Come along on a journey to eastern Africa, where elephants roam and zebras graze in the Serengeti. This is the breathtaking setting of Jerry Pinkney's wordless telling of The Lion & the Mouse, Aesop's tale that celebrates kindness and courage.
Is your young reader rambunctious and confident like a lion, or more quiet and unassuming like a mouse? The beauty of Aesop's classic tale The Lion & the Mouse is that neither of these personalities is more admirable than the other, for both are celebrated in their own way.
Winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal, The Lion & the Mouse is exquisitely illustrated in watercolors that enhance the underlying gentleness of the story. The only words are the occasional onomatopoeia of wildlife sounds as well as the putt putt of the hunters' truck. This is a book to savor and linger over and cherish. Enjoy!
In this Issue
We are bringing this week's book alive by creating the main characters of Lion and Mouse with simple puppet making activity. This method of puppet making could be used to create any characters your young reader chooses, but we felt the shape of the egg carton heads were begging to be turned into a lion and a mouse!
As with most of our activities, the decorating process is very open ended and allows your young reader's imagination and creativity to take the lead. What odds and ends will your young reader use to transform the basic puppet into their chosen character?
Egg Carton Puppets
- cardboard egg carton
- craft sticks (the wider craft sticks will be easier for little hands to work and play with)
- Variety of art supplies and recyclables
Basic Puppet Construction
- Cut one cup from an egg carton. Cut a slit the width of the craft stick or slightly smaller on one side, as show in the picture. Insert a craft stick through the slit until it touches the opposite side of the egg cup. If your puppet needs a bit more stability, you can add a bit of glue where the craft stick and cardboard meet.
- Decorate! Your young reader may choose to paint the base, or color with marker or crayons, then add details and features by drawing or gluing on odds and ends.
The puppets we are featuring were made using paint, markers, crayons, paper, felt, netting from a citrus bag, pipe cleaners, yarn, and twine.
Get up close and personal with the sights and sounds of Africa and its amazing wildlife. Young readers are sure to be fascinated with everything from lions to birds to zebras. This is a mini African safari!
Millet is one of a grain that most people have hear of but know very little about. When we discovered it is a staple crop of East Africa, we felt it would be the perfect choice for this week's recipe. In Africa, millet is commonly prepared as a porridge. To introduce your young reader to this ancient grain, try swapping in millet porridge for your usual oatmeal. We kept the recipe very simple so you can top with your favorite flavors. We used dried bananas, cinnamon, and honey and discovered a new breakfast favorite!
Millet can be found at health food stores and some well-stocked supermarkets, and also as a puffed cereal, much like puffed rice. We found it more flavorful than oatmeal, loved the texture, and are looking forward to trying it in a variety of ways, like these Millet Cakes, Millet Cookies, and Millet Muffins.
Adapted from Black.White.Vivid. Serves 2-4.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup millet
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Desired toppings such as dried or fresh fruit, cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, etc.
- Combine water and millet in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Stir in the almond milk, return to a simmer, and cook for 5 additional minutes.
- Stir in toppings and serve.
More from Off the Shelf
One Year Ago: My Heart is Like a Zoo
Two Years Ago: Beautiful Oops!
Three Years Ago: The Day It Rained Hearts
Four Years Ago: The Valentine Bears
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