Thursday, September 18, 2014

Korean Folk Songs --Book with CD Review

Have you entered the amazing giveaway for Hispanic Heritage Month yet? There are multiple prizes packs and lots of chances!!

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.
Today we are continuing our Korean exploration. We explored Korea a bit with Around the World in 12 Dishes last year and with Kongi and Potgi: A Korean Cinderella. I am finding that although Hazel has an excellent memory in many ways, she does not always remember what we have done or learned. I know repetition is needed for this, so we are revisiting Korea. To kick it off again we are reviewing a wonderful book that comes with a CD. It is Korean Folk Songs by Rober Sang-Ung Choi and Samee Back. It is being released on October 14, 2014. Tuttle Publishing was kind enough to send me a review copy. 

Now one of the things I love about this book is the little introduction to each song. The introductions teach a bit about Korea and what life is and was like there through the songs. We learn about the Korean's love of nature and their natural heritage. We also hear a bit about the wars, occupation and life during those. For example there is a sad song, "Thinking of Older Brother," or "Obba Saenggak," that has sad words but a very happy tune since the Japanese prohibited negative or depressings songs during their occupation. The words are about wondering what happened to a girl's older brother went to buy her shoes but never returned. 

Kikyo 06c1340sc.jpg
"Kikyo 06c1340sc". Licensed under 
CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
There is another song called "Doraji". Doraji is the Korean word for Chinese Bellflower (pictured above). It grows in the mountainous areas of Asia and its roots have medicinal properties. In Korea the root is also eaten in salads and soups. 

I highly recommend this book to explore the music of Korea and to learn more about the land and people of Korea. It is a perfect introduction to this culture.

 For more posts about Korea check out:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Vietnam: Beef Pho and Banana Coconut Che

Have you entered the amazing giveaway for Hispanic Heritage Month yet?

This month we are exploring Vietnam with Around the World in 12 Dishes. Since I wrote the introduction post on the Around the World in 12 Dishes blog, I will not repeat myself here. However the past few days I have been thinking about what I really want Hazel to get out of these experiences. I review many multicultural books, participate in multicultural blog hops for the various heritage months and cook a dish from a different country each month. Hazel is five and a half. She is not ready for the capitals and history of the countries. She is not ready to hear about the governments and how they differ from ours. She barely understands what we tell her about ours. I want her to learn about other cultures now so it is ingrained in her throughout her life that people live in different ways, but that is all right. It is all right to be different and we are still all humans and should be treated with respect. Learning about another culture and how others live helps us understand one another and helps build that respect for others. This is why I focus so much on other cultures, countries, etc. This is why I try to find many books to share stories as well as some non-fiction ones to show her pictures of the countries. We may not travel much or far, but she will know something about the greater world out there from what we do at home. Now onto our Vietnam experience. Some of the books I found most helpful in sharing Vietnam with Hazel are the following.

I love reading her some of the legends and folktales as well as some books to give her an idea of what life is like there. For example we found out that many Vietnamese families in the cities buy their breakfast which is often soup like the one we made. They buy it since it takes so long to make and there is not enough time in the morning.

We decided to make Beef Pho and Banana Coconut Che. This was our Vietnamese dinner the other night. For the most part everyone liked both. We found the soup to be a bit bland and Hazel decided she liked fresh bananas better than the che.

Beef Pho or Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup adapted from A Kid's Guide to Asian American History

1 cup bean sprouts
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
3 scallions
8 ounces banh ho, rice sticks
1/2 inch slice peeled fresh ginger
1 pound eye round beef roast -- we used the beef already sliced for a stir fry
2 tablespoons oil
1 package of pho and 10 cups of water or 5 cups of low-sodium beef broth and 5 cups of water -- we used 8 cups of beef broth and 2 cups of water
Optional: Vietnamese fish sauce (we did not use this since I couldn't find any)

1) Place the banh ho in a pot of water to soften for 10 minutes.
2) Rinse the bean sprouts in a colander and set aside in a bowl.
2) Rinse the basil leaves and set aside. I actually found it was better to chop them a bit.
3) Rinse and chop the scallion into small pieces and place in a bowl.
4) Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set a side.
5) Chop the ginger into very small pieces. 
6) Slice the beef into very thin slices (or cut smaller if using presliced like us--I waited until after we cooked it to slice it.)
7) Heat oil in a frying pan. Cook the ginger and beef in the oil for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place in bowl.
8) Heat beef broth and water to a boil in pot. (If using pho mix, stir it in after water boils.) 
9) Remove from heat and stir in bean sprouts, noodles and beef. I added the toppings of basil and scallions now as well instead of just topping bowls. I found the broth really needed some more flavor.
10) Enjoy!

Hazel loved cooking the ginger and meat!! She also asked to add the basil.

For dessert we had banana coconut che. Foods of Vietnam by Barbara Sheen describes che as somewhat thinner than soft ice cream and a thick liquid that can almost be sipped through a straw. It is sold in shops, markets and street vendors and can come in many different flavors.

Banana Coconut Che adapted from Foods of Vietnam
3 tablespoons tapioca pearls -- we used powder since we already had it
3 cups of water
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
pinch of salt
1 lb. bananas cut into thin, round slices (this was about 2 large bananas)

1) Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the tapioca and stir well. I used a whisk since we were using the powder. The tapioca will stick together. Cook until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
2) Mix the coconut milk, sugar and salt together in a separate bowl. This is also when we sliced the bananas.
3) Stir the coconut milk mixture into the tapioca mixture. Cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the banana slices and cook 3 minutes.
4) Let che cool to room temperature. Serve in individual bowls or glasses and top with crushed ice. We did not top it with ice.

Steve had several helpings and really liked it. Hazel only thought it was ok. That is our Vietnamese experience so far. Around the World in 12 Dishes is hosted by these lovely blogs:
Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids' Makings, The Mommy Talks and The Usual Mayhem

I hope you will take the time to check them all out and check out everyone's great explorations of Vietnam. If you have a Saudi dish or craft or lesson, please share it here as well!! The Vietnamese placemat and passport pages are coming soon for help with extra learning about the country.
For more posts about Vietnam check out:
Lunar New Year and The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Cinderella.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop--Learning about Juan Quezada a Mexican Potter

Today starts this year's Hispanic Heritage Month. The theme this year is Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids. To do this, I turned to books from the library. Anyone who reads Crafty Moms Share regularly knows I love to read books about other cultures and countries to Hazel. We both love to learn about them.  The first book we are sharing this month is The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel. This is the story of Juan Quezada and his pottery.
Now I had not heard of Juan Quezada previously and we learned much from this book and it lead to some crafts of our own so our favorite type of book! Juan Quezada was born in 1940 in Mexico. He grew up in Mata Ortiz. At a young age he took on the job of collecting fire wood for his family. This job took him far into the Sierra Madre. While looking for wood he found many wonderful archeological finds of pottery from the Paquime that inhabited the area in the 1400s. Juan decided since the Indians made pottery all of the materials must come from nature and he experimented with making his own. He single handedly reinvented a lost technology. All of his pottery is made completely of natural materials and he only uses nature for his paints. He used his artifacts to figure out how to recreate this type of pottery and some say his is superior to the top of the Paquime's. The ancient Casas Grandes pottery is prized among collectors. 
Source: The Mata Ortiz Pottery Store

Juan changed the life for the people in his village. Many were ready to pack up and move away due to the failing farming in the desert. He however taught his methods to the villagers. There are over 500 skilled potters working in Mata Ortiz today. (Source)

While reading this story Hazel of course had many questions. The main one being can we try this. I looked into places to do pottery but found most were for older children. The art teacher I know at her school does not know how to use the kiln, but we at least were able to show Hazel what a kiln is. I settled on using air drying clay. I knew my church had some leftover from an event last year, so I went and got some. I actually needed to see if it was still good for this year's event and make samples for it. Hazel enjoyed getting the clay in her hands and working with it. I showed her how to make a pinch pot.

I made one and then let her ruin it and start over. She made one and we let it dry.
She also wanted me to take pictures of her messy hands to put on here.

The next day she wanted to play with more clay, so I pulled out some other clay I had and some clay tools--rolling pins and cookie cutters for the samples I needed to make for church. She played with the colors with some help and I used the brown clay. First she made a snail out of Model Magic. She apparently had made these in school and all of her friends wanted to know how she did it.

Then I was working on things for Christmas so she started doing the same. We will share the Christmas pieces later, but she made an earth ornament.
Then she used scraps to make a clay house.
And she made a ladybug once I found some black Model Magic for her.
Her clay pot is almost completely dry. I will let her decide if she wants to paint it or leave it as is.
Hazel keeps asking why we cannot just go dig up some clay in our backyard. I keep trying to explain that where we live we would have to dig pretty far to get clay with which we could make pots. I guess we will just have to experiment one of these days. For more information on Juan Quezada and his pottery check out Juan Quezada Pottery and Ballad of Juan Quezada on Frontline.
For more posts about Mexico and Hispanic Heritage Month check out:

Now onto the Blog Hop and Giveaway!!

Welcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don't miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:
MKB HHM Twitter Party 
Don't miss our Twitter party "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids," Tuesday, September 23, from 9 - 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together - Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child's sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello - A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas - A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.
Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto - Two children's books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Guatemala purse - Alarcon Restaurants 
Hand woven and leather Guatemala coin purse, a fun and vibrant gift. Given by - from their Gift Gallery in Antigua Real Restaurant, Mukwonago WI.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Link Up Your Posts Now it's your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!