May 26, 2015

5 {Favorite} Caldecott Medal Winning Storybooks and Activities too!

It's time for another month of books for the Poppins Book Club. This month we had the pleasure of diving into the world of Caldecott Medal Winners! It was a lot of fun to research all the books that have won the award (named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott and given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children) and to see what titles received the highest honor since its creation in 1938. I picked a collection of winners to read with the boys and to share with you--books that are rapidly becoming favorites, if they weren't already!
Favorite Caldecott Medal Winning Storybooks and Activities

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I'm going to share the 5 books that we found and read this month in order (backwards) of the year they won. I've linked up various crafts, activities, and/or lapbooks to go with each selection, so you can turn these books into larger exciting studies!

What Did We Read?

by Dan Santat

The story begins on an island where imaginary friends are born. One day a special friend is born and he patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child...but time after time he is overlooked. So he decides to set out on an adventure to find his real child and to finally get his name, Beekle!

What a lovely book! We had the pleasure of reading it during storytime at the library the very day I went to collect the books I needed for this month. The boys LOVED it and the illustrations were so vibrant and intensely gorgeous! The story was so sweet too. Definitely one to snag from the library and well deserving of it's win.

Activity Ideas: 
*I would also give my boys a collection of craft items and let them cut, paint, glue and paste an imaginary friend into existence.

And if you needed another reason to check out this is the trailer:

Locomotive (2014)
By Brian Floca

The book traces the advent of cross-country train travel, focusing on an early trip from Omaha to Sacramento. It is RICH with history as it traces the beginning of the transcontinental railroad and it's migration to the west. You will follow the track west and it will point out many important milestones and landmarks along the way.

We love this book. We actually first discovered it back when we were studying Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for the May 2014 Poppins Book Nook. You can see photos from the book on my post from last year to give you a sense of the fun this book has to offer. It's the perfect tie-in for any transcontinental railroad unit study.

Activity Ideas:
*Train Fingerprint Craft by Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
*Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft from Kids Activities Blog
* Could work in a geography unit where you trace on a map the journey of this train

The Biggest Bear (1953)
by Lynd Ward

Johnny Orchard was out one day in the woods, when he stumbled upon a playful bear cub. He decided he was going to raise it as a pet. See the melee that occurs as this "tiny" pet grows up and visits the neighbors!

What a darling little book! It is much more basic...back in the time of hand drawn pen and ink drawings and that is the style. The characters' facial expressions are brilliantly executed and they tell the story so well, words weren't even really needed. My boys especially loved this one and read it over and over again. If I had a printer that was working at the time, we were going to do the lapbook (see below) that goes with this book.

Activity Ideas:
*Kids Bear Craft Using a Fork from Crafty Morning
*Biggest Bear Unit Lapbook
*I would also suggest considering lessons on gun safety with this book.

The Little House (1943)
by Virginia Lee Burton

This is a darling little story about a little family cottage that gradually finds itself surrounded by the big city. The house has a very expressive face in windows, and it is a treat to see time go by, by simply observing the people and "technology" in each scene.

We own this book. We own almost all her books because they are so worthwhile. This book is just darling and the boys read it over and over again. They enjoy hunting for little things in the illustrations (like the little boys skinny dipping!) and they enjoy saying the words along with me.

Activity Ideas:
*The Little House Unit Study Lesson and Lapbook
*The Little House Craft by Creative Family Fun
*I would also suggest letting them watch this Disney short based on the story!

Make Way for Ducklings (1942)
by Robert McCloskey

Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live.  The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston.  But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arrive safely at their new home.

Oh, what is not to love about this classic book?? We've read it countless times, but we needed to read it again! We love ducks and especially ducklings--and since we are actually considering OWNING ducks here shortly, we enjoyed reading the story that much more. It's a pleasure to read and the rhyming names of the little ducklings is a tongue twister to be sure!

Activity Ideas:
(There are so MANY activities for this book! Simply do a search of the title on Pinterest and you are set--but here are some of my favorites!)
*Make Way for Ducklings Unit Study and Lapbook
*Ducks Lapbook
*Sensory Bin for Make Way for Ducklings by Wildflower Ramblings
*Paper Plate Duck Craft from Crafty Morning

If you want to see more....

Here is a complete list of all the Caldecott Medal Winners by year from 1938 to Present. You can also see the silver medal winners (the runners up) listed. They are equally worthwhile to check out! I liked finding the older books because the illustrations are SO different from the contemporary winners. Our library has most of the winners, and we will be continuing to check them out to enjoy!

Another place to learn more about them, are from my fellow collaborators! I'm sure that they covered even MORE of the books that I didn't even mention (which is a LOT), so make sure you visit them too!

Bring a Caldecott Honor Book to Life Giveaway!

Why not have some fun crafting your way through some pretty yarn fun crafts while bringing a Caldecott Honor Book to life this month in the Poppins Book Nook?! Every month this group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month.

This month one lucky entrant will win the Bring a Caldecott Honor Book to Life Giveaway. The winner will enjoy two fun Caldecott Honor Book themed learning items. The two items that they will win is the Extra Yarn storybook by author Mac Barnett and a fun Yarn Craft Kit by Alex Toys. So let’s all get to reading to Bring a Caldecott Honor Book to Life this month with the Poppins Book Nook!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple and conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.

Just enter the PromoSimple below to win:

Before you leave, I'd love to ask for you to share YOUR posts about any of the books on the Caldecott Medal Winners list--share them so we can come check them out!

I find it intriguing to look at the books that are selected each year for the Caldecott Medal and ponder how the style has changed over the years. There really isn't just one style that is chosen repeatedly, but a true collection of mediums and design! Every book is a joy to read again and again and it will be a pleasure to continue to seek the rest of the books on the list out!
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May 25, 2015

Poppins Book Nook for May...coming soon!

I am running behind bear with me as I get my post up for this month!

While you wait, here is a great list of my fellow collaborators who I'm sure will have some great books and activities to share!

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May 21, 2015

Fresh from the Kitchen: 5 Tasty Marinade and Rub Recipes

I'm tickled to share with you a guest post from Jessica who blogs at Jebbica's World! She is going to help kick off a great BBQ season with a collection of her favorite homemade rubs and marinades!

Summer is fast-approaching, and that means that it’s...grilling season! Here are some great rubs and marinades that are perfect for your grilled meats and vegetables!

1. Bakers’ House Seasoning

This is super simple to throw together and tastes great on everything! This is my sister’s recipe and is named after her family.

• 1 cup salt
• ¼ cup ground black pepper
• 1/8 cup garlic powder
• 1/8 cup onion powder

2. JJ’s Steak Marinade

We’ve tried a lot of fancy steak marinades over the years, but we always end up going back to this one, because it really adds to a medium-cooked steak without overpowering it. Let’s face it—we want the steak to be the star!

• 1 cup red wine
  (we use whatever we have, which is usually a Cabernet or Malbec…and it’s totally okay to use one that’s maybe been open and sitting in the fridge a few days that might not taste so great by itself!)
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• ¼ balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup spicy mustard
• 1 tbsp minced garlic (or 1 clove minced)
• 1 tsp horseradish
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp cracked black pepper

Mix ingredients together and pour into a heavy-duty plastic food bag (gallon freezer bags work well). Place steak in bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, flipping bag a time or two in between. Keep the marinade to baste the steak when you’re grilling!

3. JJ’s Grilled Veggie Skewer Marinade

Try this with meat, or without!

• ½ cup olive oil
• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 2 tbsp spicy mustard
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp cracked black pepper

4. “Jude’s Butt Rub”

Great for just about any kind of meat or BBQ! This is my sister’s recipe and is named after my little nephew, Jude.

• ¼ cup kosher salt
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 1/8 cup paprika
• 2 tbsp chili powder
• 2 tbsp onion powder
• 2 tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground ginger

5. JJ’s Wasabi Rub

This is somewhere in between a marinade and a dry rub. It creates a kind of paste that you can baste onto burgers, chops, seafood, and more! It seems like it would be spicy, but in the end it creates this kind of tangy crust that really lends itself well to grilled meats.

• ½ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup wasabi paste
• ½ cup balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup horseradish
• ¼ cup spicy mustard
• 1/8 cup Old Bay seasoning
• 2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
• 1 tsp cracked black pepper

Mix everything together and rub into the outside of the meat of your choice. 
Will turn black-ish when grilled!

Want to print these off for later? 

What are your favorite go-to rubs and marinades for the grilling season? 
Which of these sounds the most tasty to you?

Meet my guest blogger:

Jessica Bowman is a grilling fanatic…at least when it comes to the eating part! She makes grilling a regular part of her healthy weight loss journey in the warmer months and integrates many grilled foods into her healthy lifestyle. So far, she has lost over 50 of 75 lbs! 

Follow her journey and check out other helpful healthy tips at Jebbica’s World and make sure you come find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ to keep up with her adventures!