Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Moral of the Story Is...

I've been on a fable kick. First, The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary, then Arnold Lobel's Fables, and now Squids will be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables. This book of important life lessons is brought to you by Jon Scieszka (You know, the guy who wrote The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Quite the cool guy, I know.)

It's one of those books that gets funnier with repeated readings. And it's even funnier if you read it to a bunch of fourth graders who have a wicked sense of humor and love a good moral.

Right away you sense the type of book this is going to be. Maybe it's in the title, or the colorful, yet peculiar illustrations that are not unlike Stinky Cheese. Or perhaps it's the age range written in tiny font on the inside jacket flap (Age: 49-630 in dog years).

The introduction gives a nice overview of the history of fables, complete with a short Aesop biography. I like this part:

Fables have been around for thousands of years. And it's no wonder. Because even thousands of years ago people were bright enough to figure out that you could gossip about anybody--as long as you changed their name to something like "Lion" or "Mouse" or "Donkey" first. (Pretty clever, huh? I wish I had been on my fables kick back when I was in school. My brother would have been named "Baboon.")

Squids Will Be Squids is a collection of random, outrageous, laugh-out-loud-even-if-you-don't-get-it fables that Mr. Aesop may or may not have written back in his day. The morals, although seriously bizarre, are full of wisdom if you listen carefully enough. I highly suggest you read this book two or three times and you'll come away with a new outlook on life, if not a hearty belly laugh.

Check out Jon Scieszka's website for boys called Guys Read here: http://www.guysread.com/

Recipe to Read By: Elephant Ears (Named after my favorite fable entitled Elephant and Mosquito.)

Ingredients: A box of puff pastry, cinnamon and sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2. Thaw the puff pastry. (Microwave for 10 seconds at a time until bendable).

3. Lay the sheet on the table and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and tablespoon of cinnamon. Spread the mixture and make sure that all of the dough is covered.

4. Stare at the dough like it's a Magic Eye poster and find the center. Mark it with your knife if you want. Next, starting with the right side, begin to roll the dough one inch deep, stopping before reaching the center. Continue with the left side. Once both sides are rolled up, fold on top of each other. (Basically, you are rolling each side towards each other and then creating one ginormous roll of elephant ears. Mmmm.)

5. Slice the huge roll into 1/2 thick pieces and lay flat on the cookie sheet.

6. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry, if you haven't eaten it already. Puff pastry is goo-ood.

7. Cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown and you can smell the cinnamon and sugar in the oven.

8. As soon as the cookies are finished cooking, remove them from the oven and remove from the cookie sheet and let rest. (If the cookies are left on the cookie sheet the sugar will harden and the cookies will stick).

9. Serve and enjoy!

10. Moral: Food and books go together like peanut butter and baloney sandwiches. Am I the only one who eats that? Pickles and salsa? Doritos and hot chocolate? Well, you know what I mean!

Recipe courtesy of http://www.ifood.tv/. Watch the video on how to make them here!

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