Celebrating Carrots

 

April 4th is International Carrot Day. February 3rd is National Carrot Cake Day. January is National Carrot Month. Summer is when carrots actually grow in the garden. And you can eat them, of course, all year round. In other words, almost every day is Carrot Day.

 

 imgres Listen to the National Carrot Day Anthem. Sung by carrots.
 imgres-1 Carrot stamps! Zazzle sells customized first-class postage stamps, just for National Carrot Month.
 imgres-2 All things carrot! The World Carrot Museum is surely the most comprehensive carrot site on the Web, featuring everything from carrot history and carrot recipes to carrot musical instruments, carrot toys, and carrots in the fine arts.
 imgres-3 My non-fiction book, How Carrots Won the Trojan War (Storey Publishing, 2011) is an award-winning science and history of garden vegetables. It’s an adult book, but is packed with stories and information adaptable for a wide range of educational and just plain interesting purposes. Find out, for example, about the Burmese Cucumber King, the pirate who discovered bell peppers, and what corn has to do with vampires. For carrot-lovers, learn about Peter Rabbit’s diet, Henry Ford’s carrot obsession, and how carrots helped win not only the Trojan War but World War II.

Carrot Books

 imgres-4 By Jol Temple and Kate Temple, Parrot Carrot (Allen & Unwin, 2012) is a quirky picture-book mash-up of pairs of rhyming objects – such as a parrot carrot, moose goose, and snake rake.  For ages 3-5.
 imgres-5 In Ruth Krauss’s classic The Carrot Seed (HarperCollins, 2004), a little boy (in beanie and overalls) plants a carrot seed and tends it devotedly, even though everybody around him insists that “it won’t come up.” He’s rewarded for his faith and patience with a perfectly enormous carrot. For ages 3-6.
 imgres-6 Scholastic’s Carrot Seed Lesson Plan suggests that kids make a “seed museum,” pairing samples of real seeds and drawings of the plants they will become with audio recordings telling about each type of seed.
 imgres-7 Jan Peck’s The Giant Carrot (Dial, 1998) is a version of the Russian folktale “The Turnip.” Here it’s set on a tumbledown farm in the U.S. (there’s a cabin, complete with derelict car on cinderblocks) where Little Isabelle’s singing and dancing miraculously produce a humongous carrot. Included are recipes for carrot pudding and carrot stew. For ages 3-8.
 imgres-8 In John Segal’s Carrot Soup (Margaret K. McElderry, 2006), Rabbit loves to garden – but after a summer of tending his carrot crop, he finds to his dismay that all the carrots have disappeared. His animal friends deny any knowledge of missing carrots – though it’s clear from the background illustrations that they’re all busily harvesting them and hauling them away. All ends happily, however, with a surprise party for Rabbit and a meal of his favorite carrot soup. Included is a carrot soup recipe. For ages 3-8.
 imgres-9 In Aaron Reynolds’s Creepy Carrots (Simon & Schuster, 2012), with great black-and-orange illustrations by Peter Brown, Jasper Rabbit has been greedily gobbling carrots, and now the carrots have caught up with him. Soon he’s seeing ominous carrots everywhere and hearing the “soft…sinister…tunktunktunk of carrots creeping.” For ages 4-8.
 imgres-10 In H.A. Rey’s Curious George: The Perfect Carrot (Harcourt, 2010), George – with the help of the Man in the Yellow Hat – plants a garden of carrots, but then decides that his prize carrot is too perfect for anyone to eat. Until, that is, his friend Bill’s pet bunnies show up, lost and hungry. For ages 4-8.
 imgres-11 In Lauren Child’s I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Candlewick, 2003), Lola, a determinedly fussy eater, not only rejects tomatoes, but almost everything else as well, including potatoes, peas, fish sticks, and carrots. Imaginative big brother Charlie changes her mind by giving food a whole new spin: potatoes are cloud fluff from Mount Fuji; fish sticks are mermaid food; tomatoes are moonsquirters. And carrots? They’re orange twiglets from Jupiter. For ages 4-8.
 imgres-12 By Susan M. Freese and Jan Westberg, Carrots to Cupcakes (Super Sandcastle, 2008) is a cartoon-illustrated activity book on reading, writing, and reciting poetry through poems about food. Included are twelve food poems by such kid-friendly poets as Jack Prelutsky and Kenn Nesbit, examples of student work, and explanations of basic poetry concepts. For ages 6-9.
  Also see GARDENING, EAT YOUR VEGGIES, and RABBITS!

 Carrots and Science

 imgres-13 TLC’s Nature Garden Activities for Kids has instructions for making your own root-view box from a half-gallon milk carton. Perfect for carrots.
 imgres-14 Soda Bottle Carrots has instructions for growing  carrots in 3-liter soda bottles. (Very small kitchen gardens.)
 imgres-15 Pair the above with Mari Schuh’s Carrots Grow Underground (Capstone Press, 2011), a simple account of how carrots grow, illustrated with bright color photographs.
 imgres-16 From the World Carrot Museum, Kids Experiments With Carrots has instructions for several carrot-based science projects, among them sprouting carrot tops, making a hanging carrot garden, building a carrot battery, and studying osmosis with carrots.
Honey, I Shrunk the Carrots is a more detailed study of osmosis in carrots for middle-school students, Included are instructions and lists of questions to investigate.
 imgres-17 What do carrots have to do with the Dead Sea? Float Me If You Can is an investigation of floating and sinking using various kinds of liquids and solutions. And carrots.
How much water is in a carrot? Squeezing Water From a Carrot has an experimental procedure for figuring this out, along with a short list of research questions for early-elementary students.

Carrots and Math

 imgres-18 Stuart J. Murphy’s Just Enough Carrots (HarperCollins, 1997), a MathStart 1 book, introduces concepts of more, fewer, and the same as a small rabbit, accompanying his mother to the grocery store, compares numbers of items in their shopping cart to those of other shoppers. (He’d like fewer peanuts and more carrots.) For ages 4-8.
 imgres-19 Carrot Crunch is a free downloadable addition game for early-elementary students played with dice and printable carrot number lines.
 imgres-20 Landing in the Carrot Patch is a math challenge for middle-school-level kids. Brad the Bunny, bent on nabbing carrots, is parachuting into Farmer McGee’s garden. Given the (printable) map of the garden, what are his chances of landing in the carrot patch?
 imgres-21 Using these printable Play Dough Math Mats, preschoolers use play dough to “plant” the correct number of carrots for each rabbit to eat.
 imgres-22 At Buying Carrots, two people have carrots for sale and shoppers need to determine which is the better deal. The trick: you’re calculating carrots in pounds and ounces and cost in old-fashioned British pounds, shillings, and pence.

Arts, Crafts, and Carrots

 imgres-23 This You Tube video from Simple Kids Crafts shows how to make Paper Carrot Sweets. You’ll need orange paper, green crepe paper, and glue. (Candy optional.)
 imgres-24 Creating a Carrot for Preschool Art has instructions for making both carrot prints (which involves real carrots and mixing paint to make the color orange) and a stuffed paper carrot, for which you’ll need brown paper bags, orange paint, and green curling ribbon.
 imgres-25 Make Papier-Mache Carrot Pencils! (Draw carrots with them.)
 imgres-26 Origami Carrot has step-by-step video instructions for making a folded origami carrot.
 Carrot Cupcakes - Fun Food - Living Locurto Make particularly adorable Carrot Cupcakes in miniature flowerpots. The “dirt” is chocolate cake; the carrots are made of candy and mint leaves.
 P1320316 This great homemade paper-pocket Carrot Garden Alphabet Game could easily be converted into an all-about-carrots quiz.
 imgres-27 Vegetable Instruments has instructions for making several, including a carrot ocarina and a multi-carrot pan flute.
  From PBS Kids, Edible Instruments has illustrated instructions for making a carrot strummer (and an eggplant clapper).

Quest for the Magic Carrot

 imgres-28 Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot (Playroom Entertainment) is a fast-paced card game in which players compete to eliminate each other’s bunnies and capture the prized Magic Carrot.  Bunnies can be done in with anything from a Magic Spatula to a Flame Thrower, or you can starve enemy Bunnies by withholding Cabbages. There are multiple expansion sets, which provide additional features and more bunnies. For 2-8 players ages 8 and up. About $22 from Amazon.
 imgres-29 Magic Carrot is a clever interactive online game in which a little rabbit must solve successive Rube-Goldberg-ish puzzles in order to find the Magic Carrot and save his sick friend.

 

 

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