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Spoilers, Sneak Peeks, and the Inside Scoop on Books, Reading, and What's Going On at Scholastic for KIDS in THE STACKS!
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1. Be a Reading Superhero

Scholastic Summer Reading ChallengeReading Is My Superpower. What’s Yours?

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is on! You can log minutes, earn rewards, and enter for a chance to win prizes.

And here is another fun reading activity you can do with a friend. Print the Scholastic Summer Reading Mad Libs story starter, grab a friend, and crack yourselves up filling in the story with your answers. If you have never played Mad Libs before, here is what you do:

  • Print the sheet and don’t let your friend read it first.
  • Ask your friend to give you words for each blank space on the sheet. The clues in parentheses under the blanks tell you what words your friend should say. For example, the first blank asks for a name, so your friend would tell you any name.
  • Write down the word your friend says in the space, NO MATTER WHAT the word is!
  • When you have filled in all the blanks, read your story out loud.

Reading Superhero

 

 

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2. How To Make an Art Bot

Make Your Own Art Bot!

An art bot is a thing that uses a motor to in some way create art with drawing implements attached to it. There are many different possible designs. This is a guide to make the one I made, which does not require any expensive or hard-to-get materials. Make sure you read the entire procedure before attempting.

You will need:art bot

  • A large paper or plastic cup that you can cut
  • At least three markers or colored pencils (markers work a lot better because colored pencils don’t have enough pressure to draw well and need to be sharpened)
  • An electric toothbrush (you can get really cheap ones at the dollar store)
  • If they’re not included in the toothbrush, batteries
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Procedure:

  1. Remove the motor from the toothbrush. I’m not sure what brand I used, but the motor came out easily. If there aren’t any, put in batteries.
  2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the cup that the motor can fit halfway into. Turn it over so the hole is on top, and tape the motor in halfway so that the end with a button on it is sticking halfway out. If the button is in a different place, find a way to arrange it so it is reachable from outside.
  3. Tape your pencils or markers around the outside of the cup, drawing ends down (away from the motor end). Make sure they are evenly spaced and the drawing ends are the same distance away from the rim of the cup.
  4. Place the art bot on a piece of paper with the motor on top, and turn it on! If not every marker/pencil is drawing, adjust them so that they are all touching the paper.
  5. If you used markers, make sure to cap them when you are done.

Julie, Scholastic Kids Council

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3. 9 Books for When You Are 9

9 Books for When You Are 99 books for when you are 9

Nine is a really rad number, and a really rad age. And here are nine great books that every nine-year-old totally MUST read! From wacky to wild, these books will take you on some seriously awesome adventures.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Middle school is full of drama — just ask Greg Heffley. After his mom forces him to keep a diary, he starts writing down all the (really hilarious) misadventures and happenings from his school year. Greg and his BFF Rowley get into all sorts of sticky situations that will keep you laughing until your sides hurt. Middle school may be full of drama, but, man, the drama is funny!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Nine is the BEST time to start reading Harry Potter (though I strongly believe it’s never too late, even if you’re 119). Harry has had a miserable life so far, losing his parents when he was just an infant and being raised by his dreadful aunt and uncle, but things are about to get pretty magical in his world. When he finds out he’s actually a wizard, he is whisked away to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where all kinds of life-changing adventures await him.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is the new girl in town, and boy, is she wild! She may have no parents, but she DOES have a pet monkey and a pet horse . . . and a knack for living life freely. The sky’s the limit when it comes to Pippi, and her new neighbors Tommy and Annika are in for a whole lot of wacky surprises!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
There seems to be nothing the unusual orphan Maniac Magee can’t do: outrun dogs, untie impossible knots, hit a homerun . . . the list is endless. When Maniac Magee arrives in the town of Two Mills, he hopes to find a home, but it’s not that easy. The troubled small town is very divided, and tensions are about to reach a fever pitch. But Maniac Magee might just be the key to helping everyone find peace.

Time Warp Trio: The Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Sciezska and Lane Smith
When Joe and his two friends are transported back in time to King Arthur’s court by a magical book, they accidentally defeat the dreaded Black Knight and are mistaken for heroes by King Arthur’s knights. But what will they do when they are confronted with a (really gross) giant and an attacking dragon? And how will they get home?! This super-funny book will keep you guessing — and laughing — as the trio blunder their way from one adventure to the next.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo is really bored by everything, but that’s all about to change because a mysterious and magical tollbooth has suddenly appeared in his bedroom. Out of boredom (of course), Milo hops into his dusty old toy car, pays the toll, and finds himself driving directly into a wild, wacky world in which each adventure is even more bizarre than the last!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Hugo, a young orphan living in the Paris train station, is an expert at staying invisible. But when he meets a most unusual girl and a mysterious toymaker, his life changes. Hugo finds himself thrust headfirst into a mystery that will force him out of hiding for the first time, and reveal more of his own secret past.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Nine-year-old Peter Hatcher has THE. MOST. ANNOYING. BROTHER. EVER. Little, two-year-old Fudge gets away with everything, including tormenting Peter’s pet turtle, Dribble. But one day Fudge’s antics go too far — will Peter ever be able to forgive him?

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live in the wild? Sam Gribley is fed up with living in a cramped apartment with his parents and eight (Eight!! Can you imagine?) siblings in New York City, so he runs away to his grandparents’ home upstate. What he’s not ready for is the harsh wilderness living he encounters, but armed with the survival skills preparation and endless curiosity, Sam just might have what it takes to last the winter..

Which books from this list have you read? Which books do you think every nine-year-old should read? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

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4. 10 Problems Only Nearsighted People Understand

Rainbow PenDo you wear eyeglasses? Or maybe you need glasses, but you have a habit of “forgetting” to put them on? If you’re nearsighted, this one’s for you. Get ready to take a closer look at . . .

10 Problems Only Nearsighted People Understand

  1. Bangs + Glasses = Drama. The constant fight with your bangs and glasses leaves you with greasy hair, an itchy face, and no patience.
  2. Swimming without your glasses. If you lose sight of your friends at the pool, you might not find them again for an hour.
  3. Waking up and trying to find your glasses so you can see. It’s even worse at a sleepover!
  4. Before you got glasses, you never saw individual blades of grass or leaves on trees. Amazing.
  5. Forgetting your glasses in your desk at school. Again. 
  6. Squinting. Lots of it.
  7. The “3” looked like an “8.” It REALLY did.
  8. As hard as you try, you just can’t get those splotches off of your glasses from this morning’s hair stylizing.
  9. Protective sports goggles. Is there anything more awkward?
  10. You can’t wear your trendy headbands with your glasses. Noooooo!

And there you have it. Are you nearsighted? Share your dramas in the Comments below!

-Ratha

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5. Cat Breeds Trivia Quiz

cat computerCat Breeds Trivia Quiz: How well do you know cat breeds?

1. Which of these cat breeds is noted for its wild appearance and its dog-like personality? A) American Bobtail B) Maine Coon C) Persian D) Korat

2. One of these cat breeds does NOT have long hair. Which one is it? A) Maine Coon B) Persian C) Oriental D) Birman

3. In the Austin Powers movies, Dr. Evil had what kind of cat? A) Persian B) Siamese C) Sphynx D) British Shorthair

4. What is the best name for an evil villain’s cat? A) Mrs. Ugly B) Mr. Bigglesworth C) Little Devil D) Auntie Evil

5. What kind of cats are Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp? A) Siamese B) Russian Blue C) Manx D) Angora

6. What color eyes do Siamese cats have? A) Green B) Orange C) Blue D) Brown

7. If you are allergic to cats but still want one, which breed should you consider? A) Balinese B) Persian C) Maine Coon D) Angora

8. Which of these is a trait of the Ragdoll cat? A) They go limp when you pick them up. B) They howl like a dog. C) They are toothless. D) They are outdoor cats.

9. Since 1871, this kind of cat has been considered the most popular breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association: A) Abyssinian B) American Shorthair C) Persian D) Exotic

10. One of these breeds looks and behaves like a Siamese but comes in two fur lengths and over 300 color combinations? A) The Oriental B) The Birman C) The Maine Coon D) LaPerm

Read on for the answers. 

  1. A) American Bobtail 
  2. C) Oriental
  3. C) Sphynx
  4. B) Any answer is correct, but Mr. Bigglesworth was Dr. Evil’s pet in Austin Powers.
  5. A) Siamese
  6. C) Blue
  7. A) Balinese
  8. A) They go limp when you pick them up.
  9. C) Persian
  10. A) The Oriental

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6. Wacky Sports From Around The World

Football130x130Wacky Sports From Around The World

Baseball is America’s pastime and millions of people watch the Super Bowl every year. While these mainstream sports get all the attention, there are super-wacky sports played all over the globe.

Every year, Port Lincoln is home to the Tuna Tossing World Championship. The rules are simple: contestants try to toss a 10 kilogram tuna as far as they can. The world record is 25 meters.

Cheese rolling may sounds like a simple sport, but is actually very dangerous. Participants chase a wheel of cheese down a steep hill and the first person to grab the cheese wins. While the rules are simple enough, most people end up falling head over heals in their attempt to catch the coveted cheese.

Bun climbing is an annual competition held at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in China. Men compete in a race to climb towers decorated in steamed buns and bamboo. The person to collect the most buns wins.

Bossaball is a wacky sport that combines soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and a trampoline. The game is played a lot like volleyball, but teams can use their feet, head, and hands to touch the ball. Also, the court has a giant trampoline in the middle to help people get giant jumps.

Quidditch is the flying sport played in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Although they can’t fly, Muggles actually play Quidditch by running around on a field with brooms between their legs.

It seems like every year someone is inventing a new wacky sport. What wacky sports would you like to play? Tell us in the Comments!

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7. SPONSORED POST Ice Age: Collision Course

Ice AgeThis blog post is sponsored by 20th Century Fox.

Go nuts for acorns in the new Ice Age movie! Ice Age: Collision Course is out this summer—check out the cosmically crazy trailer.

“Who’s dumb enough to think they can stop an asteroid?”

Comedy and cosmic craziness is the order of the day in Ice Age: Collision Course, the newest addition to the fun films in the Ice Age family from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. Featuring the voices of Ray Romano, Jennifer Lopez, and more, Ice Age: Collision Course crashes into theaters on July 22, 2016.

A prehistoric saber-toothed squirrel named Scrat ventures out on an ongoing quest to track down and bury an acorn. Seems easy, right?

Wrong.

Things never quite go as planned for Scrat, and the chain of events that he sets off are at the center of the trouble in the new movie. It’s up to the whole herd to save the Ice Age World from meteorite madness, but THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR! AM I RIGHT, SQUAD?

Check out the trailer, and let us know what adventures you’ve gotten into lately with your “herd” in the Comments section below!

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8. Message Board Personality Quiz

GopherChess4 STACKS Avatar

Which Message Board Is Right For You?

You may know that Scholastic has Message Boards where you can sign on and post messages to other kids like you. It’s a great place to go and (safely) meet other kids who read the same books as you, like the same things, and have the problems.

1.What do you do in your free time? A) Write stories. B) Read books. C) Play video games. D) Make stuff. E) Play outside.

2.What is the best gift you have ever received? A) A new notebook. B) A signed book by my favorite author. C) An Xbox. D) Arts and crafts supplies. E) A pet.

3.What is your favorite book about? A) It’s blank. B) Something fictional. C) Minecraft. D) How to make homemade cards. E) Animals.

4.Where is your dream vacation spot? A) Unlimited time at my desk. B) A cozy villa with a library and an oceanfront view. C) The world’s largest arcade. D) Art camp.E) The Rainforest.

5.What is your favorite snack? A) Pretzel sticks. No mess on my papers, please! B) An ice cream sandwich . . . when I finish my book, of course. C) Goldfish crackers. D) Homemade cookies with rainbow icing. E) Fruit.

6. Favorite drink? A) Water. B) Hot chocolate. C) Soda. D) Fruit smoothie. E) Lemonade.

7. How would your friends describe you? A) Creative. B) Bookwormy. C) Boss. D) Crafty/creative. E) Caring.

8. How do you wear your hair? A) Long braid out of my face. B) Ponytail/bun/down. It’s gonna come undone anyway, C) C I don’t care! I’m about to beat this level! D) Different ways. I like to experiment with my style. E) Loose and natural.

9. What is the most important piece of furniture in your bedroom? A) My desk. B) My bookshelf/comfy reading spot. C) My tv/Xbox. D) My craft bin. E) My bed because that’s where I snuggle with my pet.

10. If there were only one store on your planet, what would it be? A) Office Depot. B) Barnes and Noble. C) GameStop. D) Hobby Lobby. E) PetSmart.

Results!

Mostly A’s: Fan Fiction Board!
You should spend all your time there, writing stories and giving suggestions to other writers.

Mostly B’s: Reading Buzz Board!
Get and post book lists, reviews, and talk to other book-obsessed kids!

Mostly C’s: Stack Back!
You can talk about pretty much anything here, games, school, friends, and life stuff. You also need to check out the Minecraft forum!

Mostly D’s: Crafts & DIY all the way!
Post your ideas and read other peoples

Mostly E’s: Save the Planet Board!
This Board is for people who love planet Earth and want to save the environment for ALL creatures.

Which Board did you get? No matter what, you will be welcome on all the Boards! Go and introduce yourself. And say a special “Hello!” to ReadingBrainy 26 who wrote this quiz. I promise you will meet lots of new friends!

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9. Captain Underpants Kid Review

captain underpants and the sensational saga of Sir stinks-a-lotCaptain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks a Lot

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Captain Underpants series, right? Well, the newest 12th novel of the series is out, and I LOVE it! I really like this story because it has a lot of humor; it is really action-packed, and I love the characters. The main characters are George, Harold, Mr. Meaner, and Captain Underpants. Their characters make the story really fun and interesting to read. The characters are very funny, in particular Captain Underpants and the teachers. If you see Mr. Meaner at all, watch out! He might spray you with a little something . . .

Not to spoil the story, but here is the main gist of what goes on. A planet just like Earth, but called Smart Earth, explodes (Read the book to find out how and why . . .), and a small piece flies out and lands on Earth, right in front of Mr. Meaner (the notorious gym teacher), and let’s just say things don’t work out very well! After EATING the piece of Smart Earth, he becomes really smart, obviously. He invents a spray called Rid-o-Kid 2000 and bad things happen, very bad things.

Dav Pilkey is a great author and really makes this story come to life. He does this by being very descriptive with his writing, and he uses this thing called Flip-O-Rama. Flip-O-Rama is a special comic book type of animated pictures. By flipping pages back and forth a certain way, Flip-O-Rama™ makes the pictures look really cool and animated.

I would highly recommend for all of you to read this great series, Captain Underpants, if you want to get lost in a great sea of awesomeness. Read a sneak peek here.

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

 

 

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10. Pancake Face Create a Caption

Pancake Face Create a Caption

This scrumptious-looking pancake is begging me to eat it! Or . . . is it saying something else?

Pancake face

This will keep you from going bananas!

Leave YOUR caption for Pancake Face in the Comments!

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

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11. Hamilton Trivia Quiz

HamiltonHamilton Trivia Quiz

American history + rap music + clever, story-telling lyrics  = Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton has an amazing story to tell, and his life is brought to life by the Broadway musical, Hamilton. It’s already won the Pulitzer Prize and was just nominated for 16 Tony Awards – the most in Broadway history! Tickets are pretty much impossible to get, but you can listen to the amazing soundtrack to get a taste of what it’s like. (I’m totally obsessed!)

A little backstory . . . Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies around 1755. His father abandoned him, and his mom died when he was 12. After a hurricane destroyed his town, he jumped on a boat to New York and carved a name for himself. He was rejected from Princeton University, faced discrimination as an immigrant, but used his strong personality and “power of the pen” to get ahead. He became General Washington’s right-hand-man in the Revolutionary War, part of the new U.S. Government Cabinet, helped write the Federalist Papers, founded the NY Post newspaper, the first bank in the U.S. and basically established the American banking system. He died in a pistol duel with the U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr. Lots of other drama too!

Catch a beat with our Hamilton Trivia Quiz based on Hamiltunes from the musical soundtrack.

1. What song has these lyrics?
“As a kid in the Caribbean I wished for a war.
I knew that I was poor;
I knew that it was the only way to
Rise up!
The elephant is in the room.
The truth is in ya face when ya hear the British cannons go . . .
BOOM!”

2. The song “You’ll Be Back” is sung by King George of which country?
Hint: He is not happy over the colonies wanting to break up with him, so he sings madly . . .
“Time will tell.
You’ll remember that I served you well.
Oceans rise, empires fall.
We have seen each other through it all.
And when push comes to shove . . .
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!
Da da dat dat daaaaa . . .”

3. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are long-time rivals. Hamilton loves to taunt Burr with the phrase: ”If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you_________?” A) Fall for? B) Eat for dinner? C) End up doing for the rest of your life?

4. What song has these lyrics?
“I’m not throwin’ away my shot!
I’m not throwin’ away my shot!
Ayo, I’m just like my country;
I’m young, scrappy, and hungry.
I’m not throwin’ away my shot!”

5. When Thomas Jefferson comes home from Paris, he sings a song “What’d I Miss?” about which state?
“So what did I miss?
What’d I miss?
___________ , my home sweet home, I wanna give you a kiss.”
Name that state! A) Oregon B) Virginia C) Texas

6. Was Alexander Hamilton Secretary of State OR Secretary of the Treasury?
Look at the lyrics from the song “Schuyler Defeated” for a clue:
(Sung by Aaron Burr to Hamilton) “Oh, Wall Street thinks you’re great. You’ll always be adored by the things you create.”

7. In the song “The Room Where it Happens”, Aaron Burr sings, “Or did you know, even then, it doesn’t matter where you put the U.S. Capital?”
Hamilton answers, “Cuz we’ll have the banks, we’re in the same spot. And I wanted what I got.”
What city instead of Washington D.C. was the U.S. Capital supposed to originally be in? (But Hamilton made sure the banking center of the nation was there, which he thought was just as important).

8. In the last song of the show “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” who is credited for telling the story of Hamilton’s life? A) George Washington B) Aaron Burr C) His wife Eliza

Did you score front-row answers? Check below to find out:

  1. ANSWER: “Right Hand Man”: the song where General George Washington (later to be President) picks Alexander Hamilton as his right hand man in battle.
  2. ANSWER: King George of England. (The King George songs are hilarious – some of my faves!)
  3. ANSWER: “Fall for.” (Oooh – take that Burr!) Alexander prided himself on being a man of strong opinions. He thought Burr was always too afraid to take a stand.
  4. ANSWER: “My Shot” (possibly my favorite song on the soundtrack).
  5. ANSWER: Virginia.
  6. ANSWER: Secretary of Treasury.
  7. ANSWER: New York City.
  8. ANSWER: His wife Eliza. They had mad drama, but she forgave him and interviewed soldiers he fought with, went over thousands of pages of his writings, carried on his fight against slavery, and established the first orphanage in New York City.

What do you guys think of Hamilton? Has it gotten you interested in American history? What are your favorite songs? Let us know, in the Comments!

-Ratha

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12. High School Musical 4 Casting

High School MusicalBy now, you know that Disney is making High School Musical 4, and instead of using the cast from the original High School Musical movies (remember Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, and Ashley Tisdale?), Disney is looking for all-new actors, singers, and dancers aged 14-17 to play the parts of all the Wildcats.

There is an open audition in Anaheim, CA on May 15. If you want to prepare at home, here’s the script:

PEYTON (MORNING, getting ready for school)
It’s like the adults had a meeting and said: “You know how teenagers have a biological need to sleep late? Let’s make them go to school super-crazy early!” Luckily I’ve got sports to keep me going. My family moves a lot for my dad’s job. Not great for making friends. But sports? They’re always there for me. I’ve got a jersey for every mood. Am I feeling Basketball “FUN,” Football “TOUGH” or Soccer “FOCUSED?” Which one says, “Today’s the Start of Something New…YET AGAIN”….??
(Pretends to hold up Soccer jersey) So “Soccer,” you gonna help me “Get My Head in the Game?!”

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13. Stephen Curry

Hi!Stephen Curry

Many people know Stephen Curry for his amazing shots, but if you really pay attention to him, he is also an amazing dribbler. I have always admired Stephen Curry, and I think he is one of the best basketball players to play in the NBA. He was the 1st round, 7th pick by the Golden State Warriors in 2009.

He is 6’3″ and 190 pounds, which is pretty small to be playing against some guys that can be up to seven feet tall and weigh close to 300 pounds. Even with his height disadvantage, Curry was still the NBA MVP last year, and his team also won the NBA championship. He has changed the way people think about the NBA because he is a normal-sized guy, but he can play with the best of them, including LeBron James. I’m sure he has inspired some athletes who are not necessarily big or tall to consider playing in the NBA.

Stephen Curry started playing basketball when he was a young boy. His brother, Seth, helped him practice a lot. I believe that Stephen Curry is a phenomenal basketball player, a great athlete, and a great influence for a lot of people. I may never be even close to as tall as he is, but Stephen Curry has influenced me to live my dream, to play basketball.

Leah, Scholastic Kids Council

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14. Pokémon Would You Rather

Would you rather . . .Pokemon Would You Rather

We know a lot of you love Pokémon, as we saw in our recent Most Powerful Pokémon post.

If you’re not familiar with the power of Pokéman,  they are fictional creatures that humans catch and train to battle each other for sport. And with just around 722 Pokémon characters to choose from  – spanning games, TV series, movies, and comics – it’s hard to pick a favorite! Whether you’re a seasoned Pokéfan, just discovering Pokémon, take a poke at our Pokémon Would You Rather.

Would You Rather . . . 

  1. Be in a Pokémon cartoon OR video game?
  2. Be Dialga (the steel dragon) and be able to warp time by speeding it up and slowing it down, OR Palkia (the water dragon) and be able to warp space, and travel to other dimensions?
  3. Have the power to copy your foe’s ability (Trace) OR the power to make your foe infatuated with you (Cute Charm)?
  4. Have Mega Kangaskhan OR Mega Rayquaza be your battle BFF?
  5. Have the power to turn your enemy to ice with an icy punch OR make your enemy fall asleep?
  6. The winner of the cutest Pokémon is . . . Pikachu OR Eevee?
  7. Be a “god” like Arceus OR a “beast” like Deoxys?
  8. Win a Pokémon playing card tournament OR Pokémon video game tournament?

Let us know your answers, and your Pokémon Would You Rather questions in the Comments below!

-Ratha

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15. Pokémon Would You Rather

Would you rather . . .

We know a lot of you love Pokémon, as we saw in our recent Most Powerful Pokémon post.

If you’re not familiar with the power of Pokéman,  they are fictional creatures that humans catch and train to battle each other for sport. And with just around 722 Pokémon characters to choose from  – spanning games, TV series, movies, and comics – it’s hard to pick a favorite! Whether you’re a seasoned Pokéfan, just discovering Pokémon, take a poke at our Pokémon Would You Rather.

Would You Rather . . . 

  1. Be in a Pokémon cartoon OR video game?
  2. Be Dialga (the steel dragon) and be able to warp time by speeding it up and slowing it down, OR Palkia (the water dragon) and be able to warp space, and travel to other dimensions?
  3. Have the power to copy your foe’s ability (Trace) OR the power to make your foe infatuated with you (Cute Charm)?
  4. Have Mega Kangaskhan OR Mega Rayquaza be your battle BFF?
  5. Have the power to turn your enemy to ice with an icy punch OR make your enemy fall asleep?
  6. The winner of the cutest Pokémon is . . . Pikachu OR Eevee?
  7. Be a “god” like Arceus OR a “beast” like Deoxys?
  8. Win a Pokémon playing card tournament OR Pokémon video game tournament?

Let us know your answers, and your Pokémon Would You Rather questions in the Comments below!

-Ratha

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16. Dr. KittyCat Pet Poll

Cat130Calling All Pet Lovers!

Dr. KittyCat is one wacky, totally purr-fect cat and the star of an awesome book series for ages 7-10. Which pet do YOU think should be featured in a mock illustration for Dr. KittyCat Book #1?

Take a look at these striking pets and leave your vote in the Comments below!

Wee Willie Cat 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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17. Which Marvel Hero Are You?

Who is your Marvel alter ego?Marvel Super Heroes Personality Quiz

In the spirit of being a reading superhero for this year’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, I’ve created a quiz to help you find your inner superhero based on The Avengers.

So what do you think? Would you be the great Captain America, the powerful and Incredible Hulk, the god of lightning, Thor, the ultimate fighting machine, Iron Man, or the expert spy, Black Widow? Answer the questions below and find out for yourself.

  1. Which characteristic do you relate to the most? a) Loyalty. b) Patience. c) Leadership. d) Genius. e) Athleticism.
  2. Your favorite color is . . . a) blue. b) green. c) red. d) yellow. e) black.
  3. If you saw an old lady crossing the street with heavy bags, you would . . .  a) help her carry her bags because it’s the polite thing to do. b) smash all the cars around her to make sure she gets across the street safely. c) send someone to go help her. d) pick her and her bags up and fly her across the street. e) you want to help but you really can’t because you’re already running late.
  4. If you could have any super power in the world, it would be . . . a) phenomenal endurance and fast brain capacity. b) great size and strength. c) ability to control thunder and lightning. d) flying e) amazing speed and agility… all natural talent.
  5. If you were stranded on an island, what would you choose to have with you? a) A strong shield. b) Nothing! Just my hands will do. c) A box of matches. d) Flashlight. e) A knife.
  6. What is your favorite school subject? a) History. b) Science. c) English. d) Math. e) Gym.
  7. Pick the book series you like most. a)I Survived by Lauren Tarshis. b) The Quantum League by Matthew J. Kirby. c) Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. d) Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. e) Lawless by Jeffrey Salane.
  8. What is your spirit animal? a) Falcon. b) Panda. c) Lion. d) Wolf. e) Leopard.
  9. What are you good at? a) Being popular. b) Watching TV. c) Giving advice to my friends. d) Getting good grades at school. e) Pretty much everything.
  10. If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be? a) Vanilla. b) Chunky Monkey. c) Cookies and Cream. d) Coffee Caramel. e) Strawberry Shortcake.
  11. Would you rather… a) use your power for good. b) keep your power a secret. c) use your power to rule the world. d) show off your power to your friends. e) use your power for evil.

Answers:

If you picked mostly A’s, you are Captain America!
You are a brave soul who is never afraid to stand up for your beliefs. Your friends know you are loyal and trustworthy so they have a tendency to tell you their deepest thoughts and secrets, which of course, you never tell!

If you picked mostly B’s, you are the Incredible Hulk!
People think you’re kind of crazy on the outside, but really, you’re just a regular person with a big kind heart. Your friends love having you around because you’re smart, honest, and humble. You pretty much never brag about your awesomeness because it speaks for itself.

If you picked mostly C’s, you are Thor!
You have a commanding presence accompanied by sound judgement. People trust you to always do and say the right thing, which is why all your friends want you in their circle of trust. What can I say? You’re a natural leader!

If you picked mostly D’s, you are Iron Man!
You are a fearless, sophisticated genius and you know it. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of confidence especially when your confidence is contagious. People flock to you because they want to be you. Friends love you because you inspire them. Keep up the good work!

If you picked mostly E’s, you are the Black Widow.
Although rumored to be an enemy, you’re actually spirited and loving. You care a lot for the people you love and will do anything in your power to make them happy and keep them safe. Did I mention your alter ego is also really beautiful? Yup, that’s you!

Which superhero are you? Drop a Comment below to let us know who you got.

-Sandy

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18. High School Musical 4 Dream Cast

HSMWildcats everywhere, wave your hands up in the air!!

If you, like me, are a High School Musical SUPER-FAN, you are probably SUPER-PSYCHED that High School Musical 4 is in the works. That’s right, everyone: we’re going back to East High! While Gabriella and Troy graduated some time ago (from college now, too), the new generation of East High students are just sliding into their seats in time for the first bell. What we can expect: A whirlwind of new musical numbers, wow-worthy dance sequences, and heartwarming moments. What’s still up in the air: Who’s going to be the new girl? Who’s going to be the star athlete? Who’s going to be the diva-in-charge??

Disney is looking for brand-new actors and actresses to star in this latest sequel. (There is an open audition in Anaheim, CA on May 15.) but we thought it couldn’t hurt to come up with the perfect cast based on the stars we already know and love. Behold: our very own dream cast for High School Musical 4!

The Star Athlete – Blake Michael. If you’ve ever seen Dog with a Blog or Lemonade Mouth, you already know that Blake is incredibly likeable and charming . . . and he can definitely sing! He’d be perfect to play the role of the fun-loving, all-around popular dude, and Troy would be proud to pass the baton to this (really handsome) star on the rise.

The New Girl – China Anne McClain! If you were a fan of A.N.T. Farm, you KNOW this girl can sing (and dance, and play a lot of musical instruments. Is there anything she CAN’T do?). Of course, she was meant to star in a musical! And while she’s more outgoing than Gabriella from the originals, China has her sweetness and a really fun, exciting attitude that would bring fresh energy to the role.

The Queen Bee – Sabrina Carpenter of Girl Meets World. This talented singer-songwriter is already on her way to musical stardom, and she totally has that star quality pizzazz—a lot like Sharpay from the original movies! She’d bring loads of humor and fun, with a healthy dose of heart.

The Shy Genius – Louriza Tronco of Make it Pop. It would be really cool to see Louriza take on a role like Ryan’s from the original High School Musical movies, since she’s a great dancer and is passionate about style—much like Ryan was!

The Loyal Bestie – Jordan Fisher from Teen Beach 2. In addition to wowing us in Teen Beach 2, Jordan also did an AMAZING job in Grease: Live! He can definitely take on a role like Chad’s: a high-energy, super-passionate bestie who can motivate anyone, from his buddy to an entire stadium of basketball fans.

The Supergirl – Sofia Carson from Descendants. While her character Evie in Descendants was not exactly the biggest fan of following the rules, Sofia definitely has the great sense of humor it takes to play the part of the driven, super-smart yearbook editor/scholastic decathlon team captain/class president/BFF the new girl needs to keep her grounded—just like Taylor!

What do you think? Who would be in YOUR dream cast of High School Musical 4? Let us know your thoughts and picks in the Comments below.

Yours in singing High School Musical songs all day, every day, until the new movie comes out,

En-Szu

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19. Twisted Fairy Tales

Recommend me!I love all fairy tales whether they are books, movies, plays, or even ballets! From Frozen to Sisters Grimm, to Swan Lake, I love it all. The fairy tales in this list are a bit . . . twisted. They are based on the original stories, but then there is some kind of twist to make it different and interesting.

Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale for Ages 7–10
The houses of all Three (not-so-) Little Pigs were broken into and ransacked, and the Pigs are squealing for justice. So Prince Tyrone, ruler of Fairylandia, drags in the obvious suspect: Wolfgang.

The lone wolf has big teeth, sharp claws, no alibi—and a single day to find the real culprit and clear his big bad name. When Wolf (reluctantly) teams up with the fourth Little Pig to crack the case, the Big Bad Detective Agency—and an adventure way funnier than your average fairy tale—is born!

Tyme #1: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison for Ages 8–12
In all of Tyme, from the Redlands to the Grey, no one is as lucky as Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower that obeys her every wish; she reads wonderful books starring herself as the heroine; her hair is the longest, most glorious thing in the world. And she knows this because Witch tells her so—her beloved Witch, who protects her from evil princes, the dangerous ground under the tower, even unhappy thoughts. Rapunzel can’t imagine any other life.

Then a thief named Jack climbs into her room to steal one of her enchanted roses. He’s the first person Rapunzel’s ever met who isn’t completely charmed by her (well, the first person she’s met at all, really), and he is infuriating—especially when he hints that Witch isn’t telling her the whole truth. Driven by anger at Jack and her own nameless fears, Rapunzel descends to the ground for the first time, and finds a world filled with more peril than Witch promised . . . and more beauty, wonder, and adventure than she could have dreamed.

Whatever After: Beauty Queen by Sarah Mlynowski for Ages 8-12
This time, the magic mirror sucks Abby and Jonah into the story of Beauty and the Beast. When the siblings accidentally mess up this enchanting and magical tale, hijinks and hilarity ensue . . . and things get pretty ugly! See also the other books in the Whatever After series.

Grimmtastic Girls #6: Goldilocks Breaks In by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams for Ages 8–12
Goldilocks wants everything in her life to be just right, but sometimes at Grimm Academy, there are too many choices. When she sneaks into Grimmstone Library after hours, she’ll have to make a tough decision if she wants to discover her magic charm! See also the other Grimmtastic books.

Twice Upon a Time #1: Rapunzel, the One With All the Hair by Wendy Mass for Ages 8-12
Rapunzel is having the ultimate bad day. She’s been stolen from home by an evil witch, locked in an incredibly high tower, and doesn’t even have a decent brush for her hair. Prince Benjamin is in a pretty uncomfortable situation himself. His father wants him to be more kingly, his mother wants him to never leave her sight, and his cousin wants to get him into as much trouble as possible. Plus, there’s the little matter of prearranged marriages. . . . Both Rapunzel and Prince Benjamin are trapped—in very different ways. It’s only when their paths cross, that things really start to change. Also available: Twice Upon a Time #2: Sleeping Beauty, The One Who Took the Really Long Nap. Twice Upon a Time #3: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn’t Run Away

If you love fairy tales like I do, try these books and tell me what you think in the Comments.

Sonja

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20. Dog Show Logic Reasoning Puzzle

Solve the puzzleSolve This Dog Show Logical Reasoning Puzzle

Okay, here’s a new logical reasoning puzzle. See if you can figure it out on your own. If you can’t, don’t worry. The answer is below. So grab a pencil and paper, and good luck!

(1) Five dogs are appearing in a dog show. (2) The Chihuahua appears first. (3) The Golden Retriever comes out right after the Great Dane. (4) The Poodle and the Golden Retriever both come before the Dachshund. (5) The Poodle comes out before the Great Dane. In what order do the dogs appear?

Here’s how to use process of elimination to solve it:

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. Draw five empty boxes with the numbers 1-5 marked above them. Why 5? We know from reading the first sentence of the puzzle that there are five dogs, so these boxes represent the order of each dog.

Now read the second sentence. We know that the Chihuahua comes out first. So mark Chihuahua in Box 1.

Let’s move on to the third sentence. We know the Golden Retriever comes right after the Great Dane so the Great Dane can not be last in Box 5. And we know that box 1 is already taken. That means the Great Dane could be in either Box 2, 3, or 4. And the Golden Retriever can only be in Box 3, 4, or 5 because if it was in Box 2, it would be after the Chihuahua instead of the Great Dane. For now, write Great Dane in Box 2, 3, and 4 and write Golden Retriever in Box 3, 4, and 5. we will use process of elimination to cross out the wrong ones.

Sentence 4 tells us that the Golden Retriever and the Poodle come before the Dachshund. Hold on. That means that the Golden Retriever can’t be in Box 5 because the Dachshund comes after it. Since the Golden Retriever can’t be in Box, 5 then the Great Dane can’t be in Box 4, so cross those 2 out.

Since the Dachshund comes after the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, that means the Dachshund could be in Box 4 or 5, so write Dachshund in those 2 boxes. And the Poodle could be in any box before the Dachshund (except Box 1 because Chihuahua is there). So, write Poodle in Boxes 2,3, and 4. Whew! This is getting tough, but stick with it! It will all work out in the end.

Now for the final clue, sentence 5! The Poodle comes out before the Great Dane. That means the Great Dane can not be in Box 2 because the Chihuahua is in Box 1, not the Poodle. So cross out Great Dane in Box 2. Take a look. The Great Dane can only be in Box 3. Cross out everything else in Box 3 and circle Great Dane.  And since the Golden Retriever is after the Great Dane, it has to be in Box 4! When you cross out all the other dogs that don’t belong in Boxes 3 and 4, you can see that Box 5 belongs to the Dachshund, and Box 2 belongs to the Poodle!

Here’s the answer from left to right: Chihuahua, Poodle, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, and Dachshund. We did it!

Do you like these kinds of puzzles? Leave a Comment to say what you think!

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21. Stuck in the Middle Would You Rather

stuck in the middleStuck in the Middle Would You Rather

If you’ve seen the new show Stuck in the Middle, you’re probably a fan, because once you watch one episode you just can’t stop! At least this was the case for me. The show is about Harley Diaz and her six (yep six!) siblings and she’s the middle kid.

  • Rachael – the oldest, totally vain and into her looks and social media.
  • Ethan – Harley’s favorite sibling, budding musician, and partner in crime.
  • Georgie – basketball player who makes up for lack of “skill” with positive will (known to say “Negativity is loserville, my friend!”). Slightly annoying but kind of funny.
  • Twins Louie and Beast – crazy mini-ninjas.
  • Daphne – the youngest, usually wearing a tutu, tiara, and their mom’s high heels.

Her mom occasionally hides in the pantry to escape from the craziness of seven kids, and the kids often eat food from the garbage. But hey – this just happens sometimes with seven kids in one family!

Would You Rather. . .

  1. Be the oldest of seven siblings OR the youngest?
  2. Have your family forget your birthday OR totally embarrass you in front of your crush on your birthday?
  3. Have your wi-fi cancelled OR your device/tablet broken?
  4. Have a big family OR be an only child?
  5. Be a rock star musician OR world famous scientist?
  6. Only get 3 minutes in the bathroom in the morning OR have to share a toothbrush with your sibling?
  7. Babysit three crazy 5-year olds OR change five poopy diapers?

Let us know what you’d rather in the Comments below!

-Ratha

 

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22. Celebrity Names Scramble

question marksUnscramble the Celebrity Names!

Can you unscramble the letters to figure out the names of these celebs? You should recognize a lot of these famous people from their STACKS interviews!

Male Celebs:

  1. Cjak Frifog
  2. Narka Abarr
  3. Acje Nnomar
  4. Rhaorisn Dfor
  5. Kacj Lckab

Female Celebs:

  1. Voed Maceonr
  2. Yzdneaa Lconema
  3. Wnroa Hlanbcard
  4. Alaur Amanro
  5. Npeyto Islt

Are you stumped? Here are the answers:

Male Celebs:

  1. Jack Griffo
  2. Karan Brar
  3. Jace Norman
  4. Harrison Ford
  5. Jack Black

Female Celebs:

  1. Dove Cameron
  2. Zendaya Coleman
  3. Rowan Blanchard
  4. Laura Marano
  5. Peyton List

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23. 10 Problems Only People Who Play an Instrument Understand

10 Problems Only People Who Play an Instrument Understand

Do you play an instrument? Are you one of those fabulously talented people who can transform an empty room into an instant dance party? Well, we know it’s not easy being awesome, so this Top Ten List is for you! We’ve compiled a list of top 10 problems only people who play an instrument understand.

  1. Spit valves and emptying your spit. (Eww).
  2. What to wear to the band concert.
  3. Messing up your solo at the band concert!
  4. Your saxophone, backpack, and athletic gear take up an ENTIRE school bus seat.
  5. Saying this to your friends: “I can’t come over today. I have to practice.”
  6. Short nails (sorry violin players).
  7. When you have to rehearse a song that you hate over and over and over . . . and over again.
  8. A broken string at the worst possible time.
  9. When your little brother “practices” on your trumpet.
  10. Demands to perform at every family gathering.

What about you guys? Do you play an instrument? Let us know some of YOUR problems in the Comments below!

-Ratha, Writer

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24. Baseball Books

Recommend me!Baseball Books for Kids Aged 7-12

The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend: A Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend

By Sharon Robinson
Ages 8-12

Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson.

The year is 1948, and the place is Brooklyn, New York. Stephen Satlow, a local Jewish boy, is an avid Brooklyn Dodgers’ fan but a mediocre athlete, at best. When Jackie Robinson moves into his predominantly Jewish neighborhood and befriends Steve, his status changes instantly.
Their bond deepens when Jackie commits a well-intentioned blunder. He mistakenly gives Steve’s family a Christmas tree. As the tension clears, acceptance of Jackie’s gift of the tree becomes symbolic of two families from different religious and cultural backgrounds finding common ground. The friendship between the two families grows over the next few decades, when enormous social changes sweep the nation.

Scholastic Year in Sports 2016
By James Buckley Jr.
Ages 8-12
Featuring the latest and greatest superstars, this is a must-have guide for sports fans of all ages!
For sports fans everywhere, the 2016 edition of Year in Sports features full-color action photographs throughout, completely updated facts and stats, and a colorful interior design. Features info about all of the top athletes, championships, and legends from the major and secondary sports. Including your favorite stars like LeBron James, JJ Watt, Clayton Kershaw, Serena Williams, Lionel Messi, and McKayla Maroney, Scholastic Year in Sports 2016 is perfect for sports beginners, as well as the most devoted of fans.

Little Rhino #1: My New Team
By Ryan Howard and Krystle Howard; Illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Ages 7–10
From Major League Baseball superstar Ryan Howard and his wife, Krystle Howard, a former elementary schoolteacher, this exciting new series is a fun read for sports and book fans alike.
One afternoon, after a long day of second grade, Little Rhino comes home to find out that Grandpa James has signed him up for a baseball league. Little Rhino will finally be a part of a team. But Little Rhino will quickly learn that it is not always so easy to be a good teammate, especially when there’s a bully wearing the same uniform as you. See also the other Little Rhino books. 

The Way Home Looks Now
By Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Ages 8–12

Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.

Game Changers #3: Heavy Hitters
By Mike Lupica
Ages 8-12
Ben and his friends, the Core Four Plus One, are so excited to play in their town’s All-Star Baseball league. But in the first game of the season, Ben gets hit by a pitch. It’s never happened to him before and it shakes him up. Another player on Ben’s team, Justin, is acting really strangely. Ben has known Justin for a while and they’re friendly, but he’s not one of Ben’s closest “boys.” Justin is the team’s best hitter, but his behavior on and off the field is erratic.
Ben discovers that Justin’s parents are getting a divorce and Justin is thinking about quitting the team. Like good teammates do, Justin helps Ben deal with his hitting issues while Ben is there for his friend while his family is struggling.

42: The Jackie Robinson Story
By Aaron Rosenberg
Ages 8-12
A novel based on the movie 42—a biopic about Jackie Robinson’s history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American Major League Baseball player.

Champ
By Marcia Thornton Jones
Ages 7-10
Riley is awful at sports. He wants to quit the baseball team, but his dad won’t let him give up. So when one bad swing brings a three-legged dog into his life, Riley feels like he’s been thrown a curveball. How can he take care of a dog and make his dad proud? Champ is a former champion show dog. But when the accident that leaves him with Riley also leaves him with three legs, this dog has to learn some new tricks. Can Champ show Riley that winning doesn’t always mean coming in first? Together, Riley and Champ make a great team, but not everyone thinks so. Could they be separated?

Down to the Last Out: The Journal of Biddy Owens, The Negro Leagues
By Walter Dean Myers
Ages 8-12
Seventeen-year-old Biddy Owens is part of the Birmingham Black Barons baseball team and dreams of becoming a major league baseball player. However, in 1948 most black players can only play for the Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson has just recently integrated and is playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but the white owners are reluctant to add too many blacks to their rosters. The Birmingham Black Barons are some of the best players in the league. But as they travel around playing ball, Biddy realizes that not everyone is ready for blacks and whites to play on the same team. Can Biddy prove he’s good enough to be part of the game he loves, no matter what color his skin is?

Plunked
By Michael Northrop
Ages 8-12
When a young slugger gets hit by a pitch, he needs more than practice to get back his game.
Jack Mogens thinks he’s got it all figured out: he has his batting routine down, and now that he’s in sixth grade, he has a lock on a starting spot in Little League. (Well, almost. Okay, not really. It’s a two-man race, though, so he has a shot.) And if he can manage to have a not-totally-embarrassing conversation with Katie, his team’s killer shortstop, he’ll be golden. But when a powerful stray pitch turns his world upside down, Jack discovers it’s going to take more than a love of baseball to get back his game.

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25. Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed Ideas

Happy Mother's DayMake a Mother’s Day Breakfast!

With Mother’s Day this weekend, have you thought about what you are going to do to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her? If you still haven’t got a clue, here’s an awesome plan that you, your siblings, and your dad can do for the ultimate Mother’s Day gift from the heart.

On the menu is a classic breakfast of toast, eggs, strawberries, and any other cereal or yogurt you know your mom loves. What makes this breakfast uber-adorable is the heart-shaped toast and strawberries. Here’s how to make them:

Heart toast

photo credit: jenifoto/iStockphoto

1. Heart-shaped toast with egg
Ok, so here’s where art class might come in handy. Grab a piece of toast and use a butter knife to cut out a big heart shape in the center. Have a grown-up help you turn the stove to medium high and add butter to a non-stick pan. Place the bread with the cut out heart on the pan and slowly crack an egg into the middle of the heart shape, making sure the egg whites fill out the area. Cook as desired, either on one side or flip to get both sides cooked.

Strawberry hearts

photo credit: talitha_it/iStockphoto

2. Heart-shaped strawberries
Have you ever noticed that strawberries look like hearts? They could make the cutest fruit garnish to top off Mom’s favorite bowl of cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. To do this, hold the strawberry so that the flatter and wider side faces you. Have a grown-up help you cut the leafy stem off in a v-shape. Then carefully slice the strawberry down the middle, in the opposite direction of the v-shape, so that the strawberry looks like a heart.

Make sure you do a few trial runs first to perfect your technique. Also, don’t forget to wake up a little early that day before Mom wakes up so you have time to prepare. She’ll love waking up to a big breakfast surprise made by YOU.

Let us know YOUR good ideas for Mother’s Day!

-Sandy

 

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