Happy 4th of July!

Read White and Blue !

Below are all our 4th of July book reviews together in one easy to find place. Also the last book is a new review not found in any other post. Have a fantastic and safe holiday weekend!

“Wow America!” by Robert Neubecker has already been memorized by my son since I found it at the library on Sunday. I can’t blame him and in the 50 times I have read it in the past few days I have found something new and interesting each time. The story is simple, a baby runs away and her older sister goes after her and they see some of the wonderful things in the United States that make us all go “Wow!” Each page has a short title like “Wow Statue” for The Statue of Liberty , then a little more text to explain what the reader is looking at. The illustrations are detailed and we’ve played eye spy with this book more than a few times. This is a wonderful book and the map on the inside cover has been fun to play with as well, we like to find where various far off friends and family live. Go check this book out for sure.



“How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the USA”
by Marjorie Priceman didn’t disappoint one bit. I was worried after falling in love with the previous book that this couldn’t live up to my expectations. It did! This time she wasn’t looking for ingredients for the pie, but rather materials for her tools. She gathered wood in Washington for her rolling pin, cotton in Louisiana for pot holders granite in New Hampshire for her pastry slab and more. What I wasn’t expecting of this book and loved was how she gathered natural resources and then processed them to make what she needed. I think this is a wonderful lesson about manufacturing and could be used for a launchpad for learning about so much more. Another gem I will be adding to my must buy list.


” A is for America” by Devin Scillian is a perfect mix of national pride and real facts. As a Canadian I always feel strange critiquing works like this, I don’t want to sound too critical and that won’t be the case with this wonderful book. There are plenty of fantastic reasons to celebrate America and this book lays them on the table from A to Z !

“How to Bake an American Pie” by Karma Wilson is sentimental, sweet and probably should be reviewed by an American. The reason I say that is that it’s written to pull at your heart strings, make you feel pride in your country and I am sure it succeeds when the reader is American. But the same way I wouldn’t expect an American to get choked up singing “O Canada” the way I do , I just don’t get the full effect. Strictly as a book this was a little too figurative for my son although he loved the illustrations of the dog and cat baking the pie and kept turning back to the page with rainbows. Older kids will recognize some of the text that is taken from America the Beautiful and will understand the figurative language, although may be put off by the illustrations that seem more geared towards little ones. I would love to hear from any Americans who have read this book to get your take!


“Apple Pie 4th Of July” by Janet S. Wong is an awesome book. I am always awed by authors who can tackle complicated “adult” issues in the pages of a children’s book successfully. In this case the issue is 1st generation identity and immigration, at least that’s my take. The little girl in this book is sulking around her parent’s store on the 4th of July. They are busy making Chinese food for customers she is sure won’t come, who would want Chinese food on such an American holiday is her rational. Of course there are layers about her connection to her ancestral culture and her own national pride. As a proud owner of a green card and a Canadian passport I relate to this story, sure the differences are as deep or as obvious to an outsider but unlike the previous book when this book ended with fireworks I got tingles of pride for my adopted country. Fantastic book- and my son liked it too.


“Hats Off for the Fourth of July” by Harriet Ziefert is a fantastic book for children who are just understanding what this holiday is all about. The book follows a parade with hints of what is next to come along, making the reader feel the same feelings real parade goer does as they stand on their tipy toes to see what is on it’s way. My son really enjoyed the book because it was packed with marching bands, motorcycles and more. My son will see his very first 4th of July parade tomorrow and this book helped me explain what he’ll see and when we get home it will help us discuss what we saw. Useful and entertaining.

Easy 4th Of July Craft

Star
Cookie
Cutter Prints


I love cookie cutter printing and my son loved it months ago but today I made the dire mistake of doing it outside. He poured the paint on the plates, but the rest was all me. I get asked often what I do when he doesn’t want to do a craft. Usually I just let it slide, I will leave the craft half done and he often comes back to it. I have been known to beg but really when it comes down to it if I force him he won’t enjoy it and he loves art projects , I don’t want to ruin all the fun for one project. So he happily played with bubbles while I painted.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, construction paper if you want, red and blue paint, star cookie cutters, a plate or 2 and glue.
  2. Start by pouring your paint on to the plate.
  3. If you are my son exert your Independence and slip through the arm rest of the chair and go play bubbles.
  4. Dip your cookie cutters into the paint and print.
  5. Let dry
  6. Add glue to your construction paper
  7. Add your painting.

While I was taking a picture of the dried painting my son decided he wanted in on the fun ( 5.5 hours later) he had conditions though, only the big star and only the red paint. Aren’t 2 year olds fun? I’m glad he did it and did it on his terms though!

Fantastic Book!

“Wow America!” by Robert Neubecker has already been memorized by my son since I found it at the library on Sunday. I can’t blame him and in the 50 times I have read it in the past few days I have found something new and interesting each time. The story is simple, a baby runs away and her older sister goes after her and they see some of the wonderful things in the United States that make us all go “Wow!” Each page has a short title like “Wow Statue” for The Statue of Liberty , then a little more text to explain what the reader is looking at. The illustrations are detailed and we’ve played eye spy with this book more than a few times. This is a wonderful book and the map on the inside cover has been fun to play with as well, we like to find where various far off friends and family live. Go check this book out for sure.

4th of July and Canada Day Treats

4th of july food

Today is Canada Day and Fourth of July is just a few sleeps away . What is a holiday without treats? Last year we made these adorable flag cupcakes and this year we made the Star Treats that were gobbled up at church. Do you have a favorite treat? Leave a comment and share! To all my fellow Canadians, Happy Canada Day!Star Treats

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 5 1/2 cups of marshmallows, 5 1/2 cups of rice crispy type cereal, 1/4 cup of butter, some non stick spray , a large sauce pan , a baking sheet and a star cookie cutter, and red , white and blue jelly beans.
  2. Make your rice crispy squares by melting the butter over medium heat, add the marshmallows melt them add the cereal. Spread onto your baking sheet and cool just enough for them to be comfortable for your child to touch.
  3. Time to add the jelly beans. We counted them as we put them in , and surprisingly few ended up in his mouth.
  4. Pop them in the fridge and cool completely.
  5. Grab your star cookie cutter and cut out.
  6. Enjoy!
Flag Cupcakes

  1. Gather your materials. You will need your favourite ( another Canadian spelling, not an error) cupcake recipe , some jelly beans and white icing.
  2. Bake your cupcakes and let them cool completely. Your kids can help but mine had his fair share of jelly bellys while I was making the batter, so I did this activity alone.
  3. Ice the cupcake completely.
  4. For the Maple Leaf cupcakes start by making a maple leaf with 6 red jelly beans. You can also use licorice or another red candy.
  5. Next add 3 red jelly beans lengthwise on either side of the maple leaf! Sing O Canada before eating :)
  6. For the Stars and Stripes Start with a horizontal row of 4 red jelly beans , repeat.
  7. Add 4 blue jelly beans in the upper left.
  8. Add 2 rows of 2 red jelly beans , sing The Star Spangled Banner before eating :)

 

 

4th of July !

Flag Place Mat

I love making these inexpensive place mats, they really stand up to an amazing amount of abuse,wipe clean and are an inexpensive way to decorate your table for any holiday. One tip, wait until the glue is all dry before putting the contact paper on, I wasn’t patient and the glue squished.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of paper towel, some red, white and blue paper, a star paper punch, scissors, glue and contact paper.
  2. Start by cutting your blue paper into a square that takes up almost a quarter of the upper left corner of your paper towel.
  3. Cut your red paper into stripes, some long, some short.
  4. Punch stars out of your white paper
  5. Add glue to your blue
  6. Add the stars
  7. Add glue for the stripes and start adding them.
  8. Let dry ( do not skip this step, you’ll get squished glue marks like me, learn from my oops).
  9. Cover with contact paper. The way that works best I think is to place on piece of contact paper on your table , lay the flag face down so there are no bubbles, then sandwich it with another piece. Press hard and trim.

Books!


” How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world” by Marjorie Priceman cost me a total of 15 cents at a thrift store. It is worth so much more than that. This book is a gem! Perfect for older preschoolers who are getting a sense of the world beyond their own home and city, this book takes you on a ride around the world! You follow the little girl to Italy, France , Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica and back to Vermont! As soon as I read this my mind was racing with classroom activities ! I will be posting some soon. I LOVE this book, I just wish I had read it when I was still teaching it would have been so much fun to teach geography with!


“How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the USA”
by Marjorie Priceman didn’t disappoint one bit. I was worried after falling in love with the previous book that this couldn’t live up to my expectations. It did! This time she wasn’t looking for ingredients for the pie, but rather materials for her tools. She gathered wood in Washington for her rolling pin, cotton in Louisiana for pot holders granite in New Hampshire for her pastry slab and more. What I wasn’t expecting of this book and loved was how she gathered natural resources and then processed them to make what she needed. I think this is a wonderful lesson about manufacturing and could be used for a launchpad for learning about so much more. Another gem I will be adding to my must buy list.

Fireworks Craft !

4th of july crafts

Summer is here. It’s almost time to celebrate Canada Day and The 4th of July! My favorite part of both days are the fireworks. I had to show my son videos of fireworks I found online because he’s never seen them in person. Although the videos could only capture half the magic he loved them and I can’t wait for him to see them in person this year.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of black construction paper, a few cupcake liners, markers, glitter ( of course), scissors and glue.
  2. Start by drawing on your cupcake liners with the markers. It was challenging for him to hold the liner and color, but a good challenge. If it’s frustrating , just tape the edges with masking tape.
  3. Fold your cupcake liner up and cut slits into it.
  4. Add glue to your black paper.
  5. Add your fireworks.
  6. Time for glitter.
  7. Let dry.

 

Books!

“How to Bake an American Pie” by Karma Wilson is sentimental, sweet and probably should be reviewed by an American. The reason I say that is that it’s written to pull at your heart strings, make you feel pride in your country and I am sure it succeeds when the reader is American. But the same way I wouldn’t expect an American to get choked up singing “O Canada” the way I do , I just don’t get the full effect. Strictly as a book this was a little too figurative for my son although he loved the illustrations of the dog and cat baking the pie and kept turning back to the page with rainbows. Older kids will recognize some of the text that is taken from America the Beautiful and will understand the figurative language, although may be put off by the illustrations that seem more geared towards little ones. I would love to hear from any Americans who have read this book to get your take!


“Apple Pie 4th Of July” by Janet S. Wong is an awesome book. I am always awed by authors who can tackle complicated “adult” issues in the pages of a children’s book successfully. In this case the issue is 1st generation identity and immigration, at least that’s my take. The little girl in this book is sulking around her parent’s store on the 4th of July. They are busy making Chinese food for customers she is sure won’t come, who would want Chinese food on such an American holiday is her rational. Of course there are layers about her connection to her ancestral culture and her own national pride. As a proud owner of a green card and a Canadian passport I relate to this story, sure the differences are as deep or as obvious to an outsider but unlike the previous book when this book ended with fireworks I got tingles of pride for my adopted country. Fantastic book- and my son liked it too.



” M is for Maple, A Canadian Alphabet ” by Mike Ulmer. This book will make you feel proud to be from Canada if you are Canadian and teach you something about your neighbour if you are an American. It will also teach your children things about the country they live in and why we feel pride when we hear names like Terry Fox, Anne with an E and Gretzky! I love this book and have since I first read it during teacher’s college in Thunder Bay, if you can be happy about being in Canada during a very cold Thunder Bay winter you can be happy about it anywhere.