March 2010

Pirate Girl

What an awesome book! If you’ve got a family of pirate lovers who love stories about the open seas, peg legs, eye patches and people who randomly say, “Argh!” you must check out this book.

Pirate Girl is by Cornelia Funke, so those of you who may already be Funke fans already know what to expect—a message about strong, nontraditional girls doing things their own way. You might have already read her Inkheart series, or her wonderful The Princess Knight. Like those books, this picture book has a female heroine—or, rather, multiple female heroines.

Thomas Rockwell's "How to Eat Fried Worms"

Getting grossed out on a semi-regular basis is a rite of passage for kids everywhere, which is probably what makes, “How to Eat Fried Worms” by Thomas Rockwell one of the funniest (and most disgusting) children’s books ever written.

I read “How to Eat Fried Worms” as a kid and have kept it on my bookcases ever since, have re-read it more than once over the years, and have used it to attempt to scare every kid I come into contact with into eating fried worms. Fortunately, the kids were all tons smarter than I was and as hard as I tried, not a single kid  succumbed to the temptation of eating worms, no matter how delectable I tried to make it sound.

World Folk Tales and Fables Week

Don’t you just love folk tales, fairytales, and fables? The amazing creatures and adventures full of sorcery, castles, and medieval garb are what draw me in—but there’s also the scare factor the original tales carry with them. Sure, some of them are pretty sexist—but that’s what modernized tales (like JK Rowling’s Beetle the Bard) are for, right?

In honor of World Folk Tales and Fables Week, here are some fun things to do with the children in your life. Whether in the classroom, the home, at daycare, or anywhere else, folk tales and fables are sure to be fun for everyone.

Act out a fable. This is probably the most fun you could have with a fable or fairytale. Be as elaborate as you like—wear costumes, write scripts, even create a background if you want to. How much fun would it be to, say, create papier mache crow and fox masks to act out Aesop’s Fables?