Christmas Tree Book List & Activities

Welcome to December and The Fireflies Blog!   We hope you enjoy each and every day of this special month as we deck the halls and curl up with great children’s books.   Our theme this month centers on the Christmas tree.   If you are following us on Heritage2Legacy, we will be asking you to think about a memory focused on your family tree.   Are you one of our FirefliesROCK painters???  You guessed it!  We’ll be painting a Christmas tree.   Who will you be giving your rock too?  Or maybe you will keep it as a Christmas ’17 treasure…perhaps starting a new tradition!

We can’t wait to introduce you to a couple new Christmas tree books this month – we will share discovered-delights along with old-favorites!

Below you will find the Fireflies” book list to download.

Merry Christmas with deep appreciation!
Deni, Gil, Mary, Rachel & Debbie

 

BOOKLIST (pdf)

Download – take to the library – ENJOY!

PINTEREST Christmas Tree activities

Stone Soup

Author/Illustrator: Marcia Brown

12,487 Ideas on PINTEREST to use with Stone Soup (slight exaggeration…)

This delightful story provided me with a fun teaching opportunity with my first graders every year.  While learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction books, I read them Stone Soup.  They agreed that surely no one would put stones in their soup, so of course it was fiction.  I proceeded to pull a (much-scrubbed) large stone from my reading apron pocket, put it in a crockpot, and add the ingredients from the following recipe.  I’m sure you could have heard a pin drop, as those little children’s eyes looked at me with both amazement and even a bit of shock.  Some child always ventured to ask, “Are we really going to eat that?”  I just smiled. . .   We went on with our day and several hours later the aroma began to fill the classroom and several more children asked about tasting our “soup.”  I just smiled…  Finally, I opened the lid and ladled out a helping for each child.  Yes, the rock stayed in the crockpot!  Our stone soup was a huge success, and it was unanimously decided that perhaps a story might be fiction and non-fiction at the same time!

Potato-Beef Soup (adding a stone is optional!)

2 lb ground beef  (cooked and drained)           4 cups water

4 cups  (cubed and peeled)                                 2 tsp salt

1 onion , chopped                                                  2 tsp pepper

3 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce                                 1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Put ingredients in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.  (Remove stone before enjoying!)

 

From the Publisher

This old French tale about soldiers who trick miserly villages into making them a feast won a Caldecott Medal when Brown retold and illustrated it in 1947.

Three soldiers came marching down the road towards a French village. The peasants seeing them coming, suddenly became very busy, for soldiers are often hungry. So all the food was hidden under mattresses or in barns. There followed a battle of wits, with the soldiers equal to the occasion. Stone soup? Why, of course, they could make a wonderful soup of stones…but, of course, one must add a carrot or two…some meat…so it went. Marcia Brown has made of this old tale a very cheerful book, a carnival of activity, of dancing and laughter. So much goes on in the pictures that children who have once heard the story will turn to them again and again, retelling the story for themselves.

 

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.

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…

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