Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Karma Wilson. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Karma Wilson. Sort by date Show all posts

Virtual Book Club for Kids: Mortimer's Christmas Manger

Yes, I still have Christmas on my brain--way too early! This month's author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Karma Wilson. Now Karma Wilson has some amazing books. I think the most famous ones are the Bear series. Lately Hazel has been scared of books with bears, so I stayed away from them. We however fell in love with Mortimer. We read the two Mortimer books and since Christmas is coming sooner than when I'll plant a garden again, we went with Mortimer's Christmas Manger. We however also loved the Little Pip series too!

Bear Finds Eggs -- Spring Picture Book Review


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

Spring is upon us. Easter is early this year. It is hard to believe next week is Holy Week. Now that Hazel is older, I don't do as much for Easter. When she was younger she loved hunting for Easter Eggs. We did a word hunt for an activity with a book and she made me hide those eggs over and over again! Well today I am sharing a book about another kind of egg hunt although there is a part that can be tied into Easter if you want. It is Bear Finds Eggs by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Now we have shared books by Karma Wilson before since she was one of the authors in our Virtual Book Club years ago. We even have shared a Bear book before. This book is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

November Events


It is hard to believe it is already November!! We have so many exciting things planned for the month. My mind however seems to already be on Christmas, so expect some Christmas ideas in November as well as a couple of Christmas product reviews and at least one giveaway. But do not worry we will also have plenty on Thanksgiving!! November is National Native American Month. We will be focuses on Native American fairy tales as well as other Native American crafts. My love for the various Native American cultures will shine through out November.

This month we are exploring Thailand with Around the World in 12 Dishes. We will start our exploration on Monday with a Thai Cinderella! Our recipe post for Around the World in 12 Dishes will be shared on November 19th! However the placemat and passport pages for Thailand are available (Thanks to Valerie over at Glittering Muffins!)

The author this month for Virtual Book Club for Kids is Karma Wilson! She is best known for her Bear books, but we are loving the Mortimer ones as well. She seems to have something for everyone--holidays, lessons, young and older. Have you discovered her yet?

We will be sharing our book and activities on November 11th. I hope you will join us for these great posts and more!

More Thanksgiving Books & Crafts

Today I am going to share an easy Thanksgiving craft and several great Thanksgiving books we have been enjoying. We will start with the books. 

Must Read Christmas Books!

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

 One of my favorite ways to teach Hazel about Christmas is using books that share the true meaning of Christmas. I have shared some here previously, and I have been pinning them to a special board. Today I am going to share all of them with you. I have divided them into two categories: the ones in Biblical time and the ones in more modern time.

Biblical Times

1) The Christmas Story by Patricia Pingry I love The Story of Mary also by Patricia Pingry as well for this time of year. It has a little more details in it.

2) Asleep in the Stable by Will Hillenbrand is a wonderful story. It describes all the animals sleeping in the stable except the owls. The baby owl notices the baby sleeping in the manger and asks his mother about him. The mother explains who the baby is as well as Mary and Joseph and God.

3) Hare's Christmas Gift by Eleonore Schmid is a tale about a little, shy hare who awakes to see all the animals heading towards him. He begins to follow the crowd to see what is going on. They all surround a stable. Eventually the hare gets enough nerve to go in and see the babe lying in a manger. The baby calms him so much that he curls up and keeps the baby warm while they sleep together.

4) The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola

5) Christmas in a Manger by Nola Buck is a board book about what each animal and person will do for the newborn baby in the stable. It ends with the baby and stating that He is the reason for Christmas Day.

6) The Cobweb Curtain: A Christmas Story by Jenny Koralek, William Barclay, and Pauline Baynes is a tale about a spider at a cave who sees the Holy family hiding from the soldiers and spins a web over the cave opening so they will not be discovered. It is a wonderful tale for the Escape to Egypt part of the story.

7) Three Wise Women by Mary Hoffman is a tale of three women in different places who see the star and drop what they are doing to follow it. Each brings the baby a gift of her own without realizing where they are going or why, but having the faith to know they must go.

8) Voices of Christmas by Nikki Grimes is a tale about the various people in the Christmas story. It has a line about each person and then has what the person might say or think. It even includes a neighbor in Nazareth. It gives lovely perspectives on the story.

9) Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate

10) The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park is the story of myrrh. The tale is told by a young boy whose father is training him to harvest myrrh (sap from a special type of tree). His father lets him remove the biggest tear, as they call them. When they go to market to sell their tears, the spice market merchant calls them in to meet his special guests who have been waiting for them. The special guests are the wisemen. Eventually it is asked who the gifts are for and the young boy wonders why they would bring myrrh to an infant since it is used in funerals. This book answered so many questions I had about myrrh. I really enjoyed reading it and learning from it.

11) Little Owl and the Star by Mary Murphy

12) The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie dePaola

More Modern Christmas Books that Teach the Christmas Message

1) An Early American Christmas by Tomie dePaola

2) God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergron is another one of her books with Little Cub. I love this series because they explain so much of God and religious ideas in ways children can somewhat understand. This one of course covers Christmas and who invented it. As always there are lessons about how God loves all of us in it.

3) A Goodnight Christmas by Nola Buck goes through saying "Good night" to all the people and animals in the Christmas story and more as you realize it is a little boy saying it as he goes to bed on Christmas Eve.

4) The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola is a great story to show what another culture does and a little Christmas magic.

5) Angel Pig and the Hidden Christmas by Jan Waldron gives the true meaning behind Christmas. There is no money for gifts and the pigs are upset, but they learn the lesson that the best gifts do not come from a store.

6) The Birds of Bethlehem oops! That was in the one above!

7) Moritmer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

8) The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie is my new favorite Christmas book. I won it recently from Teach Beside Me. (She has some amazing giveaways going on still.) This book is about a young boy who sees a sparkly box on their mantle and asks his mother about it. She says it is a gift for all of them that they will add things to it and then open it on Christmas morning together. The boy sees a homeless man while riding in the car and asks his mother about him. He sees him again when they are leaving a store. The boy had picked out a pair of mittens for his class's mitten tree and a piece of candy for himself, but he gives both to the man and yells "Merry Christmas!" as he leaves. On Christmas morning the boy sees the box under the tree. When he opens it, the box is filled with slips of paper. On the paper are the things the family has done for others this Christmas season. The parents explain that this gift is for Jesus. The boy asks how it is for Jesus since it was a gift for others. Needless to say it brings home a wonderful message about charity.  

I also won with this book The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher. It is another wonderful version of the Christmas story. You can read a review of it at Teach Beside Me: Christmas Books Review and Giveaway.

9) The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg is an amazing story about a candy shop opening up in a small town. A stranger came and bought the shop and no one knew what it would be. One girl bravely knocked and asked if the stranger needed help. She was happy to see the boxes full of candy. Then she saw something she had never seen before, a candy cane. The shop owner tells her about the candy cane. How it looks like the shepherd's hook and a J for Jesus. Basically all the legends I have ever heard about it are in this book. The message however is that the candy cane represents a more important message. How God sent Jesus to save the world. The shopkeeper asks the girl to help him spread the message to everyone.

Now I am sure we will have more to share, but this at  what I have at this point. I am thinking maybe next year we will do a story Advent calendar. Hazel is loving the craft one this year though!

A Native American Cinderella

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

This week we are exploring Native American versions of Cinderella. November is Native American History Month, so I thought in honor of this, we would share these versions. Thus far I have found four versions. All four seem very similar. I am going to share two with you today and the other two next week. This week we will discuss Little Firefly: An Algonquian Legend written and adapted by Terri Cholene and Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story retold by Robert D. San Souci. First a bit about the Algonquian and Ojibwa People.
Algonquian Lands (Source)

First there is no and never was an Algonquian tribe. Algonquian is a word used to describe the hundreds of tribes that spoke the Algonquian languages. The Ojibwa is one of the Algonquian tribes. This may be why these two stories are almost identical. The Algonquian People lived all over the United States and in Canada. (Source) Last year on the Wampanoag Tribe which is also an Algonquian group. The Wampanoag Tribe are the Native People who were at the first Thanksgiving with the pilgrims.
Wigwam Replica at Plimouth Planation
There are some similarities among most Algonquian tribes. Most Algonquian tribes had birchbark or dugout canoes. Hunters and warriors usually used bow and arrows, spears and wooden clubs. In these stories the great hunter used a bow and arrow. Most tribes had some form of a tribe council for its government with a leader or chief to preside over it. Most tribes lived in villages made of wigwams. In all four versions I have found wigwams are mentioned. The one article of clothing shared by all Algonquian tribes was moccasins. (Source)
Our Paper Mache Wigwam

The Ojibwa are also known as the Chippewa with different spellings for both. They are the largest group of Native Americans north of Mexico. They live in both the United States and Canada. In the United States they were the fourth largest tribe.
An Ojibwa woman and child, Red River Settlement, Manitoba, 1895
Source: By Humphrey Lloyd Hime via Library and Archives/
Bibliothèque et Archives Canada from Canada 
[Public domain or CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Most Ojibwa bands were sedentary and lived in wigwams. (Source) The Ojibwa who lived on the plains lived in tipis. Traditional dress for women were long dresses with removable sleeves and for men it was breeclothes and leggings. Everyone wore moccasins.Women carried babies on cradle boards. (Source)

Since the stories all had wigwams in them, Hazel and I made models of wigwams. We used the instructions for these in More than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson. There were two ways to make the wigwams: with a coffee filter or a brown paper bag and glue. First you need five strips of white paper each one-inch wide. Tape two together to make a long strip and then make them form a loop. Use the other three to give the roof some structure. If you are using the coffee filter paint or color it brown. Hazel used her dot marker. Once it is dry glue it on. If you are using the paper bag, rip strips and mix glue with water to paper mache the strips on. We made one of each. Once the glue is dry you cut a door. You can also glue grass, bark or other natural things to make it look more real. We however had lots of rain, so we did not do this.

Now onto the stories. 

In these stories there is a man who has three daughters. The eldest two make the youngest do all the work and purposely burn her with the fire. She has scars on her face and hands and arms and her hair is short due to being singed. In one version her name is Little Firefly, but her sisters call her Little Burnt One, and in the other version she does not have a name, but her sisters call her Sootface. In both versions there is a great hunter who has the power to make himself invisible. The only person who can see him is his sister. It is said he will marry the woman who can see him. All the young women of the village try to win his hand. One day the eldest sisters decide to try separately. His sister greeted each of them and when they said they wanted to marry her brother, she asked them some questions. The questions were what is his bow made of and what is it strung with. The sisters guessed incorrectly and were sent home.

The next day Sootface or Little Firefly decided to try. (In one version her mother's spirit tells her to go and see The Invisible One in a dream.) Since she did not have a nice buckskin dress to wear like her sisters she made a dress from birch. She softens her father's old moccasins and does her best to fit them to her feet. Her sisters make fun of her as she goes, but she gets in her canoe and paddles across the water to the Invisible One's wigwam. His sister greets her. In Little Firefly she says she is there to help with the work, but the sister asks if she can see her brother. As he approaches she can see him and is able to answer that his bow is made of a rainbow and strung with the stars of the Milky Way or the Star Bridge of Souls. Upon hearing this, the sister takes the girl and washes her and her scars disappear. Then she gives her the finest buckskin dress to wear. She has her sit in the seat closest to the door which is the spot for the wife. The Invisible One comes home and is happy to meet his new wife.

Our Coffee Filter Wigwam

I hope you will join us next week for the other two versions that are very similar. Then we will have one version that is very different from these four. Tomorrow is the day for Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Karma Wilson. I hope you will come see which of her books we are sharing!