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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!  

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.

Read the rest of Danielle's conversation to Elena here!


Good Reads

Happy Birthday, America

by Mary Pope Osborne

This beautifully illustrated story could be the perfect book to grab as we await the sky to darken and the fireworks to begin. Let’s make reading a part of this important and festive day. 


This book is about why we celebrate July 4th, the birthday of our great nation. We accompany a little boy and his family who live in small town USA. The day is filled with “all the fixings” – a yummy barbecue; colorful, loud parade; and magnificent fireworks that light up the sky. We love, too, that at the end there is an easy history of our Day of Independence. 


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

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


Sliced Beef

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!



Nachos with Chili.jpg

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


Margherita Pizza
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