Mama Don't Allow by Thacher Hurd
April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Mama Don’t Allow features jazzy alligators who inspire New Orleans style food. Put on a song like Sugar Plum by New Orleans’ own Preservation Hall Jazz Band to really get into the mood, and party with the Swamp Band with Jazz Chicken Sausage Gumbo. Gumbo is a flavorful, thick stew from Louisiana with rice, meat, and vegetables.
When Miles gets a saxophone for his birthday and starts playing jazz around town with his friends, they find their most appreciative audience in the thick of the swamp. The sharp-toothed, long-tailed, yellow-eyed alligators love their Swamp Band music and invite Miles and his band to play at the Alligator Ball.
If you liked Sugar Plum, check out the whole album by Preservation Hall Jazz Band, That’s It!
April showers bring...pancakes! When you live in Chewandswallow, food tends to fall from the sky, and springtime means plenty of pancakes. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett chronicles the tale of a town with rather unusual, yet tasty, weather patterns.
These cornmeal pancakes are fluffy and easy to make. You can enjoy them with syrup and fresh fruit, or for a special treat, try homemade applesauce as a topping. For dinner, run outside and put out your pasta bowl to catch some spaghetti and meatballs.
Spring is an excellent time of year for tea sandwich picnics and reading outside. Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol has fun illustrations and a loving but grumpy main character, Old Woman. Join Old Woman’s tasty Russian tea party with your own sandwiches, and some apple cider on the side. We often buy bread from our favorite bakery to make lox and cream cheese sandwiches, but you can use a variety of tasty springtime ingredients.
Old Woman wants to find a place of solitude to work on her knitting, but grandchildren, aliens, and goats keep trying to eat her knitting balls instead! After your picnic, spend your afternoon as a goat, snacking on sticky granola knitting balls.
Where the Wild Things Are is one of the first books we thought about when we started exploring pairing children's books with recipes. Max gets to explore a new land and new culture with the Wild Things. What kind of food would he eat with them? How is that different from the food he's used to? When Max returns at the end of the book, the dinner his mom leaves out for him is comforting and warm, just like his return to home.
Try Messy Monster Goulash as you read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. When you return home from your overseas adventure, make Max's mom's Snuggly Corn Chowder.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner. We like to celebrate by making cookies and sharing them with our friends and family. We decided since we wanted to start sharing Cookabook with more parents and kids, we would feature Mr. Cookie Baker and make his cookies too.
Sugar cookies are great for forming into hearts and other shapes that remind you of love. Maybe you even have some cookie cutters at your house that you can use to help. Sugar cookies are also fun to decorate with frosting and sprinkles, and you can dye frosting different colors (like red and pink) to make your cookies even more festive.
Give Mr. Cookie Baker and his Sugar Cookie recipe a try.
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