Friday, January 31, 2020

Book Review: Snack Attack By Marsha Casper Cook






Author: Marsha Casper Cook

Illustrator: Mikey Brooks

Publisher: Fideli Publishing Inc.

Released: November 30, 2018

Format: Kindle, Paperback, Audio

ISBN: 978-1948638609

Reviewer: Ellwyn Autumn

Rating: 4 Lemon Drops



A cautionary tale of a picky eater who learns to trust his gut!




Review:


Addison Apple is frustrated. He doesn’t like oatmeal; he doesn’t like to eat anything his mother makes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One day, his mother agrees to let him eat whatever he wants. For three days Addison gladly eats as much candy, ice-cream, cake and potato chips as he can. Then, something unexpected happens, he starts to feel sick and learns the valuable lesson that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

In Snack Attack, Addison encapsulates the typical picky eater who frowns at anything without an ounce of sugar, saccharine or high-fructose corn syrup. Like all good parents, his mother, hoping to teach her son the value of good nutrition, gives him the leeway he needs to learn from making poor food choices.

Snack Attack is a terrific story to introduce children to the benefits of healthy eating and the consequences of not doing so. I also appreciated the health and safety messages woven into the story. Through Addison, children learn what happens when you eat too much junk food and how the body craves nutritious food to maintain proper health.

Brooks’ illustrations are bright, colorful and add a simple cheerfulness to the story that readers will enjoy. Together, Cook and Brooks, have created a story with meaningful lessons that unfold naturally without sounding too preachy.



Classroom Connection


I could easily see this book used as a supplement to a Nutrition themed lesson and displayed in various Pre-Kindergraten/Kindergarten classroom centers: Science, Library, Art, Writing

After an intentional read aloud and discussion of the book, students could sort healthy/unhealthy foods, write a list of their favorite healthy snacks and sample fruit and vegetables.





I give it 4 Lemon Drops!



Resources:


https://www.pinterest.com/ellwynautumn/nutrition-lessons/


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Deputy Paws And The Puppy Mill Cause Book Review





Author: Peggy Race

Illustrator: Mike Motz

Publisher: Createspace

Released: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-17243555522

Reviewer: Ellwyn Autumn

Rating: 4 Lemon Drops

A “woof” of information packed into one educational and informative read for children, parents and prospective dog owners.






Review:


Deputy Paws and the Puppy Mill Cause tells the story of one puppy who starts his life in a puppy mill, is rescued, and finally adopted by a loving family who gives him a forever home.

Told from the main character’s point-of-view, the rhyming story draws inspiration from the true account of Race’s own rescue dog, Deputy. In a non-threatening and age-appropriate way the story brings to light the harsh reality and cruel conditions puppy mill dogs endure: life in wire cages, premature separation from their mothers, proper medical treatment overlooked for breeder profit, and lack of adequate food and water.   

Now that Deputy has found the happiness and love he deserves, he advocates for all mistreated dogs and their rights to a clean bed and a safe space where they can romp, run and roll until their heart’s content. He encourages people to help make this happen by adopting a rescue dog instead of buying from a pet store or puppy mill.

The author has also included a responsible breeder checklist, suggestions on how to get involved and break the connection from the breeder to the store, resources, and animal rescue websites.

Mike Motz’s illustrations are colorful, appealing and add a visual aid to the important information presented. One of my favorite things about the pictures is that children are featured alongside Deputy Paws advocating for dogs. This is a subtle and powerful way to include children and let them know they’re an integral part of the solution too.  

Overall, a wonderful resource to teach children empathy and respect toward animals while spreading the word about animal cruelty and how to stop it.

I give it 4 Lemon Drops!






Classroom Connection:


Deputy Paws and the Puppy Mill Cause would make a great social studies lesson on animal rights, the laws that protect them and the actions still needed to ensure their safety. In order to be responsible global citizens, children need concrete examples of how this is accomplished.

Concurrent with focused questions and activities, an intentional read aloud of the book will foster students’ awareness of their community and show them how to take a proactive role in it.

After the reading, the Dramatic Play center could be transformed into an animal shelter, a shelter worker could be invited to speak to students and the children could donate to a classroom animal shelter fund.

Resources: With a little creativity, these can be modified for the classroom.

http://www.birthdaypartyideas4kids.com/animal-shelter-scavenger-hunt-list.htm

https://www.guidedogs.org/?page=corporations-host-a-jeans-day-2

https://organized31.com/what-to-donate-to-an-animal-rescue-shelter/




Saturday, January 11, 2020

2019 Lemon Drop Literary Book Award





I’ve taken all the Independently Published books I’ve reviewed from 2019 and awarded one a Certificate Of Excellence In Literature for its educational value.

When I review a children’s picture book, I strive to keep students, teachers and the rigors of lesson planning in mind.

A few of the questions I ask are: How will this book translate into the classroom? How will it help teachers meet their lesson plan objectives? Is it engaging and fun? Did I enjoy reading it and most importantly do I want to read it again?

Congratulations, Judy Martialay! In my humble opinion, Bonjour! Let’s Learn French, has met all of the criteria to earn a place on my virtual classroom bookshelf!

 
Available on Amazon

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Interview With Teacher/Podcaster Victoria Wang




Victoria Wang is a retired kindergarten teacher who enjoys an open and honest conversation.

Throughout her teaching career, she learned that a single, authentic conversation can have a huge impact on a person’s mental well-being. She’s made it her mission to have these open, honest conversations with more and more educators.

One day, in her ideal world, she hopes teachers feel supported, sustained, and heard in their profession.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Victoria, let’s get to know her a little better.



Hello, Victoria, welcome to Lemon Drop Literary. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.


Why did you become a teacher?


I became a teacher because of a student I worked with during an internship in high school. I volunteered at a school for children with neurological differences, and the next summer, when I went back to visit, one of my favorite students was aging out of the program and didn’t really have any other programs that could support his needs.



After spending that last day with him, I went back to college, switched my major from chemistry to comparative human development, and I began taking all the classes I could on education, child development and dis/abilities.



I went into the classroom because I wanted to eventually work in policy, and I didn’t feel qualified to make any broader decisions within education without having been a teacher. I ended up falling in love with teaching, and I still miss it so much to this day.



What grades did you teach?


I taught at various preschools during the year I was in graduate school, and I taught kindergarten for two years after that.



What were your responsibilities as a teacher?


I guess this question varies depending on who you ask. According to my school and contract, my responsibilities were to educate my students and give them the academic tools to be “successful” in the future - the eventual goal was for them to go to college.



In my mind, however, since kindergarten was their first official year in school, my responsibility was to make them feel loved, respected and valued in my classroom. I wanted them to leave my classroom knowing that school was a safe space, and that their teachers would always be one of their biggest supporters and cheerleaders.



Why did you leave the profession?


I really struggled with mental health during my two years teaching kindergarten. It was a mixture of personal and professional stress, and halfway through my second year of teaching, I was having mental breakdowns and panic attacks about going to work.



I realized one of my biggest struggles was not being able to support all my students. Both years, I had students come through my classroom with exceptionally challenging needs, and because my school was really understaffed and under-resourced in special education, I spent most of my planning and lunch times providing academic and social minutes for my students with IEPs.



The constant decision to either prioritize my students with special needs over the rest of the class, or vice versa, really weighed on me mentally. I originally made the decision to leave my position as a general kindergarten teacher because of this, but after I started struggling mentally, I decided teaching wasn’t the best environment for me.








What was one of your favorite books to read to your class?


The Book With No Pictures! I loved teaching kindergarten because my sense of humor is pretty immature - they always love my fart jokes :)



I could read this book over and over, and my students would never get sick of it. Some might say it doesn’t necessarily have much academic benefit for students, but what’s wrong with telling them my best friend’s name is “Boo Boo Butt” and just letting them laugh and have fun?



What are your concerns regarding the mental health of young children?


Students don’t have enough time to play. They don’t. My kindergarteners had an extended school day, which meant they were in school from 7:15 to 3:45, with only 25 minutes of recess.



I could see the mental exhaustion on their faces halfway through the day, and so often, academics were prioritized over their social-emotional needs. Schools and districts say they have social-emotional learning initiatives in place, but there’s nothing that can be improved unless they make time in teachers’ schedules for SEL.



Students’ imaginations are being suppressed, creativity is being stunted, and their emotions are silenced by the heavy emphasis on academics and testing. It’s time for our educational system to redefine what “success” looks like for our students.



Did cuts to education effect you and your students?


I worked at a charter school, and honestly, I don’t think I worked in education long enough to feel any changes due to budget cuts. I’d say the main way I was affected by poor funding was our lack of support staff, specifically within special education.



Do you have any concerns for the health and welfare of teachers?

Oh, I have so many. So, so many. It’s hard to even know where to begin.



I’ve talked to a lot of teachers at this point, and every single teacher I’ve spoken to has touched on burnout, exhaustion, and honestly, feeling pretty hopeless. A lot of it comes from the immense amount of responsibility we put on teachers and our educational systems.



Our social support systems within our society are broken, and teachers are expected to make up for decades of multi-generational trauma, centuries of racially and socio-economically biased societal structures - all in one year, for 25+ students.



It’s not possible, and furthermore, teachers are expected and pressured to do all this on barely a living wage, with media portraying them as lazy and ineffective, and absolutely no autonomy in their own classrooms. There is so much more to say, and I could go on for hours, but I don’t want this to turn into a novel.







You’ve started a blog for teachers called Teacher Life Podcast. Can you tell us a little about the program and what led you to create it?




It’s a podcast! Blog part is…not very up to date, haha.



#TeacherLife is a podcast dedicated to sharing teachers’ stories and empowering teachers to speak up in their communities. I wanted to create a safe space for teachers to feel heard, validated, and connected with one another.



I love listening to podcasts, and one day, during one of my (many) mental breakdowns of my last year of teaching, I was looking through teacher podcasts to find one where I could just feel validated in how I was feeling - to just be told that I wasn’t the only one struggling.



At the time, all I had found were podcasts giving me tips on how to improve my classroom or instruction. They are, of course, really great podcasts, but at the time, that was the last thing I needed. That planted the seed for #TeacherLife.



I didn’t fully commit to the podcast until I started speaking up and sharing how much I was struggling, and I was surprised to see so many other teachers reaching out and saying they felt the same way.



There’s so much power in a single, honest conversation, and I realized that simply having an outlet to share my stories and struggles improved my mental health immensely. So many teachers internalize their struggles in the classroom and blame themselves for it, so just hearing that you’re not the only one struggling takes a lot of that weight and responsibility away.



I hope that my podcast pushes teachers to have more of these open conversations within their own communities, and that my guests walk away from #TeacherLife empowered, knowing that they ARE experts on education and that their voices do matter.



What has been your most rewarding experience since starting your Teacher Life Podcast?


Honestly, it’s been in the small moments. This has happened with multiple teachers, but the surprised yet excited look on a teacher’s face when they realize that someone else wants to listen to what they have to say - that’s what makes this worth it.



Just knowing that another teacher feels valued and heard. And to have people who don’t work in education get excited about empowering teachers - it gives me a lot of hope that someday teachers can feel supported.



What advice would you give to teachers just starting out?


I would tell them to understand their limits and be kind to themselves. So many new teachers (and I’m guilty of this too) go into the classroom with a savior complex, hoping to make a difference in students’ lives and have a lasting impact on them.



It’s why we do it, and it’s what keeps us motivated, but that mindset can also lead to a very toxic relationship with work, as well as an unattainable standard for success. Caring and loving your students can make you a great teacher but doing so at your own expense will burn you out.



Do you have any suggestions for people who want to start a podcast as well?


Do it! It’s so much easier than you expect, and there will be people out there who want to listen to what you have to say. Don’t get caught up in the downloads, subscribers, reviews, etc. Always keep your mission close by to pull you back from feeling like your success and value lies within numbers and stats.



When you're not podcasting where can we find you?


Probably outside! Or road-tripping in Bernie, my Prius. I love hiking, backpacking and rock climbing, so on the weekends, I’m usually at a park somewhere.



What is your opinion on teachers carrying guns in schools? Why?


I think the question we need to be asking everyone is, why is there a demand for teachers to carry guns in school? How far from center has our society gone when we expect educators to also serve as police, when bringing a gun into a classroom full of children equates “safety”?



As a teacher, I absolutely would not want to carry a gun in school. That doesn’t stop gun violence though. There’s a deeper-rooted issue that needs to be addressed.



Is there anything else you’d like your listeners to know about you?


That I’m nowhere near perfect, and I’m struggling just like them! And that the mental health issues I’ve struggled with have only made me stronger and better at what I do.



Do you have any social media links you’d like to share?


Yes! Please say hi - I’d love to meet all of you!



Website: teacherlifepod.com

IG: @teacherlifepod

FB: facebook.com/teacherlifepod


My personal travel website: bernieontheroad.com

My personal IG: @unclevickie

Thank you, Victoria, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you and Teacher Life Podcast continued success and lots of luck!



Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Anger In The Classroom: Finding Freedom From Anger



Synopsis:

Teachers are given a great responsibility and challenge when they enter a classroom. The way they see, interpret, and act will determine the difference between effective or weak communication and teaching. It is the task of the teacher to learn and prepare for this classroom setting, including the intrusion of trouble spots, such as anger in its many forms.

The overbearing emotion of anger has many faces and can lead to a complicated array of feelings, actions, and consequences. There is no set plan or technique that can address all of the hazards or nuances of anger. Solutions may need to vary from one student to the next, or from one moment to the next for an angry student or teacher.


Although Anger in the Classroom is written specifically for teachers and other educational professionals, it also is an invaluable resource for parents and anyone else who works with the young. Recognizing the difficulty that anger and similar strong emotions can cause in schools and in children’s lives, this book proposes techniques and practices aimed at preventing and circumventing the damaging effects of these destructive behaviors.

Goals of Anger in the Classroom for the Teacher/Reader:

- To realize the depths of knowledge, ability, and understanding currently hidden beneath one’s awareness
- To head off anger and its manifestations before
it can take hold in the classroom or the individual
- To create a classroom environment that fosters appreciation, rather than resentment
- To provide specific practices for exploration and specific results
- To prepare the teacher for passing on experience and knowledge to students
- To rekindle the excitement and joy of teaching

Specific Features:

- Case stories illustrating concepts and techniques
- Specific exercises conducive to reader development and enriched classroom practices
- End-of-chapter questions for readers, especially college students on a path to teacher certification.




  From Kirkus Reviews

A practical manual that helps teachers manage their students’ anger—and their own.

According to debut author Nystrup, it’s hard to overestimate the potential influence teachers wield over their students—instructors incapable of controlling their own anger may pass that infirmity to pupils who do the same.

The good news, the author says, is that teachers can control their ire as well as that which emerges within a classroom. First, a teacher needs to rein in his or her own temper, a process that involves meticulous introspection.

To that end, Nystrup provides an Anger Manifestation Chart, a tool that tracks the various ways anger rises from, say, anxiety or a negative thought. Once one looks inward and explores the sources of unrest, a “realm of deeper freedoms” can be experienced and imparted to a classroom that, while emotionally moderated, avoids devolving into “drab, torturous monotony.”

The author provides an abundance of practical counsel, using case histories to illustrate his principal points. He astutely acknowledges that “teaching is not an exact science” and so articulates broadly conceived advice that can be customized. At the heart of Nystrup’s approach is the achievement of mindfulness, a sense of self-awareness that fosters mental and emotional equanimity.

He covers an impressive span of pedagogical territory, including special education classrooms, and incorporates a wide array of approaches, like yoga. His prose can be both vague and exuberantly optimistic.

His goal is to “facilitate teacher growth, including the ability to move through each teaching day with clear thinking, unclouded emotions, and a physical state of strength and endurance.”

Of course, no book or didactic strategy will deliver all that all the time, but Nystrup does thoughtfully examine the way in which a teacher can maintain a lively classroom that is also a peaceful “setting of trust.”

An intelligent, meditative, and effective guide to creating a productive classroom atmosphere.
-Kirkus Review - Posted on Aug. 16th, 2019

About The Author





Glenn Nystrup's passions have guided his teaching to numerous settings over a wide range of disciplines, including multiple academic subjects for all ages; the fine arts of stone carving, sculpting with teens and adults; technical rock climbing with teens; movement and dance with teens in New York City; and school navigation for struggling students.

Throughout, his aim has been to work with the heart as well as the mind and body, both for himself and students, sharpening perception and knowledge across all personal resources. 


Monday, December 2, 2019

Miss Mistake Mind Your Manners Book Review


Available On Amazon


Authors: Lisa Butowsky and Donna Bostany

Illustrator: Donna Bostany

Publisher: Headline Books

Released: June 11, 2019

Format: Kindle, paperback

ISBN: 9781946664648

Reviewer: Ellwyn Autumn

Rating: 4 Lemon Drops




Review:


Missy or Miss Mistake sometimes needs reminders to use her good manners. Like most children, Miss Mistake needs instruction on how to act appropriately in social settings. 


Luckily, she has a special butterfly friend named Mannie to help her when she misbehaves. From completing chores without a fuss to meaningful conversations that foster positive interpersonal relationships, Mannie guides and supports Missy when she needs it most. 





Classroom Connection:


Miss Mistake Mind Your Manners is a great resource for teachers (and parents) who focus on social and emotional skills with their students. The scenarios depicted in the story are accurate, relatable, interactive and offer insight on how to instruct acceptable behavior in children in a non-threating way they can understand.


Butowsky and Bostany, both etiquette teachers, have carefully integrated intentional lessons into the story with concrete examples of expected behavior and targeted etiquette vocabulary (complete with definitions). Some vocabulary includes: respect, privilege, and gratitude; words we’ve all wanted our children to internalize and display with family, friends, teachers and classmates.


There is also a section that instructs children in the art of good conversation and the importance of writing thank you cards.


There are many ways to extend this book in the classroom setting. A letter writing station could be added to the writing center, for dramatic play children could role play conversations in different social settings with puppets, butterfly stencils would make a nice addition to the art center. After completing a butterfly, students could write the good manners they’d like to practice. 


Resources:



https://www.pinterest.com/ellwynautumn/socialemotional-strategies/




https://www.pinterest.com/ellwynautumn/kamyla-chungs-bully-prevention/



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

6 Free Library Books About Thanksgiving




Photo courtesy of: GraphicMama-team; courtesy of: Pixabay

Handprint turkeys, feathered headbands, tall black hats and cornucopias. Happy November, Everyone!

During this time of year, we pause to reflect on all the things we’re thankful for in life: our families, our friends, the food on our table, the clothes on our back.

For Pre-K/Kindergarten teachers it’s the perfect time to instruct students on the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday and what it means to be thankful.

As always, I believe a good book is an excellent way to present or reinforce an important idea that holds a valuable lesson. Once again, I’ve harvested the shelves at my local free library for books focusing on one topic.

This month’s theme is Thanksgiving books followed by a mini-review of each one to aid you in finding quality literature to read to your children.






1. I’m A Turkey


Author: Jim Arnosky

Illustrator: Jim Arnosky

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: September 1, 2009

ISBN: 978439903646

Rating: 3 Lemon Drops

Book Summary:


Through rhyme, Tom the Turkey describes what life is like among his large flock, from looking out for predators to communicating through turkey talk.

Mini-Review:


An amusing spoken-word song with fun turkey facts mixed in. As readers sing along, they will learn that turkeys weigh fifteen pounds and fly fifty miles per hour.

Arnosky’s illustrations are a nice complement to his witty verses. However, the rhymes don’t flow consistently which makes them a little harsh on the listener’s ear.











2. Thanksgiving Day


Author: Anne Rockwell

Illustrator: Lizzy Rockwell

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Release Date: September 3, 2002

ISBN: 9780060283889

Rating: 5 Lemon Drops

Book Summary:


Mrs. Madoff’s class performs a play that details the events that led to the first Thanksgiving between the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims.

Garbed in handmade costumes, each student is given a specific role (Squanto, Samoset, Pilgrim) and recites a related fact about them. On the page opposite of each student is a picture of the historical figure they represent.

Throughout the story, one of the students explains how some of the original traditions still endure today.


Mini-Review:


Adorable illustrations and simple text filled with easy to understand facts for young children. The characters are diverse, warm and sweet.

This was one of my favorite Thanksgiving books to read to my Pre-K/Kindergarten class. 












3. The Perfect Thanksgiving 


Author: Eileen Spinelli

Illustrator: Joann Adinolfi

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC

Release Date: October 2, 2007

ISBN: 9780805065312


Rating: 5 Lemon Drops         


Book Review:


A hilarious, heartfelt story of how two very different families celebrate Thanksgiving. The Archer’s family celebration is prim and proper with a golden turkey, lace napkins and homemade pie; the main character’s is entirely different: Mom’s burnt the turkey, family members are burping, and the Jell-O mold is so wiggly it quivers to the floor.


Mini-Review:



The story is a great introduction to how each family is unique and, despite their flaws, perfect in their own way.






 



4. The Mayflower


Author: Mark Greenwood

Illustrator: Frane Lessac

Publisher: Holiday House

Release Date: August 31, 2014

ISBN: 9780832429431

Rating: 3 Lemon Drops

Book Summary: 

A non-fiction book that tells of the Pilgrim’s harrowing journey to the New World in 1620.

Review:


The book is well written with many interesting facts but there is one glaring error that must be addressed. The Pilgrims are referred to as Puritans which is incorrect.

At one time, the Pilgrims were Puritans, but they separated from this group because of discontentment with the Puritan reforms. After that, the Pilgrims were known as Separatists.

The Pilgrims arrived in 1620 aboard one ship, The Mayflower; whereas the Puritans came in many ships in 1630.

Click the links to read more about the differences between Pilgrims and Puritans.

The book references a group known as Strangers being aboard the Mayflower also. Here’s a link about them. I think it’s so interesting.

The illustrations are rich, colorful and capture the seriousness the Separatists must have been feeling during this difficult time.












5. Thanksgiving Is…

Author: Gail Gibbons

Publisher: Holiday House

Released: 2004

ISBN: 9780823418479

Rating: 5 Lemon Drops


Book Summary:


A non-fiction book that introduces young children to the history and traditions of America’s national Thanksgiving holiday as well as the ways ancient cultures celebrated the end of the harvest season.

Mini-Review:


A fine introduction to America’s early history and the traditions of Thanksgiving that have evolved over time. The book is loaded with interesting facts about various cultures, but they’re presented in a way that won’t overwhelm young students.   

The watercolor illustrations are colorful and add extra historical details to the book that are sure to spark conversations about how the Pilgrims and Native Americans lived.

A must read for all classrooms learning about the origins and traditions of America’s Thanksgiving Day.










  

 



6. Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving


Author: Laurie Halse Anderson


Illustrator: Matt Faulkner


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers


Released: 2002


ISBN: 9780689847875


Rating: 5 Lemon Drop

Book Summary


In a humorous and bold fashion, Thank You, Sarah, tells the true story of author and editor, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale: a remarkable woman who used her pen to start a movement that saved Thanksgiving from obscurity and convinced Abraham Lincoln to declare it a national American holiday.

Mini-Review:


A delightful and informative read that children will enjoy. The story and illustrations are often comical without compromising the complexities of American history and the universal message of unity, perseverance, and activism.






Resources:





I have a Pinterest Page for Thanksgiving In The Classroom loaded with resources for lessons, books and more!
 
  










  

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Snowflakes With Sugar Book Review





AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!


Author: Amelia Griggs

Illustrator: Winda Mulyasari

Publisher: Amelia Griggs

Released: November 8, 2019 

Format: Kindle, Paper back, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781700572981

Reviewer: Ellwyn Autumn

Rating: 4 Lemon Drops



There are snowflakes in Bella and Mia’s holiday kitchen! A sweet treat for the holiday season.





Review:


Just in time for the holidays, Bella and Mia, have returned to their kitchen once more to share a special Italian treat with us. 

Similar to the other books in the series, Griggs and Mulyasari have created another sugary sweet rhyming story for their readers complete with adorable illustrations.

In true form, Bella, continues to encapsulate the enthusiasm children possess when given the opportunity to help with an adult task. Her mother, Mia also perpetuates that love and attention from a parent are the best ingredients for a happy and well-adjusted child.  

There was one addition to this story that will resonate with readers, the importance of sharing. In this installment friends and family arrive at Bella and Mia’s house for a surprise visit. The impromptu visit prompts the mother and daughter duo to happily share their sugary waffle cookies. Thank goodness they made so many.  

Griggs carefully incorporated health and safety messages both in the story and the recipe. As with Silly Willy Apple Cake and Squishy Wishy Meatballs, she also included another of her family’s favorite recipes. The recipe is a surprise treat. You'll have to read the book to find out what it is.

I give it 4 Lemon Drops!






Classroom Connection:


Snowflakes With Sugar would be a wonderful way to acquaint children with family holiday traditions. After a reading, children could be encouraged to share how their families prepare and celebrate the various holidays.

I could easily see this book displayed in various Pre-Kindergraten/Kindergarten classroom centers: Dramatic Play, Library, Art; and as a segue for introducing students to a tasty snack.

It would make a great addition to any Dramatic Play book bin or as the focus for a Bakery. Along with the book, spoons, bowls, aprons, empty vanilla extract bottles, etc., clipboards, pencils and paper could be added to supplement the learning fun.

In the Art Center, children could use dough, glitter and snowflake cookie cutters to create their own snowflakes with sugar. To enhance the fun and learning, youngsters could also paint a fancy snowflake and sprinkle on glitter (sugar).


Resources:


Clutter Free Classroom has resources for decorating a cooking themed classroom. Some of these materials could be adapted for a Baking/Cooking theme and used in the Dramatic Play area. Another wonderful addition would be to create a classroom cookbook by having children dictate how to make their favorite snack.

https://www.cfclassroom.com/2016/03/cooking-themed-classroom-ideas.html





I’ve also created a Baking Theme In Pre-K/K board on Pinterest. It’s loaded with tons of engaging ideas. Songs, printables, dramatic play center ideas, books, and more.

EllwynAutumn Baking Theme Board