love in a time of...roast chicken?!?!

Found out, upon arrival at work the other day, that my Fall programs, which I have not yet planned, were to be planned out so that the info about the programs could go into the Fall Newsletter which is going out to the printer this week. I had my work cut out for me—I wanted the themes to be cool and really well laid out since I hated the projects and lack of consistency in theme that was already scheduled for my program when I hired in.

I had a sort of idea rolling around in my head as far as my twice monthly kids. I really like trying to covertly get the children doing “school work-ish” things instead of just reading some books and doing some lame art projects. I don’t mean like writing lines or anything, I mean activities that really make the kids think and actually learn something. So, my theme for this group is going to be focusing on Ancient Civilizations and I came up with some really fun art projects that I am looking forward to, like making a model Egyptian sarcophagus and a sugar cube Aztec pyramid. I am really excited for these projects.

Also, equally fun will be the other group that I work with this fall. This group—of upper-age elementary kids—will be my future Iron Chefs. We will meet bi-monthly and each session will look at a different country and make a dessert native to that country. So, not only will the kids get to experience some on-hands cooking, but also learn something about that country in the process. While the dessert is cooking (or cooling) we are also going to read a folktale native to that region. Obviously I have chosen simple recipes…we aren’t going to try and make soufflĂ© for Heaven’s sake! I hope it goes well. But, I guess I won’t know if I don’t try. Kevin Costner once said,” Failure is an underrated experience in America…people are so afraid of failing that they don’t even try.” And I think he’s right. This coming from a man who knows failure like he does (come on Waterworld!!), I’m sure he’s right.

The idea of incorporating folktales into the cooking program came to me this week after I checked out and started reading various folktale stories that I have never heard of. It just seemed right to pair two things that really speak to a specific region—the food its people eat and the strange tales that they spin.

Anyway, below are some pics of the covers and some of the pictures inside. One thing that I love about folktales for kids is that they incorporate really great pictures done in the style of the region that the story is about. Another thing I realized…there is some freaky shit out there. Check out the pics below. Ignore that the date on the pics is 2004, got a new digital camera and still need to change that.

This picture is from the book called Ghouls and Monster. All the pictures in the book scared the hell out of me. I can't even imagine reading this book as a little kid.

From the book called Ghouls and Monster.

From the book called Ghouls and Monster.

Spider spins a story is an anthology of Native American stories that all have--you guessed it!--a spider as the focal point. I never realized how spiders are so important to Native American storytelling. This book will be cool for the older kids during summer reading, since our theme is Insects.

I have to say my favorite so far is Love and Roast Chicken—so funny!

The pictures in this book are awesome!

I love that the moral of the story in Stone Soup is working together to have a good end product. Definitely a new favorite book!

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