Sunday, August 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, Judy Schachner - August 20

Happy Birthday, Judy Schachner - August 20

"Can we do that, AGAIN?"

My oldest son said this the morning of August 20th after we reminisced how we celebrated Judy Schachner's birthday four years ago.
Activity Idea for SkippyJon Jones by Judy Schachner via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
In 2011, my daughter was 6 and my son was 3.
My youngest son chimed in, "Yeah, can we do that?" He couldn't say "Can we do that again?"" because he was only one-year-old when we made an "Alfred Buzzito, the Great Bumblebeeto" piñata after reading Judy Schachner's Skippyjon Jones.
Activity Idea for SkippyJon Jones by Judy Schachner via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My youngest is on the right with his sippy cup. He was probably just waking up from his afternoon nap to find us finishing up The Great Bumblebeeto" piñata.
After my youngest daughter saw this picture she asked, "Was I born, yet?" Her brothers and sister said, "no" and then she replied, "I must have been in mommy's belly." That part was true.

One of the reasons I write this blog is so I can have conversations like this with my children. I love hearing them recall a fun time we had together that was inspired by a picture book. I like to call them memorable family reading experiences.

I said, "Yes!" to my children and on August 20th, Judy Schachner's birthday we reread Skippyjon Jones, a book I still love to read aloud. Then, we made a piñata just like the one we made four years ago and the one that is in Skippyjon Jones' closet the day he became Skippito the Great Sword Fighter and met the Los Chimichangos, a group of colorful chihuahuas and saved them and their frijoles from the Great Bumbleeto.

After this year's family reading experience, which I have dubbed Bumblebeeto 2.0, my oldest children will have an even stronger memory of reading Skippyjon Jones and my youngest children will now have their own memory of reading the book and making the "bumblebee."  My hope is that I have something else my children will want to talk about when they get older, like when they are teenagers. (Here's to hoping! I hear those teenage years are rough on a parent's self-esteem.)

pâpier maché mixture for pinata
We pâpier machéd a balloon to make The Great Bumblebeeto. We used a paper towel tube for the nose, aluminum foil balls for the eyes, pipe cleaners for the antennae and legs, and a cereal box for the wings.

Four years ago we used 1 part water to 1 part flour for our pâpier maché mixture. This year, I used 5 parts water to 1 part flour. This year's recipe required me to bring the mixture to a boil on the stove and then let it cool.
Activity idea for Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The next day, August 21st, after the pâpier maché dried my youngest two children painted the piñata.
Activity idea for Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The Great Bumblebeeto looks like he is smiling!
Activity idea for Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
One of the most exciting parts of both our celebrations was going to the store to pick out candy to put inside the piñata. For Skippyjon Jones, his piñata was filled with jelly beans, kitty suckers, little colorful mice, and beanbag doggies.  My children chose Starbursts, Gummi Bears, and Tootie Rolls.
El Skippito, the Great Sword Fighter
"Holy Frijoles!" cried Skippito as he thrust his sword into the air. 
El Skippito, the Great Sword Fighter
Four years earlier there was another Skippito with a sword in our backyard.
El Skippito, the Great Sword Fighter
My youngest daughter, who wasn't around the first time we made a Bumblebeeto piñata, is now three years old. She used her sword as the "bean-eating Bandito hovered only inches away" from her face. 
Alfredo Buzzito, the Great Bumblebeeto Pinata
My oldest son, now seven years old, tried to send the Great Bumblebeeto over the right field wall with his swing. 
Alfredo Buzzito, the Great Bumblebeeto Pinata
My oldest daughter, now 10, , she fears "not a single bandito." 
Alfredo Buzzito, the Great Bumblebeeto Pinata
We didn't even make it twice though the rotation before, "POP! went the Bandito."
Alfredo Buzzito, the Great Bumblebeeto Pinata
"Yip, Yippee, Yippito! Our hero is El Skippito!"
Alfredo Buzzito, the Great Bumblebeeto Pinata
I was thankful that The Great Bumblebeeto was not too damaged. I will be able to keep him as a keepsake of this memorable family reading experience.
Thank you, Judy Schachner for creating a book that has entertained our family for years! We hope you had a wonderful birthday. We are looking forward to your new book, DEWEY BOB!



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