by Joseph Slate
illustrated by Ashley Wolff
There is no shortage of alphabet books or getting-ready-for-school books on the market, but few can compare to the appeal of Miss Bindergarten. Even if your child is not preparing to start “big kid school” quite yet, this is a book you read over and over again before the big day arrives. Miss Bindergarten is the epitome of what we (kids and adults) wish for in a kindergarten teacher – creative, gentle, colorful, nurturing, fun, and a snappy dresser! Illustrator Ashley Wolff portrays these personality traits beautifully throughout the pages, while author Joseph Slate conveys the mixed emotions of starting school to through endearing text that also presents a wonderful alphabet lesson. Kids will love all the details and the “class photos” at the end of the book!
On illustrator Ashley Wolff's website, you can read about how her dog 'Pumpkin' inspired Miss Bindergarten, and also learn about the unusual animals, the quokka, the uakari monkey, and the xenosaurus, featured in the book.
In this Issue:
Miss Bindergarten gives each of her students an apple as a special snack on the first day of kindergarten. Kids will love stirring together cranberries, walnuts, and cinnamon, and filling the cored apples with the yummy mixture. Roasting the filled apples transforms them into the perfect autumn snack or dessert.
When I first started testing this recipe, I wanted to have a microwave-baked apple in addition to the oven-baked version for the option of a much shorter cooking time, but it just couldn't compare. Once prepared in the oven these reheat very well, so you might want to make extras! When ready to eat, just microwave for about 1 minute.
Miss Bindergarten's Baked Apples
For each serving you need:
- 1 apple (any color or type you like, we used Gala)
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of cinnamon
- Using a melon-baller, scoop out the core of the apple(s), but leave the bottom intact.
- Stir together the cranberries, walnuts, and cinnamon.
- Fill the cored apples with cranberry mixture.
- Slowly drizzle honey into apple center, over cranberry mixture, allowing honey to settle through mixture.
- Place apple(s) in a baking dish, cover, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apple is tender.
The students in Miss Bindergarten’s class enjoy painting at the classroom easel. Pull out the paints and brushes and invite your young reader to paint a self-portrait like the class portraits on the last page of Miss Bindergarten. Add to the fun by providing a mirror for the artist to look in while working on the portrait.
Self Portrait Paintings
- light colored construction paper
- constriction paper scraps
- crayons, markers, or colored pencils
Help your child create their self-portrait using all sorts of art supplies. They can create the whole picture using just paint, crayons, or markers, or make a mixed media masterpiece with a painted face, torn paper features, yarn hair. All they need to begin is a large piece of light colored construction paper, and maybe a mirror for perusing their image while working.
Helpful hint: Using straight glue with yarn can be very messy and frustrating. To make it easier, mix some glue with a few drops of water in a small dish, and use a paintbrush to apply it to paper where needed.
More Back to School
- If You Take a Mouse to School
- Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
- The Art Lesson
- How Rocket Learned to Read
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