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It’s time for our May pick for #ReadKidsClassics! As many of you already know, I am a huge fan of children’s classics and over the years my family has actively read old classics and discovered new ones. In 2016 one of my many goals is to discover even more classics and share them with you, my valued readers.
So from now on, every month during my Read Kids Classic Challenge, I am going to present one classic that I simply can’t live without.
Joining me in this book-ish and fun campaign is a handful of powerhouse bloggers who are excited to share their very own #readkidsclassics picks! Please feel free to visit these five #ReadKidsClassics bloggers to see what classic book reading fun they have created.
This month we’re wandering into the jungle and reading Ruyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
One of the reasons for this is because of the recent movie which has just come out. It’s excellent and completely epic. I highly recommend it. Another thing I highly recommend is reading the actual book.
I had never read the book and I’m so happy I finally did. In both of the movie versions of the story we have a start to finish tale about Mowgli heading back to the man village so he can be with his own people. The book is a collection of jungle stories which of course has Mowgli as our main character. Some of the stories I recognized and then there were others that were completely new to me. The book version makes for great reading by a campfire or bedtime stories because you can finish a story in one night and then continue reading the following night. There are actually two volumes of Jungle Books written.
We read a beautiful edition by Nicola Bayley and published by Candlewick Press.
Nicola’s illustrations are exquisite. Working in crayon and colored pencil Nicola brings 3 of the 7 stories of the Jungle Book to life. Her beautiful illustrations drew me to the unabridged version of these stories. I want to hold them in my hands while I read them aloud to my family. I also downloaded the complete Jungle Book stories on kindle so I could get the full Jungle Book Experience.
Rudyard Kipling wrote both Jungle Book volumes between the births of his two daughter Josephine and Elsie. To my delighted surprise I learned that he was living in Brattleboro Vermont when he wrote many of his famous books but especially The Jungle Books. Even more spectacular is that we can actually rent the home he built there complete with his library and writing desk. It’s maintained and kept by the National Trust. I plan on going there soon as one of my little book pilgrimages.
Kipling is a master story-teller if you’ve never had the occasion to read him. He was born to British parents in colonized India. At the age of 6, he and his sister were sent back to live in England. He never got over his love of India and as soon as he was old enough he took himself back there. Knowing that he wrote the Jungle Book soon after the birth of his first daughter, one can hear the longing of a father wanting to share the mystic and beauty of his own childhood, to capture it somehow. And capture it he has. He created it for all of us to hold and share forever. I feel really regretful that I haven’t read these wonderful books until now. These will be pulled out and read often now. They are perfect for summer evenings or wintry nights. They are completely and perfectly stunning and captivating.
**Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission. This money goes towards postage and supplies to keep books and ideas in the hands of young readers!
Something To Do
Rudyard is a fascinating man. He was a Nobel Peace Prize winner for literature and a true global citizen. The biography channel has a wonderful video and article about him.
Paper Jungle Animals
One of the fun activities we did for our Jungle Book Nights was to make paper animals out of pattern paper. This is easier than it sounds thanks to a book called Pattern Play. They have over 19 different animals to make complete with over 40 stickers to make the faces and such. Pattern Play is published by Wide Eye Editions. They make such inventive books and we really enjoyed this one.
To set the mood, we brewed some fresh Indian Tea known as Masala Chai. It is very creamy smooth and spicy tasting and we really enjoyed it. The word Masala means a combination of spices and Chai is the word for milk tea. Here’s the recipe to get you started. I hope you enjoy it.
- 10 green cardamom pods, cracked, seeds removed, and pods discarded, or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
- 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece cinnamon stick
- 4 peppercorns (preferably white)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups water
- 5 teaspoons loose orange pekoe tea or other black tea
- Equipment: a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee/spice grinder
Grind together cardamom, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and fennel seeds with mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder.
Bring milk just to a simmer in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir or whisk in brown sugar, ground spice mixture, ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes to infuse flavors.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan, add tea, and boil 1 minute.
Pour tea through a fine-mesh sieve into hot milk mixture (discard tea leaves) and cook over low heat 1 minute. Stir before serving.
If you are in the mood for another and interactive and classic story, check out the enhanced digital eBook for kids, The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!
The Ultimate Guide To Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is a step by step roadmap to this magical world. Just some of the fun includes:
- A story filled with beautiful graphic illustrations including tantalizing Treasure Maps and vibrant tutorials.
- Over 20 Crafts and activities that not only entertain, but educate.
- You get to jump inside the book and enjoy creating the adventures yourself (Templates, maps, and more are included.)
- Ever wonder where chocolate comes from? Or how gum is made? Wonder no more. Now you get to make your own.
- Conduct activities in the areas of crafting, cooking, and game-playing as well as exploring many facets of candy production.
- The option to take Charlie’s journey over the course of several days or take shorter journeys if you wish.
- The creation of a new ritual of reading time with your family and the opportunity to experience the reading of this imaginative tale as a group activity, not a solitary event.
Go HERE to learn more and grab your copy from iBooks!