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Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts

Religious Books for Different Ages

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Today we are going to share with you some wonderful religious themed books for different ages. This post will also include three Hazel's Corners! The first is Princess Prayers by Jeanna Young, Jacqueline Kinney Johnson, and Omar Aranda. This a sparkly book filled with prayers for various times of day and different events for your little princess.

Irish Tea Party with Book Review

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

For March we thought we would explore Ireland as St. Patrick's Day is in March (this Friday). We also received a book to go along with our exploration of Ireland that I will share here. Yesterday New England was hit with Winter Storm Stella, so it was the perfect day to have a tea party. Hazel and I both had a snow day while poor Steve got the overnight shift and went in early so he would not have to drive during the worse of it.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?



This year we have not done much for St. Patrick's Day. (Sorry to my late Irish grandmother.) However when we went to the library on Thursday they had a free St. Patrick's Day craft set up. It was an easy paper plate hat. While Hazel made one I made three (one that Hazel insisted we bring home and two for some of the librarians to wear). The next day Hazel made another one while her friend made one since the craft had not been cleaned up and we had all been there for a free puppet show.


This is Hazel's first one. She started to copy what I did on the ones I was making but had some very creative ideas of her own.


This is the one Hazel insisted we bring home that I made. To make these you cut almost a full circle out of the paper plate center and fold it up then decorate. The librarians provided the cut out shamrocks, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, curling ribbon, sequins and silver sparkly pom poms and markers, glue and scissors. We had a lot of fun. 


Here is the one Hazel made on Friday. She did not put as much time into it, but she likes it just the same.

We have also been enjoying some St. Patrick's Day and Irish books. Here is a collage of books we have read this year and/or last year. I realized earlier this month I never shared the books we read for last year's St. Patrick's Day, so I'll share them now.


  • Leprechaun Tales by Yvonne Carroll
  • The Leprechaun in the Basement by Kathy Tucker
  • Too Many Leprechauns by Stephen Krensky
  • The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo
  • Daniel O'Rourke by Gerald McDermott
  • Fair, Brown and Trembling by Jude Daly
  • The Luck of The Irish by Brendan Patrick Paulsen
  • St. Patrick's Day by Gail Gibbons
  • A Fine St. Patrick's Day by Susan Wojciechowski
  • That's What Leprechaun's Do by Eve Bunting
  • Finn McCoul by Brian Gleeson

I also wanted to provide you with the crafts we have done for St. Patrick's Day in the past.





Finally, last March as part of Around the World in 12 Dishes, we "visited" Ireland. Here are the Irish Recipes we made.







For more fun St. Patrick's Day crafts, recipes, and activities check out:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Well even with us all feeling a bit rundown and/or sick, we managed to have a fun St. Patrick's Day with two of the meals Irish themed.We took the recipes from two books we got out of the library.

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Cinderlad

With it being St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to share another Irish Cinderella. If you missed my post last week sharing Fair, Brown and Trembling, you can check it out and on it I shared some information about Ireland. Since I already shared the information there, I'm going to skip that part of this post. So this week's story is a bit different. It is called Cinderlad. The book we read is by Shirley Climo. The first major difference is the Cinderella character is male. And he saves a princess from death, but that is getting ahead of ourselves.

This book begins with the birth of a baby boy. His mother names him Becan, which means "little one" in Irish. Becan's feet grew unusually large, but he remained relatively short. His mother died while he was young. His father who was a peddler was away often and would bring back what was needed. One day he came back with a new wife and her three almost grown daughters. Then he went off to work again. The stepmother and her daughters watched Becan and always blamed everything on him. The daughters called him Little Big Foot. Eventually the stepmother got sick of having him around and sent him off to be a herdboy for the cows. Becan was fine with this however he was afraid of the tales he heard about the large speckled bull who could kill a man by kicking him. 

One day the bull arrived at the field where Becan took his father's cows. Becan scratched him in the same place the cows liked to be scratched and they became friends. Becan would tell the bull about his problems and one day the bull talked back. He told Becan he would not starve while he was around and told him to pull out what was in his ear. This was an amazing meal wrapped in a table cloth. After that every day the bull would come at lunch time to feed Becan. He stopped accepting the scraps his stepmother offered for dinner and she became suspicious. She sent her eldest daughter to spy on him to see who was feeding him. The daughter came home and reported to the mother. The mother told her they would kill the bull and have a nice stew. Becan heard everything although they thought he was asleep. 

At day break Becan ran off to warn his friend. The bull told him to jump on his back and they would escape. The traveled a long way until the bull stopped and told Becan that this is where they would say goodbye. He told him a grey bull would come to fight him and the grey bull would kill him. When he died he told Becan to twist off his extra long tail and wear it as a belt. Becan should use it whenever he needed the bull the most. Becan was horrified at this thought, but the bull insisted. All happened as the speckled bull said. The grey bull arrived and they fought all day. At days end the speckled bull was dead and the grey bull had disappeared. Becan cried all night by his friend then remembering what he said he easily twisted off his tail and wrapped it around his body twice as a belt. Then he reached in his ear one more time and pulled out the white table cloth and covered the bull with it. Then he wandered off on his own. 

While walking on his own, his feet hurt (he was barefoot) and eventually a gentleman offered him a ride on his horse. When Becan told him he was going anywhere he offered Becan a job as a herdboy. The gentleman warned him that his next door neighbor was an arhach (a giant) and told him to stay on his side of the fence. Becan always wanted to see a giant, so he did not listen. When the horse, cows, sheep and donkey had eaten all the grass on the gentleman's side of the fence, Becan climbed up and saw that the giant had lots of grass and apple trees. He knocked down some of the stones of the fence so the animals could pass over it and then they all went to where there was food. The giant arrived and almost killed Becan until he remembered his bull tail belt.

The bull tail wrapped itself around the giant's neck. The giant begged for him to remove it and Becan said he only would if the giant gave him his boots and disappeared forever. The giant gave Becan his boots which fit him perfectly and also dropped his sword which Becan picked up and wore in his belt.

One day the gentleman warned Becan to stay close to home because it was Dragon Day in Kinsale. He explained that every year the dragon came out of the ocean and ate the most fair maiden. If the fairest maiden was not tied to the post to be eaten the dragon would make the water swell over the entire town. This year the fairest maiden was the king's own daughter, Princess Finola. Well of course, Becan went off to see what was going to happen. He rode the man's donkey to town and saw the princess tied to a post. Everyone around her ignored her cries for help and would not look at her. Then he said he would fight for her. And the dragon appeared.
He and the dragon fought for a long time. His arm got tired of swinging the giant's sword. When he pricked the dragon with it, the dragon acted like it was a minor pinprick. Then Becan remembered the bull's tail and pulled it off. It magically wrapped itself around the dragon's jaws and the dragon returned to the sea with the tail.
Princess Finola wanted to thank him, but at the same time he heard his three stepsisters call out "Little Big Foot" and he wanted to escape. Princess Finola reached out for him and grabbed his boot. He rode the donkey away having lost one boot. Princess Finola announced she would only marry the man who fit the boot since he was the only one who had helped her. The king sent a messenger out looking for the man who fit the boot. It was a year before the messenger arrived at the gentleman's house. The gentleman tried it on and it slid right off. Then he told the messenger to let the boy try it on. The messenger didn't think a herdboy would be the one, but let him do it anyway. Of course it fit and Becan told them he had its mate in the cowshed. Becan rode the gentleman's horse to the castle where Princess Finola waited for him. She commented on how they were the same height so they would see eye-to-eye on things and told him he would now be Prince Becan. They got married and lived happily ever after.

Our crafts for this book were of course our peg dolls and then we used DLTK toilet paper roll crafts for the bull and the dragon. We used a paper towel roll for the giant and just made it ourselves. 

Later this week we will be sharing more Irish cooking and hope you will join us. Tomorrow we will feature the first of this month's Virtual Book Club for Kids posts and it will include a giveaway. Please come see and enter!!

Happy St Patricks Day 1
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Irish Chicken and Leek Pie--and some signs of spring!


Well this year (March through February) I have joined some great bloggers in traveling the world through dishes. Our first stop is Ireland. Since I shared a bit about Ireland the other day with the first of the Irish Cinderellas, I will skip doing it again. I am very excited to join this group, because I see it as such a wonderful way to expose Hazel to new cultures and countries and for her to learn a bit more about the world. 

Before we take our trip to Ireland, however, I am going to share with you the reason we did not make Irish Soda Bread today and why Hazel did not help me with the Irish Chicken and Leek Pie for dinner. We had a beautiful feels like spring day. So we went out to play this afternoon. When Steve got done with work, he came out and I came in to cook dinner and go to my Weight Watchers meeting. 
Hazel and I went on a walk around our neighborhood looking for signs of spring. We saw budding trees, birds, and the tops of flower plants poking up. We went home and filled a suet feeder with scraps of yarn, wool roving and ribbon and hung it on a tree and we filled the bird feeder. Then Hazel pulled out her magnifying glass and eventually pulled out her garden shovel and rake and dug in the garden. When I came back out, Hazel had been joined by our next door neighbor who is eleven but still loves to play with Hazel and they were having a great time rebuilding their fairy house. And for those of you who read our post about the snow storm last week, here is what is left of Hazel's snow mountain.
It is amazing how fast it is melting!! I am glad robin has woken Sister Spring up!

Ok, now back to Ireland! Today we tried a recipe from a book I got out of the library, Cooking the Irish Way by Helga Hughes. It came from the children's section so I thought it would be great to get Hazel and I trying some Irish cooking. I decided to try the chicken and leek pie. I was not sure how Steve and Hazel would feel about the leek aspect, but figured I would give it a try. Overall, we all loved it. Hazel was not totally sure about the leeks, but ate them mixed in with everything else.
I did change the recipe a bit, but not too much.

Chicken and Leek Pie (adapted from Cooking the Irish Way by Helga Hughes)
1 package ready made pie crust (I bought frozen, but would have preferred refrigerated)
6 slices of uncured precooked bacon (this is the only way we really do bacon in my house)
1 tablespoon olive oil (The recipe called for bacon fat)
2 small leeks, chopped (I bought already cleaned ones)
1 1/2 cups of chicken breast already cooked and cut into bite size pieces
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
4 tablespoons nonfat milk
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I put these in in case Hazel or Steve would not eat the leeks)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
2 tablespoons milk for glazing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Press one of the crusts into pie pan. Cook/heat bacon in microwave and then chop it.

In skillet heat oil. While heating put chicken and leeks into large ziploc bag and add flour. Shake to coat chicken and leeks with flour. Put chicken and leeks into oil and discard excess flour. Stir and brown leeks and chicken. Remove from heat.

Stir in the bacon, rosemary, pepper, milk, sour cream and mixed vegetables. Then spoon into pie crust. Sprinkle parsley on top. Then cover with second pie crust. Glaze with milk by using brush or paper towel. Cut slits in pie (unless you used a frozen one like me and it already had slits/cuts through it). 

Put in oven for 20 minutes at 400. Then turn temperature down to 350 and bake for 15-20 minutes longer, until crust is a light golden brown.

We had ours with the suggested salad. Then Hazel and I had strawberries for dessert. A delicious meal!! We will be trying some more Irish recipes this week, so stay tuned!!

You can find an Ireland coloring placemat right here and the passport right here (the cover for the passport is right here for you!).



To Catch a Leprechaun...

Well, I think I am finally having my dear grandmother, Hazel, smiling down at me. She is the one who provides me and Hazel with a bit of Irish blood. Hazel and I have been reading some Irish stories and we decided to make a leprechaun trap. Now I got the idea for this and the rainbows Hazel colored from DLTK. We of course gave it our own twist. 

We found a squarish box and covered it with green construction paper. We left a hole for an opening on top. Then we began decorating. While decorating we also made a ladder out of gold pipe cleaners and I got the idea of adding some signs. We decided to call it End of the Rainbow Inn. Then I also made a sign saying "Leprechauns Welcome". You can get the signs at  Leprechaun Trap Signs
We put some cottony fluff inside so the leprechaun will have a soft place to stay. We covered the hole with green sparkly ribbon looking a bit like a rainbow shape. Hazel is so excited to catch a leprechaun. She keeps asking if there are any in our town and what do you think it will say. 

I bought some chocolate gold coins to put in it and I think I will make her a leprechaun--either a peg doll or needle felt or bendy. I haven't decided which yet. She cannot wait to check it on St. Patrick's Day. We also tried the cupcake leprechaun that we say over at I HEART CRAFTY THINGS. We also made one with a paper plate. We put the cupcake liner one on our trap and will hang the paper plate one up as a decoration. We are thinking tomorrow will be another fun day of baking some Irish soda bread and learning more about Ireland.

Oh, we also planted some shamrocks or clover. We bought a package the other day, so I doubt they will grow in time for St. Patrick's Day, but Hazel loved planting them.





Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Fair, Brown & Trembling



Well with St. Patrick's Day approaching we have been thinking Irish lately. So I thought this week we would share one of the Irish Cinderellas. We will explore the second one next Sunday since the Virtual Book Club for Kids will be on Monday (and Sunday is St. Patrick's Day). This week we will be looking at Fair, Brown and Trembling by Jude Daly. This version seems a bit softer than the versions I have read on-line at Sacred Texts and Authorma. But before we explore the story, let us learn a bit about Ireland.
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Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third largest island in Europe and the twentieth largest on Earth. The island of Ireland contains two parts, the Republic of Ireland (which is usually referred to as Ireland) and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. The island comprises of low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain with several rivers inland. Until the 17th century it was covered with thick woodlands, but is now one of the most deforested lands in Europe. (Source) We will focus on the country of Ireland.
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The country of Ireland occupies about five-sixths of the entire island. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922. It however remained a dominion within the British Empire. In 1937 it became Ireland (previously being called the Irish Free State) and in 1949 it became a republic and the remaining duties of the British monarch were removed. 
Map of Ireland
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While Ireland is ranked among one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it was at one point one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. The country is mostly Christian with the largest percent being Roman Catholic.

Now onto our story. The version I found in a picture book, does not have the same ending as the ones on-line. I will explain the differences along the way.
In the book version, the story starts with a widower and his three daughters, Fair, Brown and Trembling, who live in a castle in Ireland (well Erin, but that is Ireland). Fair and Brown go to church each week in new dresses, but they make the younger sister, Trembling stay home and do the cooking. The real reason they make her stay home is because she is more beautiful and they do not want her to be married before themselves since she is the youngest. 

One Sunday the henwife comes in and tells Trembling she should be at church and Trembling says she has nothing to wear and needs to do the cooking. The henwife puts on her cloak of darkness and gives her the dress of her dreams--white as the snow with green shoes. She also gives her a snow white mare to ride. She tells Trembling not to enter the church and to leave as soon as mass is over. Trembling goes and turns heads, but follows all of the henwife's instructions. Several men try to catch up with her, but no one can. When the sisters return home she is back in her old clothes and the henwife had cooked, so they do not know a thing. They talk about the beautiful woman at the church and search for the same dress.

The next Sunday after Fair and Brown have left for church the henwife comes and asks Trembling what she would like to wear this week. Trembling says a black satin dress and scarlet shoes and a mare so black and glossy she can see herself in it. The henwife produces all of this for her and Trembling goes to church the same as before.
Irish Princess

The third week, Trembling asks for a dress with a snow white bodice and rose red skirt with a green cape and blue shoes. Her mare this week is white with blue and gold diamonds on it. This week the church is full since word of the beautiful woman had spread far and wide. Princes from all over had come to have a chance to meet her. At the end of mass Trembling rushed off, but the Prince of Emania manages to grab one of her slippers. He claims he will marry the woman whose foot fits the shoe, however all the other princes say he must fight them for that right. First they decide they must find her.



When the princes are approaching the castle of Fair, Brown and Trembling, Fair and Brown lock Trembling in a cupboard. Their feet will not fit into the slipper. The Prince of Emania asks if there are any other young women in the house and a faint voice from the closet says yes. Fair and Brown say she is just the girl who cleans the ashes, but the princes insist on seeing her. Of course the shoe fits perfectly and the Prince of Emania sees that she is the woman he saw at the church. 

Now the princes begin to fight for her hand. In three days, three princes challenge the Prince of Emania. The first fight is for nine hours and the other two are for six each. After that all the other princes decide he has won her hand and the wedding is planned. Trembling and the Prince of Emania are married and eventually have fourteen children and live happily ever after. Fair and Brown are put to see in a barrel with provisions for seven years and are never seen again.
Now the on-line version mentions the father's name. A few details about the outfits are different. The ending however is very different. The wedding lasts a year and a day. When Trembling has her first child, she sends for her eldest sister, Fair to help. After Trembling is feeling better, she and Fair go for a walk by the seaside and Fair pushes Trembling into the sea and a whale swallows her. The whale spits her up on the beach the next day and a cow herder for the Prince finds her. She tells him to go home and tell his master that her sister threw her off the cliff and a whale swallowed her and the whale has enchanted her, so he will spit her up for two more days and swallow her again if her husband does not come to save her by shooting the whale with a silver bullet. The cow herder eventually does this (Fair first gives him a forgetting poison the first night) and the Prince saves Trembling. The Prince had sent for their father and he puts Fair out to sea in the barrel. Trembling's second child is a daughter and they promise her hand to the cow herder. 

I have to admit this ending would probably scare Hazel a bit too much, so I'm glad the picture book did not have it.

We did a few coloring pages for this one to go along with our doll.
Hope you will join us for more Irish posts this week and our second Irish Cinderella next Sunday!