All things literacy — Authors, Books, Connections . . .

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Grinch Punch

Grinch Punch

A simple addition to the holiday celebration is Grinch punch.  I've made several recipes - and some use pineapple juice and other ingredients  But the simplest (and the best) recipe is super simple.  Two ingredients plus the garnishes.

Grinch Punch Recipe

Ingredients for Grinch Punch

Recently I have had difficulty finding lime sherbet in the stores however, an appropriate substitute is lemon sherbet which is easy to find.  Simply put the sherbet in a mixing bowl, add some green food coloring, mix the color in and the lemon sherbet now fills the requirement for green sherbet.  I actually prefer the lemon sherbet as the punch taste is more like a bubbly lemonade rather than a flavor that most children have not acclimated to liking.  After mixing in the color the sherbet will be very soft - you will need to put the sherbet back into the freezer to refreeze as it is best to be frozen solid when actually making the punch.

If you want a "sign" to let your guests know that the beverage they are drinking (or about to drink) is Grinch Punch you might wish to print off this page on a heavy piece of paper - fold in half and stand beside the punch.

And if you want to add a finishing touch to the day/evening, prepare some Grinch jello.  

Directions for Grinch Jello

Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- sewing and cooking
Cite this post:
McElmeel, Sharron L. (2021, December 1). Grinch Punch.  McBookwords (blog).



Sunday, November 07, 2021

Pickle Chiffon Pie

National Pickle Day (November 14)

National Pickle date celebrates all types of pickles - tart, sweet, spicy and preserved.  Pickles might be of various variety - and created from cucumbers.  Many types are available: Dill, Gherkin, Cornichon, Brined, Kosher Dill, Polish, Hungarian, Lime, Bread and Butter, Swedish and Danish.  All types of pickles are featured this day.  
The origin of the word pickle is derived from the word pekel, meaning brine.  Almost any vegetable can be pickled but in the United States a pickle generally refers to a pickled cucumber.

In the United States over 5 million pounds of pickles are consumed.  The pickle contains much sodium but is also an important source of Vitamin K.  Pickles are served on sticks at fairs, or deep-fried pickles.  Pickles are added to salads, made into a relish for sandwiches.  Some have even suggested putting pickles on ice cream.  But this book centers on a very special pickle treat - Pickle Chiffon Pie.

Bradfield Jolly Roger. (1967; 1995) Pickle-Chiffon Pie. Purple House Press. ISBN: 978-1-930900-30-1.

This wonderfully crazy literary fable has the king searching for his daughter a suitable husband. With many suitors wishing to marry her, they often stayed for dinner and that meant less pickle-chiffon-pie for him. That would not do; so the king called together 3 of the nicest princes he could find and presented them with a test -- the one who succeeded would marry the princess. 

With a cast of very unusual characters including a giant who could play chopsticks on two pianos, and the three nosed snozzle (who conveniently enough could bake the most wonderful Pickle Chiffon Pie). So bake up a pie -- and present it to a family you love, with a copy of this book (available directly from Purple House Press.) Originally published in 1967, this classic tale has been reissued by Purple House Press (2004) -- great fun when read along side a generous serving of Pickle Chiffon Pie. 

Need a "real" recipe for the pie. Check the chapter about Roger Bradfield in Authors in the Pantry: Recipes, Stories, and More. -- more information but the recipe itself is right here.

Cite this post:
McElmeel, Sharron L. (2021, Nov. 7). Pickle Chiffon Pie: National Pickle Day (November 14).  McBookwords (blog).



Saturday, July 17, 2021

Bits and Pieces from the News -- 2021

July 2021

Madeline has always been one of my favorite characters - so spunky and yet not nasty.  These new books will help, I hope, generate some new love for Bemelmans's original titles.  

Information about the forthcoming books at

And about Ludwig Bemelman at

Baptiste, Tracey. (2021, July 19).  Celebrating Floyd Cooper. ; 

Italie, Hillel.  (2021, July 17).  Floyd Cooper, acclaimed children’s illustrator, dead at 65.  ABC News. ; 


Hillel, Italie and Dwyer, Kayla. (2021, July 17).  ‘An international star’: Award-winning Easton Children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper dead at 65.

Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, July 17).  Bits and Pieces from the News - 2021. McBookwords (Blog).


Friday, April 30, 2021

May 19 - A Day to Honor Nicholas George Winton - WWII Hero

May 19 - The Anniversary of the Birth of Nicholas George Winton

Nicholas George Winton was a banker in 1938 when he found himself in Czechoslovakia facing hundreds of refugee children fleeing from the Nazis with no place (and little hope) of being saved.  With ingenuity, some machination, and unconventional actions he saved 669 children from death camps.  All were transported to England or Sweden, where host families raised them, as most if not all of their parents perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Read: Peter Sis's book Nicky & Vera (Norton Young Readers, 2021).
(A book for ages 6-9 but needs to be read by all who can read - children, teens, adults, and elders)

From the publisher:nicky & vera; picture book; peter sis

Learn more about this hidden hero of World War II:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, Jan. 31). Nicky Winton - A Hero Hidden in Plain Sight.  McBookwords (Blog). 

Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, May 1). May 19 - A Day to Honor Nicholas George Winton.  McBookwords (Blog).


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Four & Twenty Dinosaurs

One of my very favorite poetry fun takes some advanced planning but so much fun with most age groups. Get a copy of Four and Twenty Dinosaurs by Bernard Most - still available as a paperback.

  1. Make a list of the nursery rhymes that are parodied in the book.
  2. Then put the book on your own shelf for a bit, and find standard editions of the nursery rhymes that Most used in his book.

  3. For the younger kids you will want to repeat the poems so they are well familiar with them - and can recite them with you. So reread, reread etc. over a period of a few days/weeks. Practice encouraging the listeners to chime in on the recitation of the poems.

    Sing a song of sixpence,
    A pocket full of rye;
    Four and twenty blackbirds
    Baked in a pie.
    When the pie was opened,
    They all began to sing.
    Now, wasn’t that a dainty dish
    To set before the King?

    The King was in his countinghouse,
    Counting out his money;
    The Queen was in the parlor
    Eating bread and honey.
    The maid was in the garden,
    Hanging out the clothes.
    Along there came a big black bird
    And snipped off her nose!

  4. With older kids most likely (hopefully) they will be familiar with the poems you will will just need to activate their schema regarding the poems.
  5. Then one day pull out Four and Twenty Dinosaurs and without introduction read aloud the poems encouraging them to chime in on the familiar rhymes -- pause only when the twist is coming.

Listeners will soon get the idea and will start to anticipate the twists and might even come up with some great ones of their own.

Be ready to write either as a group or individually some additional innovations of the familiar nursery rhymes. Schedule a poetry jam.  


Cite this post:
McElmeel, Sharron L. (2021, April 15). Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  McBookwords (blog).



Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Earth Day - and One Little Bag

Earth Day - and One Little Bag

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 with events worldwide in support of the environment and to raise awareness for the environmental protection and care of our planet.  

Gift the awareness of Earth Day to others by sharing a reading of Henry Cole's One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey (Scholastic, 2020).

And giving any participants one little brown bag (similar to the one in the book) and a small journal to record their own bag's amazing journey.

Cite this post:
McElmeel, Sharron L. (2021, April 1). Earth Day - and One Little Bag.  McBookwords (blog).



Saturday, February 27, 2021

Maxine and the Greatest Garden

 Maxine and the Greatest Garden 

If you want to call for your own autographed copy - contact
the Book Bin
Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, February 26). Maxine and the Greatest Garden.  McBookwords (Blog).