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NaturalKids Book Review

Crazy Hair Day
By Barney Saltzberg

Autumn always brings with it special moments, leaves turning beautiful colors of reds yellows and brown, shorter days, and back to school. For children and parents this is a busy time, new clothes, school supplies, teachers and many other wonderful things. Even home schooled children start a new grade.

One of my favorite book that reminds me of my childhood and school experiences is Barney Saltzberg Crazy Hair Day. Crazy Hair Day is a day in the life of Stanley Birdbaum. Stanley wakes up thinking its crazy hair day at school and really goes nuts on his hair, only to go to school and find out that its not crazy hair day but picture day!

Embarrassed after a not well thought out comment, and a couple of giggles, Stanley hides out in the bathroom. Help and kind words later come from a friend who comes and comforts and cheers Stanley up. Stanley summons up the courage to go back to class and discovers his classmates and teacher ready for a “crazy hair” class picture. No Stanley your not the only “weirdo” today.

Saltzberg’s fun and comical pictures and the familiar story of being different, hurt or embarrassed and having good friends to get you through it make Crazy Hair Day a good read aloud book with a great message.

This book is close to my heart because of a very special kid named Max. My best friends son Max was diagnosed with Alopecia 2 years ago and his hair looked like someone had shaved parts of his head. He started acting out at home and school finally confessing that a group of girls had said some very unkind words to him during recess. My friend, very upset called after a meeting at the school, and was ready to call some parents up and share a couple of unkind words herself. I was strongly prompted to buy the book that I so loved to sell at work (I work at a toy store) and wrap it up. I gave it to Max with some words of encouragement written inside. My friend called a week later. She and Max took it to school and she read it to the class along with an explanation of Alopecia. Max never was made fun of at school again, or wears hats or anything to cover his “crazy hair”…unless he thinks it looks cool.

Here are some great NaturalKids Finds for Back To School:



Book Review by Dayanara Garcia of Pin Pon

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beds, books and donuts

Today’s recipe (and book suggestion) was originally published by Pamela of Prettydreamer on “Wither Will I Wander”.

While under the weather, sick in bed for three weeks (that is, almost the whole month of April) … there was definitely time to read a lot in bed.

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey had it’s chance for a second time around read. This time read by my child who could mostly read this sweet book herself.

Homer Price contains a series of lovely short stories about life for a young boy from the town of Centerburg. The cast of characters includes: a pet skunk, the string savers club, sandwich advertising man, a comic book super hero, a tinkerer and a hermit inventor and the not to be missed latest, modern “time -saving” machines. Like many of McClosky’s books, “Centerburg Tales” shares
that sweet, slow moving time that children live into.

Now about those donuts ….

Having no new-fangled, modern machinery at my disposal and not wanting to fry donuts in a quart of oil …. I came across this wonderful recipe for baked donuts.

They were very tasty and an important way to end reading about “the donuts”.

“Homer pressed the button marked ‘stop’ and there was a little click, but nothing happened . The rings of batter kept right on dropping…gadgets kept right on turning them over…”


  • 7/8 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt

1- Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

2- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and buttermilk or yogurt until foamy.

3- Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

4- Butter or grease the doughnut pan; non-stick pan spray works well here. Note: even though the pan is non-stick, since the doughnuts are low-fat they may stick unless you grease the pan first.

5- Fill each doughnut form half full.

6 – Bake the doughnuts in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. When done, they’ll spring back when touched lightly, and will be quite brown on the top.

7- Remove the doughnuts from the oven, remove them from the pan, and allow them to cool on rack. If desired, glaze with icing, or dust with cinnamon-sugar or any non-melting sugar.

This recipe is originally from the King Arthur Flour website.

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buttermilk chocolate cake recipe {+ cookbook giveaway!!}

by Jen of SewnNatural

Our new Thursday recipe/tutorial feature is off to a huge start with today’s chocolate cake recipe… and cookbook giveaway from Cynthia Lair, author of “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents.”


I found this recipe in a wonderful cookbook I highly recommend. Cynthia Lair’s “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents”. As a mom of a toddler, I’m always on the look-out for quick, delicious and nutritious recipes I can whip up to spice up our meal routine.

The cookbook is packed with simple recipes that excite the tastebuds, employ whole, organic foods and can be easily adapted for everyone around the supper table. You need not be a parent of little kids to enjoy this book – it would be a wonderful treat for anyone.

Check out Cynthia’s new humorous {+ fabulous} online cooking show CookusInterruptus, about how to cook fresh local whole foods despite life’s interruptions. You can also read her “baby food is not rocket science” article here about how it’s best to feed babies “family food”.

Note: For a dairy free version, substitute 1 cup soy milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added for the buttermilk and use melted coconut oil in place of buttter.

image by elana’s pantry

Prep time: 45 minutes
Makes 2, 8-inch layers

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup of maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil two 8-inch cake pans. Mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir into flour mixture (do not overstir). Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or a little less, depending on your oven.

I poured Cynthia Lair’s strawberry sauce on for added fruit, presentation and contrast. With strawberries being out of season right now (unless you’ve stored some away in your freezer from the last harvest), I’d recommend using pears, apples, whatever is freshest & has travelled the least distance to get to your plate.

image by anashruti

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1 pint organic strawberries
1 tsp lemon or orange juice
1 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

Wash and trim strawberries. Place them, the juice, and sweetener in a blender and blend until smooth. Use at once or refrigerate the rest. Will keep a few days in the fridge.

|”Reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair”.


Cynthia has generously offered one reader a copy of her book!

That’s Cynthia 2nd from left!

To enter today’s giveaway, simply visit CookusInterruptus and leave a comment about something you enjoyed or learned (one entry per person, please!). This giveaway will end at 9am EST on Sunday, and the winner will be announced soon after.

image by Bruce Tuten


The winner (drawn at random) is… comment #12 Katherine Robb! CONGRATS (now you don’t have to go out and buy one!!)

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i love dirt! (a little book review)

Hurray for summer!  My family and I live in a big city in Canada and there is nothing more exciting to us than watching our trees and flower beds come to life after a long snowy winter.  Our city is blessed with many green spaces, lots of great paths thru ravines, creeks and rivers.
When I first saw this book I thought, “I don’t need a book to tell me how to enjoy the outdoors with my kids.”  That’s the beauty of it right?  Simple, uncomplicated nature.  And while one may not need a book to tell you how to get outside and enjoy nature with the kids, this book does have a lot of great ideas and prompts to fall back on while your out there.

It lists over 32 activities to do with your kids and organizes by season.  There are lots of open ended questions and activities to do with the wee ones.  I liked the chapter on worms which I know my kids love, and provided me with useful information about worms that I forgot from grade 4 science class.  As much as I like to think I’m this ever creative mom, my sleep deprived brain does appreciate some fresh ideas.

I do find the activities to be more for younger kids but there are lots of good ideas there to build on for older kids.  Even for the younger kids, there is loads of room to expand on themes they show a particular interest in.  Over all I found it to be a sweet little book and was happy to have found it in the library.

My kids have been showing a keen interest in seeds so I’ll pull out some little planting trays and we’ll start some seed from inside.  We did this last year with mostly herbs, we found cat grass to be the most satisfying!  While the weather holds out we will spend as much time outside, exploring the amazing outdoors, examining rocks, tree roots, buds, imitating birds, running from imaginary ‘pumas’, finding the perfect spot for a snack…

How do you enjoy nature?  Are there any special activities you do with the kids outside?