Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Articles about 'Books & Stories'
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Here’s a beautiful little movie that’s narrated by a 6 six year old, giving great advice about life and how to deal with fears… the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.
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It’s always fun to read fables. They make you think of an earlier, simpler time. We think of fables as being for young children. However, a French teacher I recently spoke with told me that in France today, Jean de La Fontaine’s fables are mostly read by high school students.  That’s because the language is […]
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Knock-knock jokes can be found all over the world.  They have a simple formula.  In English, they start with, "Knock, knock!" As if someone’s knocking on the door.  The answer is almost always, "Who’s there?" Then the joke proceeds with a play on words.  Here’s a good example: Knock, knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? […]
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Mamá te quiero mucho (Mommy, I Love You So Much) is a nice little new dual-language (Spanish/English) book that was just released!  It accompanies a wonderful song that singer/songwriter Sara Quintanar has shared with us in the past (here).  The book also includes a score to the song. Here’s a page from the book that […]
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Lonnie wrote asking for help finding a story that his mother-in-law used to tell about the origin of black-eyed peas.  Here’s his question: I am trying to find a story my mother in law used to tell my daughter. All I can remember about it is the little pea tore something and it was sewn […]
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Mrs. Mulligatawny is a poem by Arthur Macy about the value of thinking for yourself.  Macy’s style reminds me of the writing of the American children’s author, Dr. Seuss.  Both have fun making fun of human foibles! You can listen to a wonderful recording of the poem below and read along with the text.  MP3 […]
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Kids love jokes!  That’s why you should check out Buzzfeed’s 19 Clean Jokes To Tell Your Kids…That Are Actually Funny. My favorite: Guy in a library walks up to the librarian and says, ‘I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries, please.’ Librarian responds, ‘Sir, you know you’re in a library, right?’ Guy says, ‘Oh, sorry. [in […]
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The "Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack" is a poem from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.  Here’s a wonderful singing rendition of it by Ezwa… MP3 Recording of Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack   As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur* belled Once, twice and again! And a doe […]
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Rest in Peace Norman Bridwell, creator of the kids books featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog. I’ll always remember reading stacks of Clifford books with my son Calvin when he was young.  They helped him learn how to read! Bridwell has left an enduring legacy with his books that children and parents will read for […]
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I’m so excited!  I just discovered a major collection of online recordings of children’s singing games! Iona and Peter Opie are among the world’s top collectors of English nursery rhymes and kids songs.  When working on Mama Lisa’s World, I refer to their research quite a bit.  They published one of the most comprehensive collections […]
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Eric Hill, author of the Spot the Dog children’s books, passed away this week at 86.  Hill created Spot for his young son in 1976.  In 1980, he created the first lift-the-flap book to ever exist called "Where’s Spot?".  He came up with the "lift-the-flap" design after he had seen it on advertising flyers.  What […]
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Here’s a very little French tale called "Gâteau" by Jules Lemaître.  The story is about two kids trying to share cake.  It’s in French with an English translation and a French recording. MP3 of Gâteau On avait donné à deux enfants un gros gâteau et un petit, en leur disant: "Partagez !" Les deux enfants […]
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Some English terms go back further than you’d think… -OMG The first recorded appearance of this breathless acronym for “Oh, my God!” comes, surprisingly, in a letter to Winston Churchill. (1917) -LITERALLY Word curmudgeons wince when “literally” is used figuratively. Examples of this inversion go back to 1769. Even Mark Twain did it. (1876) -UNFRIEND […]
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Once a few years ago I had a conversation with a friend from China about cooking in the U.S.  She found it amusing that most Americans cook with recipes… recipes that tell you exactly how to cook with precise measurements of ingredients.  She said that in China recipes were handed down within the family and […]
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The Gettysburg Address is a speech by Abraham Lincoln delivered exactly 150 years ago from this day.  It’s one of the most well-known American speeches.  It was delivered during the Civil War, 4 1/2 months after the Union Army beat the Confederacy in the Battle of Gettysburg.  It was given during the dedication of the […]
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Butterbeer is a non-alcoholic beverage people drink in the Harry Potter books and movies.  If you go to Universal Amusement Park in Florida, where they have several Harry Potter rides, you can drink Butterbeer.  Boy is it yummy! Of course Universal doesn’t give out the recipe.  However, people have made many attempts to recreate the […]
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Michelle Obama hosted a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House this week.  The 54 kids invited were the winners of Epicurious’ Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.  The kids all created yummy recipes that were half vegetable or fruit, and affordable.  You can download the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook online for free.
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Monique was here visiting from France for the past two weeks and we worked on creating Spanish and French versions of our books and apps. (They should be available soon.) Here’s a link to our current books and apps.
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Here’s a fun little skunk joke with a recording… MP3 of Two Little Skunks Two Little Skunks There were two little skunks Named "In" and "Out." One day In was out And Out was in. The mother skunk asked Out to go out and bring In in. So Out went out and Brought In in. […]
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A Johnny-cake is a small flat cake (akin to a little pancake) made out of cornmeal, water and salt. They were widely eaten in the U.S. in the 19th century.  Johnny-cakes are called hoecakes in the South. The folk tale "Johnny-cake" is almost the same story as "The Gingerbread Man" except that a Johnny-cake is […]

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