Happy Birthday Grace Lin - May 17
Grace Lin has published over 30 books for children including The Year of the Dog (a chapter book), Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same (an early reader book), Red is a Dragon: A Book of Colors by Rosanne Thong (a picture book illustrated by Grace Lin), and Dim Sum for Everyone (a picture book that will be available as a board book in September 2014!). Her first book The Ugly Vegetables was published in 1999 but her first writing success came much sooner. "In sixth grade, I wrote and illustrated my own book and entered it into a national contest. I won fourth place and $1,000." (Teaching Books). Grace went on to say, "I was so excited and happy that I decided then and there I wanted to make books for a living. That's what I wanted to do, and that dream just never died."
After The Ugly Vegetables, Grace continued to publish picture books until she couldn't fit one of her story ideas within the tight structure of a picture book. The result was The Year of the Dog (2006), a chapter book based on her own experiences as a child. Then came two big awards for Grace Lin; the 2010 Newbery Honor Award for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and the 2011 Theodor Geisel Honor Award for Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same. Grace Lin certainly has an execeptional book for everyone of all ages!
This week, the first book my family enjoyed together was Kite Flying. This picture book was perfect for my two and three-year-old children. The bright illustrations were full of movement with blowing wind and a flying dragon kite. Kite Flying is about a family that builds a kite together, step-by-step. The kite-making family was confident in their kite-making skills and asked "Dragon, are you ready to fly?"
|However, I decided to modify the plans just a little. I took a plastic kite that we had in the garage and used the plastic braces as the basis for our kite. In the book, the family used wooden sticks to make the cross of their kite.|
|We taped the plastic cross to some wrapping paper that was left over from the holidays.|
|Then, we folded and glued the paper into a kite shape.|
|I was lucky to have two really good helpers!|
|Our kite shape was completed quickly. At this point, I was happy with my decision use the plastic braces. Everything went really smooth for my little ones and their kite-making-novice dad!|
|My son drew a "laughing mouth" on tissue paper just like the book.|
|He then cut out "dragon eyes".|
|Lastly, he glued on "whiskers".|
|She helped her brother every step of the way.|
|He added a few final details with his marker.|
|Their dragon kite was complete. However, our attempts to fly the kite in the backyard were unsuccessful. There just wasn't enough breeze. I told them, "We have to wait for a windy day."|
Fortune Cookie Recipe: Makes about 18 cookies (modified from this recipe)
Prepare your fortune paper strips before you begin. Type or hand-write fortunes on a piece of paper about 4" x 1/2".
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches of salt
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray cookie sheet with cookie spray.
2. Mix egg whites and vanilla until foamy. (Do not mix too much. You do not want the mixture to become stiff.)
3. Sift in the flour, sugar, and salt. Then, blend everything together.
4. Place scoops of batter (1-2 teaspoonsful) on your cookie sheet. (We made 3-4 cookies per cookie sheet.)
5. Tilt tray to form the batter into a flat circle. If your batter turns out thicker it will still work. Use a spoon to spread out the batter.
6. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the edges of the batter start to brown.
7. Remove sheet from oven and use spatula to remove cookie. Flip cookie onto a plate so you see the browned bottom of the cookie. Place your fortune on top.
8. Fold cookie in half.
9. Use the side of a bowl or measuring cup to crease and fold the cookie in half again. It helps to pinch from the corners. (The cookie will be very warm! Be careful when working with your children.) You will need to work fast because the cookie will quickly harden.
10. Place cookie on tray or in a empty egg carton (an egg carton will help the cookie keep its shape.)
11. Remove the next cookie from the tray and repeat the folds.
12. Enjoy your cookies with your family and friends!
|Before we made our fortune cookies we talked about how we met Grace Lin and that she signed our copy of Fortune Cookie Fortunes at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. (Thanks for sharing your birthday with us, Grace!!)|
|The brother and sister team sifted the flour together.|
|My daughter was brave to be the first one to make a fortune cookie. She added a fortune that her younger brother made. (I think it said, "You like Star Wars." -- sounds more like a jedi mind trick than a fortune.)|
|She quickly folded the cookie in half. She found making fortune cookies challenging because you had to work quickly before the cookie hardened.|
|The fortune cookie was formed by folding it over the edge of a measuring cup.|
|Our batter came out thicker than I wanted. I think we beat the eggs too much. The cookies still tasted great. I just needed to use a spoon to form a circle instead of just tilting the cookie sheet from side to side.|
|She quickly got the hang of making the fortune cookies!|
|Pin this picture if you are on Pinterest! Follow Happy Birthday Author!|
|Do these fortunes come true? Of course! (His fortune said, "You are smart!" which made him smile!)|
|This looks like a great fortune!|
|This one too! Our family hopes Grace Lin has a very happy birthday!|
|Thankfully it did! The conditions were perfect for kite flying with a breeze coming off a small lake near our house.|
|My son was quickly an expert and tried to help his sister fly the kite.|
|However, she thought it was more fun to just run with the kite!|
|Now, for full disclosure -- Our kite was not the prettiest flying kite. It was actually quite wild. It spun around a lot and dove to the ground often.|
|But, it did fly!|
|I did bring another kite just in case our dragon didn't fly. We flew that one too!|
|Whew! Kite flying was hard work!|
1. Grace Lin's website + awesome activities page
2. Grace Lin's blog + two older blogs Pacyforest and A Solitary Grace
3. Grace Lin Books website
4. Follow Grace Lin on Facebook,
5. Grace Lin's National Book Festival 2013 Presentation - YouTube
6. Grace Lin on the Today Show talking about Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - YouTube
7. Interviews - BookSlut, Pine Manor College, Boston Parents Paper, Teaching Books (GREAT INTERVIEW!!), Publishers Weekly, Sweet on Books, BookPage, Read is the New Black, BookieWoogie, 7 impossible Things Blog, Pragmatic Mom
8. Video Interview with Reading Rockets
9. Asian American Author Study with Primary Source - YouTube