Today is Chinese New Year! Traditionally, the night before Chinese New Year, Chinese families will gather around and eat dinner together, much like this plate from the LEE & LOW title, Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic:
Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic author and illustrator Ginnie and Beth Lo were kind enough to share one of their favorite soybean recipes with us: Mapo Tofu! While not a traditional Chinese New Year dish, the Lo sisters say that “mapo tofu is a Lo family favorite that we eat on the holidays, Christmas, and Chinese New Year.”
On Thanksgiving, everyone looks forward to the turkey. Valentine’s Day is the time for chocolate. During Chinese New Year, one of the most popular dish is one called jai, or Buddha’s Delight.
Jai is a vegetarian dish and is eaten on the first day of Chinese New Year to bring good luck. According to Buddhist tradition, no animal or fish should be killed on the first day of the lunar new year, thus, a dish with lots of vegetables is considered purifying.
While most of the ingredients are probably not available at your local grocery store, they can be found at Asian grocery stores in many parts of the country.
The Lee & Low office is closed today because of the storm, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Sandy and the rain, wind, and flooding that she brought with her.
Drummer Boy of John John illustrator Frané Lessac has shared instructions on how to make masks for Halloween and Carnival, but they work just as well as a Hurricane craft for those still cooped up and looking for something to do, as most things can be found around the house or replaced easily with household items.
Enjoy, and stay safe and dry!
Want to win a signed copy of Puffling Patrol by Ted and Betsy Lewin? Join us for our puffling scavenger hunt!
Puffling Patrol takes place in the Westman Islands off the coast of Iceland, where hundreds of thousands of puffins gather every spring. These small black-and-white seabirds spend their time caring for their newly hatched chicks, who are ready for sea by the end of summer.
But sometimes the baby puffins, or pufflings, get confused by the street lights and find themselves lost in the town’s streets. That’s when The Puffling Patrol gets to work, carefully searching for the confused little birds to help them to the ocean. In Puffling Patrol, Ted and Betsy Lewin accompany two of the youngest members, Erna and Dáni, as they rescue the stranded pufflings.
For the last installment in our series on Sensational Summer Read Alouds, literacy expert Jaclyn DeForge shares one final title that has a high student-interest level, can be used to hit multiple Common Core learning standards, and is super rich in terms of content, just like A Full Moon is Rising and Silent Star.
Today’s Pick: Balarama: A Royal Elephant
For the next installment in our series on Sensational Summer Read Alouds, here’s another title that has a high student-interest level, can be used to hit multiple Common Core learning standards, and is super rich in terms of content.
Today’s Pick: A Full Moon is Rising
Written and Illustrated by: Marilyn Singer
Genre: poetry & informational text
Hook: Your homework: stay up late and look up at the night sky.
It’s almost as if Marilyn Singer anticipated the Common Core when she wrote this collection, which is probably why Book Links named it one of their 2011 Lasting Connections titles. The poetry can definitely be used to teach some key literature standards, but the content is so clearly science and social studies related! She also includes amazing maps and an incredibly informative “About the Poems” section that gives further information about the content covered in each poem.
In celebration of July 4th and all of summer’s fun activities, I asked a few Lee & Low authors and staff members what their favorite beach reads are. I’m sure it was difficult to pick just three, but here’s what they came up with:
Don Tate, author of It Jes’ Happened, says: “Reading here has been slow lately. But here’s what’s tops on my summer reading list, books written by friends and critique partners in my local writing community.”
- Laugh With The Moon by Shana Burg
- Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith
- Think Big by Liz Garton Scanlon
Jaclyn DeForge, our Resident Literacy Expert, explains why she made her choices:“During the summer, despite my best intentions, I seldom actually make it to the beach, so here are my favorite travel-centric reads that help me imagine I’m on vacation.”
- A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful by Gideon Lewis-Krauss