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What do Dancing, Singing and Books Have to do With Apples?

On the 3rd Thursday of each month at No More Empty Cups, No More Empty Pots, the Omaha Public Library and Dahlman Neighborhood partner up to celebrate literacy through storytelling and activities for youth and seniors. September’s theme was one of the most popular fruits in Nebraska, apples!

Over 30 children from nearby All Saints Catholic Church came filing in one by one into the Community Room at the CO2 prepared for adventure. Librarian Mary Mollner, sat down, introduced herself and opened with some very good advice, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away because they are good for your gut!” Looking around the room there were nothing but smiling faces as each child vigorously patted their belly.

Click the image to check out this book from the Omaha Public Library!

Featured Story 1: Apples & Robins

The children listened very intently as Mary read through the pages of Apples & Robins. Leaning in with their mouths wide open, they answered every question she sent their way. One page showed a bird living in a bird house in the apple tree. Mary asked, “What kind of sound does a bird make?” The room filled with noise as the children began whistling like a choir of Robins.

Song & Dance: Way Up High In the Apple Tree

Standing tall with arms like long branches shaking about to get apples from the leaves of an apple tree, the children began to sing and dance to, “Way Up High In the Apple Tree.”

Click the image to check out this book from the Omaha Public Library!

Featured Story 2: Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie

This story highlighted several different animals and insects.  A bird called a Whippoorwill made an appearance. This bird is unique because its’ call sounds like they are saying their own name. Catbirds were also mentioned. They are also unique for the sounds they make but instead of a chirp like many of us are used to, this bird sounds like a cat.  Mary made specific mention of the bee. She told the children how bees were quickly dying out but needed to be saved because they help us grow our crops.The children shared with Mary the different types of crops they were growing at home with their families including; tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, sweet cherries, watermelon and flowers. Click HERE to for a list of books about bees!

Click the image to check out this book from the Omaha Public Library!

NMEP Book Recommendation: Thank You, Bees by Toni Yuly

This gentle message of gratitude and connection, enhanced by beautifully simple collage illustrations, makes for a charming gift. Sun gives us light. Thank you, sun. Clouds bring the rain that makes puddles to splash in. Sheep give us wool for our sweaters and hats. The honey that sweetens our bread comes from bees (thank you, bees). With spare, repetitive text and bright, torn-paper collage artwork, this picture book gives even the youngest readers a subtle sense of how everyday things are related — and inspires an appreciation for life’s simple gifts.

Featured Activity:
How To Make An Apple Head Doll

Supplies:
  • Peeler
  • 1 firm apple
  • 1 c. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • Large drinking glass
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden stick or dowel
  • Two short black pins or cloves for eyes
  • Tall unused jar or bottle (with small mouth) for doll’s body
  • Uncooked rice
  • Yarn or cotton batting for hair
  • Glue
  • Scrap fabric and rubber bands
Directions
  1. Peel apple completely.
  2. Choose one side of the apple to be the doll’s face. Have the stem at the top of the head.
  3. Use tip of peeler to carve depressions for eye sockets and cheeks. Carve a triangular piece for the nose. Remove apple along the nose area so this section is built up.
  4. Insert a wooden stick or dowel into the bottom of the apple.
  5. Mix together 1 cup of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of salt into a large drinking glass. Holding the apple by the wooden stick, immerse into the lemon juice/salt mixture. Let soak for five minutes. Pat apple dry with paper towel.
  6. Fill a jar or bottle with uncooked rice.
  7. Place dowel holding the apple into the jar. The uncooked rice will help to keep the dowel steady.
  8. Bring your apple and jar outside in dry weather. Moisture may cause the apple to get moldy. Be sure to bring your apple indoors during the evening to protect against moisture and animals. You may also dry out your apple by placing in a warm oven for several hours. Place your apple on a baking sheet and use very low heat. Protect against burning by gently wrapping in foil.
  9. Check your doll’s progress each day. It may take a week or two to dry out. When the apple is hardened and wrinkled, but still spongy, you are ready to create the face!
  10. Place pins or cloves into the eye sockets. You may use a bit of pink or red paint on the doll’s cheeks and lips to enhance features.
  11. Glue yarn or cotton batting to the apple for hair. You may also decide to wrap your doll in a scrap fabric headscarf or in a cap made out of a baby sock.
  12. To dress doll, use a large square of fabric with a small hole cut in the center. Make sure cloth is long enough to cover jar body. Push dowel through the fabric hole. Pull fabric up around dowel “neck”, gather around dowel and use a rubber band. Use a scrap of cloth tied around the neck area to cover rubber band and another scrap around the doll’s waist for a belt, if desired.

Note: When storing, remove apple head from the jar and preserve head and dowel in a tightly-closed plastic bag

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