Friday, May 20, 2016

It's May and Time to Jump into a Classic

I jumped on board for the 2016 Jump Into A Book ReadKidsClassics Challenge 
in March with "Little Prince"
April "Wind in  the Willows"

Valerie Budayr, children's book author, publisher, co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day and creator of jumpintoabook site originated this idea.

Joining me in this book-ish and fun campaign are a handful of powerhouse bloggers who are excited to share their very own #readkidsclassics picks! Look for their post on readkidsclassics or watch for specific hashtag on twitter #ReadKidsClassics by the bloggers to see what classic book reading fun they have created.
Valarie at Jump Into a Book
Jodie at Growing Book By Book
Author Barbara Ann Mojica
Cindy at One Part Sunshine
Lisa at Squishable Baby

Besides reading a classic for the sheer enjoyment here are 10 reasons we'll always love classics.
And my classic pick for May

more than hits  the mark on these 10 criteria.
Meet the author Roald Dahl
He was British novelist, writer of short stories, screen writer and fighter pilot. He was born in Wales in September 13, 1916. Before writing he also served in the Air Force and fought in the World War two. He was a flying ace and also an intelligence agent. Dahl known as one of the greatest storytellers for children, and was also in the list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers' since 1945.
When Dahl made up James and the Giant Peach as a bedtime story for his daughters Olivia and Tessa, little could he have known that half a century later millions of parents would read exactly the same story to their own children. It's a book that fully deserves the accolade of a children’s classic.

Roald Dahl has written entertaining children's stories that contain morals and life lessons that even adults can appreciate. In James and the Giant Peach, he handles the themes of abandonment, abuse, and redemptive reward--with justice doled out appropriately to all concerned. First published in the US in 1961 and the UK in 1967, the book’s rich imagery and amusing characters have made it a children's classic for over 50 years. Dahl also weaves funny singsong poetry into this fantastical tale which makes for a great read aloud.

I read the 1996 reprinted edition illustrated by Lane Smith. His name may be familiar to you having illustrated " The Story of The Three Little Pigs" (1989) and "The Stinky CheeseMan" (1992).

To refresh you memory on the engaging plot line...
When poor James Henry Trotter loses his parents in a horrible rhinoceros accident, he is forced to live with his two wicked aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. After three years he becomes "the saddest and loneliest boy you could find". Then one day, a wizened old man in a dark-green suit gives James a bag of magic crystals that promise to reverse his misery forever. When James accidentally spills the crystals on his aunts' withered peach tree, he sets the adventure in motion. From the old tree a single peach grows, and grows, and grows some more, until finally James climbs inside the giant fruit and rolls away from his despicable aunts to a whole new life. James’s journey to New York alongside his insect friends has humor and provides a multitude of memorable moments.

"James and the Giant Peach" is a motivational tale about a boy named James Trotter who lives in an abusive situation with his Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. Name calling and hard work prevent James from seeing the world, having friends and doing anything fun. But a means of escape came for James when he discovered an entry into the giant peach, growing outside his window. It was at that point when he enters a world of fantasy he becomes friends with oversized insects. As the story develops James becomes a leader, mediator and problem solver. 
It was hard for me to choose  a favorite part but I loved the collaboration between James and his insect friends as the peach floats across the Atlantic attached by silk threads to over 500 seagulls' necks. The crew manage to survive attacks from 100 sharks and the cloud men.  As the story develops James is admired by his friends for his wit and cleverness which builds up his self confidence. There was lot of humor with Dahl's imagery of Old Green grasshopper and Ladybug down in the tunnel holding on to Earthworm as he is used as bait for the seagulls.  

I would be reminisce if I didn't mention there have been objections by some parents on the theme of abuse and some of the language used in the book. As  a former classroom teacher I found the story had wonderful openers for discussion. I highly recommend this book for children and as a read aloud for parents and teachers. James is a champion to overcome great odds as he became a leader with true friends. The storyline teaches children how important it is to treat others with respect. 
June Classic Pick "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

Celebrate the book by making Peach Hand Pies

Pie Crust Ingredients and Directions:
Cook's notes: The following recipe has been adapted from Midwest Living July/August 2013 using refrigerated pie crusts.
  • You will need two 15 oz. packages (four crusts) let them stand according to package directions to soften. 
  • On a lightly floured surface use a 4 inch round cookie cutter or rim of a large jar or glass that is 4 inches. Roll each circle to 1/8 inch thickness. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of fruit filling into center of each circle leaving 3/4 inch border. 
  • Brush border with an egg wash. Take another pie crust circle and use a small star cookie cutter to cut out center. Place this circle on top of other pie crust circle that has pie filling. Crimp edges with a fork. Brush top with an egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. 
  • Another alternative is folding one circle over so it looks like a half moon pie. You will need less filling. Crimp edges and brush with a egg wash. Pictured above. 
  • Bake 375 for 19-20 minutes. Recipe filling makes 8 pies 
 Need a video tutorial check this one out at -pies.htm
Peach Filling Ingredients:
  • 3-1/2 cups chopped peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 TB. cornstarch
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 1 TB. lemon juice
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • optional 1 tsp. peach schnapps
Filling Directions:
  • In a large saucepan combine cornstarch with juice and blend well.
  • Add rest of ingredients listed under the fruit filling to cornstarch mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat till thickened and bubbly.
  • Remove from heat if adding peach schnapps to peach filling stir in at this time 
  • Set aside to cool and pour into a bowl and chill 2 hours before making the pies.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for participating in #ReadKidsClassics, Sue!


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