Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do you Like Green Eggs and Ham? TOP NANA is giving them a taste test, plus setting up shop for story-time!


Any caregiver worth her salt knows that there are two things on this earth little kids love best: helping out in the kitchen and being read to; the activity I’m writing about today proposes both! The 1960 revered classic, Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess just happens to make for a delicious entrĂ©e. That being said, this TOP NANA is answering Sam-I-am’s question, “would you, could you…eat green eggs and ham?” with a resounding YES! I’m confident your grandchildren will love ‘em too!

My Green Eggs & Ham are color appropriate, thanks to a generous sprinkle of basil and fresh spinach leaves. This dish is probably your grandchild’s (and maybe you’rs too!) first introduction to pancetta—Italian bacon, cured with spices and salt, but not smoked. Pancetta is slightly salty, very tasty, and comes in a sausage-like roll. If you can’t find it perusing the meat department at your grocery store, it’s fine to substitute with diced ham or bacon. Your grandchild can help you beat the eggs, wash the spinach and stir in the basil.

Since making green eggs and ham is only a 15-minute endeavor, set the stage for a long and leisurely story-time beforehand. Get out Dr. Suess’s book (multiples are at the library if you don’t already own it), clear your throat and get ready to read—this book is ideal for ages 3 to 6 and consists of just 50 different words—its been said Dr. Suess took somebody up on a bet! But it worked out, didn’t it? Green Eggs and Ham is the fourth best selling English-language children's hardcover book of all time!

Top Nana’s Resources for Other Great Story-time Books
If you want to combine cooking and reading with older grandchildren and seek advice on the perfect book, TOP NANA did some research and found award-winning stories, categorized by age group on this parent-friendly booklist—as well as a “Teacher’s First” reading list of 100 books, categorized for the very young, right on up to Young adult. Write to me if you’re looking for a recipe to go with story hour—I know I can find something that compliments the pot…excuse me, PLOT!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind my Florida fan-base that the Fifth Miami Book Fair International is coming to my neck of the woods. (I live in Ft. Lauderdale when it’s cold, and may just drive south to check it out.) In addition to a mile long list of famous authors, the event features a “Children's Alley” with stage performances, arts & crafts, and interactive programs—one of which is a Dr. Seuss tent! The kids can dress up like Yertle the Turtle, make a wearable Lorax moustache and search for hidden turtles in the sand. The huge book fare is scheduled from November 14-21, 2010.

But you certainly don’t need to walk the streets of Miami to bond with your grandchildren over a great book! Chances are your local libray or favorite bookstore is a lot closer and maybe, just one day a week, you can make a day of picking out a stack of beloved classics, snuggling up together, and ensuring that a nice lunch or dinner revolves around your literary together time. Here are just a few of TOP NANA’s ideas for maximizing the fun:

--Make it a picnic! Spread a blanket on the floor while you eat and read!
--Make a shortlist of some of the most reoccurring words in the story, and spell them out on the --fridge with magnetic letters.
--If the story you’ve just read is relatable to your own life (i.e. did you pick strawberries or live in distant lands?), pull out the photo album to prove it!
--Designate your own special reading space by making a fort together; toss a sheet or tablecloth over a table, couch or clothesline.
--Record books on tape for your grandchild. Include a few favorites that you read to your own kids.


And so I leave you with plenty of food for thought, and this link to Nana’s Favorite Things –chocked full of little props to enhance picnic-y days of gnoshing and reading. Look for Playful chef sets, silver lunch pails, Wheely bugs and more!
Have fun on your second childhood, Nanas!

Sincerely,
Me










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