Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Thank you to our friends at Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures for bringing our favorite children’s book authors and illustrators to town for Black White & Read All Over. Next to visit will be Mark Teague on November 22nd.
Which authors or illustrators would you like to have pay us a visit?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Come on into the library and find out more about friendly bats!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Potato Counting Rhyme
One potato, two potato, three potato, four! (count with your fingers)
Well, I made a batch of hot potatoes (bend forward and stir as in a big pot)
Dropped 'em on the floor!! (look shocked, and put hands on face in surprise)
Five potato, six potato, seven potato, eight! (count with your fingers)
So I stomped 'em into mashed potatoes (stomp the potatoes!)
And plopped 'em on a plate (hands out like plopping potatoes on a plate!)
Nine potato, ten potato, (count with your fingers)
Can't believe my eyes! (cover and uncover eyes in surprise)
The children ate 'em up and now they want some french fries!!!
French fries! (jump up and reach over head to sky on 10)
Miss Heather made a video of it for us, just in case you wish to see it in action!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We're proud of our local authors!
Pittsburgher Jonah Winter has a new book out.
"In Steel Town, it's always dark
and the street-lamps are always lit."
Does that sound like anyplace you know? It's the Pittsburgh of our grandparents or great-grandparents, lovingly and lyrically re-created in Steel Town.
Steel Town takes us into iron mill and the steel mill, where we're on the job with the Hot Blast Operator, the Monkey Boss, the Crane Man.
We see the imposing Hot Blast Furnace, and watch a river of hot pig iron gush down a gutter in the floor. Terry Widener's illustrations show us the power of molten metal flowing into the Open Hearth Furnace and the peace of a whispered prayer in an onion-domed church.
Click here to request a copy of Steel Town.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Featured speakers are author and illustrator Pat Cummings, children's and young adult author T.A. Barron and writer and children's literature historian Leonard S. Marcus. In addition to the author talks there will be workshops, a panel discussion and book sales and signings.
For more information contact the Pittsburgh Children's Museum or visit their website:
I'm currently reading Leonard S. Marcus's Minders of Make-Believe: idealists, entrepreneurs, and the shaping of America's children's literature.
Do you have a favorites book or books penned or illustrated by one of these talented folks? If so, tell us about it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Squonk Opera's "Astro-rama"
October 15-18, 8 pm
The Pittsburgh debut of the new work from local performance masters Squonk Opera will take place over four nights in Oakland. All performances are FREE and fun for the whole family!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Here’s how you can make some at home.
3 cups flour
1.5 cups salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
Optional stuff to color it:
Kool-Aid or other drink mix
If you have a standing mixer with a dough hook, I recommend using it for this project. Otherwise, make sure someone is standing by with an emergency arm massage. The dough is very stiff!
Put the flour and salt into the bowl and turn the mixer on low. If you will be using Kool-Aid drink mix, add it with the dry ingredients. With the mixer running, add the vegetable oil, then the water in a stream. Let it run for about a minute. You want the dough to come together in one ball. If it looks dry - kinda clumpy or sandy and won't smooth out- add more water and a tiny splash of oil. If you overdo it on the wet stuff, add more flour a spoonful at a time until it looks right.
The salt adds structure but doesn't seem to melt. I would have thought that it would, but you can still feel the edges of the salt inside the dough. When you knead the dough with your hands, you can feel how plasticy and moldable it is. I was expecting that I would have to do lots of experimenting and overbought on the flour. I was expecting it to feel like bread dough. But it was way more like commercial play dough than I would have thought. Play-Doh probably has more stabilisers in it and all, but this is pretty awesome.
The advantage to commercial Play-Doh are the colors. They are much brighter, and they even sell "Sprinkle," "Sparkle," and "Sand" cans. You can color the play dough you make at home with unsweetened drink mix, aka "Kool-Aid" or drops of food coloring. I mixed a packet of Cherry flavored off brand drink mix (really, it was less than half the price). Well, it is barely pink. Barely. The cool thing is that now it smells like Cherry flavor.
The Grape drink mix made a terrible grey color, not like purple at all. I ended up opening up the drink mix packets and wetting the powder a tiny bit to see what color it would turn. Once I found the red ones, I dumped them all in! You can see from the picture how it turned out.
For Mystery Dough:
Make a batch of plain colored dough. Divide the dough and hide the drops of food coloring in the middle and pinch everything closed. Give it to the children in a plastic bag and let them knead it to mix the colors. For this type of coloring, drops work better than the drink mix powder.
I hope that you get to make this at home! If you have any questions, leave a comment! If you have done this before with your kids, leave a comment!