Storytime: Bedtime for Tiny Mouse

tinymouseYear: 2014
Author: Chae Strathie
Illustrator: Sebastien Braun

Tiny Mouse couldn’t sleep.

He curled and twirled…
flipped and flopped…
snuggled and huggled…

But he was still wide awake.

So he climbed out of bed and scampered off to the living room.

‘Mummy Mouse,’ he sighed, ‘I can’t sleep a wink. My head’s full of fizz and my eyes won’t stay shut.’

‘Try counting sheep,’ said Mummy Mouse. ‘That will send you to sleep.’

Tiny Mouse scurried back to his bedroom and began counting sheep in his head.

At first the sheep jumped nicely. But then they started doing cartwheels, star jumps and ridiculous roly-polies.

Tiny Mouse couldn’t keep up!

Buy to find out more!

Music Monday: Ding dong! The witch is back!

Yes, I know that Stevie Nicks is not a witch, but the line was too good not to use, so there.

Witch or not, though, she remains as pixie-like (in her 60s, if you please!) as 30 years ago, and her new album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault is simply awesome. It’s a collection of reworked demos, originally recorded anywhere between 1969 and 1995, and I’m having an extremely hard time imagining any reason why they didn’t make the final cut for any of her albums. Go buy. Seriously.

Foodie Friday: Berry & Apple Yorkshire Puddings

berry_apple_yorkshire_puddings(Serves 6)

60g unsalted butter, softened
65g light brown soft sugar
1 medium egg
60g ground almonds
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp Bramley apple sauce
250g frozen Black Forest fruits
6 ready baked Yorkshire puddings
1 tsp white caster sugar
6 tbsp low-fat crème fraîche
Icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4. Put the butter and 60g of the brown sugar in a bowl and cream together with a hand-held electric whisk until pale in colour. Whisk in the egg, almonds and flour.
2. Stir in the apple sauce and 100g of the frozen fruits. Put the Yorkshire puddings on a baking tray, then spoon in the filling. Top with 50g of the remaining fruit and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put the remaining Black Forest fruits and the remaining brown sugar in a pan with the caster sugar and 1 tbsp water. Place over a medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes to make a sauce.
4. Serve 1 pudding per person, each with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a drizzle of the sauce and a light dusting of icing sugar.

Nuts & Bolts: Cadenzas

Soloist’s delight, but composer’s nightmare: cadenzas can be a short burst of thematically controlled prowess or an irrelevant romp. Why the discrepancy? Jeremy Siepmann explains.

Originating in the dawn of opera in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, the cadenza as we know it today is an extended solo section in an aria or instrumental concerto in which the soloist defers the end of the aria or movement with a display of their technical prowess.

Usually drawing on themes or motifs from the main body of the composition, it was traditionally improvised on the spot, thus heightening the excitement by introducing an element of danger and unpredictability just when the orchestra looked set to wind up the proceedings. The parallel with a trapeze or high-wire act is emphasised by the derivation of the term from the Latin verb cadere, to fall. But the danger wasn’t the soloist’s alone. The composer often suffered grievously as a headstrong performer cut loose from the shackles of formal confinement, effectively banishing creator and orchestra to the wings while holding forth at enormous and irrelevant length.

Continue reading ‘Nuts & Bolts: Cadenzas’

Storytime: There’s a Shark in the Bath

sharkinthebathYear: 2014
Author: Sarah McIntyre
Illustrator: Sarah McIntyre

One morning, Dulcie noticed that Dad had forgotten to let out the water from last night’s bath. The tub was full of cold, soapy, dirty froth.

But she saw something else too…

A fin.

Dulcie hollered, ‘There’s a shark in the bath!’

Dulcie’s mum just smiled. ‘Next you’ll tell us there’s an elephant in your cereal.’

‘No – that would be silly,’ said Dulcie.

Dad rolled his eyes. ‘Well, you’d better go and fish out that shark, then.’

Buy to find out more!

Month at a Glance

October 2014
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