Holidays

Time to Get Popping

Popcorn was grown by Native Americans long before the Europeans came to the New World. The Aztecs used it, strung into garlands, in their religious ceremonies. Peruvians toasted and ate their popcorn, which was called pisancalla. During the 1830's, it was "discovered" by American farmers who, using a new kind of plow, planted acres and acres of it during the 1850s. By the turn of the 19th century, popcorn vendors could be found in every big city. They'd sell their wares by the bag or the ball and make a profit of about 70 cents on every dollar!

All Fun: Red Planet Day

Each November 28 is celebrated as “Red Planet Day.”  Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28, 1964. Its 228-day mission brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars on July 14, 1965, sending us back the first close-up photos of the red planet.

Mars is a very bright planet, and when it’s in range, you can usually see it without a telescope.  Of course, if you have a telescope—or binoculars—you will get a better look.  Fortunately, in November the skies are usually clear, and Mars can sometimes be seen in the early morning.  With the Internet, you can find a star chart or other guide to show you where the planets should be in the night sky. If you can’t see the stars where you are because of light pollution, ask if your parents can take you out in the countryside where the view is better.

Thanksgiving

By Lynn Peppas

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Contents: What is Thanksgiving? -- A national holiday -- Past celebrations -- The pilgrims -- The first Thanksgiving -- Turkeys! -- Thanksgiving dinner -- Thanksgiving songs -- Thanksgiving symbols -- Thanksgiving parades -- Thanksgiving sports -- Giving thanks -- Giving to others -- Thanksgiving in Canada.

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The Festival of Bones = El Festival de las Calaveras: The Little-Bitty Book for the Day of the Dead

By Luis San Vicente; translation by John William Byrd & Bobby Byrd

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"San Vicente lets children join the celebration as they watch the skeletons rock, rattle, and roll those long old bones as they get ready for the biggest event of their social calendar. A short and fun essay, directed toward young readers, will explain this important Mexican holiday. The works of Mexico City artist Luis San Vicente have been exhibited in Mexico, Venezuela, Europe, and the United States. He has won UNESCO's prestigious NOMA Encouragement Concours Prize for Illustration, and UNESCO honored his work (1997, 1998, and 1999) in their prestigious Youth and Children's Catalog of Illustrations."

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Coming Together: Celebrations for African American Families

By Harriette Cole and John Pinderhughes

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"African American families are dynamic and powerful. Celebrations play an important part in the fabric of the family. Coming Together is devoted to several of the very special occasions that many African American families honor. Filled with creative ideas for involving the entire family-from young children to grandparents and great-grandparents-this rich book provides everything you need to transform time together into compelling and memorable occasions. Coming Together is brimming with sample menus, easy-to-follow recipes, crafts, activities, and unique ideas to bring the value of these celebrations to life."
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Independence Day

By Molly Aloian

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What is Independence Day? -- Ruled by Great Britain -- Declaration of Independence -- Early celebrations -- Making speeches -- Decorations -- The American flag -- Picnics -- Parades -- Songs and music -- Baseball -- Fireworks -- Take a trip!
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Independence Day

By Willma Willis Gore

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Describes the origins and past and present celebrations of Independence Day.
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Valentine's Day

By Reagan Miller

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Every February 14th, people celebrate love and friendship by exchanging cards, flowers, and gifts, all in the name of Saint Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? Young readers will discover the meanings behind Valentine's Day symbols such as hearts, red roses, and cupid. Readers will also learn how people around the world celebrate this holiday.

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Groundhog Day!

By Gail Gibbons

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Learn about groundhogs and their special day.

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Free at Last!

By Angela Bull

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A biography of the civil rights leader, covering his childhood, leadership, powerful speeches, assassination, and greatest influences. A level 4 beginning reader.

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