BookWalk: The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah (Revisited in Honor of the Upcoming Passover Celebration)

This BookWalk will focus on an outstanding multicultural selection, The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah.  This book was authored by Leslie Kimmelman.  Kimmelman has written several children’s books that celebrate Jewish culture and holidays and has a fun way of presenting the unique traditions that go along with them.

The story begins with the little red hen looking at her calendar and realizing that Passover is coming soon.  From there, it follows her classic tale and her repeated requests for her friends to help her with the Seder cooking chores.

You probably remember the basics of the story from this point.  Her friends scoff at her requests for help, so she has to do all of the work on her own.  She gathers the grain, plants it, harvests it, schlepps it to and from the mill, cleans the house, bakes the matzah, cooks the meal, and I guess I’ll leave the rest for your own reading pleasure.

Paul Meisel has worked with numerous authors to bring their stories to life through his illustrations and he’s done a fine job with this one.  He’s used vivid colors and created fanciful pictures that are engaging for young readers and plain fun for older ones.  I particularly like the simple way that he has demonstrated emotional expression in the eyes of all the animals.

The multicultural fun doesn’t end with the story.  Kimmelman has also included an explanation of the Passover celebration, a recipe for making matzah, and a Yiddish glossary.

Don’t stop with this Kimmelman prize.  Check out her website at www.lesliekimmelman.net and be sure to look at her latest work, The Shabbat Puppy.

As always, leave a comment below and feel free to make some BookWalk suggestions.

The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah

Leslie Kimmelman, author

Paul Meisel, illustrator

Holiday House, Inc.

ISBN:  978-0-8234-1952-4

BookWalk: Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico! Americas’ Sproutings

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I fell in love with this book at my school’s recent book fair and knew that it would be a perfect choice for a BookWalk.  It’s Yum! MmMm! Que Rico! Americas’ Sproutings.  Does this cover excite you as much as it does me?

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Pat Mora has written 14 delectable haiku about some of the most popular foods found in the Americas.  They include blueberries, chile peppers, chocolate, corn, cranberries, papayas,  peanuts, pecans, pineapples, potatoes, prickly pears, pumpkins, tomatoes, and vanilla.

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Rafael Lopez translated Mora’s words into equally tasty visions.  Lopez is known for his fabulous murals often located in large urban areas.  He has managed to bring that same wide-open freedom and bliss to the pages of this book.

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In addition to the haiku and joyous artwork, this book gives some additional information about each of the foods named.  The regional origins and histories open up perfect opportunities for further discussions.  As a matter of fact, this selection is a superb vehicle for teaching about food, history, poetry, art, and multiculturalism.

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Rush out and find this book!  I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it, too.  You might also check out the websites of the author and illustrator.  Pat Mora can be found at patmora.com and Rafael Lopez is at rafaellopez.com.

Yum! MmMm! Que Rico! Americas’ Sproutings

Haiku by Pat Mora

Pictures by Rafael Lopez

Lee and Low Books Inc.

ISBN:  978-1-58430-271-1

BookWalk: The Story of Ruby Bridges (Revisited in Honor of Black History Month)

The Story of Ruby Bridges is based on the true story of a brave young lady who, in 1960, became the first African-American child to attend a school that had previously been attended by all white children.  At the age of six years Ruby took on a challenge that most adults would have never dared to assume.

Ruby’s family was from Mississippi and her father worked in the fields until machines began doing the jobs of the men.  When he lost his job he moved Ruby, her mother, and siblings to New Orleans, Louisiana where he began working as a janitor and her mother cleaned the floors of a bank.  Regardless of where they lived or where they worked, Ruby’s parents always made faith a priority and every Sunday the family worshipped together in church.

In 1960, the schools of New Orleans were still not integrated and a judge ordered that four African-American girls begin attending white elementary schools.  Three of the girls went to one school, but Ruby was sent to the William Frantz Elementary School all by herself.

Ruby’s parents were proud of their child’s important commission and they prayed that God would strengthen them all for the days ahead.  On Ruby’s first day at her new school the President ordered that federal marshals accompany her into the school-house amid the jeers and angry picketers on the sidewalk.

The parents of the white students refused to send their children if Ruby was to be there.  Ruby faithfully attended every day and she and her teacher, Miss Hurley studied together diligently.  Miss Hurley was amazed at Ruby’s ability to walk through the angry mobs on a daily basis and still calmly and happily learn new lessons.  There’s more to the story, but I’ll let you discover that on your own when you read the book and share it with your children.

Robert Coles, a child psychiatrist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, detailed this account of Ruby’s story.  The illustrator, George Ford, has won both the Coretta Scott King Award and the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award for his visual portrayals of various works of children’s literature.

Give this one a read and please share any creative lesson activities that would accompany it.

The Story of Ruby Bridges

Robert Coles, author

George Ford, illustrator

Scholastic

ISBN:  0-590-43968-5

BookWalk: The Story of Ruby Bridges

The Story of Ruby Bridges is based on the true story of a brave young lady who, in 1960, became the first African-American child to attend a school that had previously been attended by all white children.  At the age of six years Ruby took on a challenge that most adults would have never dared to assume. 

Ruby’s family was from Mississippi and her father worked in the fields until machines began doing the jobs of the men.  When he lost his job he moved Ruby, her mother, and siblings to New Orleans, Louisiana where he began working as a janitor and her mother cleaned the floors of a bank.  Regardless of where they lived or where they worked, Ruby’s parents always made faith a priority and every Sunday the family worshipped together in church. 

In 1960, the schools of New Orleans were still not integrated and a judge ordered that four African-American girls begin attending white elementary schools.  Three of the girls went to one school, but Ruby was sent to the William Frantz Elementary School all by herself. 

Ruby’s parents were proud of their child’s important commission and they prayed that God would strengthen them all for the days ahead.  On Ruby’s first day at her new school the President ordered that federal marshals accompany her into the school-house amid the jeers and angry picketers on the sidewalk.

The parents of the white students refused to send their children if Ruby was to be there.  Ruby faithfully attended every day and she and her teacher, Miss Hurley studied together diligently.  Miss Hurley was amazed at Ruby’s ability to walk through the angry mobs on a daily basis and still calmly and happily learn new lessons.  There’s more to the story, but I’ll let you discover that on your own when you read the book and share it with your children. 

Robert Coles, a child psychiatrist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, detailed this account of Ruby’s story.  The illustrator, George Ford, has won both the Coretta Scott King Award and the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award for his visual portrayals of various works of children’s literature.

Give this one a read and please share any creative lesson activities that would accompany it. 

The Story of Ruby Bridges

Robert Coles, author

George Ford, illustrator

Scholastic

ISBN:  0-590-43968-5

BookWalk: The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah

This BookWalk will focus on an outstanding multicultural selection, The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah.  This book was authored by Leslie Kimmelman.  Kimmelman has written several children’s books that celebrate Jewish culture and holidays and has a fun way of presenting the unique traditions that go along with them. 

The story begins with the little red hen looking at her calendar and realizing that Passover is coming soon.  From there, it follows her classic tale and her repeated requests for her friends to help her with the Seder cooking chores.

You probably remember the basics of the story from this point.  Her friends scoff at her requests for help, so she has to do all of the work on her own.  She gathers the grain, plants it, harvests it, schlepps it to and from the mill, cleans the house, bakes the matzah, cooks the meal, and I guess I’ll leave the rest for your own reading pleasure. 

Paul Meisel has worked with numerous authors to bring their stories to life through his illustrations and he’s done a fine job with this one.  He’s used vivid colors and created fanciful pictures that are engaging for young readers and plain fun for older ones.  I particularly like the simple way that he has demonstrated emotional expression in the eyes of all the animals.

The multicultural fun doesn’t end with the story.  Kimmelman has also included an explanation of the Passover celebration, a recipe for making matzah, and a Yiddish glossary. 

Don’t stop with this Kimmelman prize.  Check out her website at www.lesliekimmelman.net and be sure to look at her latest work, The Shabbat Puppy

As always, leave a comment below and feel free to make some BookWalk suggestions. 

The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah

Leslie Kimmelman, author

Paul Meisel, illustrator

Holiday House, Inc.

ISBN:  978-0-8234-1952-4