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Friday, February 12, 2021

Gee's Bend Quilts - African American Quilts



Gee's Bend Quilts - African American Quilts: A Tradition

In a little Alabama, community (population 275 according to the 2010 census) the African Americans have become noted for their unique and colorful quilts.  The town is officially, Boykin, but colloquially known as Gee's Bend.  There is one road into this community that sits directly across the river from Camdem, and southeast of Selma, Alabama.  Surrounded on three sides by the bridgeless Alabama River, Gee's Bend remains isolated.  The community of Boykin at one time had at least 700 inhabitants.  The horseshoe area was named Gee's Bend after Joseph Gee who had arrived in the area, from North Carolina, in 1816 where he established a cotton plantation using the labor of 17 enslaved African Americans.

The residents traditions was tied to the cotton industry -- and colorful, brightly geometrically designed quilts emerged.  Interest in the quilts of Gee's Bend seemed to grow.  Once discovered, the quilts were south for exhibits in prestigious museums across the United States.  In Gee's Bend they have their own showcase, the Gee's Bend Quilting Collective.  The quilters recycle feed sacks, fabric remnants, recycled work clothes, and create artful quilts born of innovation and creativity.

The residents traditions was tied to the cotton industry -- and colorful, brightly geometrically designed quilts emerged.  Interest in the quilts of Gee's Bend seemed to grow.  Once discovered, the quilts were south for exhibits in prestigious museums across the United States.  In Gee's Bend they have their own showcase, the Gee's Bend Quilting Collective.  The quilters recycle feed sacks, fabric remnants, recycled work clothes, and create artful quilts born of innovation and creativity.

Now the Gee's Bend Quilters have an Internet presence.  At least nine quilters have a site where each offers hand sewn quilts (prices range from $4500 to $15,000+).  With the help of a non-profit, NEST, the Gee's Bend Quilters are able to offer their traditionally created quilts to those who wish to own one of their creations.  https://www.buildanest.org/geesbend/

Share this history of Gee's Bend Quilts, study the patterns of the quilts shown online, and compare to other traditional quilts made in other cultures/communities.

Read these two books about the Gee's Bend Quilters.


Rubin, Susan Goldman.  (2017) The Quilts of Gee's Bend.  Henry N. Abrams.
This photo picture book follows the journey of the community's quilt tradition from 1845, when Mark Pettway brought his family to Gee's Bend to the present when some of his African American descendants continue the tradition of taking scraps, flour sacs and other fabrics and making them into quilts both practical and beautiful.  Rubin's book combines history with the beauty of a decades old artistry.

Irby, Tanular A. (2020).
Pearl and Her Bee's Band Quilt.  Illustrated by India Sheana.  Learning Advantage Network Diversified.  During a play date three young girls travel back to grandma's house in Gee's Bend, Alabama, and learn about the history of the beautiful quilts made by Pearl's grandmother.  Pearl dreams of making her own quilt.  The author of this book is the granddaughter of Gee's Bend quilters, Pearlie Kennedy Pettway and Jensie Lee Irby.


McKissack, Patricia.  (2016). Stitchin' and Pulliin": A Gee's Bend Quilt.  Illustrated by Dozbi A. Cabreera.  Turtlebooks, 2016.  Originally published by Random House in 2008.  A collection of poems about Gee's Bend, the quilt making community.

Check out Gee's Bend website sharing their quilts and their community.  https://www.buildanest.org/geesbend/
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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, February 12). Gee's Bend Quilts - African American Quilts.  McBookwords (Blog). 
http://bit.ly/AL-geesbend. 


Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Purple Puffy Coat by Maribeth Boelts

The Purple Puffy Coat by Maribeth Boelts

A new book by Iowa writer Maribeth Boelts.  She clearly knows that one needs a puffy warm coat on blustery days like we are having in Iowa today.  So when it is almost Stick Bug's birthday, his friend Beetle must give him his birthday present early.  Of course, the present is in Beetle's favorite color - purple.  Soon it becomes clear that the coat is the present that Beetle really would have liked but it's not quite what Stick Bug would have chosen.

The coat, however, doesn't really suit Beetle either - but it is her favorite color.  But Stick Bug has a solution.  A great solution it is.

You must read this book of friendship and ingenuity, and learning to pay attention to what makes others happy; not just what makes you happy.

Learn more about Maribeth Boelts on her website at https://maribethboelts.com/ 

Daniel Duncan's illustrations are as bright and warm as Boelts's cozy story of friends Stick Bug and Beetle.  Duncan lives on the outskirts of London where he spends his days in an old stable turned studio, working on illustrations for children's books.  Learn more about Duncan at https://thebrightagency.com/us/publishing/artists/daniel-duncan 


Boelts, Maribeth. (2020).  The Purple Puffy Coat. Candlewick.


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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, February 9). The Purple Puffy Coat.  McBookwords (Blog). 
http://bit.ly/purplepc

Books reviewed on this blog are often received for free from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Other books are purchased by McBookwords for the express purpose of generating a review for those interested in literature. Only books deemed exceptional are given space on this blog.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Nicky Winton - A Hero Hidden in Plain Sight

Nicholas George Winton

Saving the Children 

For years the work of Nicholas George Winton went unheralded.  The fact is he organized the transport of more than 600 children out of Prague from 1938 to 1939 and saved them from the hands of the Nazis.  He was a hero that was not honored for five decades.  During those five decades he married, worked in the financial industry, raised three children, and lived a long and rather uneventful life to the age of 106.  

In 2021 Peter Sis has told the story of Winton and one of the children he saved, Vera  Gissling.  He talks about how the book came about in an interview with Irene Connelly.  
Connelly, Irene Katz.  (2021 Jan. 26). Culture: How Celebrated Illustrator Peter Sis Found a Holocaust Hero in His Own Backyard. http://bit.ly/PeterSis-storiesinhistory


Sis’s book focuses on Winton and one child, six-year-old Vera Gissing who was among the many children saved.  The story does not dwell on the Nazi atrocities but rather on the children and the life they left behind, and their rescuer — Nicky & Vera: The Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued. (Norton Young Readers, 2021).  The book is marketed to young readers ages 6-9 but its story is important and is a powerful book to stimulate discussions among older elementary and secondary readers (not to mention adults who may have their own memories of learning about or living through the war years)

Sir Nicholas Winton (‘nee Wertheim) (May 19, 1909-July 1, 2015) lived his life in England, and for most of that time he worked in the financial world.  But for a brief period in 1938-1939 he also became a savior—a man who rescued 669 children from Nazi extermination.  For over 50 years his story was untold.  He seldom spoke of his efforts, and only when his wife discovered (in the late 1980s) documents he saved regarding his work to free the children did his extraordinary role in saving so many come to light.  In May 2014 his daughter's book, meant for an adult readership, If it's Not Impossible... the Life of Sir Nicholas Winton (Troubador Books, 2014) was published.
In 2021, in a book for young readers age 6-9, Peter Sis tells the story of this man and his courageous efforts to transport children from Czechoslovakia to save them.  As noted in a NPR article (see citation below) Winton seldom spoke of his role in their passage to England, not even to his wife.    

Sir Nicholas Winton married his Danish wife Grete (1919-1999), in 1948. They lived in England much of their lives.  Both Nicholas's and Grete's ashes are buried with their son, Robin (who died of meningitis, one day before his sixth birthday) in the children's section of the Braywick cemetery in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.  They were survived by a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Barbara, who authored the biography of her father's life.


Using Peter Sis's Picture Book Biography to Think Creatively

Connect with http://www.google.com/doodles#archive to explore the past doodles showcased on Google.com.
Connect with Irene Connelly's interview with Peter Sis at http://bit.ly/PeterSis-storiesinhistory and discuss perspectives in history.

Other articles/resources about Nicholas Winton:

AccidentalTalmudist. (2020 Dec. 16). The British Schindler: He Saved 669 Children.  Accidental Talmudmist.  https://www.accidentaltalmudist.org/holocaust/2020/12/16/the-british-schindler/

Sir Nicholas Winton Memorial Trust. (2019). Home: Sir Nicholas Winton. (website). https://www.nicholaswinton.com/ 

For More Reading 

Check out this list of Holocaust Remembrance books:

Katherine. (2021, January 27). Holocaust Remembrance Day: 60 Mighty Girl Books About the Holocaust.  A Mighty Girl.  https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=11586


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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, Jan. 31). Nicky Winton - A Hero Hidden in Plain Sight.  McBookwords (Blog). http://bit.ly/WWII-hiddenhero

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Laura Ingalls Wilder -- a Perspective (Bake Gingerbread on Feb. 7)

Laura Ingalls Wilder - a Perspective

(Portions of this blog have been published in earlier blog posts).  Updated January 7, 2020.

Laura Ingalls Wilder - Birthday February 7

Keep in mind who she was - and the times she lived.  All was not perfect but I celebrate her because she was a strong woman, a thoughtful writer who wrote what she felt in her times. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wilder's books  are definitely fiction -- but do share some very important glimpses of pioneer life.
On Laura's birthday I will celebrate her strength of character with her own favorite cake -- gingerbread.  In her later years she often greeted guests with her well-known gingerbread with a glaze of chocolate frosting and lemonade.

Here's her recipe for the gingerbread --

Laura Ingalls Wilder's gingerbread was most often served with a thin glaze of chocolate and a glass of freshly made lemonade.  But I will serve it with tea in a cup and saucer in the pattern of the dishes Rose Wilder Lane gave her parents.

LAURA'S GINGERBREAD

1 cup brown sugar blended with
1/2 cup lard or other shortening.
1 cup molasses mixed well with this.
2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup boiling water
(Be sure cup is full of water after foam is run off into cake mixture).
Mix all well.
 
To 3 cups of flour have added one teaspoon each of the following spices:
ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Sift all into cake mixture and mix well.
Add lastly 2 well-beaten eggs.
The mixture should be quite thin.
Bake in a moderate oven for thirty minutes.

Raisins and, or, candied fruit may be added and a chocolate frosting adds to the goodness.

 February 7th (2020) is the 154th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder's  birthday in 1867.  She died three days after reaching 90 years of age (Feb. 10, 1957). Anyone who "teaches" these books or reads them with children should be aware of some of the concerns about the depiction of American Indians in these books.  Please check out Debbie Reese's blog and search for "Laura Ingalls Wilder" -- I think you will uncover some very thought provoking ideas.  And another essay about Wilder that must be read is Laura June's Parent Rap "No Offense to Laura Ingalls Wilder" -- you will see that the stories are no better to African Americans either (although less frequent in the text).  See page ninety-eight of Little House on the Prairie.    But better than being a writer, she was a strong independent woman at the turn of the century and beyond.  She cared for her husband, wrote a column for a newspaper, and became a nationally recognized writer -- all because she was the strong woman that she was.  I'll celebrate that, and to honor her I will eat gingerbread...
I did not read the books until I was an adult and I read them from another perspective.  I realized that Wilder wrote with memories of her childhood and with the stereotypical perspective of a 65-year-old woman who had the ingrained attitude toward many people that had developed over a life-time.  Just as she described the prairie lands surrounding her Dakota home with flowers that did not exist there when she was growing up.  The memories of some of the flowers she describes came most likely from visions she gathered during one of her adult visits back home to see her family.  Her books are indeed a look into the pioneering spirit but they also are reflective of the prejudices and attitudes Wilder developed as she matured into adulthood.  The value in her books is a look at the attitude and prejudices that exist during the 1930s when she and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane wrote them. 
The books were written at a time when it seemed acceptable to have a cigar store Indian in front of your store.  And the genocide of 100,000 Native American children was supported by the citizenry of the USA. http://www.underamericasrug.com/native-american-genocide.html -- Certainly these attitudes toward Native Americans provided enhancement to any childhood memories and created situations with a lot of hyperbole.

HarperCollins, her long time publisher has put up a list of 10 things one can learn from reading the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder at http://harpercollinschildrens.tumblr.com/post/110280954597/10-life-lessons-from-laura-ingalls-wilder.  Sadly there are other things one can learn from the books as well. She does not treat Native Americans very well in her writings and that is a product not so much of her childhood but of the time in which she lived and wrote.

Consider the following:  
Try the Birchhouse Series by Louise Ehrlich -- or I can suggest others such as Laurie Lawlor's Addie series. http://www.laurielawlor.com/books/addie.html

And you may also be interested in this post about LIW's days in Iowa -- http://iowahistory.blogspot.com/2013/09/laura-ingalls-wilder-at-home-in-iowa.html

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And for Google's take on the legacy of LIW - check out the links on this page http://bit.ly/LIW_google

Carolyn Fraser the author of “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder” and editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series wrote an interesting essay regarding the change of the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to one celebrating the lifetime achievement of an author of children's literature  - The Children's Literature Legacy Award.  Read the Washington Post  article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/yes-little-house-on-the-prairie-is-racially-insensitive--but-we-should-still-read-it/2018/03/12/8e021422-1e40-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html

Sharron
 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Giving the Gift of Reading - Autographed Books

Readers Succeed

An autographed book given to a child accomplishes several things:

  1.  Gives the gift of reading, readers will be the leaders of tomorrow;
  2.  Honors an author/illustrator and helps connect the child to the  book's creator;
  3.  Says to the child, "you are special and this is a special book -- just for you."

Here are some books you may want to gift to a child - and some suggestions for obtaining an autographed copy just for the young readers in your life.

And index to this LONG post:

  • Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  • Don Tate
  • Michelle Edwards
  • Claudia McGehee
  • Jacqueline Briggs Martin
  • Jane Kurtz
  • Melissa Sweet
  • Peter H. Reynolds
  • Jane Yolen & Heidi Stemple
  • Jennifer Richard Jacobson 
  • Plus some General Sites

One of my favorite books this year is Playing Possum by Jennifer Black Reinhardt.  What fun it is to read about animals learning to cope with their anxieties, and in the process building friendships and empathy.  Situations many young readers will understand.  This book is a great book to share and smile over -- and beautifully illustrated.
Now just to find a stuffed possum or a sweet armadillo to hug while reading the book.

Playing Possum by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Reinhardt, Jennifer Black. Playing Possum. (Clarion, 2020)
Getting an autographed book by Jennifer Black Reinhardt is as simple as calling Katy at Sidekick Coffee and Books in Iowa City, Iowa (phone: 319-569-1010).  Simply tell Katy or one of her store assistants that you would like an autographed copy of Jennifer's book, be ready to provide payment information, and the book will be in your mail.  
Great discussions about nocturnal animals; and just what causes a possum to play dead, or a myotonic goat to faint, and what prompts other defense mechanisms animals use. And be on the alert for facts that Reinhardt slips into the text such as the three-banded armadillo is the only armadillo that can roll up into a ball for protection. 
Reinhardt has authored/illustrated several other books that readers are sure to love.  Check out her website at http://jbreinhardt.com you may want more than one of her titles. 


A couple other favorites come from an Iowa native but now a resident of Austin, Texas, Don Tate.  Don has authored and illustrated a number of fantastic books.  This year two of his works has been released and they are ones you don't want to miss.

Tate, Don. William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad. (Peachtree Publishing, 2020) and 
Slade, Suzanne. Swish: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020)

Any reader interested in history will love learning about William Still and perhaps be motivated to learn more about this era.  Sports enthusiasts will find much of interest in Swish - a prelude to much of our sports history that has followed.  Pair an autographed copy of Swish with a basketball and your gift will be over the top.

Don Tate regularly visits Bookpeople - a book store in Austin TX which often holds book events for local authors - including Don Tate.  Contact Don via his webpage and ask if he might stop in to sign a book for you (you'll have to call Bookpeople and order a copy, and ask that it be autographed) or ask Tate if you could obtain a signed bookplate.   Contact Bookpeople at https://www.bookpeople.com/ - be sure to check their events page.  There may be an event that you are interested in utilizing to purchase other autographed books.  You can contact Don Tate from his website at https://dontate.com/contact/.


And of course not all great books were published in 2020 - and this column is intended to share favorites that may have missed your attention earlier - and to give you the ways and means to obtain an autographed copy for a special child.

Edwards, Michelle.  A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. (Schwartz & Wade, 2016).
Edwards, Michelle.  Max Makes a Cake. Illustrated by Charles Santoso (Random House, 2014).

Michelle Edwards books address common everyday events and passes time through the lens of the Jewish Calendar — In her title Max Makes a Cake - it is the traditional Matzo Cake - an easy to make Passover dessert but in this story Max is on a mission to bake a matzo cake for his mother’s birthday which falls on the same day.  In A Hat for Mrs. Goldman it is Sophia who helps Mrs. Goldman by making the pom-poms for the hats that Mrs. Goldman knits. But when winter comes it is Mrs. Goldman who doesn't have a hat so Sophia sets out the knit one for her friend - but it is lumpy and has holes.  But Sophia is a problem solver, and she does.  
This is probably the easiest method to obtain an autographed book.  Michelle has her books, ready to autograph, and for sale on her Etsy site.  You can also purchase cards, prints, and several of her earlier titles.  In addition to the titles mentioned above - don't miss Papa's Latkes - a perfect title for introducing traditions surrounding Hanukkah.
Check out Michelle Edwards's Etsy shop at  https://www.etsy.com/shop/studioscrawls/ and you will be delighted.


Another author/illustrator with her own Etsy shop is Claudia McGehee who has illustrated these two books and many others.  Check out her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudiaMcGehee .

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs.  Creekfinding:A True Story. Illustrated by Claudia McGehee.  University of Minnesota, 2017.
McGehee, Claudia. Where Do Birds Live? University of Iowa Press, 2010.
Creekfinding: A True Story takes place in Northeast Iowa and recounts the restoration of an ecosystem - when the creek is brought back so do the trout, the frogs, all the flora and fauna associated with the prairie setting.  Delightful inspiration for taking action where one can.  A great book for future activists.

Pair McGehee's Where Do Birds Live? with a pair of binoculars and enjoy sharing some birdwatching.  
Visit Claudia's Etsy shop:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudiaMcGehee and order autographed books and perhaps a print to frame.  Her illustrations are filled with nature.  The books and perhaps a print would be the perfect gift for a young one who might enjoy a spot of nature.


Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of Creekfinding: A True Story (see above) and if it is her autograph you wish to have - you can get that title and several of her other titles from one of her favorite spots, The Perfect Blend, in her hometown of Mount Vernon, Iowa. The little shop carries a fine selection of Martin’s books - Bim, Bam, Bop … and Oona among them.  Just call Ann Booth at the Perfect Blend (319) 895-6862 and arrange to pay and have an autographed book sent to you.  You can find information about all of Jacqueline's books on her website https://jacquelinebriggsmartin.com .


Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Bim, Bam, Bop ... and Oona. Illustrated by Larry Day. University of Minnesota Press, 2019.

Bim, Bam, Bop ... and Oona is one of my favorite titles.  It celebrates creativity, friendship, and is a fun book to read and share with listeners -- the illustrations by Larry Day will inspire budding inventors and tinkerers and others who are good with gizmos and gadgets. Call Ann Booth at the Perfect Blend (319) 895-6862.


Jane Kurtz's book What Do They Do With All That Poo? continues to delight (and inform) young readers.  Imagine the fun in finding out that some animal's poo is square, white, or that other animals use their poo to mark their territory.  Jane has a close-by bookstore that will gladly sell you a book, and it's close enough that Jane can pop down to sign it.  Contact Jane from her website at https://www.janekurtz.com/contact/.  And after getting the go ahead purchase your book from her nearby store - Call Green Bean Books in Portland OR at 503-954-2354; or email them from their website at http://www.greenbeanbookspdx.com/contact-us.html and make your request. 
Or if you prefer check the illustrator's website (See below) - and then request a bookplate from Jane @ 
https://www.janekurtz.com/contact/ and you will have both signatures.

Allison Black has a link on her illustrator site to a “shop” page where you can purchase an autographed copy of What Do They Do With All That Poo?   Click on this link http://www.hip-hip.com/books. and you will be able to order an autographed copy of What Do They Do With All That Poo?  directly from Allison, with her autograph.  Consider asking Jane to purchase/send a bookplate if you want the book autographed by both Jane and Allison.

Melissa Sweet has many great books - these two are among my favorites, especially Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade, but she has more recent titles, and older ones as well.  Check her titles out at https://www.melissasweet.net/.  To order an autographed copy of any titles that are available, simply contact her local bookstore, Print (Portland, Maine), and request an autographed title.  Be prepared to provide payment and shipping information.  Contact the shop at  https://www.printbookstore.com/

Get ready to celebrate creativity, ingenuity, curiosity, and just plan fun with the many books by Peter H. Reynolds.  Currently my two favorite titles are The Dot (Candlewick, 2003) and The Word Collector (Orchard, 2018).

The Dot has inspired an entire national celebration known as Dot Day.  But for me it was about inspiring the young artist in my life.  So since Reynolds is the owner of his own bookstore, The Blue Bunny Bookstore - it was an opportunity to order an autographed copy and add some creative inspiring additions to create a very special gift package.  

Books by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple are available at these three independent book dealers (They live in Massachusetts).
One of my favorites is Heidi's Counting Birds - Check out this blog post at http://bit.ly/countingbirds-stemple


Jennifer Richard Jacobson writes picture books and some dynamite early chapter books, and books for older readers as well.  Order signed copies from her local independent book dealer Print Bookstore.
Link up here to order Jennifer's books: 
https://www.printbookstore.com/jacobson

Twig and Turtle  (4 volumes - Series)

This Is MY Room! (No Tigers Allowed)

The Dollar Kids

Paper Things

Small as an Elephant

Andy Shane and The Know-It-All: 4 books in 1

Andy Shane (7 volumes - Series)

Learn more about the author Jennifer Richard Jacobson and her books at https://www.jenniferjacobson.com/




Hopefully these ideas will inspire some creativity on your part to obtain a special book for you to share with a young reader.  It always seems easier to recommend books for the primary reader - and less so as the reader becomes older and begins to refine their own preferences in reading.  For the older reader I suggest you ask directly - what are you reading these days?  What book would you most like to own?  Then go to work and develop a special gift - seek to get an autographed copy, or add items to enhance the interest the reader has expressed.  Or simply purchase the book and wrap it with love and hand it over.  The book is the star after all.
And if you do want an autographed book -- find a way, but do your research.  Try these steps:
If none of these three options do not pan out, you might politely contact the author through their website and ask if obtaining an autographed copy is possible.
  • Will they be autographing at a location where your could preorder a book?
  • Do they have a working relationship with a bookstore that will send out autographed copies?
  • Or if not either of these two, would they (the author/illustrator) be willing to autograph a book if you sent them one and sent return postage etc.  
And please always keep in mind that an author's or illustrator's time is valuable - an author such as the late Tomie dePaola or Beverly Cleary received so many requests that entire days would be consumed answering mail.  Always maintain thoughtfulness -- and important that you seek out avenues to obtain books that are promoted as being available to buyers.  


Sending the Book - WITH Return Postage
In these cases I always suggest that you purchase a flat rate USPS envelope sufficient to hold your book - ask the post office to create a label/postage and pre-affix it to the envelope.  The envelope should be addressed to yourself.  Fold the envelope and place it in another envelope along with the book for shipping to the author/illustrator.  Be sure to put a thank you note in the envelope and send it off to the address provided by the book creator.  
This allows the author/illustrator to simply receive the book, sign it, and pop it back into the mail as soon as convenient.
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Friday, November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving - Delicious Cranberry Bread & Delicious Book

Thanksgiving Book & Activity for Youth Groups --
Anyone who is hosting or looking for an activity to use with elementary girls or boys may want to consider locating and reading one of my favorite books Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin (actually the Devlin's Old Black Witch is my very favorite of their books).  Its one of those treasures that you will find in the library - hopefully and maybe in used book stores.  It's worth the search. 
 Not exactly a "craft" but this is a project I have used with any group old enough to measure.Grandmother's recipe (an element in the story)  is included on the back of the hard cover but not on the paperback.  --
Read the story.  Obtain large plastic or glass containers that will hold 4 cups or use a plastic baggie, and once filled put down in a brown paper bag that has been decorated.  Measure the ingredients in the recipe below,  into a "mix" for the bread.  Include everything but the egg, orange juice, butter, cranberries, and walnuts.  These can be added when the mix is used.  Include a note telling the user to add 1 egg, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup butter, 1 & 1/2 cup cranberries, and 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional).

1) Cover  the container's cover with a gingham cloth or tie the bag shut with a ribbon.
2) Put a label on the container "Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread" with instructions to add 1 egg, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1 & 1/2 cup cranberries, 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional).
3)  Print off copies of the recipe, and include a copy  inside a handmade thanksgiving card to present to mother, father, grandmother -- whoever.


This is the recipe you will want to include inside the card so that the family can make more if they wish.

Ingredients • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 & 1/2  tsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2  tsp. baking soda
• 1/4  cup butter or margarine
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 tsp. grated orange peel
• 1/2  cup orange juice
• 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
• 1 & 1/2  cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
Method -
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice all at once; stir just until mixture is evenly moist. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon into a greased 9“ x 5” x3" loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Slice and serve.-

Thursday, October 01, 2020

READ - Pumpkin Books

READ - Pumpkin Books

  • From Seed to Pumpkin by Jan Kottle (Children's Book Press: ISBN 0516235095

  • Picking Apples & Pumpkins by Amy Hutchings and Richard Hutchings  (Cartwheel Books, 1994; ISBN: 0590484567)

  • Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington.  (William Morrow; ISBN: 8099300)

  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd  (HarperCollins, 1986; reissue2006  ISBN: 0061232173)

  • The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons.  (Holiday House, 1999; ISBN: 023414655)

    The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons

  • The Pumpkin Patch  by Elizabeth King (Puffin; Reprint edition 1996;  ISBN: 014055968X)
    Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

  • Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd. (Holiday House, 1997; ISBN 0823413209)