Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families…

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families…

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! My pick for today is A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat

a fine desert

Title:  A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat

Written by Emily Jenkins   

Illustrated by: Sophie Blackall

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (January 2015)

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: food history, American history, family, historical genealogy, geography, technology

Brief Synopsis: Follow four families over four centuries make the same blackberry fool dessert. The book opens in 1710 in England and the reader sees the mother and daughter picking the blackberries, beating the cream from their cow with twigs. Fast forward a hundred years to 1810 in South Carolina, then 1910 in Boston and finally to San Diego today.

Opening pages:  “A bit more than three hundred years ago in an English town called Lyme, a girl and her mother picked wild blackberries.

Their hands turned purple with the juice.

The thorns of the berry bushes pricked the fabric of their long skirts.

Why I like this book: As a family historian I spend a great deal of time researching and rummaging through genealogical records.  This book is a delightful and can be used in so many ways to introduce change over four centuries. Kids are introduced to technological advances that affected the daily lives of people. Every hundred years a new kitchen tool is used to make the cream- twigs,  a wire whisk, a rotary beater, and finally an electric mixer that affects the time it takes to prepare it. They also see sociological change through the family units presented. The illustrations show the evolution of the family over four centuries from high society, slave society, to a more middle class society that becomes more inclusive and less formal.

The author and illustrator include notes about their research lagniappe for any teacher or researcher. And of course there’s a recipe for blackberry fool!

Resources: A Fine Dessert Poster and Activities (with CCSS tie-ins) is available on the Random House website here.

For more of today’s book reviews, go to author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page.

The King Cake Baby

The King Cake Baby

Thanks to Video Production by Carrie Charley Brown!

 

World Read Aloud Day

World Read Aloud Day

I celebrated World Read Aloud Day reading The King Cake Baby at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in their Seacrest Studio. Cincinnati Children’s is one of eight locations that has a studio funded by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.

The mission of the foundation is to build broadcast media centers within pediatric hospitals with the belief that creativity found in media like radio and television can have a positive effect upon children and their parents during the time spent in the hospital. Access to stimulating multimedia can entertain patients  and give them respite from thinking about a procedure, or treatment, or length of stay away from home.

There is no better gift than receiving a smile from a child!

1513776_1791893487702547_5242235562928099493_n 11044613_1791893521035877_1732037618274225474_n

The King Cake Baby says, “It’s story time!”

 11046614_1791893551035874_490114087661314562_n   scan0003a