Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body


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Book Review by Eve: Pancho Bandito and the Amarillo Armadillo Written by Mike Sundy; Illustrated by Jonathan Sundy

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Well right off the bat, let me say, I love anything armadillo. They have to be the coolest animal on the planet! They are literally present-day dinosaurs and are the only mammal with a built in suit of armor. They can hold their breath for up to 6 minutes and the 3-banded one can roll up arm3in a ball to protect itself from predators. They are also coolly adaptive creatures as they have minimal vision and hearing but they have a great sense of smell. They are my spirit animal!

The Sundy Brothers are a dynamic duo! This epic cowboy tale, written by Mike Sundy, is accompanied by the adorable illustrations of his brother, Jonathan Sundy and together these two pack a punch. With the resounding moral of the story being “what seems insurmountable is not” brought together with a giant sized bandito and an equally giant sized amarillo armadillo throw in some spicy hot Hatch chiles, a true southwestern staple, and a generous dose of humor and you have a highly entertaining story for children and their families. I love that the rhyme scheme is peppered with Spanish words. This delightful book has gripping action scenes, teaches about the importance of friendship, is multicultural and promotes diversity. One more thing, when reading out loud, it must be read with a drawling cowboy accent! Too funny! This book will definitely put a smile on your face and I promise, your mouth will be watering thinking of those vinegary, spicy peppers!

I highly recommend this book. Kid and grown ups will love it and it can be read again and again. The pictures are adorable. I love each emotive glance, whether human or animal!

How will I use this book?

This is a great book to use when teaching kids about the differences between the Fight or Flight stress reaction and the Relaxation Response. The F/F stress response occurs naturally when stress is perceived and it is designed to protect us from bodily harm.

The Relaxation Response is a accessible and beneficial way to turn off F/F stress response and bring the body back to pre-stress levels. Unlike the F/F stress response, the Relaxation Response must be practiced as it is not a natural occurring reaction to a situation. The beauty of it is, though, that the more you practice it, the stronger your ability is to calm down after stress. The RR can be initiated by deep breathing, yoga, visualizations, and other calming modalities.

Stress comes from how we perceive things. We need the Fight or Flight stress response in situations when stress is real, like when a tiger walks into the room. You need to decide whether to fight or run away, and your body needs to be ready to act-fast! But what happens if you expect a tiger to walk in and you get all stressed out and anxious, your sweating, your heart is beating fast, maybe you get a headache or your stomach gets upset and then in walks a kitten. No stress at all but your body is ready to fight or flight. Now you need to calm down fast! Take some deep breaths. Bring your heart rate, your blood pressure and your energy down. Try not to predetermine that a tiger is going to walk in every time. Let life unfold and allow it to happen. Your Fight or Flight stress response will be there when you need it, but you do not always need it.

Full disclosure: The author sent me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin (A Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure) by Janelle Diller

Book review: Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin (A Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure) by Janelle Diller; Illustrations by Adam Turner @worldtrekpublishing 

This is a special book review for The Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27, 2017, whose mission it is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

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This was my first encounter with a Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! The author, Janelle Diller, has a very pleasant and captivating writing style and I love the unique words she uses that lend poetry to the book. The words flow easily and the tale is spiced up with clear explanations that make the book very accessible and exciting. Ms. Diller uses her story to share the culture and traditions of Mexico, interspersed with Spanish phrases and words, and to paint a very clear picture of what is takes to make new friends, to trust others and oneself, to be brave and to be honest. Her characters are multidimensional and they are bright, sensitive and true-to-life. The accompanying black and white illustrations by Adam Turner lend visual support to the story and I especially loved the boat diagram at the beginning of the book and the sweet characters he created.

This book is smart, well written and fun to read and I would recommend it to all children. It is a fun, thrilling adventure with great, strong female characters. Izzy is a modern day Harriet The Spy!

Check out the trailer for the book on YouTube!

I have also included some cute dolphin coloring pages!

Included in the book are some great tips for traveling to Mexico, a delicious Enchilada recipe, a Spanish phrase and word section and also some great travel organization ideas! The recipe definitely got me hankering for Elote’s , one of my favorite Mexican treats! ¡Olé!

Elote or corn on the cob is a popular street food in Mexico, although it is frequently served at home prepared in the same way (boiled or grilled in husk). It is customarily consumed on a stick, or by grasping the husk of the cob that has been pulled down to form a “handle”.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 4 ears shucked corn
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS

  1. Set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
  2. While coals heat, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir until creamy and set aside.
  3. When grill is hot, place corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
  4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Full disclosure: The author sent me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Ms. Diller has also created learning activities to make it easier for teachers, homeschoolers, & parents to enrich their teaching. Here’s a link to a sample of the activities: https://app.box.com/s/atte1k8cfyp8hkucu8wlzyauyaaudsxx For the full set of learning activities, people can find them on TeachersPayTeachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Pack-n-go-Girls

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen fromPragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick PressFathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i