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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: winter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard, by Janice Dean | Book Review

Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard does an excellent job of creating a creative way to get kids interested in learning about the science of weather.

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2. warm winter wishes...

crystal~graphite on bristol
©the enchanted easel 2015
love, crystal
xxx

ORIGINAL DRAWING FOR SALE, IN MY SHOP, NOW!

{little crystal is 2015's first drawing....and she has two friends to join her....COMING SOON! :)}

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3. ✨ sunday night superstar! ✨

©the enchanted easel 2014
just a peek at some new art for 2015!

working on a few ORIGINAL DRAWINGS that will be FOR SALE the first week of 2015...looking forward to the new year and the new opportunities it shall bring! :)

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4. Seven facts about American Christmas Music

With that familiar chill in the air signaling winter’s imminent arrival, it’s time again to indulge our craving for Christmas music by Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, and more. But first, let’s take a step back and explore the history of Christmas music with the following facts.

  • From medieval Christmas celebrations onwards, the holiday has included Christian, pagan, and secular elements. For example, American Christmas songs range from religious hymns and carols to secular songs about Santa Claus and general goodwill.
  • During the 17th and 18th centuries, American colonists celebrated Christmas with mumming practices, including costumes, pranks, dancing, and musical instruments.
  • Boston tanner and composer William Billings wrote sacred Christmas music in the 18th century.
  • American Christmas music developed from various immigrant traditions, gaining popularity in the United States during the 19th century.
  • Charles Dickens contributed to the popularity of Christmas traditions with his successful novels The Pickwick Papers (1836-7) and A Christmas Carol (1843). Celebrations during this period included door-to-door Christmas caroling, Christmas cards, and “living nativity” scenes.
  • Several classic Christmas carols were produced in the 19th century, including “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” (1849), “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (1863), and “Away in a Manager” (1885).
  • The popularity of Christmas music exploded with radio, television, and film in the 20th century. Hollywood has played an important role in the popularity of Christmas music with films like Holiday Inn (1942), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), and A Christmas Story (1983). (We couldn’t resist posting this classic scene below.)

Check out our list of classic Christmas tunes below:

Headline image credit: Lighted Santa Reindeer, 2012. Photo by Anthony92931. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The post Seven facts about American Christmas Music appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. A smorgasbord of Christmas foods

In many parts of the world, Christmas does not lack in spirit or rich flavors. Though sweets are a major highlight to this festive holiday, there are quite a few notable savory foods to consider. As you are sitting down to your third helping of turkey, take a look through just some of the Christmas foods people will be eating this year:

What sorts of Christmas foods do you have every year? Let us know in the comments below.

Headline image credit: Christmas decoration. Image by Hades2k. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

The post A smorgasbord of Christmas foods appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. A comic for the holiday season (thanks to Pamela Ross for her caption!)

Thanks to Pamela Ross for letting me turning her caption into a comic.

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7. The longest night of the year

The winter solstice settles on 21 December this year, which means it’s the day with the least amount of sunlight. It’s the official first day of winter, although people have been braving the cold for weeks, huddled in coats and scarves and probably wool socks. It’s easy to pass over the winter solstice because of the holidays; however, many traditions center around the solstices and equinoxes, and even Christmas has borrowed some ideas from the midwinter celebration. Below are a few facts about the winter solstice and the influence it has had on religion.

1.   The winter solstice occurs when the sun at noon is in its lowest position in the sky, which puts it over the Tropic of Capricorn (22-23 December).

2.   The astronomical solstice is 21 December, but midwinter or Yule covers a few weeks during the time of the solstice. During medieval times, this period would stretch from the feast of St. Nicholas (6 December) and Christmas Day, then from Christmas to Epiphany or Candlemas.

snow-21979_640 (1)
Winter. Public domain via Pixabay.

3.   It is most likely untrue that Christmas is the birth-date of Christ. However, it was likely set on 25 December to coincide with the already well-established Pagan holidays. In ancient times, the winter solstice was celebrated as the birthday of the two gods Sol Invictus (the invincible sun) and Mithras.

4.   In contemporary Paganism, Yule celebrates the rebirth of the sun with the winter solstice, as it is the darkest time of the year with the days get longer after the solstice.

5.   The Christmas traditions of gift-giving, candles, mistletoe, evergreens, holly, yule logs, Old Father Time, red and white colors, and others all come from Latin and Germanic yuletide celebrations. The word “yule” is thought to have originated from the Anglo-Saxon word for “yoke,” although it is possible it is connected to the words for sun in Cornish and Breton.

6.   “Calendar customs are cultural expressions of repetitive seasonal rhythms.” Generally, holidays and customs follow along the changing of the seasons. Midsummer and midwinter especially pair together as the longest day and longest night of the year.

Headline image credit: Winter forest. Public domain via Pixabay.

The post The longest night of the year appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Snowman Comic Caption Winner: David Lubar

Thanks to everyone who entered my Snowman Comic Caption Contest! So many great entries and quite a few of them would have fit perfectly. 

Congrats to David Lubar, whose caption I chose for the final comic. David wins a copy of either I'M BORED or NAKED! (his choice), signed by me, inscribed and mailed to anyone/anywhere he'd like, plus a Random hand-drawn/painted doodle by yours truly.

Runners-up, each of whom gets a Random hand-drawn/painted doodle:

"Darn screen is frozen." - Cindy Williams Schrauben 

"Frosty enjoyed nothing more than correcting people's grammar on the internet." - Ezra Denney

"I don't snow whether to use my pen name, Robert Frost, or my real name. I wonder if readers will carrot all." - Dee Leone

"Call me Icemael" - Kathy Holzapfel

"That's me as a snowball." - Pamela Ross

To David, Cindy, Ezra, Dee, Kathy & Pamela: please send me a FB message or Twitter DM with your contact info? Please start your msg with "COMIC PRIZE" to make sure I see it (I tend to get a lot of Kickstarter, auto-mailings & other requests).

You can read other caption suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. Here are just a few of my other favourites (apologies if I left out duplicate credits; there were a bunch of similar themes :-)):

"Oh, this is heating up! I'd better finish before I melt." - Sandra Gulland

"Google search: 'smart gloves'" - Lori Nichols

"It was a dark and snowy night..." - Jo Karaplis and Susan Pace-Koch

"Dear Bill Nye, what can I do to help stop global warming?" - Sue Jeffers

"Honey, I'll be done surfing the net soon, then you can have your head back." - Jim McMahon

"This ending will make their hearts melt!" - Kelly Bingham

"Throwback Thursday: Yes that was me once upon a time. I was just a flake." - Lindsay Brennan

"My writing today is abominable." - Henry Herz

"Missed Connections: Lost my old silk hat. Although life does surprisingly go on, you are missed. Thumpity thump thump just isn't the same without you." - Marcie Colleen

"Frosty's family was unable to cope with his winternet addiction." - Dan Hoffman

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9. A Tiny Respite - Joan lennon

I know you're busy.  I expect you're stressed.  So here's a tiny gift to you.  Take a few moments to forget the faff and just look.  And breathe.  (Always a good idea but sometimes neglected at this time of year.)








Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.


Thank you, Joan, for such wonderfully wintry pictures to close the Awfully Big Blog Adventure posts for 2014.

We'll be taking a short break but, meanwhile, huge thanks to the writers and illustrators who've shared their thoughts, ideas and experiences on ABBA - and additional thanks to all of you who read, comment and share our pages throughout the year.

Have a happy holiday, whether reading, writing, drawing, dreaming or more!
The Awfully Big Blog Adventure will be back on the first of January, 2015.

Seasons Greetings from the ABBA Team!





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10. red sled – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: red sled Written and illustrated by: Lita Judge Published by: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011 Themes/Topics: sledding, animals, onomatopoeia Suitable for ages: 3-5 Fiction, 32 pages Opening: Scrinch, scrunch, scrinch, scrunch, scrinch, scrunch Synopsis: Almost wordless book of the nighttime animal … Continue reading

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11. little Aspen...

aspen penguin
©the enchanted easel 2014
bringing a bit of dapperness to the month of december! :)

this is my last official painting for the year 2014...and wow, what a year it has been! from my upgrade/evolution in painting style to the rebuilding of my site and opening some new (online) shops, well i like to think it's been a pretty productive year! now...BRING ON 2015 'cause this girl is READY!!!

ok, back to little Aspen here {sorry to steal your thunder there for a minute, little buddy...;)}. he is FOR SALE AS A PRINT at the shops found here:

also...i am offering the ORIGINAL PAINTING FOR SALE as well! *EMAIL ME AT THE ADDY LISTED ON THE CONTACT PAGE OF MY WEBSITE IF INTERESTED*. he has a little girlfriend, named Alaska (pictured below) 
alaska penguin
©the enchanted easel 2014

and she is also FOR SALE! if interested in the ORIGINAL PAINTINGS as a set, i would be more than happy to accommodate you at a discounted price for the both of them. just send me an email and we can make it happen! 


i'll be posting some sketches and some finished drawings (which i will be offering up FOR SALE) for the rest of december! until then...

"LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!" :)

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12. 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter

Winter encourages a certain kind of idiosyncratic imagery not found during any other season: white, powdery snow, puffs of warm breath, be-scarfed holiday crowds. The following slideshow presents a lovely compilation of quotes from the eighth edition of our Oxford Dictionary of Quotations that will inspire a newfound love for winter, whether you’ve ever experienced snow or not!

Are there any other wintry quotes that you love? Let us know in the comments below.

Headline image credit: Winter bird. Photo by Mathias Erhart. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr. All slideshow background images CC0/public domain via Pixabay or PublicDomainPictures.net (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10).

The post 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Holiday Kidlit: DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW by Helaine Becker & Werner Zimmerman (Scholastic Canada)

Looking for some Canadian holiday kidlit cheer? Try DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW: A CANADIAN JINGLE BELLS, a new book written by my friend Helaine Becker, illustrated by Werner Zimmermann, companion to their #1 national bestseller, A PORCUPINE IN A PINE TREE. More info about DASHING on the Scholastic Canada site.

More about Helaine: http://www.helainebecker.com/

More about Werner: http://wernerzimmermann.ca/

---

Also see my other #BookADay posts.

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14. this little guy...


©the enchanted easel 2014

 he's what's on the easel this week!

another penguin...coming soon! :)

{dapper little fella he is...}














©the enchanted easel 2014

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15. Comic: Snowman Gift

 

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16. Children’s Book Trends on The Children’s Book Review | December 2014

The Children’s Book Review | December 8, 2014 We have a winter wonderland of books and articles appearing in The Children’s Book Review‘s book trends this month; including our list “20 of the Best Christmas Books.” We also have some great giveaways trending, so check out the details below for your chance to enter. Did you catch all of the wonderful literacy resources, […]

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17. a fashion savvy little penguin...

truly a bird after my own heart!

meet little alaska, a sweet and stylish little penguin. from her striped scarf and her pink bow...well, let's just say i may have been her inspiration. i mean, i do LOVE me some bows and the color pink. 'nuff said! ;)

she is FOR SALE AS A PRINT FOUND THROUGH THE SHOP LINKS HERE:

also, (wait for it...wait for it....) for the first time all year i am offering the ORIGINAL PAINTING FOR SALE! she is sized at an 8x8 (a perfect square-my favorite shape...just sayin') and is painted in brightly colored acrylics on a .75 gallery wrapped canvas. i made sure to seal her with a nice matte varnish to keep her happy and healthy through those long cold arctic winters. ;)

EMAIL ME AT enchantedeasel@yahoo.com IF INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THE ORIGNAL PAINTING! please be sure to put ALASKA in the subject line. please...and thank you.

up next...well her faithful and dapper little companion, aspen, of course! ;)

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18. Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen | Storytime Standouts

Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen is the first in our series of posts looking at the 2013 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books

Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon KlassenExtra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
2013 Caldecott Honor Book published by Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers



When young Annabelle finds a box of yarn and knitting needles, she begins by knitting herself a colorful sweater. Once the sweater is finished, she looks for friends and neighbors to outfit in warm wool creations. It is not long before she transforms her dreary, wintry grey town into a cheery, cozy world using the apparently endless supply of yarn. When an archduke arrives and offers to buy the magical box and its contents, Annabelle refuses him. He decides that he must have it and sends robbers to get the box from her. Extra Yarn spread

A fascinating fairy tale that explores generosity and community, Extra Yarn is best suited to children aged four years and up. Fans of Jon Klassen will enjoy spotting some of his trademark characters wearing Annabelle’s cozy gifts.

2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

Extra Yarn at Amazon.com

Extra Yarn at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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19. The Magic of Wordless Picture Books

We adults need to create space for readers and a defined comfort zone for them to enjoy wordless experiences. We must bite our tongues and allow experiences to unfold right in front of our eyes.

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20. Science in Poetry



Winter Bees: & Other Poems of the Cold
by Joyce Sidman
illustrated by Rick Allen
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2014

As I noted yesterday, J. Patrick Lewis' anthology title says it all: "Everything is a Poem." Today we'll look at science in poetry. Upcoming posts include nature, history, biography and imagination in poetry.

Joyce Sidman's Winter Bees is the perfect book to usher in this year's first Polar Vortex. Every day, compliments of the TV weather reporters, we are getting a science lesson in meteorology. Sidman's book will answer questions about how animals survive in the cold.

Each of the dozen poems, most about animals ranging in size from moose to springtail, but also including trees and snowflakes, is accompanied by a short sidebar of scientific information that expands the scope of this book to topics such as migration, hibernation, and the shape of water molecules, and introduces such delicious vocabulary as brumate, ectothermic, furcula, and subnivean.

The illustrations are simply gorgeous. You will want to spend as much time with them as you do savoring Joyce's poems. Watch out for that fox -- s/he wanders throughout the book!

As you and your students explore this book and Joyce's others, don't forget to check out Joyce's website. It is a treasure-trove for readers, writers, and dog lovers.


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21. sweetness

I received a package in the mail this week, and now I can finally show you a sweet assignment that dropped in my lap this summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the whole thing in excruciating detail, but it always takes me a bit longer to come over here. Well, here goes:

Here I am on the table of contents, mine is the seal juggling Oreo truffles - of course.
 I got to do a feature for allrecipe magazine, and although I'm playing it cool, it was pretty exciting.

For this holiday candy recipe layout, the Art Director chose to photograph the confections in a watercolor Candyland landscape. The candies would become part of the picture, and turn into something else. I got to invent a storyline, paint the scenes and come up with ways to "disguise" the candy, which was a lot of fun.




These are a few of my favorites.

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22. Some things are worth waiting for: Snow by Samuel Usher

Illustrator Sam Usher burst onto the scene two years ago with with a riot of colour and pattern in Can You See Sassoon?, which was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book Award 2013. When your first book gets flagged up as a potential prize winner, there is some expectation and anticipation when it comes to future publications.

More than two years after Can You See Sassoon? was published, Usher is back, and like all good things, it has been worth the wait.

snowfrontcoverSnow by Sam Usher celebrates that wonderfully exciting feeling in the pit of your stomach when you open your eyes in the morning, draw back the curtains and… your world has been transformed by a deep blanket of snow. The potential for play, the white world waiting to be explored, the possibility to really make your own mark….ahh! Just how quickly can you get out there to delight in at all?

A young boy zooms through getting ready, frustrated by the time it takes his Grandfather to join him. Will it be worth the wait for other kids are already out there leaving footprints everywhere?

A whole lot of snowballs and a little bit of childhood magic later, Grandpa and child agree “some things are definitely worth waiting for“. With Snow, I couldn’t agree more.

snow_-_grandad

Usher’s illustrations are full of life and energy; there’s a comfortable looseness about them, and I cannot help but draw comparisons (in the best possible way) with Quentin Blake. Perhaps it is because the Grandfather in this story physically reminds me of Blake, with his bald pate and avuncular manner. But it’s also in the noses, the wonky fingers, the hand gestures and I love this stylistic echo. Indeed I get a real kick from these potentially vulnerable pen lines that speak to me of a real person, drawing a line that connects creator, story, reader and listener together.

With another contender for my favourite page turn of the year, showing how an almost plain white page can produce both gasps and a burst of warm delight, Snow is a wintry classic that will bring much delight and joy, however long you have to wait for it.

Snow_inside

Alas weather in our part of the world has been unseasonally warm so I don’t hold out much hope of snow any time this year. Ever the optimist, I instead made some snow to play with in the warmth of our kitchen.

Snow dough is a moldable yet friable substance akin to commercially available ‘moon sand’, made out of corn flour (corn starch) and oil. We mixed about one part sunflower oil to four parts corn flour, and just for good measure added in a few drops of peppermint essential oil so that our snow dough smelt like Christmas candy.

snow1

I smoothed out the snow dough to recreate that blissful untouched vista of snow, and brought out a load of playmobil people and plastic animals (matching those in the book where possible). A small pot of glitter, for pinching and casting over the scene to add a little extra sparkle completed the invitation to play.

snow4

Lots of tracks in the snow were made, and because the snow dough is moldable, caches of snowballs and even an igloo were also prepared.

snow2

The snow dough has a wonderful crunch to it when you mold it – satisfyingly just like real snow!

snow3

Cake and hot chocolate completed our afternoon playing in the “snow”.

snow5

Whilst playing in the snow we listened to:

  • Dean Martin sing Let it Snow!
  • Snow Day by Zak Morgan – we really love this one!
  • Snow Day Dance by The Fuzzy Lemons

  • Other activities which could work well alongside reading Snow include:

  • Creating your own snowstorm at home. Inspired by the ‘Snowstorm in China’ magic trick (click here to see in action – I’m assuming shiny trousers are optional), you – and the kids – could tear up large quantities of white tissue paper and then use fans to get the “snow” falling in your home.
  • Using a jam jar to male a snow globe. I particularly like this tutorial on Our Best Bites.
  • Researching how to make the best hot chocolate. Why not make a “science lab” with different types of milk, cocoa vs hot chocolate powder vs melted chocolate, optional extras like marshmallows or flaked chocolate and investigate different ways of making this wintry drink; kids will no doubt enjoy coming up with their own recipes. Here’s a comparison of different recipes to get you started.
  • I know at least one of my readers has already got snow this November (Hello Donna!), but has anyone else had the chance to play in snow yet this year? Or are you heading into Summer?

    Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Snow from the publisher.

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    23. stripes and bows...

    ©the enchanted easel 2014

    ©the enchanted easel 2014























    and a sweet little penguin named alaska!

    that's what's been on the easel this week...in honor of my favorite season, which is right around the corner...WINTER! :)

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    24. Sugar White Snow and Evergreens

    Some snowy scenes from SUGAR WHITE SNOW AND EVERGREENS written by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky and illustrated by Susan Swan





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    25. so....

    i'm thinking a penguin would make the perfect pet for me...considering we both LOVE arctic weather! :)


    sweet little alaska...a very stylish and fashion savvy penguin, if i do say so myself. 

    {probably taking a page from my book, she is...;)}

    she will be available FOR SALE very soon (as a PRINT)...and for the first time all year, i will be offering the ORIGINAL PAINTING-FOR SALE as well.

    arctic cuteness~coming soon! :)



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