Finding similarities and differences when reading fairy tales from around the world hones kids’ critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards:
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures (RL.2.9.).
There are many reasons to read fairy tales to children- especially because they’re whimsical, creative, and fun! Today we’re looking at Gingerbread stories. Continue reading
Posted in Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Europe, Food, France, Ireland, Literature, Mexico, Norway, Russia, The Americas, UK, United States
Tagged fairy tales, fiction children's books, folktales, Gingerbread Man stories
It’s that time again! This month for “Around the World in 12 Dishes” we visit the green island of IRELAND!!
When I was very pregnant with Maya, and Vivi was 2.5 years old, our family took an unforgettable trip to the gorgeous country of Ireland. We toured up and down the west coast: from County Mayo and Achill Island, through the Cliffs of Moher, down to Killarney National Park- with a quick trip to the east side to visit Dublin. It was an amazing trip of emerald green landscapes, grey stone castles and churches, and dramatic shorelines looking over the Atlantic. Continue reading
Scones in the garden, with strawberries and an Easter egg:)
Scones (either rhyming with “Jones” or “John’s”) are fluffy, buttery quick breads that are originally from the Britain and Ireland area. There are plenty of legends claiming scones are specifically from Scotland, or Wales, or Ireland- and I am not going to pick a side. I will simply say that this wonderful recipe was given to me by my Irish sister-in-law, whose mother brought it from County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland. These light and airy scones are the perfect accompaniment to some hot tea (with creamy milk of course!). Making foods from other countries is a tangible way that kids of all ages can open their eyes differences, and widen their palate. I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like bread, so I propose scones as your first culinary experience of eating your way around the world. Continue reading
A scene from Into the West
Into the West (1993) is a beautiful adventure fairy tale of 2 boys Ossie (Ciaran Fitzgerald) and Tito (Ruaidhri Conroy), and their magical white horse called Tír na nÓg (meaning “Land of Eternal Youth” in Irish). Their mother died in childbirth, and so the boys live with their father Papa Riley (excellently played by Gabriel Byrne) in the gritty projects of Dublin. One day, a mysterious white stallion follows their grandfather back to Dublin and bonds with the boys, who then bring it back into their apartment. Continue reading
I have 3 great children’s books that will give you a well-rounded introduction and background of Ireland. This is Ireland, by Miroslav Sasek was written in 1964 like a travel guidebook for kids. With fantastic (now vintage) illustrations, it describes the important places across the entire country including details and history about Dublin, the monastery of Clonmacnoise, and several stone castles.
Image credit: photo taken from "This is Ireland" by M. Sasek, copyright 1964.
The book takes us from the Giant’s Causeway in the north, to the many lakes in County Mayo to the west, and all along the diverse coasts and harbors including the Cliffs of Moher and Connemara. Sasek includes interesting facts woven into the book about St. Patrick, the cathedral that bears his name in Dublin, the Book of Kells, famous people, and national symbols such as the leprechaun, shamrock, and the shillelagh. I wish I would have known about this book before we took our daughter to Ireland! Continue reading
An Irish sheep peeks up from grazing. In Irish, the word sheep is caora, pronounced kwee-rah. Lamb is uain, pronounced oon-in.
The countryside of verdant Ireland is a patchwork quilt of barley and oats fields, ribbons of blue rivers, and pasture lands dotted by cows and sheep and squared off by low, grey stone walls. With a mild, humid climate and grassy rolling hills, farm life thrives. After we spent 2 weeks driving and hiking around Ireland, visiting stunning churches and incredible landscapes, our 2 1/2 year old daughter was asked what she liked best about her trip to Ireland; she replied “baa-baa sheep!” Here is a craft for fellow young animal-lovers to make their own wooly Irish sheep. Continue reading