Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brave Seeds

It's United Nations Day. 
Flags would be nice.
Meals from around the world.  
Folk dancing. 
We didn't get that far. 
We spun the globe and colored pictures of continents. 
Every tree starts with a seed, right?

My grandmother Elsie was a great oak of political consciousness. 
She lived and breathed for the United Nations,
for women, for equal rights, 
for the poor, for education.
Her legacy stands true and straight before me,
waving its branches:
       Be brave! Help others! Stand up for what's right!
Women couldn't vote when my grandmother was little.
Which amazes me.
It's such a simple and essential thing
to have a voice, to be counted!

I'm grateful for the 
whole forests of women and men before me
who fought
for me and my girls,
for our rights, for our vote,
for changes that have made this world better.
And here we are!
Voting day is around the corner.
Regardless of how it all turns out,
it's a beautiful gift 
to have a voice that counts.

Some books that we love:

Grace for President - Kelly di Pucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, 
Ruby Mae Has Something to Say - David Small, 
Imogene's Last Stand - Candace Fleming, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
How to Make and Apple Pie and see the world - Marjorie Priceman
...and here's a great game for future world changers:
"I Never Forget a Face" matching game, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Who's Your Mummy?

Peanut shell sarcopha-guys. 
Yes, I know. 
We're nuts.
I like to think of research as
permission to plunge overboard,
to get lost in your story world
in order to find it.
Some people tape maps to the walls
and wear fuzzy Russian hats.
Others swear by magazine clippings.
Hungarian folk music.
Books on fly fishing.
French chocolate.

We wear pipe cleaner headdresses. 


What's your research quirk? 

Can you tell what we're into these days?
It helps that King Tut's treasure is only a ferry ride away.

We said our howdies to the Pharaohs

and hopped home, hot about Egypt.

I buried old pottery shards for a "Dig."

Kids + Dirt = Heaven!

When I was sixteen, my parents took us to Egypt.

Valley of the Kings, pyramids and the Sphinx
all did their dazzling best. 

And then there was this old dump,
littered with broken scraps.
At the time, mum and dad seemed so very un-cool
sifting through that Egyptian dump,
selecting a few shards to bring home.
But who's my mummy now?
Oh yeah!
There has never been such excitement in our backyard.

My fake gold necklace
came in handy
as the crowning discovery.


Hieroglyphs + Clay  = Name cartouches!


Our wee coffins
are nothing more than
peanut shells, paint, 
and gold pens for a little extra pizazz.

That's it in a nutshell.

So many great books to share with you!

The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle - Claudia Logan, Melissa Sweet
Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile - Tomie dePaola
The Egyptian Cinderella - Shirley Climo, Ruth Heller
The Secret Room - Uri Shulevitz
Zekmet, the Stone Carver - Mary Stoltz, Deborah Nourse Lattimore
How the Sphinx Got to the Museum - Jessie Hartland
The Three Princes - Eric A. Kimmel, Leonard Everett Fisher
One City, Two Brothers - Chris Smith, Aurelia Fronty
Exodus - Brian Wildsmith
I, Crocodile - Frank Marcellino
The Shipwrecked Sailor - Tamara Bower
The Jewel Fish of Karnak - Graeme Base


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