Kline

 

 

 

HURRICANE (Irma)!

The hurricane is over but the clean up continues at our house (Orlando, FL).

While taking a break from picking up tree limbs and pieces of the house which have been scattered about the yard, I decided to go through the stacks of books scattered about the house.  Actually, I was looking for any excuse to abandon my outside duties!   Somewhere in book stack #11, I came across this book and thought I would introduce it to those of you who don’t know about HURRICANE by David Wiesner.

In this book, two brothers share experiences that go along with a hurricane – all which will be appreciated by any child whose home was in the path of Irma.   The story is a safe re-creation of the storm and a gentle tool for talking through fears associated with experiencing a hurricane.

As they awaken the next morning, they realize the damage that has been done by the hurricane.  “The next morning only one elm tree was standing near the corner of the yard.  The day before there had been two.  The downed tree was lying across the neighbor’s lawn.”

To these brothers, the fallen tree looks like a jungle as it lay on its side.  As they begin climbing through their beloved tree, it goes from a jungle to a fierce pirate ship and then spaceship.   They grow to love this fallen tree even more as it launches their imaginative adventures.  However, one day they hear chainsaws and see that men are cutting up their new imagination playground…

If you are following us on Heritage2Legacy and want to preserve the memories your family created as you lived through Hurricane Irma, this would be a wonderful book to purchase as one of your H2L Christmas memory books.

You can purchase it here.

By clicking on this link and ordering the book, you are supporting Liz’s Legacy.  (I think we get $1 for every 5 books ordered…;0 but every little bit helps.   Whatever you order on Amazon, if you go through this link, the proceeds will go to Liz’s Legacy and there is no additional cost to you.    Thank you!

Deni

Book review: Charlotte’s Web

Author: E.B. White
Illustrator: Garth Williams

It’s ironic that I chose this book as one of my favorite children’s books, being that the heroine is the very thing I fear the most – a spider! And yet Charlotte has become a cherished friend over the years, more so with each reading of this endearing story.

As a first grade teacher, I gathered my students on the carpet after recess each afternoon and for weeks read this book aloud to them.  We sectioned off our room to make room for our (gallon milk cartons painted pink) “pigs,” and hung “spiders” from the ceiling. Why? Having grown up in Iowa, around farms, pigs, haylofts, and county fairs, I yearned for my students to gain an insight into this totally new world.  By the time we had finished the book, most of the kids were wanting pigs for pets. Wilbur had certainly become more than just “SOME PIG”  to them.  Even Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, learns about friendship. It is the story of the magic of childhood on a farm, of Fern, the little girl who understands the language between the animals.

Will Charlotte’s clever plan to save Wilbur’s life work? Let’s just say both the book and the ending are “TERRIFIC!”

 

Mary Byrne Kline

“Eeny, meeny, miney, moe…”

When Deni told me our theme for September was “My Favorite Book,” I thought she must be kidding. Seriously?! That’s like asking me to choose which of my four sons is my favorite! (Although I think he knows who he is!)  So I’m going to take the liberty of choosing a favorite theme instead of book.  My granddaughter, Rachel, called me this week and asked me to help her find a book report book for school with a science fiction theme.  We had fun locating just the most interesting book for her. That made me think of my favorite theme and remember a special friend I had a long time ago.

One of my earliest friendships began in second grade with a girl named Debbie.  She and I had quite vivid imaginations. Our sleepovers never involved playing with dolls or dressing up; we were spies. Not just ordinary spies, oh, goodness no! We were private eye spies! We crept around her house solving crimes of monumental importance – often scaring ourselves in the process as we climbed around in her family’s dark, dusty basement. These escapades lasted until we needed a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of Tang.  Have you guessed what type of books I loved reading? Yes! Mysteries. And Nancy Drew was my heroine.  The Hidden Staircase, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Haunted Showboat, The Secret of the Golden Pavilion, were just a few of the treasured copies my sisters and I had in our collection of Nancy Drew books.  My friend Debbie and I would often get ideas for our private eye adventures from these books.  We let our childish imaginations go wild and would often lay in bed, unable to sleep because we knew “things” were lurking everywhere! Even today I can’t look at a Nancy Drew book without smiling at the memories I made with my friend Debbie.

Mystery books remain my favorite genre, and I must admit, I sometimes still read one that causes me to have difficulty sleeping. My imagination may wonder if things are “lurking” about. Oh goodness! But isn’t that the delight of being completely caught up in a great book?

This month I’m going to share four of my favorite children’s books with you.  Notice I said, “four of my favorite” because I have oh so many favorites.   What is one of your favorite children’s books?  I wonder if we’ll choose the same one?

Welcome to September & FirefliesBlog!

Mary Byrne Kline

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