Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--The Salmon Princess

I'm happy to say I finally got around to doing my fairy tale post for this week. This week we are traveling to Alaska. I picked this story this week since Monday was Patriots' Day here in Massachusetts. Patriots' Day is a day to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord which were on April 19, 1775 and were the start of the American Revolution. Now in Massachusetts it is celebrated the third Monday in April and there is a re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington in Lexington and the Boston Marathon is run. Plus school vacation week is always the week of Patriots' Day here in Massachusetts. I figured since the holiday represents the start of the fight for the United States to become a country it would make sense to share one of the versions from the United States and since I own this copy (I couldn't get it from any of the libraries here), I went with it. This is one of the stories that was definitely adapted for the area and not originally from there.
Map of the United States with Alaska highlighted

A bit about Alaska. Alaska is the largest state of the fifty states but is the fourth least populous. It was purchased from Russia for $7.2 million or about two cents per acre in 1867 and became the 49th state in 1959.
To see the size of Alaska Source
Alaska has many islands as part of its state. Approximately 65% of Alaska's land is owned and managed by the U.S. Federal Government. The southeast region of Alaska is the only region where the daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter. Alaska has a rich history and culture including the Native Americans. I am not going to go into all of that here. Alaska's industry is domineered by oil, natural gas and fishing industries. It is also known as The Final Frontier. (Source)

Now onto our story. Today we are looking at The Salmon Princess by Mindy Dwyer. In this story there is a fisherman who lives with his wife and daughter. The daughter is named Cinder for the spark in her grey eyes and her red flaming hair. His wife and daughter are in charge of cleaning and smoking the salmon for them to sell. The mother teaches their daughter how to do it and they love to sing old songs together while doing it. 

Coloring Page available at Kidzone
One winter the mother dies due to illness. The father remarries and the new wife has two sons who help with the fishing, but the new wife refuses to dirty her hands with the fish so the daughter is left to do the work. Since the new wife is mean, the daughter does not completely mind until one day the father announces a festival on the next island and the stepmother says Cinder cannot go since there is so much fish to clean (after all now they have three fishermen and only one person cleaning and smoking). Cinder was upset when the family left her behind, but there was a lot of fish. While she was in her favorite place under a cedar tree where she always went to do her work, an eagle flew over head and dropped something. Cinder thought it was a fish, but when it came to the ground she realized it was a beautiful dress that looked like it was made out of threads from the moon. The eagle circled around one more time to tell her that she must return the dress before the sun came up since the fibers would be invisible in the light of the sun. 

Cinder put on the dress and wished she had nice shoes, but since she did not she was glad the dress covered her boots. At the festival she sold some of her smoked salmon and used the money to buy as many raffle tickets as she could. She wanted to win the grand prize of silver bars, so she could get away from all the work. Then she danced with a nice young man. They danced until the sun was about to come up at which she ran off remembering the bird's warning. He chased after her. Her boot got stuck in a net and she dropped her raffle tickets and lost her boot, but jumped in her family's small boat and rowed back home. The nice young man found the boot and raffle tickets, but did not know how to find her. Everyone around this area wore similar boots as these. Then when one of her raffle tickets was the winner he vowed to find her within the 24 hours she had to claim the prize. 
State Flower is Forget Me Not: Coloring Page available at Kidzone

He searched all the neighboring islands and then a bird guided him to her family's dock. The brothers tried to lock her in the smoke house so they could claim her prize to get a new fishing boat, but the young man pursued on finding her and let her out. He recognized her right away and they got married. Now the young man was the son of the owner of Salmon King which Cinder said made him the Salmon Prince. He said she was his Cinderella and when they got married she became the Salmon Princess. They lived further north away from the salmon industry until the Salmon Prince inherited his father's business. 
So that is the story of the Salmon Princess or the Alaskan Cinderella. I know I would love to see Alaska some day. I hope to take Hazel there eventually.

School Vacation Week--Welcome Spring!

So on top of Monday's horrible tragedy, it is school vacation week here and spring has definitely sprung. We have not had many crafts to post since our focus has been on getting outside and at night I have been processing all that has happened (and working on her knitted farm playmat which is almost finished!!). I thought I would share a few pictures from our activities this week. (I know I still haven't done my Cinderella post this week, but am working on it!)

On Monday our day was spent going to the doctor's office--yes Hazel still has a cold and getting Hazel's dance class photo taken. A busy tiring day, but not much to show for it.

On Tuesday Hazel took a class at Drumlin Farm with her best friend from school. Now her friend's mom and I started with them, but parents were not suppose to be there. I didn't get many pictures since I explained to Hazel that moms were not allowed and she was all right with it, her friend however did not feel the same so his mom got a few pictures for me. I went off to the gift shop and then checked out the animals so I would know if we wanted to see them all later and then found a quiet place to sit and knit. The class was on cold-blooded animals so they were ponding a bit.
After their class ended we had a picnic lunch and then went to check out all the animals including the 12-day-old piglets. Hazel and her friend found a door open to an empty chicken coop, so they hopped in and his mom took a picture of them caged.
Then we did Hazel's favorite thing--the hay ride.
Then we bought farm fresh eggs and went to the gift shop. I promised Hazel she could get two gifts since she had been so good at the class without me. This class was meant to be a test run for both of them to see how they would do with each other and not us. Hazel passed and her friend did not (but he did not have a good night the night before so that might be why). While in the gift shop I bought more bird seed as well so his mom went to get the car instead of us carrying the huge bags the distance to the parking lot. (Drumlin Farm is a Mass Audubon location.)
Near the gift shop was one of the few places you can eat due to the working farm and health violations, so the kids enjoyed their M&M's from lunch while we waited.

Today was one of those wonderful spring days that got close to 70 without quite reaching it. We had to take the cats to the groomers and run a few errands, but we spent the afternoon outside. First we went to check on the flowers (see collage near top) and vegetables we planted. We watered some and noticed the English daisy looked dug up so we replanted it and gave it lots of water. Then Hazel watered her pansies. Then we headed to her garden to check on the lettuce--looks like the rabbit found it and snap peas and pansies. The basil was planted a bit too early, so we will have to get more. Oh, and Hazel watered the tomato plants that are in the garage still since it is over a month too early to plant them outside here. Then it was time to play!
Hazel took a little rest on her bench at the swingset and then went on the swings. A neighbor across the street brought her three-year-old granddaughter over since her granddaughter wanted to meet Hazel and they played for a bit. Overall it was a fun day!

For those looking to help with the horrific tragedy in Boston, CNN has a good list of ways anyone can help.

Recovering from the Horrific Tragedy

As I sat and watched the news, I knew I would not be doing my Cinderella post today. For those who have not heard, there were two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today. Now we live in Greater Boston. As a grad student I watched the Boston Marathon in the city and when I lived in Ashland, I always watched the race more from the beginning. I even taught a year at Hopkinton High School where the marathon begins and the marathon was a big deal in Hopkinton. For more details about the explosions, you can read this article from the

I have spent the evening listening to the horrific news. The latest count is three dead, including an eight-year-old child; over 100 injured many having to be amputated. The good news is that I have heard from my friends who I knew were going to watch the marathon and they are all fine. 

Having had this act of terror so close to home, made me realize that today all I can do is ask for your prayers for Boston, the people injured and killed and their loved ones as well as for the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the entire country. I know to get through such a tragedy I need to feel God's presence. So please send your prayers.

While watching the news I was thankful my mother had her surgery at the end of February and is no longer in one of the Boston hospitals. I was watching SWAT teams outside of the hospital. The rumors are there is a person of interest that was injured and is there. Apparently the hospital has been in lockdown since 3:00 p.m.

So if I do not post as much as usual or we do not get as much done this week, please be aware we are dealing with this crisis that is definitely too close to home. Thank you for your prayers.

Update: CNN has a good list of ways anyone can help those affected by the bombs. 

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Duck on a Bike

This month's author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is David Shannon. Now I must admit, I was not too thrilled by this since we did not find too many of his books we liked, but we have found a few. His writing does not match our favorite type of stories and I personally see it more geared toward young boys. That being said we did find a favorite, Duck on a Bike. It has a duck in it, so Hazel loved it. She also loved that the duck rides a bike. I may have to get her a basket for her bike so Ducky can go for a ride as well.
For those who are not familiar with the Virtual Book Club for Kids, I have joined a wonderful group of bloggers to present books by a picked author for the month. We present a book (or books) by this author with an activity, craft, etc. to go along with it. Then we have a blog hop so others can join us. I have to admit I have discovered some amazing children's authors from doing this.  Here are the amazing bloggers who host this great book club.

Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Coffee Cups and Crayons - Having Fun at Chelle's House- Love, Play, Learn - Juggling With Kids - Motherhood on a Dime - Growing Book By Book
- This Reading Mama - Fantastic Fun and Learning

  Now onto our book. This book is about a farm where a little boy leaves his bicycle out and the duck decides to go for a ride on it. The duck rides past all the other animals and says hi. All the other animals have different thoughts about seeing the duck on the bike--from he's crazy to I wish I could go on a bike. Then a large group of children come to the farm and leave their bikes outside and head inside. All the animals then give bike riding a try.

Now I must admit, Hazel and I have a cold and I was in hurry when we did this craft, but we were inspired by a craft Hazel made at our public library which was a plate with a slit and a duck on a popsicle stick that swam around the duck pond (the plate) by moving the popsicle stick in the slit. We cut a curve and put the duck on a bike and used stickers for the animals though we couldn't find any cat, dog and mouse stickers quickly so we drew them. Then after making one together, Hazel wanted to make her own. I had to run to church for work, so I cut the slit and helped draw the bike, and then she was on her own. We found one dog sticker after she drew one, so hers has two dogs. Not that you can tell the drawings are cat and dog.
Overall it was an easy fun craft to go with this fun book. She loved moving the duck around the "farm". We put the animals in the order that the duck passed them in the book.

In the next couple weeks we will share two more books by David Shannon. Now it is your turn. Have you done an activity with a David Shannon book? It is your turn to share here.


Since we were unable to have our Butterfly Picnic/Party last summer we postponed it to this year. In preparation of it and in honor of spring beginning, we did some butterfly crafts (with many more to come). We also have been enjoying the book Butterflies by Seymour Simon. This is the first book that gives clear differences (besides moths flying at night and butterflies during the day) between a moth and a butterfly. The main difference is in their antennae.
We decided to make a few cereal butterflies and caterpillars after seeing them at Toys In The Dryer. Hazel loved this since it meant she got to eat "colored cereal" while doing it. They are made with pipe cleaners, colored cereal and gum drops (we also used gum fruit slices and edible candy grass). We also added googly eyes though they did not stay well.

Hazel wanted to make more butterflies so we made tissue paper ones with pom pom heads. These used pipe cleaners, pom poms, googly eyes, glue and tissue paper. First we made them with full sheets of tissue paper and they came out very large (though Hazel loves playing with these) and then we cut the paper into quarters and pipe cleaners in half.

We decorated the top layer of tissue paper with Hazel's dot markers. It bled through to the lower layers. Hazel wants to put some in her butterfly box (though I think she has realized these are too large for it) and then we were going to make a mobile out of them. Of course she also likes to make them fly around the house (even while she is on the phone).

Needless to say we had a lot of fun. More bug kind of crafts to come!!