Showing posts with label seasons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seasons. Show all posts

Greenlee Is Growing -- a new picture book sharing the seasons of life


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

Today I am sharing a new picture book that teaches kids about the idea of the seasons of life going with the seasons of the year. The book is Greenlee Is Growing by Anthony DeStefano and illustrated by Louise A. Ellis. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7.

The Tiltersmith -- Fantasy Middle Grades Novel


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

Today I am going to share a book that I should have shared with you awhile ago. Unfortunately, I am still trying to find balance between teaching and life and finding time to read. The book I am sharing today is The Tiltersmith by Amy Herrick. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

In the Winter Jigsaw Puzzle -- perfect for those snowy winter days


Disclosure: I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Now I love a good jigsaw puzzle. I have shared the benefits of doing them several times. In my classroom I have a puzzle table set up. (I even got a puzzle table cover with drawers to organize the pieces in case we need to move it.) My classroom is popular before school, during lunch, and during study halls. Many different kids come to work on the puzzle. Some only put a piece in and others are there every day. Now I got some mathematical themed puzzles, and it took several months for them to do a 1,000-piece mandala puzzle. They have been doing the other ones quickly though. Today I am going to share a perfect puzzle for the holiday season or a snowy day or in my case for when you are stuck home with Covid. The puzzle is called In the Winter and the artwork was done by Luci GutiĆ©rrez.

Winter's Child -- 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.

December was unusually warm here. In fact my nephew slept outside Christmas night in his new hammock with a couple of quilts. My nephew does not use the air conditioner up here in the summer since he is use to North Carolina weather. However winter began to show itself the week after Christmas and hasn't really stopped. Today's book is perfect for this time of year (and really was perfect for last year with our snow). Winter's Child by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith is about a young boy named Tom. 

Sharing Saturday 14-46

Thank you to everyone who shared last week with us and a very special thank you to the ones who took the time to visit what others shared!! This week our most clicked was from Janis Cox: Crafting Saturday: Soap Carving Tadeo Turtle.

For the rest of our features this week I picked some Native American posts (it is Native American Heritage Month), Math posts and some of my favorites that include all the seasons!! There are MANY great Thanksgiving ideas shared last week if you are looking for any, please go check them all out!!

Picture a Tree--Book Inspired Art

Today we are sharing a wonderful book, Picture a Tree, by Barbara Reid. This book is a fun book that looks at the different ways to picture a tree for example trees look differently in the four seasons. Through its wonderful story and picture it compares spring trees to paint or art class and it compares trees to other things like a tunnel, an ocean and more. It also looks at how trees can be used as homes and as toys (for example pirate ship, or clubhouse). It is a fun book to get you noticing and thinking about trees and nature more. 

How do you picture a tree? We decided to paint some trees. Here is how Hazel was picturing trees this day.
Hazel's first tree was pretty basic, but I was happy to see how her painting could actually look like something and not just a mess of colors. After this tree I asked her what trees look like in the fall. She added a tree to the painting.

She however decided to make it with unusual colors for the leaves. As you can see she had fall color paints, but used blue, pink, yellow and silver. At least I know she is creative.

After painting two trees she wanted to paint her old way--just colors everywhere, but she was practicing mixing colors. So that is our simple way to think about trees. How do you picture a tree?

The Season Sisters

In March I posted about one of our favorite books, How Robin Saved Spring by Debbie Ouelett. One of our goals was to expand on the story to include the other two months. The other night I did this for Hazel and made her some peg dolls to go with them. After reading it to Hazel, she told me I needed to write more, but I am going to share what I have so far with you. Since How Robin Saved Spring dealt with the change from winter to spring, I did not include that (which I have been told I should).

In a small house deep in the woods live four very special sisters. Their mother is Mother Earth. Each sister is awake for about one quarter of the year or at least that is how it is suppose to be. You see these sisters have magical powers and they control the weather. They are Lady Winter, Sister Spring, Girl Summer and Madam Autumn. Each loves her time of the year the best. Lady Winter thinks it should be winter all the time and the entire world should always be snow covered and frozen. Sister Spring however loves the awakening she brings the world and all the new life that comes in spring. And all the animals, trees and flower fairies love her and her kindness. Girl Summer is the youngest and tends to like to play and have fun in the summer sun. She does not always take her responsibilities seriously enough. She also tends to like to awaken even when it is not summer. Madam Autumn is good friends with the wind and the tree fairies. Her friends help her paint the leaves for the fall. 

Their cottage is rather small. It has four good size bedrooms--one for each of them and then a small living space that includes a sitting area with a fire place and a kitchen. Since only one sister is awake at a time the space does not need to be too large. Outside the house are many trees and plants and flowers. Or at least the flowers and plants can be seen when it is not winter. 

Girl Summer and one of her bunny friends

Now as I mentioned, Girl Summer does not like to stay asleep. Often she wakes up during all of her sisters' seasons. You may notice when she is awake. There will be a warm day in the middle of cold ones. This just means Girl Summer is restless and awake. Her older sister will get her back to sleep and the weather returns to normal. 

Sister Spring and a Crocus Fairy

Sister Spring is very calm with her hyperactive little sister. She does not get angry with her when she awakens early--which she always does. She lets her help with the decorating of the spring flowers and the planting season. Plus of course it is also the mating season for many of the animals, and the sisters help with this as well. Girl Summer awakening early is why we will have heat waves in early spring. Sometimes Sister Spring will be able to get her back to sleep and other times she will not.

Girl Summer loves frolicking in the summer sun. She loves to run through the wildflower meadows and on the beach. She often plays hide and seek with the animals in the forest or tag with the butterflies in the meadow. She also loves to collect shells and rocks on the beach and use them to decorate sand castles that she builds for the crabs. Often she forgets about having the rain, so many of the plants including some grass dries out and turns brown. The flowers begin to die as well because of the lack of moisture. 

Madam Autumn and a Maple Tree Fairy

When Madam Autumn awakens she often sees the burnt look of the end of summer. The plants cannot always survive her younger sister's heat. Madam Autumn quickly calls her friend the wind to come and help blow in the clouds. She also calls upon her friend the Rainbow Princess to help with the rain. Then she gathers her fairies and gives them their painting supplies. The fairies' job is to paint the leaves all the beautiful colors of fall. Just about when they finish the trees release their leaves so the wind can blow them in circles and have fun. Madam Autumn also reminds the animals to prepare for the cold winter. Some travel to warmer places where Lady Winter will not have as much control and others gather food to survive locked up in their homes for the entire winter. Then there are those who sleep all winter long. Lady Winter long ago knitted them magic blankets to put them to sleep for the entire winter. Madam Autumn helps them get cozy under them before her older sister has her turn at the control of the weather. Insects and such often go hide in walls of buildings. Madam Autumn helps them find their way in and closes them up so they will be warm. It will be Sister Spring who releases them when she awakens. 

Lady Winter and a Snowflake Fairy

Lady Winter often tries to get control early. If she had her way it would always be cold and frozen. Sometimes you may see snow in October because of her fighting for control. Madam Autumn however never gives up on maintaining her control and if she must she involves their mother to help keep Lady Winter where she belongs.

Lady Winter and Sister Spring

So I have been trying to focus on Easter and other religious posts for my Sundays lately, however with the week we have had, I had to share this post instead. Late last spring we discovered what has become my favorite change of season book, How Robin Saved Spring by Debbie Ouellet. I needle felted Hazel the two main characters in the book at this time.
This story is about how two sisters, Lady Winter and Sister Spring, live. Sister Spring sleeps through winter and awakens to begin the spring weather and season. Lady Winter wants to stay in control with blankets of white snow everywhere, so she knits a magic blanket that will keep her younger sister sleeping while she is under it. The animals and trees want spring to begin, so they try to wake Sister Spring. Throughout the story the reader hears how certain characteristics of animals and the tree came to be. Finally the robin manages to wake Sister Spring with some sun rays, however he got burnt getting them and thus the red breast. For more information you can visit the author's site which is where I got the picture of the book since I cannot seem to find our copy. 
Now our weather this week the weather predictions have been a bit tough. The weather reports seemed to say that there was a chance of 3-6 inches of snow but near the coast it would be mostly rain. We live in a coastal town, but not near the coast, so we figured at most a few inches of snow. They did say the storm would last from Wednesday evening to Friday morning. My mother had been in the hospital and was suppose to be getting out between Wednesday through Friday. I was hoping it would be Friday since the storm was suppose to be over before they had to drive two hours home. However she got out on Thursday which now I am very happy about.
On Wednesday we began to have a few snow flurries, but not too much. Thursday the flurries continued but it was not sticking. When I went to bed Thursday night they were still saying 3-6 inches with the rain/snow line being close to the coast. On Friday, Hazel woke up around 5:30 a.m. and I went to get her snack so she would play in her room and listen to stories on CD while I continued to sleep. I turned the television on while getting her snack and there were barely any school cancellations. At 7 a.m. when I got up and we went to have breakfast, I turned the television on to see the weather report and almost every school was delayed. (Luckily Steve was able to work from home and did not have to deal with the horrific commute.) They were saying the snow would slow down by 10 a.m. and stop by noon. Well, at 10 a.m. it got worse. It was still snowing until about 3 p.m. Needless to say the weatherpeople were incorrect all over the place. As it slowed I took Hazel out to play. This is what we faced after our driveway was plowed (now mind you all the snow from the blizzard and other small storms had not melted completely yet).

Hazel has her sledding hill back! She also decided the part to the right looked like a throne. Needless to say she had a great time. I helped her go down the "hill" a few times.
Then I dug her a snow fort/igloo. The first one was too small so we moved to the hill and made a bigger one. She loved it.
She even painted it with her food coloring and water spray bottles. She tried to make purple and orange by spraying some colors. Also she made a doorbell and doorknob with the "paint."
Then she also wanted to have a snowball fight. This was the first snowfall this year that was good snowball snow.

 Then she played some more on her mountain while I tried to shovel out my car. Then Steve came out and finished the shoveling and I went in to take a nap. Hazel ended up playing with our next door neighbor who is eleven.
Mountain Climbing

Almost at the Top
Queen of the Mountain!

However our big discussion was that we would have much rather the robin we saw a few weeks ago had woken Sister Spring and we would have had the rain. Hazel of course enjoyed the snow though! We are hoping Sister Spring will awaken soon and get rid of all this cold and snow! Oh, and there have been mention that we need the other two sisters--Autumn and Summer. We are going to make our own stories up about them!

Fall is in the Air!!

So I know I promised a multicultural post, but Hazel has not been in the mood to craft and I haven't finished my craft yet enough to share with you, so hopefully tomorrow. Today I'm going to share a few fall things. Yes, I'm finally starting to get in the autumn mood.

We have been noticing the leaves have been starting to change in some trees. Which got us to talking about autumn and the tree fairies. So I wrote a little story about the change of seasons. You can get a pdf of it here:
Page 1                         Page 2
Autumn and Her Fairies
The cool breezes started to blow and Summer got worried. She always hated giving control of the weather to her older sister, Autumn. Summer watched as the squirrels and chipmunks scurried around to gather food and knew the time was getting near. Many of the summer flowers had already passed due to the heat she spread. The birds had already started to fly to the other hemisphere for warmer weather.  In the evenings she had trouble fighting the chill in the air and she saw buds on the mums. She was getting anxious. She had to stop the change of the season so she could stay awake and play more.
Summer loved playing with her friends. She loved going to the beach and watching the children play in the sand and in the waves. She loved seeing the beautiful flowers in the meadows and watching all the newborn animals grow. She often would play tag with the young animals and with the flower fairies. She loved the hot sunny days and the hot starry nights. It was so much fun to have the warmest season.
Summer always had a plan to stall Autumn.  This year she decided to have a beach party and invite all the fairies. If the fairies were distracted there would be no one to paint the leaves their new fall colors and surely Autumn would not be able to awaken.  If she could distract everyone with her party, then maybe no one would bother to wake her sister. She was sure this plan would work.
Summer sent out invitations to all of the fairies (well except the apple, mum and pumpkin fairies as she wanted them to stay asleep). Then she went to the beach to start planning, decorating and figuring out how to keep everyone there so they would not do their fall jobs.
The day of the party arrived, and everyone Summer invited arrived. There were lots of excitement. Many of the tree fairies had never been to the beach previously. They loved seeing the waves and smelling the salt air. Summer hoped they would all stay for at least a week. However the ocean breeze reminded them that Autumn would awaken soon and they needed to begin their painting project. The tree fairies are the ones that paint the fall leaves all the pretty colors, red, yellow, orange, etc. for Autumn. Autumn likes them to start with their painting before she awakens.  So at the end of the night the maple and oak and many of their siblings said their goodbyes and thank you to Summer and rushed off to get their paints and start changing the colors of the season.
Once again, Summer could not keep Autumn from waking up. Autumn woke on her own as she smelled apples in the air. Autumn often slept with her windows open and her room was beside an apple orchard. She looked out her windows and picked a nice big red apple and took a bite. It was so delicious and she was so excited to be in control again.
Autumn's first job is to put her little sister, Summer, to bed. Summer was trying to hide, but Autumn found her on the beach. She told her it was time for even the beach had to be prepared for their eldest sister, Winter. Play time was over and now it was time for preparation. All the animals, plants and living things must prepare for the harsher weather that was to come after Autumn had her time. She was proud to be one to help them prepare the most. She also loved all the reds, golds, browns and oranges around. The cool air and crunchy leaves always seemed to put smiles on the faces of those around her. Her tree fairies always did such a beautiful job painting the trees to new colors. She really felt sorry for her sisters, Spring and Summer. Spring got mostly green and Summer had the green and often it turned to brown. Nothing was as beautiful as her season.
After Summer was asleep, Autumn checked to make sure Winter was still sleeping soundly and then she went to check on the pumpkin fairies. She knew they had their big night at the end of October and wanted to make sure they were getting ready, especially Eve, known as The Pumpkin Fairy, who went and traded gifts for the candy the children gathered on that special night.
She also always checked on her apple fairies and turkey fairies. She knew Thanksgiving occurred and those both played such an important role. The cranberry fairies also would need to be visited at the bogs. She so loved that she was the one who got to see the harvest and the bounty of the other seasons. It was so fun to welcome in the cool and help everyone with their preparations.
So this fall, go look for Autumn and her fairies' work. When you begin to see them you know autumn is truly coming. Enjoy!

This morning Hazel wanted to make pancakes. Since we haven't cooked our pumpkins yet, we decided on applesauce pancakes and I cut up our last apple.
Then Hazel joined me for the measuring and mixing and a bit of the cooking.

Apple Pancakes

Makes: 15


Today she actually helped do some of the measuring! We measured out all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mixed them. Then measured the liquid ingredients in another bowl and mixed them.
Then we put the liquid ingredients and the diced apple into the dry ingredients and mixed. While Hazel was doing this I heated the pan with a bit of cooking spray on it. Then she helped me scoop the first batch into the pan.
She ate them with maple syrup and I spread them with applesauce. They were delicious!!