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Sista April (Last day of April) in Sweden and a little fun with Linnea’s Almanac

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So here we are the last day of April. In Swedish, it is known as Valborg or Sista April. Large bonfires are lit and everyone sings songs of spring. Before this festive occasion, however, is the sighting of the first spring flowers. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere that is March or April. They are known as Blue Anemone. The book Linnea’s Almanac came to mind. Do you remember her from Monet’s garden? Here she has a nature activity for every month of the year. We consult her often and really enjoy ourselves.

Linnea’s Almanac by Lena Andersson and Christina Björk

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For Grade 2-5, sweet Linnea is back from previous appearances in Linnea in Monet’s Garden (1987) and Linnea’s Windowsill Garden (1988, both Farrar). Here, she and her friends and neighbors study nature month by month. The intent of being simultaneously instructive and entertaining is a tall order, yet Linnea makes learning fun.

Linnea 003

Altogether, there are more than 30 ideas–from recipes to craft projects to keeping nature records–for readers’ delight. Even more impressive is the book’s visual appeal. The watercolor and ink pictures are captivating; the well-planned layout and varying lettering styles are sure to appeal to readers. Because the book is a Swedish import, some objects of nature (e.g. the chaffinch) will be unfamiliar to American readers. Still, this beautiful book deserves to be placed within reach of nature-loving and inquisitive children. Sara Midda’s In and Out of the Garden (Workman, 1984) is another appealing book that will spur children to make the nature discoveries listed and others of their own.-School Library Journal

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What could be better after a long, cold and dark winter here in the north, than the first days of spring? When you can be outside without winter clothing and you won’t freeze. When you feel the warmness of the sun and you even may need sunglasses. You walk around, take deep breaths and smell a new scent, the smell of spring. Butterflies are waking up and flying all around in the bushes that are just starting to get their new leaves.

Blåsippa (5)

Best of all is the Blåsippa (Anemone Hepatica). They are so beautiful and they often grow in big groups and color the green grass blue.

Blåsippa (1)

Sista April

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All Swedish children know the song about Blåsippan and it is sung at day nurseries and schools all over Sweden.  They will sing the song to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Blue Anemone
Children’s Song

Blåsippan ute i backarna står,
niger och säger att “nu är det vår”.
Barnen de plockar små sipporna glatt,
rusar sen hem under rop och skratt.

“Mor, nu är våren kommen, mor!
Nu får vi gå utan strumpor och skor!
Blåsippan ute i backarna stå,
har varken skor eller strumpor på!

Mor i stugan hon säger så:
“Blåsippor aldrig snuva få.
Än få ni gå med strumpor och skor,
än är det vinter kvar”, säger mor.

Children’s Song

The blue anemone blooms now,
Curtsies and says “spring is here”.
Children merrily pick the flowers,
And rush home, laughing.

“Mom! Spring has come now, mom!
Now we can go without socks and shoes!
The blue anemone outside
Wears neither sock nor shoe!

Mother, in the house, says:
“Blue anemones never catch cold.
You must still wear socks and shoes!
It’s still winter”, says mother.

Blåsippa (2)

Blåsippa (6)

Blåsippa (4)

Blåsippa (3)

If you are looking for another children’s book that provides a nature, craft or cooking activity for every month of the year, then you will love my book A Year in the Secret Garden!
Enjoy month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together.

Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!”

A Year in The Secret Garden