Independence day

JULY 4th, INDEPENDENCE DAY inspires our 1st

Conversations With Baby Elena

by Danielle

It is our hope that Danielle’s conversations will inspire conversations between you and any little ones in your life. Using children’s classics, Danielle combines the holidays with themes arising from books. May her expansive information stir your imagination too!  


To begin... supplies needed -  the book and a flag.

Curious George & The Man With the Yellow Hat by Margaret Rey and H.A. Rey

Okay Elena, today’s story was about how the man with the yellow hat wanted to give Curious George a surprise for the holidays. Then, George was separated from the man and looked all around the city for him.  At the end of the story he finds him. They were both so happy. The man says, “The best part of the holidays is spending time together.” George agreed.

So what is a holiday, my precious Elena? It is a specific day of the year that is chosen to bring people together to celebrate a special day. Our next holiday is July 4th, Independence Day. This is a very important holiday in America because it celebrates the day we declared ourselves a nation. To celebrate, people decorate their homes and cars with the American flag, the symbol of America. Its colors are the American colors, red, white and blue. It also displays 13 stripes, red and white, that symbolize our initial 13 colonies and there are 50 stars representing the 50 states that make up the United States of America.

Remember the man with the yellow hat said, “The best part of the holidays is spending time together.” Together we enjoy fireworks. They are spectacular and can light up the sky. They highlight the importance of July 4th, our nation’s birthday. We put candles on our birthday cake. America lights up the sky reminding us how special it is to be a part of the history and spirit of freedom that is the United States of America.

Together we celebrate that we are all part of the United States and how proud we are to be here because we are free. That means we have the right to do and say the things we want, provided we don’t hurt anyone. We get to choose our leaders, make a living and oh so much more. Our government tries really hard to be sure these rights are protected because our founders declared that every person has the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I love you, sweet baby Elena, always and forever…

My 4th of July (ages 4 - 8)

by Jerry Spinelli  

Jerry Spinelli, Newberry Medalist and award-winning illustrator, Larry Day, created a joyous collaboration! It portrays this colorful and exuberant day as seen through the eyes of a child. The little boy is so excited about his jobs to prepare for the BIG holiday celebration complete with all the frills… a parade! Picnic! Face Painting and Fireworks! It is a very sweet read to kick-off America’s birthday!

Red, White and BOOM! (ages 3 - 7)

by Lee Wardlaw

This lively 4th of July story is a very fun Read Aloud with Little Ones. It is full of such picturesque phrases as Frisbee Flips, Fireflies Flit, and Sparklers Spit. The paper doll illustrations delightfully add to this charming celebration of 4th of July traditions. 

Fourth of July Independence Day

for Beginner Readers (ages 3 - 8)

by Ella Mae Woodman

Ellie and Sam are at a picnic on the fourth of July. Join them as they treasure hunt for clues. A great beginning reader book and a supplemental resource guide with ideas and activities to encourage your new reader.

The 4th of July Story (ages 4 - 8)

by Alice Dalgliesh

An introduction to the fight for independence and the events and people that shaped American tradition. It's a cute story based on the facts and embellished to bring history alive!

A More Perfect Union

The Story of Our Constitution (ages 6 - 10)

by Betsy Maestro

An easy-to-understand book that tells the how and why the Constitution of the United States was created. Complete with maps and supporting materials it's an informative books of an important milestone in American history.

If You Survive:

From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II, One American Officer's Riveting True Story

(teens - adults)

by George Wilson

"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you."

So promised George Wilson's World War II commanding officer in the hedgerows of Normandy. Of all the men and officers who started out in Company F of the 4th Infantry Division with him, Wilson was the only one who finished. 

One of the great first-person accounts of the making of a combat veteran, in the last, most violent months of World War II.

Asian Ribs

Barbecued Ribs, with an asian inspired glaze

A friend of mine posted this recipe on her facebook. I'm not a fan of barbecue sauce but my husband is and he loves asian flavors so I thought I would give it a try. OMG! This is a fantastic recipe. I modified it slightly, like I usually do, and it is perfect. I hope you like it! ~Maria


Tofu Chili

This is a recipe that I adapted after many tries. I have a child with a milk allergy, my kids won't touch beans and all of them try to eat as little vegetables as possible. Some of my kids would pick the herbs out of the homemade tomato sauce! I had to get very creative. All of my kids love tofu now, but not at the time that I created this recipe. So I decided to substitute and try to hide it. When I first made this, I used half meat and half tofu and gradually removed the meat. They never noticed. Now, they LOVE tofu chili!



Whole Wheat Pizza

We started making pizza at home when my oldest, now 23, was 5 years old. She hated school! So, to give her something to look forward to, I started celebrating the weekend on Friday night. I tried to have things on hand that we don't have everyday like juice, or a non-caffeinated soda, or a sweet of some sort. And the one thing she loved... pizza! We made pizza using our bread machine. She would help roll out the dough and put the toppings on. It is now a tradition in our house! ~Maria


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