January 2014

Celebrate Chinese New Year

by On January 29, 2014 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Reading, Recipes

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<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/spot/chinesenewyear1.html" target="_blank">Chinese New Year</a> is celebrated on January 31 this year, and marks the beginning of the Chinese year 4712. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar calendar, with the new year beginning on the darkest day of the month. New years celebrations often go as long as two weeks, until the next full moon. And a celebratory holiday it is, with red decorations, good-luck gifts of oranges and money, parades with dragon dances and firecrackers, and special foods.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Chinese1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-5825 " alt="Chinese New Year" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Chinese1-300×197.jpg" width="300" height="197" /></a> Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This year is the Year of the Horse. See a <a href="http://www.chinesenewyears.info/chinese-new-year-calendar.php" target="_blank">Chinese zodiac calendar</a>.? Try one of these fun Chinese New Year crafts or activities:<!–more–>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://artchoo.com/chinese-new-year-activities/" target="_blank">Chinese horse character writing and painting</a> from Artchoo</li>
<li><a href="http://www.craftiments.com/2014/01/chinese-new-year-paper-cutting-for-kids.html" target="_blank">Year of the Horse paper cutting</a> from Craftiments</li>
<li><a href="http://www.teachkidsart.net/gung-hey-fat-choy-happy-chinese-new/" target="_blank">Paper dragon</a> from Kids Teach Art</li>
<li><a href="http://craftsandartforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/01/chinese-new-year-party-crafts-for-kids.html" target="_blank">Paper Plate drums</a> from Crafts and Art for Children</li>
<li><a href="http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/2014/01/gung-hay-fat-choy-happy-chinese-new-year" target="_blank">Paper lanterns</a> from Slow Family Online</li>
<li><a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/fortune-cookies-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">Homemade fortune cookies</a> from Food Network</li>
<li><a href="http://www.recipebyphoto.com/fruit-roll-up-fortune-cookies/" target="_blank">Fruit roll-up fortune cookies</a> from Recipe by Photo</li>
<li><a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273591/felt-fortune-cookies" target="_blank">Felt fortune cookies</a> from Martha Stewart</li>
</ul>
Of course, there are plenty of books to help you celebrate and learn about Chinese New Year and other cultural holidays from around the world.

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year!

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Bookboard is Celebrating Take Your Child to the Library Day!

by On January 24, 2014 in General

In celebration of the third annual Take Your Child to the Library Day, we are partnering with over 400 libraries throughout the United States and Canada to encourage families to visit their local libraries. All participating libraries are hosting special events that include story times, musical performances, scavenger hunts, art activities and giveaways to celebrate reading and create more awareness about literacy and what local libraries have to offer children and families. This year’s festivities will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014.

TYCTTLD2014

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Kids and MLK Day – 1 Reflection, 4 Resources

by On January 20, 2014 in General, Holidays

Kindergarten art for MLK Day Credit: Diana Dull Akers

Kindergarten art for MLK Day
Credit: Diana Dull Akers

I saved the Martin Luther King Day projects my daughter Hope did in kindergarten last year. For one, they are endearing. There’s the construction paper portrait of King with crazy huge eyes, or her best-penmanship statement at age 5 that she dreamt of a world where people wouldn’t litter.

But I’ll also save these — and future MLK Day projects — ?because they chronicle my daughter’s emerging understanding of challenging topics. What will she understand about King’s legacy at age 8, 10, or 15?

Last month, we explored an outdoor MLK art installation in San Francisco. There were King quotes etched in stone and photos of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

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New Year? New Books!

by On January 17, 2014 in Childrens Books, Reading

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We know the New Year is a time to do a little searching and self-inventory. Our latest crop of new books is themed around that search:

<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_b227a7b5170558e0756f0/index.html?embed=true" height="440" width="650"></iframe><!–more–>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_b227a7b5170558e0756f0/index.html?selectedBookID=485">Ace Lacewing</a> is a bug detective searching for clues – we’ve got a couple of great books in the series.</li>
<li><a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_b227a7b5170558e0756f0/index.html?selectedBookID=487">The Making of a Knight</a> gives a glimpse into the life of a young paige on his way to becoming a knight.</li>
<li><a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_b227a7b5170558e0756f0/index.html?selectedBookID=486">Pirate Bob</a> contemplates the meaning of happiness.</li>
<li><a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_b227a7b5170558e0756f0/index.html?selectedBookID=489">Forward Shakespeare</a> tells the story of a teenager who loses his sight, but learns to live a new kind of life with the help of his seeing-eye dog.</li>
</ul>
We’ve also included a new crop of Smithsonian nature books for all the animal lovers out there. There’s plenty to unlock and explore, so get your kids’ years started with a resolution to keep reading!

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Confessions of a Weather Wimp

by On January 9, 2014 in General

Is that a storm brewing over the Golden Gate bridge? credit: kconnors. morguefile.com. http://mrg.bz/Ebk1ZT

Is that a storm brewing over the Golden Gate bridge?
credit: kconnors. morguefile.com. http://mrg.bz/Ebk1ZT

 

While I’ve always been proud to be a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, I have a confession: overall, we’re a population of weather wimps around here. It’s a bit embarrassing.

Sure, we’re aware of the comparative weather realities faced by folks in other regions: the frigid winters, the need to dig through snow to reach your cars or front doors. We appreciate that your winter storms include lightening, thunder, giant hail, and knock-you-down winds. Heck, millions of you just earned your “I-Survived-The-Polar-Vortex-of-2014″ medals. It’s impressive, to be sure.

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New Year, Ongoing Resolution (reading with my kid!)

by On January 6, 2014 in General, Reading

It's that time of year for resolutions!

It’s that time of year for resolutions!
Credit: credit: efi; morguefile.com. http://mrg/bz/n1YI8o

This morning I read an article describing the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions, according to a Harris poll. All the usual suspects you’d expect to see were there, from better eating to quitting smoking. The clever spin? Each was paired with an app that might help folks achieve these well-intended, frequently abandoned resolutions. For example:

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Sweet Holidays: From Divinity to Flaming Snowballs

by On January 2, 2014 in General, Holidays, Recipes

Making divinity Credit: Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright via Wikimedia Commons

Making divinity
Credit: Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright via Wikimedia Commons

As a child, I used to love hanging out in my grandmother’s large, gleaming white kitchen. Helping her bake and cook was always fun, but I was also on a mission to get into the walk-in pantry.

It housed the canned and dried goods you’d expect, but also a special round, red tin. It once held commercial cookies, but was now used for Grandma’s superior efforts: dainty sugar cookies, rich date nut bars, dark chocolate fudge. The item I longed for most only appeared at the holidays: grandma’s divinity.

These imperfectly shaped white mounds of velvety, sugary goodness were like no other candy I’d ever had. I used to call them “sweet clouds.”

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