When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner with all the neighbors, the end-of-school-year picnic, or just a hearty supper after chores were done. As Jerry writes, "For me food will always be associated with times of good eating, storytelling, laughter, and good-hearted fun."
Inspired by the dishes made by his mother, Eleanor, and featuring recipes found in her well-worn recipe box, Jerry and his daughter, Susan, take us on a culinary tour of life on the farm during the Depression and World War II. Seasoned with personal stories, menus, and family photos, Old Farm Country Cookbook recalls a time when electricity had not yet found its way to the farm, when making sauerkraut was a family endeavor, and when homemade ice cream tasted better than anything you could buy at the store.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to attend a one-room school, to be in the same classroom as your older brother or younger sister, or to have your teacher live with your family for part of the school year?
In One Room Schools, Susan Apps-Bodilly chronicles life in Wisconsin’s early country schools, detailing the experiences of the students, the role of the teacher, and examples of the curriculum, including the importance of Wisconsin School of the Air radio programs. She describes the duties children had at school besides their schoolwork, from cleaning the erasers and sweeping cobwebs out of the outhouse to carrying in wood for the stove. She also tells what led to the closing of the one room schools, which were more than just centers of learning: they also served as the gathering place for the community.
Susan Apps-Bodilly drew from the research compiled by her father Jerry Apps for his book, One-Room Country Schools: History and Recollections. Apps-Bodilly has geared her book toward young readers who will learn what students and their teacher did on cold mornings before the wood stove warmed them up. They also will find out how to play recess games like Fox and Geese and Anti-I-Over and will learn the locations of 10 former one room schools that can be toured. Apps-Bodilly also encourages readers to ask themselves what lessons can be learned from these early schools that have application for today’s schools?
One Room Schools will transport young readers back in time and make their grandparents and others of that generation nostalgic—perhaps even prompting them to share memories of their school days.
Take learning outdoors and empower young readers to plant their own gardens while digging deeper into related science and history lessons in this “soil to supper” book designed for kids and adults to use together. Packed with hands-on activities, fun projects, and fresh recipes, this colorful gardening guide provides opportunities for kids to observe, explore, and ask questions while engaging their
natural curiosity about nature. Seeds in Soil includes all the details to start planting and growing, whether working with a whole yard, a community or school garden, or just a balcony.
Chapters feature advice for selecting the seeds and tools to get started; ideas for planning and being creative in the garden; and tips for harvesting, storing, and cooking with fresh produce. Written by a second-grade teacher, the book includes engaging lessons about the science of climate, soil, and pollinators; and connections to history through the stories of First Nations and immigrant gardeners. Told through the author’s family stories and experience, Seeds in Soil will get kids having fun in the garden while digging, planting, growing, and finding their roots.