December 2021 Issue #14
December 1, 2021
Welcome to the fourteenth issue of The Simpsonian Muse. I am your scribe, Martha Seif Simpson, Author and Children's Librarian. As the header says, this monthly newsletter will feature:
- News – Mine as well as other interesting tidbits
- Views – A few photos from my world travels
- Stuff You Can Use – A mish-mash of activities, crafts, recipes, or whatever I am excited about sharing
If you missed the previous newsletters, you can click the button on the left sidebar on my website to catch up or click here: https://www.martha-seif-simpson.com/newsletter.htm
Thanks for joining me on this adventure. I hope you will find something to inform and entertain you.
~ NEWS ~
I had a nice surprise in November when I learned that my book, The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah was chosen for Your Tango's list of the 8 Best Hanukkah Books for Kids. You can read the article here: 8 Best Hanukkah Books for Kids
And… It's also on this list of the Best 10 Hanukkah Books That Will Delight Everyone in the Family: Best 10 Hanukkah Books That Will Delight Everyone in the Family
It's so wonderful to have my book recognized!
As Chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, I've been finishing up my reading and compiling everyone's scores to come up with a list of top contenders to discuss later this month. We will choose winners, honor, and notable books in three categories: Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. The results will be announced at the Youth Media Awards Press Conference on January 24, 2022 during LibLearnEx (formally called ALA MidWinter).
Once the results are announced, I will be interviewed by former Sydney Taylor Book Award committee chair Heidi Rabinowitz for her Book of Life podcast, a monthly program that promotes Jewish books for children and teens. I recorded a promotional piece already. You can listen to past and future podcasts at: Book of Life Podcast
Here are a few books that were published in 2021.
Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphic Novel)
Fans of Guts by Raina Telgemeier will love this book. Maggie desperately wants a pet, but when she gets a puppy, she discovers that she is horribly allergic to it. But does that allergy extend to all animals?
The Longest Storm by Dan Yaccarino (Picture Book)
A dad and his three children are forced to stay inside their house during a big storm that a lasts for several days. While stuck inside for an extended time without much to do, they start to get on each other's nerves. But eventually, they learn to come together. Readers may draw a connection to what life was like during the start of the pandemic when people had to hunker down at home.
Starfish by Lisa Fipps (Middle Grade)
Ellie is constantly bullied because she is overweight so she writes her own "Fat Girl Rules." Even her mother can't stop trying to "fix" her. With the help of a new friend and an adult who finally empathizes with her, Ellie starts to feel better about herself.
The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom by Lita Judge (Nonfiction)
Judge uses poetry and prose to discusses the science, chemistry, and growth of trees, focusing on how they live in community and communicate with one another.
Did you know that December is also National Pear Month?
According to the Every Day's a Holiday Calendar, other noteworthy December dates include:
- December 2 – National Mutt Day
- December 3 – National Roof Over Your Head day
- December 5 – Day of the Ninja
- December 8 – Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
- December 12 – Gingerbread House Day
- December 16 – National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
- December 18 – Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day
- December 21 – Don't Make Your Bed Day
- December 23 - Festivus
- December 24 – National Eggnog Day
- December 27 – National Fruitcake Day
- December 31 – Make Up Your Mind Day
~ VIEWS ~
In November 2014, John and I went on a Caribbean cruise that brought us to the island of Curacao.
Here are some views of the dock area taken from our cabin.
We took a bus tour that brought us past the RIF Fort.
And some beautiful manors.
We stopped at the Curacao liqueur factory…
…which was founded by Sephardic Jews who came to the island in 1659.
The factory even has a small museum exhibit about the History of Jewish Migration to Curasao.
After sampling some of the liqueur, the bus brought us back to the beach.
At the end of our visit, we crossed back over the bridge,
took one last look back,
and headed back to the ship.
It was a lovely, relaxing day. Perhaps we will visit here again!
~ STUFF YOU CAN USE ~
Got bored kids? Check out Brightly's website for 'Tis the Season for Holiday Printables and Activities. You'll find lots of fun stuff here – Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Mad Libs, mazes, coloring pages, ornaments, gift tags, and more. Loads of December holidays fun!
That'll do it for this month.
Until next time, remember to enthuse your muse!