Sunday, December 26, 2010

Enjoy Holiday Cooking with your Kids

Looking for a tasty appetizer to make for the holiday season? A great crowd pleaser is deviled eggs. Below is an easy to follow recipe. Be sure to ask your parents for help. To be safe, ask your parents to boil the eggs first. Once the eggs have cooled get cracking!

12 hard-cooked eggs 
1/3 cup mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese 
2 tablespoons honey mustard 
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Hard boil, shell and rinse your eggs.
Slice eggs in half.
Carefully remove the yolks and place in a large mixing bowl.
Place egg whites on a platter.
Mash egg yolks with a fork.
Blend in mayonnaise, crumbled bacon, cheese, honey mustard and pepper.
Place a spoon full of yolk mixture into each egg white.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sprinkle paprika on top of eggs before serving.

Adapted from
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Fun at Fujimini Island

All the fun is around the corner. The holidays are here at last. One of the best parts about the holidays is lots and lots of tummy pleasing food. Cookies are a great treat and probably the best part of the cookie is the frosting. Not old enough to bake? Don’t worry. Here is a great way to indulge in frosting heaven with minimal preparation but lots of creativity.

Gather together at least three frosting colors. Use the frosting in the tubes to make decorating easy. Get some graham crackers and start drawing in frosting. Any holiday wish or symbol is perfect for your graham cracker cookies. You can even individualize each graham cracker by writing a person’s name on it. Don’t forget about sprinkles or sugar crystals. A light dusting makes your cookies glow like the wings of angels. Place the finished graham crackers on a fancy plate and serve them up with hot cocoa or warm apple cider.

For more fun, check out Fujimini Island!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lesson Plan: Learning Plot, using Sushi!

The Fujimini Island Adventure Series provides fun, vibrant, Asian inspired stories for kids in pre-school up second grade.

Here is a lesson plan idea for teachers or parents for grades K-1. This lesson plan focuses on plot.
Supplies: The book Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi by Eileen Wacker (order here), crayons, ruler, pencils

Objective: Learn about plot
  1. Read Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi to your child or students.
  2. Discuss plot with your child or students. Plot describes what happens in a story or the events that place in sequence.
  3. Discuss the plot of Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi with your child and students. Prompt them by saying, “And then what happened?”
  4. On a board place events on a chart with the labels – beginning, middle and end.
  5. Have your child or students copy the plot diagram onto a sheet of paper using crayons, pencils and a ruler. 
To learn more about the Fujimini Adventure Series books, click here.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lesson Plan for Your Children or Students

The Fujimini Island Adventure Series provides fun, vibrant, Asian inspired stories for kids in pre-school up second grade.

Here is a lesson plan idea for teachers or parents for grades K-1. This lesson plan focuses on character.

Supplies: The book Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi by Eileen Wacker (order here), art supplies, character map

Objective: Learn about character traits

  1. Read Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi to your child or students.
  2. Discuss character traits with your child or students. Character traits are unique attributes of a person. When we describe a person or thing we usually describe its attributes. 
  3. Tell your child or student that “character traits is not what a person looks like but acts like, character traits describe what is inside”. 
  4. Here is a list of words that describe character traits - some of these words are too sophisticated for K-1 but many are understandable and some are perfect challenge words for kids.
  5. Draw on a piece of paper or chalk board a character map. 
  6. Place Red Penguin in the middle of the map. 
  7. Draw extensions and write various traits that Red Penguin has on the extensions. 
  8. Do this activity with your child or students.
  9. Have your child or students do an art piece – a character picture - featuring Red Penguin. 
  10. Encourage your child to incorporate Red Penguin’s traits in the art piece.
To learn more about Fujimini Island and the other books in the Fujimini Adventure Series, click here

Friday, December 3, 2010

Find and fill your mind with NEW WORDS :)

Word searches are hypnotic little hunts that expand a child’s vocabulary, word fluency and spelling ability. Very young children are usually given Dolch Sight word searches. Sight words are frequently used words in oral and written English.

Sight words are the glue for sentences.
Words such as – and, all, away, go, help, it, is – are all sight words. They are critical to sentence building.

Many kids pick up on sight words quickly. Age appropriate books are filled with sight words. But age appropriate books also have many new words. Providing word searches for these ‘new’ words can turn a competent young reader into a sophisticated young reader.
Fujimini Island provides a word search on their website. Let your child hunt for words and watch their vocabulary grow quick and strong.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have Fun! Play Games!

ONCEKids has several games that provide an opportunity for readers of the Fujimini Island Adventure Series to deepen their experience and, for those who have yet to read the books, explore the world of Fujimini Island.  

Fujimini Island has a word search, coloring sheets and a build your own sushi game.

For the ‘build your own sushi’ game kids learn about food, a predominant cultural motif, they expand their vocabulary and improve hand and eye coordination. They also get to be creative. Plus, the game is fun and a fun game ensures the greatest learning.

Go to Fujimini Island to play games and build your own sushi.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bunny and Chang-O on the Moon

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin photographed by Neil Arm... The Apollo 11 crew kept an eye out for the bunny and Chang-O before they landed on the moon. The communication headquarters in Houston relayed the story of Chang-O to the astronauts. They told the astronauts that Chang-O resided with her bunny companion on the moon. Astronaut Collins said, “Okay, we’ll keep a close eye for the bunny girl.” The astronauts looked for both the man in the moon and the girl with the faithful bunny. Chang-O and her rabbit are an old legend with as much force today as during the Warring States period in China. Bunnies are remarkable creatures with deep cultural meaning in China, Japan and Korea. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meet Fujimini Island's Bunnies

albino angora rabbit
On Fujimini Island bunnies hop in the grassy fields, and are friends with all the other animals. Bunnies are wonderful creatures. They are cute, soft and love having friends. In Chinese culture, the bunny is important to the Moon Festival. The bunny is a companion of Chang-e or Chang-o – the moon goddess. According to legend, the bunny is industrious and constantly pounds the elixir of life or, in Japanese and Korean versions, is pounding the ingredients for rice cakes. It seems wonderful and poetic that a bunny should be a companion to the woman in the moon. In Chinese culture the bunny is called the Jade Rabbit or, sometimes, the gold rabbit.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Panda Families

On Fujimini Island pandas eat many kinds of food but in the wild pandas live on a steady diet of bamboo stems, bamboo leaves and bamboo shoots. Pandas eat almost 80 pounds of bamboo every day!

A male panda is called a boar. A female panda is called a she-bear and a baby panda is called a cub. She-bear pandas have one to five cubs or baby pandas at a time. Did you know a group of pandas is called a sleuth? No, that doesn’t mean they wear trench coats, carry magnifying glasses and solve crimes.

Pandas are great tree climbers, are most active during the day and don’t like hanging out with friends. They are mostly solitary creatures. It is probably difficult to be a pandas friend.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fujimini Island has Pandas - Do you know Pandas?

On Fujimini Island Pandas climb the slopes. Pandas live in the bamboo forests of China. The Pandas have lived in these misty forests for many, many years. The Chinese honor the pandas and pandas are protected because they have become rare. Pandas are almost extinct. There are only about 1,000 living in the forests of China.

The Chinese have known about the panda for a long time. But people in the West just discovered the panda when a German zoologist happened to see one at the beginning of the 20th century. A zoologist is a scientist who studies animals. There are actually two types of pandas: giant panda and red pandas. Giant pandas are as big as American grizzly bears. They can stand up to six feet tall and weigh almost 300 pounds.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hungry for a Mooncake?

Mooncakes are served during the Moon Festival. Mooncakes are dense, filled cakes with intricate designs or patterns on them. Many people also eat other round shaped foods such as pomeloes and eggs (sometimes tea stained).

The Moon Festival is sometimes called the Lantern Festival. During the festival, lanterns are used as decorations and represent the glowing of the moon. Often, sky lanterns are used as decorations. Sky lanterns are suspended in the sky and look as if they are floating.

During the Moon Festival many people celebrate by planting trees. Incense is also burned for Chang-O who floated up to the moon after taking her husband’s immortal pills. Chang-O’s companion is a rabbit, often depicted in jade.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Moon Festival

The Moon Festival is also called the Mid-Autumn Festival. This is a popular festival celebrated by the Chinese. The Vietnamese also celebrate the Moon Festival.
The Moon Festival celebrates; you guessed it, the moon. Worshipping the moon dates back over 3,000 years ago. The Moon Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar (another word for moon) calendar. The Moon Festival coincides with the autumnal equinox. This equinox is about the Earth’s position with the Sun. During the autumnal equinox the moon is at its roundest, which makes it particularly beautiful and inspires many people to have a festival in its honor.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to make a paper Lantern

You will need:

Colored Paper
Marker or crayons

Step 1: Fold a rectangular piece of paper in half
Step 2: Make a series of cuts (12 to 14)
Step 3: Decorate the paper with markers or crayons
Step 4: Unfold and staple the edges together.
Step 5: Cut a long, thin strip of paper for the handle. Staple it to the lantern.
Step 6: Make a lot of lanterns and string them on yar
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Paper Lanterns fun

In Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi, the animals on Fujimini Island make paper lanterns. Paper lanterns come in many sizes and shapes. Paper lanterns are often associated with festivals and are common to the cultures of China and Japan. Paper lanterns are also used as a decoration. Stores in Japan often advertise specials on the paper lanterns. The animals of Fujimini Island love lanterns because they are pretty to look at and fun to make. Come back soon and we will tell you how to make a paper lantern.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is it your Birthday? Time for Birthday Cake!

In Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun, Pink Hamster loves to eat birthday cakes. A birthday cake is a pastry or dessert served to a person on his or her birthday. Birthday cakes often have many decorations and usually have the person’s name spelled out in icing or candy. Candles are also placed on the birthday cake. There are usually candles for every year the person has been alive and sometimes there is an additional candle for luck. The most popular flavor for birthday cakes is chocolate.
So where did the birthday cake originate?
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Surf Party and Sushi Lunch

In Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun, Green Hamster searches for fun. He meets the penguins who are having a surf party and a sushi lunch. Ever wondered what sushi is? Sushi is made from fish (usually raw), rice and seaweed. It is then rolled into fun bite size shapes. Here are some interesting sushi facts:

Did you know sushi is a food custom originating in Japan?
Did you know that many centuries ago fish was placed in rice as a way of preserving the fish? Preserving is a big word that basically means extending or making the fish last longer.
Did you know that preserving fish in rice extended all the way to China?
Did you know that the Japanese started combining the rice with the fish instead of discarding the rice used to ferment the fish?

More facts about sushi to come soon.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun is the first book in the Fujimini Adventure Series. In this book, Green Hamster journeys across the mystical island of Fujimini.

Green Hamster has other hamster friends…Orange Hamster, Yellow Hamster, Pink Hamster and the smartest of all hamsters, Brown Hamster. The hamsters of Fujimini Island are wonderful colors but did you know hamsters are color blind? Yikes! How does Green Hamster remember all his friends? Hamsters have great memories and they are able to remember friends and relatives by smell rather than looks. Thank goodness for Green Hamster.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun, Green Hamster journeys across Fujimini Island in search of fun because he is very BORED.

Did you know hamsters are rodents? Hamsters are rodents but they are much cuter and sweeter than rats. Hamsters are popular as family pets in many countries. One of the reasons hamsters are so adorable is their chubby cheeks, which are roomy enough to store and carry food. Hamsters also have pointy ears and short tails.

In Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun, Green Hamster does all of his traveling across the island during the day.

Did you know hamsters tuck in for the night? Hamsters wake up in the morning, become very active during the day and slow down when the stars come out at night. After a long day of walking, Green Hamster snuggles up for a peaceful and not BORING night of rest.