Posts tagged ‘preschooler’

February 10, 2014

Tooth Fairy Pillows & Kissy Lips

by Katherine Higgs-Coulthard  38-FE3-KathyHiggs-Coulthard

My daughters were supposed to be brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed. Instead, they were ransacking the bookshelf. The youngest, Hannah, cried while Laura murmured words of comfort. As I approached the doorway, the words “She won’t forget. It’s a tradition” stopped me in my tracks.

Although the “she” must mean me, I could not imagine what tradition Laura expected me to remember.

I silently cursed Laura’s second-grade teacher. Traditions were a big focus of her family heritage unit each year. With two older children, it was a project I had come to dread. Many families could trace their lineage back to Germany or Sweden, Japan or Africa. Their children made cute little cutouts, decked out in cultural regalia. Presentations involved tea ceremonies and recipes for Wiener schnitzel.

My ancestors had not kept track of lineage. And, as for tradition . . . well, did watching football and eating turkey on Thanksgiving count?

Luckily, my husband’s family is English and Irish. They have whole books on their family history. So far, our children always survived the heritage unit, even if their family trees were a bit lopsided.

Laura’s comment about traditions must have meant the cursed unit was upon us. What tradition could be relevant at 8:30 on a school night? The beginning of February didn’t exactly call for Easter eggs or a candlelit Mass. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday. Sparklers were reserved for July; costumes for October. I still had a few weeks until Valentine’s Day.

By the time I entered Hannah’s room, the girls were cuddled together in bed. They scooted over to make room for me. Hannah’s gap-toothed grin accentuated the air of expectation. “Ready, Momma?” Laura asked.

Just as I was about to break down and admit that I apparently had forgotten some vital family tradition, Katie ran in and plopped a book on my lap: “The Real Story of the Tooth Fairy.” In her other hand she held a lace-pocketed pillow. “You can use mine, Hannah. Mommy’s still working on yours.” She gave a grown-up wink, indicating she knew that I hadn’t even bought the fabric yet.
After tucking Hannah’s tooth into its little pink pocket, Katie snuggled in with us. I gave her a special hug.

At 14, she is already aware of something I hadn’t realized: Tradition is not always spelled with a capital T. It’s the little things, quirky family rituals, that mean the most — not just to children, but to us all.

The next day, I brought up the subject over breakfast, asking the children what other traditions we had.
They all shouted ideas at once.
Hannah: “Catching snowflakes on our tongues.”
Katie: “Family game night.”
Laura: “Birthday candles in our Pop-Tarts.” (Okay, so this is not the most healthy of traditions.)
“Dad’s haunted trail.” This from our teenage son, Chris.

The list grew and grew. Christmas stories with Dad, gingerbread with Grandma, Frisbee golf with Uncle Jerry. Snow cream and snowball fights with one grandpa, putt-putt with the other.

As they named all of the ways our family stayed close, I realized many of the traditions had been initiated not by me or my husband, but by one of the children.

It was Katie who suggested last Thanksgiving that we create small gift boxes out of wood for each family member. In them we put little notes praising each other for our contributions to the family.

In kindergarten our son, Chris, told us about St. Nicholas. If it weren’t for his enthusiasm, we would never have known to leave our shoes on the stairwell each Dec. 6, so St. Nick could fill them with treats.

Laura’s tradition involves planting a tree each Arbor Day. That, and sneaking Nana’s cream wafers faster than they come out of the oven.

Hannah, young as she is, has already influenced our family to put “kissy lips” on all the mirrors every Valentine’s Day.

If tradition is the glue that binds families, we’ve concocted our own adhesive out of flour and water, so that we are the sum of the little moments we create together. And while Tooth Fairy pillows and kissy lips may not be as exotic as tea ceremonies and Wiener schnitzel, they define our family better than any hand-me-down ritual.

A few Tooth Fairy Books:

night before tooth fairyTitle: 
The Night Before the Tooth Fairy
Author: Natasha Wing
Illustrator: Barbara Johansen Newman
Genre: Picture book

Title: What Does the Tooth Fairy Do with Our Teeth?what does tooth Fairy
Author:
Denise Barry
Illustrator: Andy Boerger
Genre: Picture book

Ask your children what your family’s traditions are? Surprised by their answers?

February 24, 2012

is your child an alien? and “Is there life in outer space?”

Every parent has times when they are pretty sure their kids are aliens. If you want to teach them about aliens–or space, and planets, and scientific discovery, then here’s a great book for your little alien.

Title: Is There Life in Outer Space?
Author: Franklyn M. Branley
Illustrator: Edward Miller
Genre: Science, Nonfiction, Early Reader, Picture Book
Ages: 3 – 6


The Wizard of Why is pretty sure there are aliens. After all, aliens show up in lot of books and TV shows, and they’re pretty much true, so there must be aliens. And they are cute and green, with antennae and robot friends. (Although he was quick to tell me recently that Mars could not have aliens because it was too hot in the daytime there.) And since my least favorite thing as a mother is squashing his dreams about the world, I was excited that this book tackled the issue for me. And even better, it does so in a realistic, scientific way, but leaves a lot of room for the imaginative preschooler.

It’s a great introductory science book with fun pictures and a lot to talk about. So many early science books are just terrible–in an attempt to speak to younger children, they end up dumbing the issues down so they don’t many any sense. Or so they make science seem so completely, awfully boring. But this is a great one that talks about when people thought there were aliens (such as War of the Worlds) and what scientists have done to discover (or not discover) them. It’s a fun book, and my son, who loves aliens, and is still pretty sure they exist and might visit any minute, loves the book, too.

What about you? What things does your child like to dream and read about?

February 3, 2012

Bright orange soup gets “Sam I Am” approval from 3yo

It’s another installment of The Family That Eats Together Fridays!

Here’s the way I usually make a new dish: I look up a bunch of recipes online and get the general idea of the process. Am I sautéing, roasting, or boiling? (Side note: if there is any debate, I always choose to sauté or roast over boil as it’s way more flavorful.) Is there a general order in which people put ingredients? Is there a general trend to flavors–do a lot of the recipes have similar herbs and spices? And then I usually make it up with a combination of what I like and what I have on hand.

Last week I had a five-pound bag of carrots to use up. I also had a jar of my favorite ginger, which I always keep in the fridge because I love to cook with ginger, but not so much that it makes sense to keep the fresh stuff on hand. Plus, this stuff is delicious and really easy to use. So after looking up a bunch of carrot-ginger soup recipes, here’s what I did.

1. Chop a large onion and sauté in coconut oil. (It’s unlikely to be a good soup if it doesn’t start with sautéing onion. You could use any other oil or butter here, but I’m on a coconut oil kick right now. Plus, coconut-ginger is a great combo of flavors.)

2. Squeeze in some garlic paste. (I would have normally put in fresh garlic here, but I was out. Oftentimes, I will put in both.)

3. Put in two heaping tablespoons of ginger.

4. Put in about 2 pounds of chopped carrots and sauté a little first.

5. Add in a bunch of vegetable broth, a little less than a quart.

6. Cook for a while, at least until carrots are really soft, but soup is always better the longer it cooks–I love to make soup early and then let it simmer for hours. Yum! Or even cook it in the morning and reheat it at night. Also yum!

7. I used my favorite kitchen tool, the blender on a stick, and made it nice and creamy and bright orange. You could also put it in a regular blender, but BE VERY CAREFUL. Don’t fill it up very full, and hold the lid on TIGHT. Trust me, I have exploded hot soup all over the kitchen before, and it is not fun. (It’s even less fun when you do it at your dad’s house, just FYI.)

8. Add some milk at the end to make it creamy. Coconut milk would have been perfect, but I didn’t have any. I also didn’t have any cow or goat milk, so I used rice milk, which was just fine.

The soup was incredibly delicious! My husband raved, I raved. My 3-year-old didn’t eat a lot, but he ate some, and after trying it, he said, with the same emphasis I use when reading Green Eggs and Ham, “Say! I DO like it!” And then we went through the whole routine of eating carrot soup on a boat and on a train…

October 28, 2011

the furious dragon that blows fire and is not nice

I read a great book this week. It was penned on my living room carpet (the one wearing three years worth of stains from juice boxes and wine boxes, unsupervised sharpie markers, vomiting and potty-training children, and who knows what else).

The book is called “The furious dragon that blows fire and is not nice”. The title, as you can see, tells you a lot about the temperament of the main character. It also tells you a little bit about the temperament of the author, who is currently and lunatic-ly a three-and-a-half year-old. He narrated it as I wrote. I will relate it in its entirety, with commentary:

“First, the dragon gets in his cave. He walks around it and tries to get lions and tigers and bears.* Then the dragon gets very mad and very fast.** Then the knight comes and looks for that dragon. Then he gets on his horse. The dragon looks for that knight. The dragon keeps blowing fire and trying to look for the knight. Then the dragon finally finds the knight. The knight kicks the dragon. Then the knight dashes the dragon down.*** They still fight mean.**** Then they hit each other. Then they stop being mean. Then they hear a noise…”*****

*Scribe’s note 1: Oh my! Yes, we are VERY into the Wizard of Oz. The author is planning to be the Tin Man for Halloween.

**Scribe’s note 2: The author also gets very fast when he is very mad. I think like most first novels, this book is partly autobiographical.

***Scribe’s note 3: I’m not sure the exact meaning of “to dash down” but it is clearly violent and said with a lot of volume and emotion. (Volume and emotion go together in the same way as the previously mentioned qualities, speed and anger.)

****Scribe’s note 4: This page was written after I reminded the author that he only had a few pages left. (We had created and bound the book before writing it.) I think it was his way of saying “So what? you can’t force a peaceful resolution on me!”

*****Scribe’s note 5: Showing that he’s learning something about stories, if not his own temper, he decides when faced with the last page to end the fighting. But not the suspense. You should hear “DUH, DUH, DUH” playing as the story ends.

Follow up with the kids

No, you can’t find this book on Amazon. Not yet, at least. But you could find one a lot like it in your own living room. Sometimes the best stories for finding a connection with your kids aren’t already published and on a shelf somewhere. Sometimes you need to take a stack of paper, punch some holes, tie it together with ribbons (Halloween ribbon in our case) and let imagination fly. Chances are, you will find out something your child won’t otherwise tell you (like the fact that when he’s frustrated and doesn’t always know what to do with his anger he wishes there were a dragon he could dash down).

Writing a book like this with your child not only gives you insight into what they are feeling and thinking, it also helps them practice story-telling skills, using their imagination, feeling empathy for characters, and problem-solving (unless, of course they decide to ignore the problem in their story and just continue the fighting…)

You can be creative about how you make the book. Don’t stop with just stapling (or tying) paper together. If you have an older child who has worked hard on the book, consider scanning in the drawings and printing the book out. Or sending it to a printer as a photo album and getting a nice hardbound copy printed out. (Think holiday presents!)

If drawing isn’t your child’s thing, or they are searching for inspiration, consider cutting magazine photos for the pictures, or printing out family photos for a fun family-inspired story.

Have fun with this! And I hope your knight and dragon, or your princess and unicorn, or whatever the story is, becomes a wonderful family memory.

August 24, 2011

Bad Dreams, Nightmares, Scary Things, Oh My!

We’re going to need a king-sized bed soon. While the little one is already sleeping through the night, the 3yo has yet to do that. Okay, not that he’s never done it, but it does seem rare. Recently, nightmares have meant that not only is he getting up, he’s getting up and coming to sleep with us. And they seem like pretty scary nightmares–lots of stuff about tornadoes and the earth opening up. (Note to self about letting a 3yo who already lives in tornado country watch the movie Wizard of Oz.)

It’s really pretty awful when your 3yo says to you “Are you going to bed yet? If you stay up, will you keep an eye out? If you go to bed, it’s okay. But if you are up, will you keep an eye out?” I mean, it’s horrendous enough that he has to ask us to “keep an eye out” at night for his “scary things”, but when he adds that it’s “okay” if we don’t because we want (“selfishly” is implied) to sleep, too, well that’s just guilt-inducing. It’s almost enough to make me stay up all night long with a lantern and some HGTV. Almost.

After a week or so of this, my husband issued a challenged. “I’m not worried about this because I know you are going to fix it.” Emphasis on “you”. At first, I gave him the eye roll. The “I’m not in this alone and you are welcome to help out you know” eye roll. But then he really put the moves on–he tried flattery. When my husband tries flattery, which he only does when desperate and when he’s sure sarcasm is not working, it’s almost guaranteed to work. Almost.

But this time it did. “You always solve his problems,” he starts off, warming up. “You’re SO GOOD at this.” He knows he almost has me, so he goes in for the kill. “You are SUCH a GOOD MOM.” Okay, okay, okay. I mean, please, do I have to do everything around here? (Said with mock martyrdom.)

My first instinct was to go with the nocturnal animal angle. I’ve been talking a lot about the nighttime with 3yo since this has started, and the only time he’s been interested in a positive way was when he learned that some animals stay up at night and sleep during the day. In fact, while driving in the car recently, I said that I thought some mice stay up at night (I wasn’t sure about this, but since owls eat mice it sounded reasonable), and my son says that he bets the kind of mice that stay up all night have really big eyes. I used to teach science. I was SO proud of him and this hypothesis based on previous observations of nocturnal animals.

So I went online to look for books about nocturnal animals. I found a couple but a lot of them were scary-looking. They were really going for the gore. I settled for these two, which have minimal gore and horror but both do mention animals eating other animals. Not sure if I want to introduce that concept as part of an attempt to make the bad dreams go away.

I also found a lot of great nighttime and bad dream books. My 3yo was instantly fascinated by them, especially The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream, which was partially because his Granddad and Grandma have an almost infinite collection of Berenstain Bear books that he was recently introduced to at their house and partly because it was third-party proof from such reliable sources as Brother and Sister Bear themselves of this “bad dream” business that mom and dad had been talking about that he was TOTALLY not buying.

We immersed ourselves in these books for a few days. He would fall asleep with the books on his stomach, open to the page of the space aliens attacking Brother Bear in a dream. Ironically, that didn’t make him have more dreams, but actually seemed to help. He talks much more openly about his dreams now and even had his first good dream recently (about Cinderella!).

I believe books and good soup can solve any problem, and while I’m sure this is not solved, we are a long way from where we were a week ago. Below are the books we used and a little bit about them.

Title: The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream
Authors and Illustrators
 (they both did both!): Stan and Jan Berenstain
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 2 – 7

 

Summary and Review:  Brother Bear is into Space Grizzlies but when the toys give Sister a nightmare and the movie gives Brother one, too, all four bears end up in bed talking about bad dreams and how they SEEM real, but they aren’t.

Title: The Berenstain Bears In the Dark
Authors and Illustrators:
 Stan and Jan Berenstain
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: Sister Bear is afraid of the dark but she learns that she can control her mind and not let her imagination get carried away. I love the pictures in this one that show scary shadow monsters and then the pile of clothes and furniture that created them.

Title: The Dark, Dark, Night
Author: M. Christina Butler
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: This was my favorite and my son loved it, too. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures and a cute story with a great punchline. The animals are each afraid of the pond monster, who keeps getting bigger the more animals that walk with them in the dark. But they realize that the pond monster is actually just their own shadow (something that older kids will be able to deduce and younger kids will easily see when you point it out on the second reading.)

Title: Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?
Author:
 Martin Waddel
Illustrator: Barbara Firth
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: It’s a classic; it’s gorgeous, and it’s a wonderful story. The prose is nice to read and the message about the beauty of the natural world and the power of love is perfect for those children who, like Little Bear, are afraid of “the dark all around us”. I especially like the combination of fear and the implied attempt to just get one more minute before bedtime. Very real.

Title: Good-Night, Owl!
Author/Illustrator:
 Pat Hutchins
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: This is a super-cute book with fun illustrations and it introduces the theme of animals who are awake in the day and the night which is something my son has really latched onto in his attempt to understand the darkness. Owl is trying to sleep, but all the day animals keep making noise and waking him up. He doesn’t sleep very well, but don’t worry, he gets the last laugh!

Title: The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
Author:
 Jill Tomlinson
Illustrator: Paul Howard
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: This book is gorgeous and the story is simple with a repetitive prose that I really like in a picture book. Baby owl is afraid of the dark, but when he asks people about the dark, they all give him different descriptions. The boy things dark is “EXCITING” because there are fireworks. An old lady says it is “KIND” and a girl says it is “NECESSARY” (for Father Christmas to come). Baby owl likes fireworks and Christmas, but still doesn’t like the dark until a black cat takes him on a tour and shows him a beautiful view of the city rooftops under the stars at night and owl recognizes “my world!”

Title: Where Are the Night Animals
Author:
 Stan and Jan Berenstain
Genre: Science, Nonfiction
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: This book is a nice cross between a story and nonfiction. It has great illustrations and gives a great idea of what goes on at night. It introduces the term “diurnal” as well as nocturnal” and has a nice appendix at the end that shows what the nighttime animals do during the day.

Title: Night Animals (Usborne Beginners)
Author:
 Susan Meredith
Illustrator: Patrizia Donaera and Adam Larkum
Genre: Science, Nonfiction
Age: 2 – 7

Summary and Review: I like this book a lot. Simple photos and drawings, large print and sort words for early readers. Great way to introduce this concept of nocturnal animals. Not scary at all, but does include an illustration of an owl swooping down on a mouse and a leopard eating a dear. Makes me consider buying other books in the Usborne Beginner series, even though I’m generally skeptical of text-book like books. They do come with a website, which is just the most horribly structured thing you’ve ever seen. If you want to spend time flailing through a site that looks like it was designed before the internet, they have some cool printout and coloring pages, but my guess is you’ll do better on Google.

Activity with the kids:

The goal of these books for us was to separate what was not real (scary dreams about Space Grizzlies and Pond Monsters that are really your shadow for example) from what is real (the beauty of the stars and the animals that are awake and living in the night). Reading these books and talking about these with your kids should help them build a good framework on which they can hang their own ideas, separating them into dream and reality increasingly by themselves.

What about you? If you made it this far in this long post??  Do you have any good tricks for nighttime fears? Have you read any of these books? Please tell me below in the comment section! I love hearing from my readers!

August 2, 2011

A perfect outing, perfect illustrations, and A PERFECT SQUARE

The only thing my son likes more than finding books at the library is typing on the library computer. So after every storytime, we head to the catalog computer and he decides on a word to type as the keyword for his search. I spell it out and he searches for each letter. Recent searches have included “baseball”, “train”, “dragon”, “fairy tales”, and “mermaid”.  We write down the call numbers and end up taking home a pile of theme-related books.

But undoubtedly while searching for our books, other books catch my son’s eye and he takes them off the shelf. Books with a dinosaur or dragon on the cover. Books that are pink. Books that are sparkly. Books with a baseball on them or in them. Books that are in front of his face when he gets another book. Pretty much anything will grab his eye and he will eagerly want to take it home.

There’s a lot that is good about this, but one decided downfall which is that some of the books are awful. I mean, really bad.

And so here’s what I usually do. Surreptitiously, lest my 3yo find out I’m sneaking books into his book pile, I grab (mostly at random) books that the librarians have displayed on top of the shelves, or on their display shelves, either new books or books they particularly like. I always trust the librarians and they are always right.

They were definitely right about this one.

Title: Perfect Square
Author/Illustrator: Michael Hall
Genre: Picture Book
Ages: 0 – 7

Summary and Review:

This is a wonderful book with a simple, short, and fun prose and absolutely gorgeous pictures!  It’s the story of a square who gets ripped, torn, and cut, and in doing so, forms itself into a myriad beautiful designs, a different one each day.  It teaches your child about shapes, art, beauty, and the importance of not being confined into a box.  Literally.

Follow-up with your kids:

This is a great one for craft time.  It will be really easy for you to get some paper of different colors and cut the paper into perfect squares.  Then ask your children to rip or cut the squares into smaller shapes and make a picture out of their cuttings. You could certainly copy the ones in the book, and if your child needs a lot of structure that would be a good place to start. But encourage them to make their own; making your own shapes and celebrating your individuality is part of the lesson in the book, anyway!

April 4, 2011

The wheels on the book get lost all over the house, all over the house, all over the house

This book is falling apart.  Which paradoxically means that it’s of the highest quality.  Because in a house with an active 3-year-old, nothing of low quality gets played with enough to fall apart.  But this book?  My son has literally loved it to death.  (It’s own death, not his, although I would say that it’s not totally destroyed yet, just on it’s way to a well-deserved rest home…)  This book has been read at bedtime and in the car.  It accompanies my son around the house when he wheels his toy bus on his hands and knees.  It’s even used as a reference book–when he sings the song and plays his banjo, or his drums, or his piano, or his accordion (we are big into the toy instruments here), he dutifully checks the book between each verse to see what’s next.  God forbid we sing the song in the wrong order…

It’s even been peed on.  (Notice that I only give book advice, not potty-training advice.)

Title: The Wheels on the Bus
Adapted and Illustrated by: Paul O. Zelinsky
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Toddlers and Preschoolers

Summary and Review:

The pictures in this book are vibrant and interesting.  After probably hundreds of reads, I’m still not tired of looking at them.  Each page has something tangible for the kids too–wheels to turn, doors and windows to open and close, etc.  I don’t love books with moving parts in general because I find them hard to maneuver and they don’t usually stand up to a curious toddler.  However, this is one of the longer-lasting ones, and definitely the most played with.  If it weren’t for a short temper tantrum a few months ago, we’d still have both wheels attached to the book.  :)  I highly recommend this interactive version of the popular song!

Follow-up with the kids:

Music is the best follow-up with this book.  You can read it to your toddler and then sing it the next time.  You can have him practice moving the pieces at the same time as the song lyrics and get a sense of the rhythm as he does so.

Also, there is a lot going on in the pictures that isn’t in the text.  I love it when an illustrator makes a book even more interesting!  There’s a whole story to be told with the boy with the box of cats.  Why does he have them?  When does he lose one of the cats and when and how does he get it back?

Another example of this is when the song talks about the windows open and closing, notice the weather and how it changes over the few pages before and after.  Asking your child to notice these illustrated “subplots” helps hone their observation skills, which helps not only with reading comprehension but also is an early science skill.

Also, the book is animated in a wonderful DVD by Scholastic that also comes with some other great animated picture books.  We don’t do a lot of TV, but this is something I really recommend.  I found it here on Scholastic’s site as part of a travel pack, but I’m sure it’s also elsewhere online: http://store.scholastic.com/1/1/4054-scholastic-storybook-treasures-sing-along-travel-kit-the-wheels-the-bus-dvd.html.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have in our family!

January 5, 2011

Yumminess!

My son likes to cook with me.  At least, if I have to cook, which is not necessarily what he’d prefer to something such as playing baseball, he wants to be right by my side.  He stands in his little “present”, which is what we still call his Learning Tower, an absolutely ingenious invention by someone whose kid must have liked cooking as much as mine and must have fallen off of kitchen chairs as much as mine.  If you are interested, you can look at them here.  They are expensive, but sturdy, and without a doubt the best thing we’ve ever bought for my son.  The easel has taken quite a beating, as he kicks it often or leans on it or climbs on it, but it’s still ticking.  And the tower itself looks like the day we bought it–and trust me, it’s been through a LOT.

But I digress.  Back to cooking with mom.  He loves it.  When I let him, which is too often judging my the amount of time I’ve spent cleaning up the consequent messes (but really, that’s what it’s about, right?) he participates with me–stirs the bowls (not too messy), pours the flour (really messy), or breaks the eggs (not as messy as you’d think).

And my husband LOVES rice pudding.  So those are the reasons I bought this book.  Oh, and I saw it mentioned on the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2010 book list.

Title: Arroz con leche or Rice Pudding
Author: Jose Argueta
Illustrator:
Fernando Vilela
Genre
: Picture Book, Poem
Age: 0 – Infinity

Summary and Review:

This book is so much fun to read.  You can almost smell the rice pudding as it dances and jumps off the pages.  It really is a poem, but within the poem is a recipe itself.  It’s beautiful and fun and the pictures are wonderful and unique.

I read some online reviews before I bought the book, and my favorite was a woman who said that it would be nice if there was a recipe in the back of the book.  Ha!  I almost fell off my chair laughing when I thought about that after having read the book.  It IS a recipe!  It even has measurements within the poem!  Are we modern Americans really so far removed from our own food that we can’t recognize a recipe for yumminess when we read it from start to finish?  And THAT, I believe, is another reason to buy that book.  So your child doesn’t say the same thing.

Oh, and it’s bilingual.  So you can read it in English, Spanish, or both.  Way cool.

Follow-up with kids:

Make some rice pudding!  You can experiment with different flavors, too.  The one in the book is flavored with cinnamon, but you could add some nutmeg, too.  Or do coconut.  Or whatever the kids can think of!

You can also do some foreign language practice, as the book is bilingual.  Merely reading it will introduce your kids to the sounds of Spanish, but you can do exercises where you pick a word in English and try to find its Spanish counterpart.  Or look through the Spanish text for words that you can recognize–or that look similar to the English words.

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