Posts tagged ‘holiday’


Four Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

Welcome to the Year of the Monkey! According to lunar astrological calendar, every year in a twelve-year cycle is ruled by a different animal—and as of Lunar New Year on Monday, February 8, 2016, the monkey is in charge! The monkey’s place in the Lunar Zodiac was established in the mists of time, when the Jade Emperor decided that a different animal should rule each year and, to determine the order of the animals, challenged them all to an epic race. The monkey finished ninth, earning it the ninth place in the Lunar Zodiac. If you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, this is your year. You’re known for being happy, confident and enthusiastic, no matter what place you finish in any race!

Cherished in China, Korea and beyond, Lunar New Year is a great way to introduce the children in your life to another culture’s traditions. Here are a few kid-approved ideas for celebrating Lunar New Year:

Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

From The Great Race

Have a Lavish New Year’s Eve Dinner

Traditionally, the festival opens with a lavish New Year’s Eve dinner held in honor of deceased ancestors. This meal is a time for all living family members to come together with the deceased, creating a united community to celebrate past and present generations.

In the past, family members filled bamboo stems with gunpowder and burned them to drive evil spirits away; today, people use firecrackers instead. Each is rolled in red paper, as the color red is considered lucky.


Send Letters to Loved Ones in Red Envelopes

The use of red extends to red envelopes or red packets that are traditionally passed out during the celebrations. The packets almost always contain money­— sometimes chocolate coins— and the amount is always given in even numbers. The number eight, for instance, is considered lucky, as is the number six, because in Mandarin it sounds like the word for “smooth,” promising a smooth year.

Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

From Lin Yi's Lantern

Make a Paper Lantern

The fifteenth and final day of the celebration is commemorated with the Yuan Xiao Jie, or the “Festival of Lanterns.” Gathering under a full moon, adults and children light up the sky with their lantern displays and a lantern-carrying parade. Like the children in the photo above, learn how to make a paper lantern in the informational notes in Lin Yi’s Lantern, a gorgeously-illustrated Barefoot tale from China!

Share a Story to Learn More About the Culture!

Research shows that children (and grown-ups!) often draw incorrect conclusions about other cultures. In order to help children challenge stereotypes and develop global literacy, it’s important for adults to educate themselves and correct their own misconceptions. It’s easy to get started: just share stories from other cultures with the children in your life. It’s a great way to prompt conversations about diversity!

Keen to explore East Asian cultures? You’ll experience the excitement of a rural market in Lin Yi’s Lantern (ages 5-9), discover the warmth and wisdom of Buddhist thought in The Barefoot Book of Buddhist Tales (ages 6+) and meet “The Beggar Princess” in The Barefoot Book of Princes Stories (ages 4-9).

And, of course, be sure to watch the Jade Emperor’s epic race unfold—and find out why there is no Year of the Cat—in The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (ages 4-9). Find additional tales from China and beyond here!

Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

Want more ideas?

For more information on the traditions and customs of Lunar New Year, and for recipes and crafts you can make with the children in your life, check out our Pinterest board!

Want to find out which animal you are? Download a Lunar Calendar from The Great Race to use in your classroom, for fun at home or as a festive desktop wallpaper!

Do you have any Lunar New Year traditions? What is your Lunar zodiac animal? Share your stories in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

 


Every year, Barefoot Books selects one of their beloved illustrators to decorate the main tree at a local fundraising event*. With an emphasis on art in all that Barefoot does, our tree is a reflection of the creativity and imagination that runs through all our books. This year Rachel Griffin, illustrator of the brand-new Twelve Days of Christmas, is designing original ornaments based on her book and will be travelling all the way from England to celebrate this special event with us! Rachel’s artistic style includes hand-sewn fabric collage illustrations made from a variety of different materials and vibrant colors. Unlike most versions of Twelve Days of Christmas, she incorporates imagery from various cultures including pipers from India and drummers from Africa. Her artwork and new take on the classic story makes this the perfect book for the holiday season!

The brilliantly gifted artist is hard at work creating her decorations for this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas tree and graciously shared with us some insight into her creative process.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from books, museums, art galleries and my magpie eye always on the lookout for inspiring images.

There is so much detail in your artwork, what has the process been like for you creating these decorations?

The process has been quite straightforward forward as I am using the book I illustrated as a reference to work from, the visual and color scheme work had been done so it is just about using inspiration from the book to come up with 3-D images for each verse. I have sketched out the elements from each verse and created patterns for the birds and hearts, they seem to come together as I am sitting at my desk creating. I have all the materials I need for each verse laid out on my desk and by the time I have finished every inch of my studio is covered with materials: sequins, beads, etc.

Your art features many different materials, where do you find such interesting pieces? Which are your favorite to work with?

I find all my collections of material from travelling, going to antique markets, charity shops, and unusual shops in cities. I never buy online as part of my process is in the collecting and finding. On this project I have found some amazing wool felt which is a dream to work with and the colors are amazing.

How is decorating a Christmas tree different from illustrating a book? How is it similar?

It is very similar to how I work on my illustrations as they are 3-D, so working on the decorations has been a natural progression for me. The only difference is that it’s trying to create each verse in the same way so they hang well
together, whereas in the book they stand on their own on each page.

Do you have a favorite ornament so far?

Three French hens — I love the colors I have used and the 3-D images I have thought of to go with the three fat French Hens!

*Each year, the Concord Museum located in Concord, MA fills its galleries with over thirty uniquely decorated trees featuring artwork inspired by acclaimed children’s storybooks. If you’re in the area between November 25 through January 3, be sure to check out the exhibit for yourself! For more information about Family Trees or the Concord Museum visit www.concordmuseum.org.

Read the book that inspired the decorations!

Twelve Days of Christmas

A sparkling version of the popular Christmas song, in a new edition embossed with silvery-gold foiling and beautiful fabric illustrations by Rachel Griffin. This book includes an insightful note from the illustrator, information about the celebration of the Twelve Days of Christmas (history, including the pre-Christian tradition, and customs), and the history and meaning of the song itself.

For babies to 10 years; Hardcover ($14.99)

 


A spooky fruit and gelatin recipe straight from Dracula’s kitchen. Wash your hands before you start! Always have a grown-up in the kitchen with you when you cook. Ages 8 and up.

QUANTITY Makes 3–4 small glasses (tubs)

MATERIALS

• 1¼ oz packet unflavored gelatin (enough to set 2½ cups liquid); For a vegetarian version, use agar-agar, following the instructions on packet

• 1½ cups blueberries or blackberries, or any fruit you wish

• 2¼ cups dark red or blue berry juice (e.g. blueberry or cranberry)

• ¼ cups boiling water

KITCHEN STUFF

• Mixing bowl

• Measuring cup

• Teapot

• Tablespoon

• Containers (for gelatin)

LET’S BEGIN

1. Wash the fruit and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Put the gelatin into the measuring cup. Pour ¼ cup boiling water over the gelatin and stir carefully with a spoon, to dissolve it.

3. Add the berry juice to the dissolved gelatin so that it fills the measuring cup up to 2½ cups.

4. Divide the fruit between the containers and pour the gelatin mixture over the fruit.

5. Put Dracula’s gelatin in the fridge for about 45 minutes to set.

Tip: Add more fruit than gelatin for set fruit.

The recipe shown in the picture is of Cran-Grape juice gelatin with blackberries. Yum! Download this fun Hallowe’en recipe and more here.

Looking for more fun in the kitchen?

Encourage budding chefs to create tasty meals with 40 laminated recipe cards that feature nutritious vegetarian dishes from around the world. Unique recipes ranging from the familiar to the exotic are divided into five color-coded categories to reflect the major food groups. Simple step-by-step instructions put kids in control as they learn that cooking is more than an art — it’s a science! Includes 8-page booklet with information on nutrition, kitchen safety and terminology. This edition has been updated with even tastier recipes.


A craft to make you say “Ahhh!” Bring the friendly monsters from Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail to life with a paper plate mask! While you’re creating your mask, think about a Monster Story for your own monster. How will your monster sound? Is your monster friendly or misunderstood, like Grizzle-Tail? Let your imagination shape your mask and the story to go with it. Ages 5+

WHAT TO FIND

  • Paper Plates
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper cut into small pieces
  • Glue, tape and a stapler
  • A small bowl with some water
  • Construction paper
  • Popsicle stick
  • Any additional art supplies you have

WHAT TO DO

1. Sketch out the monster you’d like to make on a paper plate. Have an adult help you cut out holes for the eyes.

2. Put a small amount of craft glue into a dish and add water in equal parts. Stir together and paint the surface of the plate with the glue mixture. Layer your cut tissue paper onto the wet glue. Secure any loose ends or overlapping pieces with additional glue where necessary. Set aside to dry.

3. Use construction paper to cut out features for your monster, like big eyes, a nose and mouth. Create pointy teeth by cutting out lots of triangles. Add ears and horns to your creature by glueing them on the back of the plate. Use paint, pipe cleaners, puff balls and your imagination to make your monster unique.

4. Glue a popsicle stick to the bottom of your monster and reinforce with tape. Make your mask sturdier by stapling another plate to the back. Have an adult use scissors to make sure you can still see out of the eye-holes.

5. When you’re finished, walk around the house and pretend you’re a monster! Then, share your masks with us @barefootbooks on Instagram!

Ready to scare? Download the activity here.

Check out these Monster Stories perfect for the Hallowe’en season!

Meeting monsters on the page helps children realize that many of the scary things in life are less frightening than they appear — and that monsters can have feelings too! Inspire young readers with these adventures that teach courage, compassion and kindness.

Buy Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail here or get the six book set and save!


Are you looking for a fun craft to create with your children this festive season? All you need is some felt, card, ribbon and glue to make these simple decorations in the shape of a bird, dreidel, star and tree.


Last month we shared with you the exciting news about Micha Archer, illustrator of Lola’s Fandango and The Wise Fool, and her magical decorations for a 10 foot tall Christmas tree, bringing Lola’s story to life. True to the story, big sister Clementina makes an appearance on the tree as well.


Blog_JenniferWaldon

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Waldon

Adults aren’t the only ones who feel the stress of the busy holiday season. Between parties, entertaining, shopping, wrapping, decorating, hosting visitors, baking, and other festivities that go along with the winter season, it can be exhausting even to think about, never mind take part in!


Ah . . . there are few things that bring back memories more strongly than smell.  Here are some of my favorites, from the festival of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday that starts tonight and celebrates the miracle of oil lasting long enough to rebuild the Temple during the 2nd century BCE:


Spin, twirl and dazzle with these Jolly Paper Twirlies! Decorate your home for the season and create a winter wonderland for your family to enjoy. This craft is fairly easy, but make sure to help youngsters with some of the more difficult steps. Read on to see lots of photographs and learn how to make three kinds of Twirlies. It’s amazing what you can make with just seven pieces of paper!


The 18th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature at the Concord, Massachusetts Museum is quickly approaching! This year, the wonderful illustrator of Lola’s Fandango, Micha Archer, has the great honor of decorating the main tree at the exhibit. The Family Trees exhibit will be open from November 27 – January 1 and all proceeds benefit the Concord Museum’s education initiatives. If you’re in the New England area this season, bring the whole family to see Micha’s tree and dozens of others inspired by children’s stories!  If you’re not in the area, please share with those who are, it’s a real treat for children’s book lovers.