Friday, January 15, 2016

Happy Birthday, Kate McMullan - January 16

Happy Birthday, Kate McMullan - January 16

Do you know what's COOL?

Kate McMullan's new book I'm Cool! is cool. Going to a hockey game with your son is cool. Watching a Zamboni smooth the ice is cool, too.

Also, it's pretty cool that our family is celebrating Kate McMullan's birthday for the seventh time! Each of the past six years my oldest son has baked and decorated a cake inspired by one of Kate's books for her birthday. This year's book, I'm Cool!, had my son more excited than ever to continue the tradition!

On Christmas morning my son received I'm Cool! as a gift from us! He couldn't help reading the book despite all the commotion around him. He was excited to find that the book starts with the announcer calling out the action of a hockey game. This past year, my son has attended a few Lake Erie Monsters hockey games in Cleveland with his best friend. He said, "Dad, at the Lake Erie Monsters games they have two Zambonis."

The announcer from I'm Cool! says, as a player falls to the ice, "Nobody can skate on ice this rough. I mean NOBODY!" At intermission Zamboni enters the rink to repair and smooth the ice. The announcer urges him work fast, "Hurry up so we can get back to the game!" But, Zamboni doesn't lose his cool and urges the announcer to relax and let him do his work. Zamboni shaves the ice, washes, sucks up the extra yucks, spritzes warm water to fill in the ruts, and makes the ice as "S-M-O-O-T-H as glass" all before the buzzer sounds. The announcer applauds Zamboni for a job well done, the hockey players return to the ice, and Zamboni knows he has the coolest job in the world. SHAZAMBONI, BABY!
Shortly after receiving I'm Cool my son opened another gift to find tickets to go another Lake Monsters game.
About a week after Christmas, my son and I went together to the hockey game. We took I'm Cool! along with us. We were excited to be in the fourth row!
Here is the first Zamboni. You can see the smooth ice it leaves behind.
Here is the second Zamboni. We loved the page spread in I'm Cool! that shows the path a Zamboni takes around the ice rink. "Around and around and around and around and around and around I go, 'til the whole rink's S-M-O-O-T-H as glass." It was so COOL to see this part of the book in action.
Quicken Loans Arena had entertainment on the ice for the first ten minutes of intermission which left less time for the Zambonis to work. The two Zambonis worked together to get the ice smooth before the players returned. Intermission is only 18 minutes. 
Shazamboni, Baby! We were happy to be at a hockey game together.
We got to see a winner too! The Lake Erie Monsters won 2-1!
A few days later, our local school district's hockey team offered a Family Night. My whole family was able to attend the game for free. Here I am showing my daughter and the kids around her the path a Zamboni takes to smooth the ice.
My youngest daughter got to see the Zamboni up close!
After the game, my kids were allowed to ice skate too!
This was my youngest son first time ice skating!
The walker allowed my youngest daughter to try ice skating too!
We had so much fun watching hockey, seeing Zambonis, and ice skating, but there was still one thing to do to celebrate Kate McMullan's birthday. We had a cake to make! Last year, Kate made a post on her Facebook page and my wife commented. It was Kate's reply that gave us an idea for this year's cake.

We had never made an ice cream cake before, but my sister has made a few for my nephew's birthday parties and they were delicious! We couldn't wait to make one of our own!
I found my son making sketches the morning we were to make the cake. He wanted an oval cake, like an ice rink, with Zamboni in the middle. 
He had two helpers making this year's cake.
I taught him how to make homemade whipped cream.
We made a layer of ice cream sandwiches and covered it with the whipped cream. His brother added a layer of crushed Oreo cookies.
His sister stacked up the second layer of ice cream sandwiches. We put the cake in the freezer for about a half and hour before we started the next step.
He sketched a Zamboni with a toothpick into the top of the ice cream sandwiches.
Then, added orange and purple buttercream icing. He used black icing from a small tube to outline his design.
We added a little blue food coloring to his homemade whipped cream and then smoothed it out around the Zamboni.
I added I'M COOL to the top with whipped cream from a can.
After a few hours in the freezer we took our yearly photo!
We are looking forward to our 7th year of celebrating children's author and illustrator birthdays.
Of course, we had to read I'm Cool! again while we ate!

For those of you who are new to our blog, it all started with an I STINK cake in 2010. The I STINK cake made me realize that it would be fun to celebrate author and illustrator birthdays with my children. I never anticipated that baking one cake would spark so many other family reading experiences. It has been quite a journey, and I looking forward to seeing what is next. If you would like to follow along, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. You can sign up to receive emails too!

Kate, our family wishes you the best of birthdays! Your books have brought so much joy to my family! Thank you for your creativity and imagination! Have a great birthday!!

2. Follow Kate McMullan on Twitter
3. Other Happy Birthday Kate McMullan Posts - Happy Birthday Author
5. Text Interview - Library Media Connection (2012)
6. Audio Interview - Just One More Book (2007)
7. Just One More Book (2006) Podcast about Nutcracker Noel by Kate and Jim McMullan
10. I'm Fast Book Trailer  -YouTube
11.  Buy Kate McMullan Merchandise - CafePress
12. Kate McMullan Biography - Scholastic
13. Kate McMullan Talks Myth-O-Mania with Sag Harbor Express (September 2013)
14. Kate and Jim McMullan at SouthHampton Arts 2013 - YouTube
15. Stinky and Dirty TV show - Amazon
16. I'm Brave Trailer - YouTube

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