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BLAST Elementary Thematic Program
Folktales & Presidential Mania

(October, November, and December 2012)



Recommended for grades K-2

We all know that folktales have a unique way of connecting us to a culture's history by retelling stories of the past. Join us as we explore traditional tales as well as fractured folktales, those that tell the same tale with a different theme or twist. Students actively interact with the books and later complete an exciting hands-on activity!


Evans, Cambria
Bone Soup

Known across the land for his infamous appetite, Finnigin is never seen without his eating stool, his eating spoon, and his gigantic eating mouth. When Finnigin finds himself in a new town on Halloween, he hopes to join a great feast with the creatures who live there. But not a body or soul will share any of their food with the ever-famished Finnigin. So what's a hungry skeleton to do? Armed only with his wits and a special ingredient, will Finnigin be able to stir up a cauldron's worth of Halloween magic?


Ketteman, Helen
Armadilly Chili

A blue norther's a-blowin', and Miss Billie Armadilly is hankering to make a pot of chili! Only she needs to fix it all by herself because Tex the tarantula, Mackie the bluebird, and Taffy the horned toad are too busy to lend a hand. Well, she'll eat it all by herself, too! But then the smell of chili cooking in the cold night brings her friends one by one back to Miss Billie's door. What's a lady armadillo to do?


Downard, Barry
The Little Red Hen

"Not I." That's what the duck, the pig, and the cat keep saying when the Little Red Hen asks them to help her make bread. Does she have to do everything by herself? This traditional tale is turned on its head in the hands of artist Barry Downard, whose outrageous photo collages zap humor and exuberant new life into a classic story.


Gershator, David and Phillis

Can a shell really make soup? It might, if it's a brown-and-white West Indian shell, fresh from the sea. All it needs is a master soup-maker, like Granny, to stir the pot - and a little help from the folks in Market Square. Who wouldn't be willing to lend a hand to cook up some kallaloo, a soup famous from Jamaica to Trinidad? But there's one final ingredient missing - and even the magic shell forgot to mention it!


Presidential Mania!

Recommended for grades 3-5

As Presidential Election Day draws closer, students are bound to develop questions about the election process and what it means to be President. Students participate in an interactive reading experience that introduces them to past presidents, answers questions about the Electoral College, and explores the importance of voting. They will also put themselves in the shoes of public officers by creating their own campaign posters.


DiPucchio, Kelly
Grace for President

When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school's mock election. But soon she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the "best man for the job" - and seems to have captured all the male votes. So Grace decides the only thing to do is to concentrate on being the best person.



Piven, Hanoch
What Presidents Are Made Of

Through a review of fun facts, personal traits, and amusing anecdotes, young readers can learn about the personalities behind the men who became the president of the nation.



St. George, Judith
So You Want To Be President?

So you want to be President? That's a big job, and getting bigger. But why not? Presidents have come in just about every variety. They've been generals, actors, big, small, handsome and homely. They've been born in log cabins and mansions. Judith St. George shares the backroom facts, the spit-fire comments, and the comical anecdotes that have been part and parcel of America's White House.