You Know A Little Girl or Boy Just like This - Bread and Jam for Frances- The Nanny Reads

Published in the early sixties, Russell C Hoban wrote seven picture books about a precocious badger named Frances.

I remember these books from my childhood, in the same way I remember Winnie the Pooh.  There was always a Frances book around somewhere.

 I could very much identify with her and sometimes I was a bit jealous of her- But Frances, I knew would not hold that against me, because we were very much alike.

Except, I think, she is much more clever than I am. 

If you have ever met a strong willed and highly intelligent kindergartner, you have met a child just like Frances.  I can almost hear her mind ticking as she thinks through problems and develops her own ideas. 

Have you ever heard that ticking sound with your child? You know that sound, it's the thought process that brings them to a perfectly logical response to something you have said and done.  

Like when you tell the child not to pick the "green" tomatoes, so she goes out and finds a "yellow/orange tomato."  Because, what you should have said was, "Don't pick tomatoes that are not ripe." 

Author Russell Hoban allows the little badger girl something I don't see very often in current children's literature.  Frances, true to being a young child, is a little bit selfish.  Instead of being a negative thing, I love her more for this. 

Anyone who has ever been around children realizes they are not born empathetic, broad minded creatures - today's society expects children to be naturally loving and compassionate to all living beings while forgetting the life lessons that teach such traits. Frances acts just as a child would act, while her parents act just as they should, with wisdom, patience and clear boundaries. 

In the book "Bread and Jam for Frances,"  Mother serves breakfast for the family and Frances decides she doesn't like eggs anymore.  

Frances did not eat her egg.She sang a little song to it.She sang the song very softly:"I do not like the way you slide,I do not like your soft inside,I do not like you lots of ways,And I could do for many days

Without eggs." 

Naturally all the talk about eggs in the story made me want eggs along with some bread and jam. 

Frances parents don't argue with her food choices, instead they let her live with the consequences.  Now I know parents who have had food troubles with their kids. I actually live with some picky eaters who develop new smell and texture issues on the daily basis.  Sometimes the problem is not as resolved as quickly as it is for Frances. 

 However surprisingly, sometimes it is.  

Illustrated by Lillian Hoban, the Frances books have a sweet continuity of color and style.  She used soft pastels and details that perfectly match the writing. France's world is slightly old fashioned, I imagine they are more like my mother's childhood than mine, which for me is another positive.

I highly recommend all the books.  Bread and Jam for Frances is a good bedtime story, with a decent length, great little poems, and an engaging story.

It would also be great coupled with lessons about food and trying new things.  Nannies (and parents) might want to use the story as a starting point for time in the cooking kitchen where kindergartens help prepare a special egg breakfast, or pack a lovely special bento box.  One of the keys to having kids try new things is having them prepare it with an adult.  Frances just might provide a little inspiration.


How to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

Passionate About Books!

World Read Aloud Day was last Wednesday February the 24th and I celebrated with some serious silliness.  

I love the written word and especially children's books.  The combination of art meets script, the sense of play and whimsy in books for children, all of it.  

And I quite enjoy reading aloud.  

Bunnies, Read Aloud, Read, Yourdori

I don't just read aloud to children either. I enjoy a good book with adults.  

Last year I read "The Secret Life of Bees" aloud to a client who is in her 70's.  We read the entire book together, and loved it so very much that we went on to read, "The Invention of Wings."  

Photo's By Nancy Gains

The two of us, me reading out loud as she lay in bed, as she sat on the patio, or in her wheelchair, these books changed our lives. The beautiful words shaped how I saw things and heard things for months afterwards.  

We shared that moment because I was reading aloud.

I don't have any trouble sharing this passion with the world, so when a day comes up where lots of other people are reading aloud -

Well, I made an event of it.  

Facebook kind of hides events after they happen, but no worries, I still have a link HERE

World Read Aloud Day Events

Using Periscope as a method of live streaming, several other women and I read aloud to each other, to children, to the world.

If you click that link you will find more links to photos of read aloud day, and people reading aloud.  Including yours truly. I did readings of Treasure Island and Green Eggs and Ham.  

Really.  Go see.  You might laugh.  

"And I dearly love to laugh."  - quote from Jane Austen that just popped into my head. 

It was Ah-MAZE-zING! 

I also wrote more about why reading aloud is important in this post at Yourdori.com.  Have you gone over there for a peek?  You should. You can also find out what the heck a YOURDORI is.  

Really.  Click over and look.  

I dare ya. 

Well, if you didn't check out the link.  Here is Green Eggs and Ham.  Let me know if you laugh, cause, well, I did. And hit the like button, will you please?  Or else people will think it was me who watched it ten times just so I could laugh at myself.  

And, if you want to hear a really fantastic reading from a former teacher who now writes books for children to help them learn to READ- you must check out my friend LUCY. 

Lucy Ann Jennigs blends action and brain power to connect the dots between letters and words.  She uses art (the action) to engage children in learning (the mind) how to read. It's a great idea because adding an action to the sight and sound of letters learning helps embed the reading concept in the mind of some children who are struggling with memorization. 

Read, Read Aloud

 Grab a child and listen to Lucy read aloud HERE.  She has a great voice.  

Who are you reading aloud to?  I'd love to know in the comments!


How I am making changes and reaching for my goals in 2016

If you don't follow me on Facebook, Periscope or Instagram you might know of some recent changes that I haven't had the chance to post about here on Dapoppins.

People ask me what I'm doing that keeps me so busy...

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible Art Journaling, Bible Art, Illustrated Faith

Bible art journaling, Bible art, Illustrated faith, journaling

Bible Art, Bible Art journaling, Illustrated faith, illumnated faith

One Body Bible Illustration by Dapoppins

Every chance I get, I've been working in my Bible and often sharing the pages on Periscope.  (Periscope is a live stream app connected to Twitter.  I capture my scopes at https://katch.me/Dapoppins)

I am on this years Canvas Corp Brands Design team and have some big projects coming up with them.

And the other thing, that I wasn't really expecting, is my new partnership with Nancy Gains and our website YOURDORI.com  
I am super excited about this new adventure I am on with Nancy and if you haven't gone over to check it out yet, please do.  We even published our very first Newsletter! 

I haven't quite got everything organized, (because there are actually a couple of other things in the mix here that tend to eat up my time too) and I have asked  Julie Jordan Scott  a lady I  met via Periscope and the Facebook group the Perigirls, to help me find some Creative Organization.  

Let me tell you really quick about Julie. She is a creative coach who helps, how does she say it, "inspire artistic rebirth." She seems to have a lot on her plate and manage to get things done. So I approached her about some virtual coaching.  Because while I don't lack inspiration.  I do lack focus and time management skills.  

My 2016 goal list has outgrown my "doable hours in a day."  There is just so much I want to do, create, accomplish, share!

So I asked Julie for some help and we started some virtual sessions.

Sometimes as creatives we need someone to ask hard questions and dig for true answers.  Creatively speaking, what is true for me one month is not as true the next month.  I really need some help if I want to give my best to my new creative business with Nancy. (Have you checked out the new website yet?  Isn't it super professional and awesome looking?)

Yourdori little blue house by Nancy Gaines

Julie is asking me some hard questions, and hopefully, by answering those questions, I can get some of my creative ideas organized and off the ground.  

If you feel a little buried by multiple dreams and ideas, I want to highly recommend contacting her.  Sometimes we get lost in all the colors of our paints and our stacks of pretty papers and forget why we started the creative journey; we need someone to ask hard questions.  

One of the hard questions I am facing is what is going to happen here on Dapoppins as I begin to work harder on Yourdori.com with Nancy?

Yourdori girl illustration by Dapoppins

Well, somethings will be moving, and somethings will be the same...and somethings will go back to being what I originally intended them to be.  

Bunny illustration by Dapoppins

What can you do?  Check out the new website, comment on the posts, follow on social media, and if you need someone in your life who can dig for true answers regarding your creative goals, contact Julie.  (Julie is also on Periscope everyday.)