Saturday, March 30, 2013

{Project 101} Weekly Library Challenge: Outdoor Play + Earth-Wise Cooking!

We created our own bookmobile when focusing on Community Helpers.
Last week, Project 101 focused on a favorite, new rabbit book we keep reading and re-reading, Too Tall Houses, and we shared some other favorite bunny books, just in time for Easter. Too Tall Houses also is a great book to transition you from Easter to Earth Day and April, in general, is a great month for focusing on the beauty of the Earth and celebrating all that Mother Nature provides as Spring ushers itself in here in the Northern Hemisphere and the beauty of Fall/Autumn touches the Southern. The books we share this week as part of Project 101, our weekly library challenge where I share a book that the boys have been loving from the library and a book I am reading, focus on celebrating the Earth through outdoor play and earth-wise/planet-pleasing recipes and cooking tips. 

At a local branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library (which celebrates its 101st birthday this year, hence Project 101), a wonderful book that is a collection of poems was on display: A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Wild Thing absolutely loves this book, and I do too -- it is perfect for encouraging outdoor play and nurturing a love for nature in young ones with poems about playing ball outside, racing, creative walks, playing jacks, blowing bubbles, hopscotch, jump rope, swings and so much more -- including, of course, creative stick play. I do not know about your little ones, but sticks have fascinated Wild Thing for quite some time now and he loves playing with them in a variety of creative ways -- currently a favorite is throwing up rocks and hitting them with a stick, since we have a growing baseball obsession at our house. Another element I absolutely love about the book is the natural diversity of the children featured in the book -- a welcome sight for me, since I am raising multicultural kiddos who have family members of various backgrounds and countries of origins, with relatives who currently live in countries around the world. If you have not read this book yet, I suggest that you definitely add it to your library list!

I also wanted to share this post from Let the Children Play, which shows just how much fun a stick can be, and share that author Marilyn Singer highlights an excerpt from the title poem of the book on her website, which also features writing tips, author interviews and much more. 

As for me, my book this week is Big Green Cookbook. You may think a cookbook is a bit of a cheat, but I am also still reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which is 700+ pages so this week I had to pick something light! However, it is not just a cookbook, but also offers great insight and tips on having an eco-friendly kitchen and cooking in a planet-pleasing way, as Jackie Newgent calls it. With Earth Day around the corner, this time of year often reminds people to reduce their footprint and live in a more environmentally-friendly way. However, another great benefit of the book for busy families/mamas, is that a key element to eco-friendly cooking is reducing cooking time and reducing water waste by using less dishes when cooking, and I know many of us are often looking for recipes and cooking ideas that make our lives easier. So, this book not only can help you be more earth-friendly, but will give you more time to enjoy your family and your meals together as you spend less time preparing the meals and cleaning up after dinner. Sounds good to me. For some sample recipes from Big Green Cookbook and to learn more about the author, a natural culinary nutritionist, you can visit   

Shared at: Play to Learn Blog Hop, The Children's Bookshelf, Tuesday Tots, It's Playtime, Moms Library, Eco-Kids Tuesday.

Outdoor Play Ideas You Might Also Like:

Ten for Tuesday: Sticks!
Earth Day Scents-ory Bin


  1. I love that title: A Stick is an Excellent Thing. Agreed! That book looks great for spring too!

  2. Both of these books look excellent. I'll be requesting copies from our library!

  3. I like your sensory bin, earlier this year my daughter used flowers, feathers and other beautiful finds from the garden to decorate some old birds nests we found, they looked gorgeous like some kind of floral sculpture and all made by a six year old (and a bird or two). Last year she also created a few "pebble paintings" from different stones she found which reminded me of Australian aboriginal dot painting. Outdoor play and creativity is a wonderful gift.

  4. These books look good. Okay, I'll go and see if there are any at our local bookstore.

  5. I am going to have to get that book of poems. My daughter is a stick collector - we can't go for a walk or a drive without coming home with a special stick. She would love it!

  6. What a wonderful book of poems! I can't wait to find it in the library. Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf!

  7. They both look like wonderful books and I love your library challenge :) I'll be featuring your post as part of my Kids Books: Stories, Poems & Activities roundup from the Weekly Kids' Co-op. Thanks for sharing. xoxo P

  8. I will have to see if my library has the Stick book.It sounds like my son would really like it. Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. These are all wonderful books! JDaniel would love the book about the stick!