Monday, March 19, 2012

A Book, A Stamp, and A Map

One of the very first things I like to do when we start learning about a new country each month is make a trip to the local library and see what we can find for books. I look for books that are inspired by the culture that we are learning about, rather than a fact book. It doesn't have to be fiction, but it usually is. 

The book that we found this month is Moon Rope/ Un lazo a la luna by Lois Ehlert. It is based on a Peruvian folk tale about a fox and a mole who make a rope of grass to climb to the moon. The fox desperately wants to see what's up there, the mole is nervous and keeps looking down as they climb. The mole falls to the earth, the fox makes it to the moon. As a result, the mole prefers to stay in his tunnels during the day and come out at night to see his fox friend on the face of the moon. 

One of the things that I liked about this folk tale was that it carried more than one message. On one hand, it reminds us that our fear can make us fall, as mole did while climbing the rope, because he kept looking down, while the fox who kept looking up to the moon made it there. On the other hand, the story is told in a way that can also make you see the perspective of keeping your feet on the ground. That maybe it isn't so bad that the mole fell and that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

All in all it was a nice story, with cool artwork and the added bonus is that it is written in both English and Spanish on every page.

Another part of our monthly tours is scratching our scratch map. This time, the country that was being scratched happened to be a gold color which made it a bit more difficult to see the boundaries since the part you are supposed to scratch off is also gold. Aiden did a great job scratching it (he did scratch part of Ecuador in the process, but not too much.)

It is also time for stamping the passports. I contemplated trying a different medium this month instead of a potato, but it seemed that probably Peru was not the month to skip using a potato since potatoes are such a big part of Peruvian agriculture. 

Eliana, looking moderately crazy, getting ready to stamp her passport. 
Showing it off.  
The stamp. 
We are starting to prepare for our end of the month celebration, planning our meal, thinking of table decor and sampling music. BUT, before we do that, we have one more craft project planned and I will share that with you on Thursday. 

You can see how I made the passports here, and a step by step of how I make the potato stamps here. Don't forget, you can also skip to any of the posts by clicking on the Detours and Shortcuts link in the "Atlas" section of this page, there they are broken down into the flag posts, the crafts, the food, and the passport stamping, as well as any extra adventures that we may have done. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you are having weather that is as lovely as ours this week! 


  1. I much prefer folk tales and stories to boring old fact books. Milo is obsessed with Machu Pichu (sp?) right now, so we may have to copy your Peruvian adventures...

  2. I, too, love the idea of learning about a culture through its folklore. Extra bonus for having it in English *and* Spanish! And good call on keeping the potato for the stamp this month - I suspect there will be more flexibility with next month!

    Looking forward to learning about the music and the menu


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