Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

All About Vietnam -- Book Review & More!


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

May is Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month. All month long I will try to share books, crafts, and activities to help celebrate this fun heritage. Today I get to share the newest book from one of my favorite series about Asian countries. It is All About Vietnam: Projects & Activities for Kids: Learn About Vietnamese Culture with Stories, Songs, Crafts & Games by Tran Thi Minh Phuoc and illustrated by Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong. It is a middle grades reading level but can be shared with younger kids if you do the reading!

Ocean & Beach Books Perfect for Summer!

Disclosure: We were sent these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are our own.

With the start of summer I am in the beach mood even if the temperatures here haven't been beach weather yet. At Crafty Weekends I shared a beach theme craft this week (have you shared your creations there yet?), and today I'm sharing some books about oceans, fish, sea glass and boats. Yup basically beach and boating themed!! So much fun. These books include picture books as well as nonfiction books. Let's start with the nonfiction books. We will start with a new one from National Geographic Kids. It is Captain Aquatica's Awesome Ocean by Jess Cramp with Grace Hill Smith and Joe Levit. 

Books about Pets

Don't forget to sign up for our US state postcard exchange!!
Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books 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.

Do you own a pet? Does your child want a pet? What kind? Today I am going to share some books about three of the more typical pets: dogs, cats, and fish. Each has a fun story and a bit of a lesson in its own. We will start with Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper. 

Ocean Life Fun -- Summertime Fun

Disclosure: I was sent these books free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Have you seen Disney Pixar's Finding Dory yet? Hazel and I went to see it this weekend. We loved it. It has of course put us in the mood for ocean life!! Today we are sharing three different under the sea activity books/kits. But first a quick fun and easy craft that we did at Lakeshore Learning on Saturday before going to the movie. We made talking fish or fish clips. They had the fish shapes cut in two pieces to decorate and then glue to a clothespin. Hazel made the rainbow fish!!

Dory's Ocean Secrets -- A Parragon Book Buddy Review -- Fun with Dory

Disclosure: Parragon Books sent me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

It seems like Disney Pixar's Finding Dory is everywhere this summer. Have you seen it yet? We haven't, but it is on our to do list since I have heard good things about it. Well today we are going to have some Dory Fun as part of our Summertime Fun Series. Today I am going to share Disney Pixar's Finding Dory: Dory's Ocean Secrets with you. 

Discovering Sushi -- Global Learning for Kids: Japan

Disclosure: I was sent this playset to review free of charge from Melissa & Doug. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them. They also sent one to me for the Asian Pacific American Blog Series and Giveaway!!
On Monday I shared that I am teaming up with Multicultural Kid Blogs to begin a new series called Global Learning for Kids. This month our focus is Japan. You can find my introduction to Japan on Multicultural Kid Blogs as well as the amazing Asian Pacific American Heritage Giveaway!! Our focus this week has been on sushi. Now I have only had sushi a couple of times in my life and as a non-fish eater, it has only been vegetarian. However we got this great Wooden Sushi Slicing Playset from Melissa & Doug, so I thought I should teach Hazel a bit about it. 

Nature Anatomy Book Review to Celebrate the Earth

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Storey Publishing. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Here is a perfect book for Earth Day although I'm a little late. This amazing book was one of the prizes in our Earth Day Giveaway. When I saw it I thought it looked like a book Hazel would love. I was right. Not only does Hazel love it, Steve and I love it and my father was looking very interested in it (and he really doesn't do books). The book is Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman with help from John Niekrasz.

Hazel's Science Center

Last week I chaperoned Hazel's class field trip to Seacoast Science Center in New Hampshire. It was a fun place for the kids to learn even more about the ocean and really end their ocean unit. They ended it the next day with watching Finding Nemo. Hazel liked the science center better. The time at the science center began with a demonstration/class for the kids. First an employee presented about tide pools and the animals found at different levels of the tide pool and then they divided the kids into two groups to have some hands-on experience with the animals.

American Girl or 18-inch Doll Accessories from a Party Store Product Review

 Disclosure: I was sent these products to review free of charge from Shindigz Party Supplies. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I added links to the particular products for your convenience, but not for any compensation. 

Yesterday I received an email from Shindigz informing me that my DIY American Girl Themed Party had won an award (you can see the award badge on the post). I responded what a coincidence since I was about to write a review of Shindigz products to use with an 18-inch doll. So yes, here are some ideas of party supplies that work with 18-inch dolls like American Girl dolls. We are getting ready for a Valentine themed Doll Play Date later this week. Hazel invited a few of her friends and their dolls over. We are planning on having a tea party with the dolls. First of course all the dolls need tiaras. These mini tiara combs are the perfect size for the dolls.

Popsicle Stick Fish Craft & More

Congratulations to Kristen P. for winning the Octunauts DVD!!
Today I am going to share a simple craft inspired by a craft kit at Oriental Trading. Since we had most of the supplies already, we did not order the craft kit. I showed Hazel the picture and let her get to work on it. She came up with the following picture.
All the craft sticks she had left in her craft supplies had glitter glue on them. After she made this, we found more colored craft sticks. I made another one trying to spread out the sticks more. I actually like hers better. I also added some foam spots on the ends.

Seeing mine, she wanted dots on hers, so she added them.

For this craft, we glued the sticks in the order we wanted them and added the heart for a mouth and an eye. Then added the dots.Today we will also share a couple of fun things from this past weekend. First look what we saw while waiting in line at the drive through at Starbucks on Saturday.
Of course once I was at a good place to take a picture and got my camera, the line began to move. I noticed a bird fly out of the nest which is what caught my eye to it. Then I pointed it out to Hazel. So fun!!

Then one of the teenagers at church made these amazing cupcakes for the Sunday School snack on Sunday. We are using a Jungle-Themed Vacation Bible School curriculum for the summer lessons and this week's animal was a giraffe. She said she found how to do it on-line. I am guessing she found them at Sugar Sugar: Giraffe Cupcakes!

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella

Since May is Asian-Pacific American Month, I thought I would feature some of the Asian fairy tales I have done and then I realized that almost all the Cinderella tales I haven't done yet are from Asia, so we are back to having Fairy Tales in Different Cultures. (I should add that we are behind in our cooking for Around the World in 12 Dishes, but that will be coming as soon as I get Hazel to cook with me.) We have already shared Cinderella tales from China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and India and a Snow White tale from Armenia. We have also shared Islamic versions of both Cinderella and Snow White. Our tale today is The Golden Sandal by Rebecca Hickox. It is a Middle Eastern Cinderella tale. So first a bit about the Middle East. 
The Middle East is Western Asia. It is also called the Near East. The people of the Middle East come from long established ethnic groups including Arabs, Turks, Persians, Balochs, Pashtuns, Lurs, Mandeans, Tats, Jews, Kurds, Somalis, Assyrians, Egyptian Copts, Armenians, Azeris, Maltese, Circassians, Greeks, Turcomans, Shabaks, Yazidis, Mandeans, Georgians, Roma, Gagauz, Mhallami and Samaritans. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The majority of the area is dry and hot with a few rivers to provide irrigation for crops. The countries that border the Persian Gulf generally have vast reserves of crude oil. (Source)

In The Golden Sandal, a fisherman is left with his small daughter, Maha, after his wife drowns. A neighbor who is a widow with a small daughter of her own comes to take care of Maha every day. Maha begs his father to marry the widow. He tells her he will never remarry since a stepmother can be jealous of a stepdaughter. Maha continues to beg and eventually her father marries the widow. At first everyone is very happy, but the widow gets jealous of how much the fisherman loves his daughter and of her grace and beauty whereas her own daughter is clumsy and pale in comparison. The stepmother begins having Maha do all the work and feeds her only a few dried dates while the fisherman is away during the day. 

One day Maha is to bring fish back from her father's boat. On her way home, the red fish begins to talk to her and asks her to spare his life. Maha releases it in the river and the fish tells her Allah will reward her and to ask him at any time for whatever she needs. That night the father asks what happened to the red fish and the stepmother is furious that Maha did not bring all the fish back. Maha runs to the river crying and calls for the fish. The fish gives her a coin to give her stepmother and tells her to say she sold the fish. The stepmother is happy with the coin, but still not happy with Maha. 

Over the years both girls grow into young women. Maha works all day and the stepsister becomes lazy and mean to Maha. Maha goes to the fish whenever she feels overwhelmed and the fish does something to help her. One day, a merchant's daughter is to be married. It is the custom for all the unmarried girls to go to the women's celebration before the wedding where the bride has her arms and feet painted with red henna. The mothers of the unmarried men are present and see the girls who are available for marriage.  The stepmother scrubs her daughter and dresses her in the finest clothes they own and leaves Maha home to carry heavy water jugs and sweep the floor. When they leave she goes crying to the fish. The fish provides her a beautiful gown, pearl comb and golden sandals. Maha quickly cleans herself and dresses. When she enters the women assume she must be from an important family dressed as she is and the bride has her sit next to her. Her stepmother and stepsister joke about how she looks a bit like Maha but they could never imagine her in such fine clothes. Maha has such a good time she forgets to keep a close eye on her stepmother and leave before she does. She rushes out after her stepmother and loses one of her sandals in the river. She makes it home and is able to change before her stepmother and stepsister return. 

The next day the bride's brother, Tariq, stops by the river to let his horse get a drink, but the horse refuses to drink. Tariq finds the golden sandal and thinks it is so beautiful. He imagines the woman who wore it and takes it home to his mother. He tells her he wants to marry the girl who lost the sandal. The mother takes the sandal house to house starting with the wealthy families to have the unmarried girls try it on. Eventually she arrives at Maha's home. The stepmother sees her coming and locks Maha in the bread oven with a large rock in front of it. The sandal does not fit the stepsister. A rooster flies to the top of the bread oven and begins crowing with all his might and tells Tariq's mother that the one she is looking for is in the oven. She has her servant open the oven and Maha crawls out. Of course the sandal fits her. Tariq's mother gives the stepmother a purse of gold and tells her that Maha is betrothed to Tariq and they will be married in two days time. The bitter stepmother goes to the perfumer and asks him to make an oil that smells so foul  as rotting fish and that will make hair fall out. She combs this oil into Maha's hair the night before the wedding. The next day the procession comes for Maha and when she arrives and Tariq lifts her veil, the room fills with the scent of roses and her hair is even more beautiful than before. Tariq and Maha live in happiness.

When Tariq's brother sees how happy Tariq is, he tells his mother he wants to marry Maha's sister. The mother goes to the stepmother and gives her a purse of gold and tells her to prepare for the wedding. Since the oil worked so positively for Maha, she uses in her own daughter's hair. When the groom is able to lift the veil he finds a woman with a smell that almost chokes him and all her hair is replaced with red blisters. She is returned to her mother in shame. Tariq and Maha have seven children and live happily.

Like so many of the Asian Cinderella tales, a fish plays an important role in the story. Since the fish is a red fish, I used a red paper plate and made a simple red fish. I did it rather quickly and would have used googly eyes, but I didn't take the time to find them. Hazel wants to make one so our next one will have googly eyes.

For more Cinderella tales check out:

Flamingo Friday--Fish and Flamingo: A wonderful story of an unusual friendship

Today I am going to share a book Hazel and I have been enjoying. It is a tale of an unusual friendship between a flamingo and a fish. The book is called the Fish and Flamingo and is written by Nancy White Carlstrom. The two became friends and talked every day about their lives. One day the flamingo tells the fist about flying at sunrise and the beautiful pink sky. The fish tells the flamingo about coming to the surface of the water at night time and seeing the glowing stars. Each wishes to show their friend the beauty they have seen, but do not know how to do it since the friend is not awake at the correct time.

One day the flamingo tells the fish that she will be leaving with her flock the next day. She tells him to be at the same spot at the same time the next day since she will be flying overhead and will wave to him. The fish is so excited and he tells all his friends and has them come with him. 

At the time the flamingo flies over with her flock, the fish and his friends look up and see a pink sky. The fish thinks that his friend has found a way to show him the sunrise and finds it so beautiful. The flamingo looks down and sees many fish and as the sun comes out the silver on each fish sparkles and the flamingo thinks the fish is giving her the gift of seeing the stars. 

Neither friend knows that they have given their gift to one another, but they both feel so honored that the other has.

For this book, we tried out soft pastels. Hazel immediately drew a sun and I suggested we draw the sunrise. She and I added pink and smudged it all together. Then I worked on the ocean. I made it blue and then added some silver. The silver did not shine enough, so we added some glitter glue to be the fish showing the flamingos the stars. I loved how it came out and how well it goes with the story.

Happy Family Times #21--A Trip to Boston

Have you done something fun with your family this week? Kelly at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are collecting everyone's activities to inspire all of us to spend more time with our families! Please share your story below.

This past week we spent lots of time together as a family. Steve had the week off and we planned several day trips and things to do locally. The one we all looked forward to, especially Hazel, was going into Boston. We took the subway in (Boston has America's oldest subway but parts of it are above ground--you can read more about the history here). It was Hazel's first time on the subway or a real train (besides the small ones at the zoo and malls). She was so excited. The picture above is on the first train. The picture below is waiting for Daddy to purchase the Charlie Tickets so we can get on the train.
We took the train to The Public Garden. Hazel could not wait to get there. I had promised her a ride on the Swan Boats and to see the Make Way for Duckling statues. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey is one of our favorite books and we feel so lucky to live near where the story takes place!

Pond in The Public Garden

We walked around the pond to the Swan Boats and got in line. We stopped on top of the bridge to check out the island and we stopped to check out all the mallards (including ducklings) all around the pond! After waiting a short bit in line, we got on the swan boat. One of the other passengers had brought bread and fed some of the ducks who followed us for a bit, but the passenger was informed by the driver that you are not suppose to feed the birds, so she stopped. A pair of swans live in the pond each summer. They are named Romeo and Juliette. I couldn't tell you which was which, but we saw both.

After the ride we walked over to the Make Way for Duckling statutes. Hazel could not see them at first, but then she saw them and asked to run to them. She had to first touch each one. Then she asked for a picture by each one. I think she got bored part way through of the pictures though.
Then we walked out of The Public Garden and went across the street to Boston Common (known around here as The Common). We were more walking through, but I wanted to show her the Frog Pond which had many kids playing in the water and sprinklers. Next to the Frog Pond there was a carousel set up, so Hazel and I went on it. It was the first time she wanted to go on one of the horses that went up and down so I held her. We also ran into a friend from our parent/child class this past year who also rode on the carousel.
Then we went to find a restaurant to have lunch. We had two requirements: a bathroom and some place to sit down inside. We found a burger place (after saying no to two places due to our requirements). It was good. We had mentioned possibly going to the aquarium. Hazel really wanted to go, so we did, even though we were all a bit tired. Our thoughts had been that the aquarium would be a good choice, since it is mostly indoors and air conditioned and it was hot. Also Hazel loves looking at the fish at the pet store, so I thought she would really enjoy it. Now, I should add that I have never been impressed with the New England Aquarium. I have always thought it was overpriced for what they offer, so if you are visiting Boston, it does not need to be on your must-see list.

Well once again I was disappointed. I was a bit shocked at how much it cost for the three of us to get in. The lines were very long to get in and then it was so overcrowded that it was hotter inside than outside and you really couldn't get close enough to see much. Plus the one spot we got close to the big round tank Hazel got scared of the sharks. Hazel enjoyed the jelly fish and the penguins, but by this point the crowd and heat were getting to us all and we were all very exhausted. We headed home. Oh, and if you are going to the aquarium in Boston, don't go in the summer. The clerk at the gift shop told me the prices are raised and it is always that crowded in the summer. She said it was much better in the fall once people are back at school. I was a bit surprised by this since I remember coming from Connecticut to go as a kid with school, but I don't remember it being so crowded then either.

We hopped back on the T (the subway) and went back home. Well we stopped for ice cream and then went home.

Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

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Gone Fishin'

Every time we go to Lakeshore Learning Store, Hazel becomes obsessed with their Magnetic Fishing Set (the store leaves toys out to be tried). I had seen one to make in Creative Play for Your Toddler: Steiner Waldorf Expertise and Toy Projects for 2-4s by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol. I had big plans to make really fancy fish. I even started them, but never finished. I did a needle felting kit of a fish that reminded me of The Rainbow Fish. I have to find where I put it so I can finish it for her. If you haven't heard of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, it is a wonderful book that teaches that being beautiful and having nice possessions is not the most important thing, but being kind and sharing will be more rewarding in life and bring you happiness. It is one of our favorites.

Then of course last weekend we went to our church's Easter Fun Day and they had magnet fishing which Hazel loved. There they did simply paper fishes with a paper clip where its mouth should be and a magnet fishing pole.

This got me motivated again. Oh, and Hazel was using cat toys with a plastic Easter egg stuck on the end as fishing poles and kept needing help when the egg fell off. It was driving me a bit crazy. So I decided instead of fancy fish to make simple fish. I cut them out of wool felt. Then I looked for some washers. I couldn't find the ones I had put away over the summer so I went to Home Depot. We have a friend from church who works there and always helps me find what I need, so it makes it easy to shop there. He found us a good package of washers and some super magnets. Of course we didn't get to Home Depot right away so we tried paper clips but the wool felt fish were too heavy and the paper clips too small. We did a few paper fishes that Hazel cut out herself.

So Friday afternoon and evening I spent sewing the washers on the wool fish. I used embroidery floss to sew them on.
Then for the fishing pole, I bought a wooden dowel and had Steve cut it in half. I tied a string to it and tied on one of the super magnets. I made two so someone else can fish with her.
Now we are ready to go fishing! She loves it and played for quite some time.

She even got out a basket to put the fish in after catching them. Oh, and brought out containers of food to feed the fish in case they were hungry. Guess she doesn't quite understand about bait yet. Oh, well.

Have to share this last picture. While I was typing this up, Hazel had her doll, Bella, as a fishing partner since I was too busy.

Well we are off to go fishing. Hope you are having a great day!!