Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Favorite Cinderella...

I've always loved the feminist versions of Cinderella, like Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson, Cindy Ellen by Susan Lowell, and others along the same vein, but this week found my very favorite Cinderella story — an amalgamation of the tale from 17 different countries, blended together beautifully in one book by amazing folk art illustrations on each page.

This book, by Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis shows Cinderella in Korea, Japan, Laos, Germany, Ireland, Iraq, France, West Indies, Mexico, India and Appalachia (among others)... the girl called Ashpet, Sootface, Cendrillon . . . and Cinderella.

It's a well-crafted story, but for me, the art by Paschkis makes the book, and after looking her up, I realized why... I love many of the other books that she's illustrated. Check them out right here.

This version focuses on her good nature, good attitude, and the good ending that comes of it all. A beautiful book with a map of the world (and the countries that the stories originate from) on the endpapers. A beautiful book. Another one that will have to eventually be added to our own home library!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kids in the Kitchen

Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen, and Katzen's newer, Salad People are excellent cookbooks to use with preschoolers. Our two-year-old, Erik loves these books and they are equally appealing to adults.

Each recipe is spread over four pages, with ingredients, tips, set up and "kids tasks" all laid out, including a two-page spread for each recipe that shows the recipe steps by illustration (easy for kids to "read" the recipe as they follow along).

Fun, colorful veggie and fruit, soup, bread, breakfast "cookies," etc. recipes are good, healthy, real food NOT "kid food" full of sugar or the odd standbys of hot dog creations or mac and cheese.

We already bought Salad People, and gave another copy away as a birthday gift to friends. Pick these books up - they're great!

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