Shannon Morrow, 1957-2014

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We’re very sorry to announce that Shannon Morrow, the founder and author of Shannon’s Book Nook, passed away on February 2, 2014. She loved children and she loved books, and she especially loved reading with her children and her granddaughter. This blog is hereby dedicated to her memory with the hope that it will bring children and their parents and grandparents closer together as they develop a love for literature.

The blog will continue to grow, as Katy, Shannon’s daughter, continues to find the very best children’s literature and develop fun, free activities to bring junior readers and the adults in their lives closer together.

Another Blog Pause

Due to continued treatment for the illness I contracted in February 2013, posts will be sporadic. I still have so many wonderful books I want to share with you. I will post as I am able. Thank you for your patience. Please enjoy the many posts that are here for you already.

Night Tree

nighttreecoverby Eve Bunting

Synopsis

This family has an unusual way to decorate their Christmas tree.

Why I like this for a read aloud book:

*Quiet, peaceful feeling
*Family tradition introduced
*Giving is better than thinking of yourself

Family Fun

The sister chooses for her song, “Old MacDonald.” Sing Old MacFamily.

Old MacFamily saw a forest, E-I-E-I-O
And in that forest they saw a deer, E-I-E-I-O
With an antler here and an antler there (hold your hands above your head each time you sing “antler”)
Here an antler, there an antler, everywhere an antler, antler
Old MacFamily saw a deer, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacFamily saw a forest, E-I-E-I-O
And in that forest they saw a bear, E-I-E-I-O
With a Grr, Grr here and a Grr, Grr there (growl and make claws with your hands)
Here a Grr, there a Grr, every where a Grr, Grr
With an antler here and an antler there
Here and antler, there an antler, everywhere an antler, antler

Old MacFamily saw a forest, E-I-E-I-O
And in that forest they saw a fox, E-I-E-I-O (what does the fox say?)
With an O-ooo, O-ooo here and an O-ooo, O-ooo there (hold up two fingers on each hand above your head for ears)
Here an O-ooo there an O-ooo everywhere and O-ooo, O-ooo
With an antler here and an antler there
Here an antler there an antler, everywhere an antler, antler
With a Grr, Grr here and a Grr, Grr there
Here a Grr, there a Grr, everywhere a Grr, Grr

Old MacFamily saw a forest, E-I-E-I-O. (Feel free to add any additional animals you like. Be creative!)

If you aren’t familiar with the tune, here is a cute, quick version:

 

*When you look at the history of “Old MacDonald” there is a precedent for changing the words.

In 1917 it was “Old Macdougal had a farm in Ohio-i-o”

In 1922 it was “Old Missouri had a mule, he-hi-he-hi-ho”

Food Fun

The family takes hot chocolate with them to the forest. Make Hot Chocolate.

You will need:
3 c. milk
1/2 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla
Dash of salt

nighttreechoc1Put all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Heat slowly until chips or bar are completely melted and everything is well mixed.
nighttreechoc2Whisk briskly or use an immersion blender to froth it up.
nighttreechoc3Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed peppermint, sprinkles, or cinnamon. (This is a very chocolatey, not too sweet, hot chocolate.)

More Family Fun

The family left decorations for all the animals. Make Natural Bird Feeders.

You need:
1 or 2 oranges or tangerines
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. rolled oats or cornmeal
1 T. raisins (optional)
1 T. sunflower seeds (optional)
nighttreebird1Cut the orange in half and scoop out most of the fruit. It’s better to leave some fruit than to make the sides too thin to support themselves. Set extra fruit aside.

Use a skewer or nail to make holes in the sides of the peel. I used the skewer to push the twine through the hole. This will be how you hang the feeder in a tree.

Mix the peanut butter, oats or cornmeal, and raisins and sunflower seeds if you choose. The mixture should be slightly sticky. If it is crumbly, add some of the fruit you scooped out. (I needed to add some of the fruit.)
nighttreebird2Press the mixture into the two halves, holding the twine out of the way. (I had enough to fill two tangerine halves too.)
nighttreebird3Your feeder is ready to hang and share!

Reading Reinforcement

*What do you think the family is going to do as they get in the truck? (I thought they were going to cut a tree to bring home.)

*Have you ever gone into a forest at night? What did you see and hear?

*Who has grown in the last year?

*Why does Dad turn off the lantern? Who is shy?

*Do you think animals came to their tree and sang their own Christmas songs around the tree? Why or why not?

*Why do you think the boy enjoyed decorating their tree so much?

 

Find this book at your local library or buy it here.