Monday, March 26, 2007

Chicks and Salsa

Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Paulette Bogan, is a burst of rich color and the flavors of salsa. The chickens are bored and tired of the same old thing day in and day out. The rooster solves the problem with tomatoes and onions and ole, the birds are happy once again. That's just the start of a farm wide revolution in eating tasty food not on the regular diet of farm fare. We have cilantro instead of fish, we get to eat hot peppers instead of pig slop. And we get salsa instead of chicken feed. There is a suprise ending, but you'll just have to read the book to find out what happens. I'm going to share this one with my story time. I know they'll get a kick out of it.

Monarch Winner!

The votes from more than 120,000 children from kindergarten through 3rd grade across the state of Illinois have been tallied and they've picked their favorite book of the year: Superdog, The Heart of a Hero by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner. Superdog is the story of Dexter who is so little that other dogs forget to invite him to play and the tomcat bullies him. Dexter decides to change things for himself. He works really hard, even when he's so tired all he wants to do is curl up on the rug and go to sleep, and eventually makes his dreams come true. This cleverly written and beautifully illustrated story is truly enjoyable and you'll quickly find yourself believing Dexter can do anything. "Dexter has determination, spirit, and heart as he proves, above all, that no matter how little you are, you can still do very big things."
See for yourself what kids across the state already know, "Superdog, The Heart of a Hero" is a thumbs-up, award winning, number one book to read.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The story of Mr. March

If someone were to write a story about the month of March, March would probably be a very moody man. Like the month, he would blow hot and cold; maybe he would have a big beard to keep his face warm in the late winter gales, but have a penchant for Hawaiian shirts because he liked to dress for the coming spring. He would like hot cocoa on cold days and iced tea on warm weekends. He would go out and start digging in his garden too early, and then when there was a March snowstorm, he would get impatient and stomp his feet and go indoors.

Maybe he would call his friend (Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone, March 7, 1876), and ask to borrow a pair of earmuffs for the cold (Chester Greenwood patented earmuffs, March 13, 1773). But before walking to his friend's house, he would realize that his pants were all dirty from stomping in his garden. So he would ask his wife to wash them (Nathaniel Briggs patented the washing machine, March 28, 1797 (!!). She would remind him that washing machines are really easy to operate and she would hand him instructions that she had written just for him (Hyman Lipman patented the pencil with eraser attached, March 30, 1858). Mr. March would say "oh ALL RIGHT," and then he would do a whole load of laundry just to be nice, and by the time his pants were clean the March weather would have changed, and he would call his friend to say he wouldn't be needing those earmuffs after all. He might even say,

"Happy March!"

Exploring Spring, by Sandra Markle
My Spring Robin, by Anne Rockwell
Why Won't Winter Go? by Lissa McLaughlin

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

why did the chicken cross the road?

Did you ever wonder just why the chicken crossed the road? That is an age old question, just like the one that asks which came first the chicken or the egg. This time you actually get an answer. In fact you get 14 different answers in the book Why did the chicken cross the road? How about the idea that the chicken was going to a better chicken coop with lots of sunshine? Or the answer that features chicken zombies? This book has to be seen and looked at with lots of kids or adults who are kids at heart. This book is one to share with others so that you can make up your own answer and draw your own conclusions. Draw your own pictures to tell the world what you think the answer should be. I have my crayons ready. Anybody want to join me to draw an answer? I'm ready and waiting to see what you think the answer should be.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Who was Nathan Hale?

Nathan Hale is famous for saying, "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." But who was he?

He was a young schoolteacher from Connecticut who joined General Washington's army in the excitement of the first days of the American Revolution in 1775. After a year of drilling with other soldiers and one hair-raising escapade, in which he rowed out and captured a British boat full of weapons in New York City's East River, Nathan Hale learned that Washington needed a volunteer. A large British force was camped on Long Island and Washington needed to know the strength of this force and its general's plans. The only way to get this information was for someone to go to the camp, pretend to be a passing civilian, and take notes and draw sketches of whatever was important. What was needed, in fact, was a spy.

Nathan Hale volunteered to do this even though at this time spying, in any army, was considered disgraceful, especially for officers (he was a captain). He walked into the British camp posing as a schoolteacher, and wandered there several days quietly drawing maps and taking notes in the Latin he had learned at Yale. Why or how he was caught remains a mystery; someone recognized him and when he was brought before the British general, he admitted what he had been doing. He was hanged the next day, on September 22, 1776, not having been allowed to see a minister or read a Bible for comfort beforehand. The last letters he wrote were torn up as he watched. His last words were the famous quote that he regretted he had only one life to give for America. He was 22 years old.

To learn more about Nathan Hale, stop byYouth Services and check out:
Nathan Hale: Patriot Spy, by Shannon Zemlicka (2002) or (for a very leisurely, old-fashioned read), Nathan Hale: A Story of Loyalties (1932) by Jane Darrow.