Monday, 10 June 2013

Hop on into Two Furry Cute Reads.

Freckles the Bunny Series by Vickianne Caswell Illustrated by Allissa Thompson.
Book 1. Freckles is Scared of School. Freckles the Bunny Series, Book # 1: Freckles is Scared of Schoo
Change can be a frightening thing, particularly when you are small and use to staying home with mum, being able to play all day with familiar toys. When Freckles learns it is time to start school, like any child who is afraid of the unknown Freckles is rather apprehensive.
This is a delightful story about how to manage that feat. As Freckles meets her teacher and makes new friends she learns that school is not the scary place that she imagined it to be afterall. We are introduced to some cute furry friends that are not all necessarily bunnies. Each have their own little quirky traits, like the duck name Donut that runs around in circles all the time, or Dreamy who always falls asleep, they are wonderful concepts that bring memorable life to each individual character.
This is a great book for parents to read to their pre-schoolers to help prepare them for the beginning of the school year, or for teachers to read-aloud during those initial anxious first weeks of Kindergarten. Wonderfully written and illustrated in delightful animal characters this tale will find its way into the hearts of pre-school aged children everywhere.
Book 2. Freckles And The Less Fortunate. Freckles the Bunny Series, Book # 2: Freckles and the Less Fortu
The heartwarming story of how Freckles learns to give and share with those that are not as comfortable as her own family. Like most kids, Freckles wants everything she sees when she goes shopping with her mum and doesn’t understand why she can’t have what she asks for. It isn’t until a new clasmate arrives that barely has enough food for lunch or toys of her own to play with that Freckles realsies how lucky she really is.
The generosity and kindness in this story is so touching that it nearly brought me to tears. Beautifully written and illustrated it is an excellent read-aloud story for the whole family to enjoy and treasure. Children will learn in a gently guided atmosphere that to give is better than to receive as they read how happy Freckles and her family are when they are able to help other families that are not doing as well as themselves.
Stay tuned for more in this gorgeous little series. I am sure that it is just the beginning as Freckles still has so much more to learn and share with children young and old.
Author Vickianne Caswell. Vicianne Caswell
Vickianne Caswell is married and has one daughter, who has an amazing gift with animals (all animals wild or tame seem to love her). Vickianne was raised an animal lover, in the city and continues to pass that on to her daughter. Vickianne hopes to pass the love and joy of animals to other children through these books. She has been doing writing at home since she was a teenager, after her father got her interested in writing  when he published a poem. She has done a few articles for a small paper on animal care and continues to experience the joy of pet ownership on an acreage where her family lives. New characters may appear, as new animals enter their lives, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

16 Simple Steps to Cook a Gingerbread Alien.

Have fun cooking your very own Gingerbread Aliens.
Ask an adult to help you.
Take some photos of your yummy creations and send them in, I’d love to post them here.:) P1060339
  • 125g softened butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups self raising flour (gluten free flour also works)
  • 1 tbls ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • snakes, jubes, sultanas, honey to decorate (may also use gluten free jellies) 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat sugar and golden syrup together in a large bowl until creamy.
  4. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  5. Add the flour, ginger, cinamon and cloves, stit with a wooden spoon until combined.
  6. Use your hand to knead until smooth.
  7. Cover and rest in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  8. Divide the dough into 2 portions.
  9. Roll one portion out on a lightly floured surface to about 4-5mm thickness.
  10. Use a 12cm gingerbread man pastry cutter to cut out shapes.
  11. Reshape the head by pushing in the sides to elongate and make more tiangular.
  12. Alternatively for those more creative, do not use a cutter, use a blunt kitchen knife to shape by cutting freehand.
  13. Use a skewer to poke two holes for nostrils and draw a thin line for a mouth.
  14. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes.
  15. As soon as gingerbread aliens come out of oven, decorate with sultanas and honey together for brains, snakes for intestines and lollies for eyes. Aliens need to be hot for lollies to stick while cooling.
  16. Repeat with remaining dough, rolling and re-rolling gingerbread.
These gorgeous treats were made by Peter and Emma. There mum said “I just have to stop the kids eating too many aliens at once! They are still decorating some today so it was a good school holiday activity.”
Thanks Helen, I’m glad Peter and Emma had so much fun reading the book and making their very own gingerbread aliens. :)
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Submitted by Sean who says, “I made these for school during Book Week. They were very yummy and a huge success!”
Thanks Sean, I adore the glowing alien he looks rather scrumptious! So pleased the kids in your class enjoyed eating them as much as you enjoyed making them! :)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Saddle Up for an Amazingly Entertaining Read

photo2Cover picWhether you are young or merely young at heart this is a story to delight. Told through the wise old eyes of “Pie An Old Brown Horse” (That Knows What He Is Doing), you will ride through the world of stables and Equestrian competitions, caring for people and animals alike. Let Pie nuzzle up by your side and whisper in your ear as you read his amazing tale.
Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo allows Pie to come to life as he personally tells his story from being a deserted old work horse left to rot in a paddock forgotten and unloved to becoming  rescued to live out his days caring for others and by others in stables where the “Keeper” is a compassionate and hard working woman who will do anything to take care of the animals within her charge.
Horse lovers will adore this story as will any child contemplating taking care of their very own horse. City childern who have never had the opportunity to experience raising or working with animals will get a feel for country life and empathise with these majestic animals. Country kids will relate to the difficulties and joys of working with and taking care of animals every day.
Pie makes you develop compassion for the horses under the care of ‘The keeper” as he carefully and profoundly explains how each horse gradually came to find themselves at the stables. The revelations of how some of the previous owners treated them can be quite shocking and devastating.
There are also moments of surprise and joy as Pie gently steers his “little one” through her childhood, helping her to grow in confidence and strength. Once she becomes a teenager and moves on in the world, Pie fears he is no longer needed again until he realises the importance of becomg a therapy horse to other children in need of special care. It is very touching to read what a signifant difference he makes in the lives of autistic children simply by allowing them to ride such a gentle natured soul.
Entwined through Pie’s amazing life story are not only the tales of the other lovable horses like Flurry, a skittish little mare that is frightened by nearly everything that moves and Dusty the dark gelding that is head of the herd, but chickens that roosted in Rebel’s stall  as he enjoyed their company. You will also meet the stray cat and her adorable kittens that came in search of shelter and found a family and the overly large racoon that began to eat the chickens but the keeper was not game enough to tangle with him so a compromise was reached and he was happily fed cat food everyday thereafter.
This is a story of survival, courage,  companionship and true friendship between horses and people who care and love them. So saddle up and allow Pie to take you on a journey, at times it is like a stroll through an open feild on a breezy summer day, other times it is a gallop through a wintry storm or a fun canter along a winding trail but no matter what the weather, it is all one heck of a ride!
Author Kandy Kay Scaramuzza.  photo3
Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo is a seventh generation Texan who has her own brick at The Cowgirl Museum. She has taught in alternative education for over twenty years. Ms.Scaramuzzo is a member of the 2012 Strathmore’s Who’s Who. She has a BA in Criminology and MAedCT. She works in horse, dog, cat and snake rescues. Ms. Scaramuzzo has been a tester observer for therapy dogs for nine years. She ran a therapy horse riding program for autistic children for five years. She has been a recognized animal behaviorist for over 20 years. This is her first book about an exceptional horse. She feels it is important to give back to maintain the balance of a civilized society.