July 28th, 2016
"A Rose" by Emily Dickinson is a pretty little poem that evokes summertime. You can listen to it below and read along with the text… MP3 of A Rose A Rose A sepal, petal, and a thorn Upon a common summer’s morn, A flash of dew, a bee or two, A breeze A caper […]
March 25th, 2016
Nowruz (نوروز meaning "new day") is the Persian New Year. It starts on the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere. One traditional aspect of Nowruz is called Haft-Seen (هفتسین the seven seens). It’s a tabletop array of seven items that are displayed for the holiday. The seven items displayed are: 1. […]
February 4th, 2016
Sadao Mazuka recently wrote from Japan about "General Winter," a character you can see on the news on weather maps in Japan… "It’s so cold here. Just now we don’t have heavy snow here in Tokyo though. ‘General Winter’ or ‘General Frost’ is coming from Siberia, Russia. This is what we call the cold air […]
January 16th, 2016
What are the "Four Gentlemen"? From old China, "The Four Gentlemen" is a term used to refer to four specific subjects (orchid, bamboo, plum blossom, chrysanthemum) which are traditionally some of the first subjects the student of Chinese ink brush painting learns. Each subject focuses on a different brush technique and lays down the brushstroke […]
January 11th, 2016
Lohri is a Bonfire Festival that takes place in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan after the beginning of winter. This year it’s celebrated on January 13th. Lohri commemorates the passing of the Winter Solstice. An important part of the festival is lighting a bonfire. The light is a symbol of the days getting […]
December 8th, 2015
An den Winter is a German poem about winter by Elisabeth Kulmann (1808-1825). She wrote more than 1,000 poems before she died at age 17. This lovely poem evokes the feeling of the season. Below, you can listen to the poem in the original German and read along with the text and an English translation… MP3 […]
November 5th, 2015
The poem Otoño (Autumn) was written by Spanish poet Manuel Paso Cano. Below you can read the poem in Spanish, listen along to the recording, followed by an English translation. MP3 Recording of Otoño Otoño Tardes penosas, tristes, soñolientas; noches de silencioso desconsuelo; nubarrones que manchan en el cielo la negra cerrazón de las tormentas. […]
October 29th, 2015
It’s always nice to celebrate the season with a poem. Here’s a French piece about Autumn by Théodore de Banville (1823 – 1891). You can read it below, while listening along with the recording, followed by an English translation… MP3 of L’Automne L’Automne Sois le bienvenu, rouge Automne, Accours dans ton riche appareil, Embrase le […]
September 28th, 2015
Merry Autumn is a poem written by American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 – 1906). His parents were slaves in Kentucky before the Civil War. He grew up in Ohio and was born in Dayton in 1872. The poem Merry Autumn talks about how silly it is to tie the symbolism of death with autumn. […]
August 5th, 2015
The poem July Midnight was written by Amy Lowell. It makes one feel immersed in the magical world of fireflies. You can read it below and listen along with the recording… MP3 Recording of July Midnight July Midnight Fireflies flicker in the tops of trees, Flicker in the lower branches, Skim along the ground. Over […]
July 30th, 2015
Most people associate summer with occasional lightening storms. We found this wonderful Italian poem called Temporale Estivo - "Summer Lightening Storm" . It was written by Federigo Tozzi (1883-1920). Below you can listen to a recording of the poem while reading along with the Italian text, and an English translation. MP3 Recording of Temporale Estivo […]
July 9th, 2015
Wondering what to do with all that summer zucchini? Try Zucchini Fritters! Both my husband and daughter loved them! The beauty of this recipe is that all you need is zucchini, cheddar cheese and some basic ingredients you probably have already. It’s quick to make too. You can grate the zucchini in a food processor […]
April 10th, 2015
"Spring Song of the Swallow" is a lovely poem celebrating the joy of Spring. You can hear the poem sung in the recording below and read along with the text. MP3 Recording of Spring Song of the Swallow Spring Song of the Swallow by Marietta Holley Oh, the days are growing longer; So rang the […]
July 7th, 2014
It’s always fun to celebrate the season with a poem. Here’s a nice one about summer by Robert Louis Stevenson with a recording… MP3 Recording of Summer Sun Summer Sun By Robert Louis Stevenson Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven with repose; And in the blue and glowing days More […]
June 11th, 2014
Sadao Mazuka sent us this article about the rainy season of June in Japan… June is a rainy season here in Japan. The English word “June” gives us a feeling of bright and refreshing air, especially with a word such as, “June-Bride”. But in Japanese, it’s “6月(Rokugatsu = June)”. It makes us think of a […]
April 29th, 2014
Monique wrote from France, "I just caught the end of the Spanish news on T.V. The lady presenting the weather forecast said a proverb about April: ‘Buenos amigos y buenos abriles, uno entre miles.’ Meaning, ‘Good friends and good Aprils, one out of thousands.’" Thanks for sharing the proverb and your photo Monique! -Mama Lisa […]
April 4th, 2014
This seasonal recipe for Takikomi Gohan (mixed rice) was sent by Ayako Egawa in Japan. Takikomi Gohan is made with rice and seasonal ingredients and is made to celebrate the changing season. Here’s Ayako’s note on the dish, along with her recipe… "Lisa is very curious about our food in Japan. So I’d like to […]
November 12th, 2013
I saw this pretty autumn tree craft at our local library’s children’s room. Here’s how you make it… Supplies: Medicine Dropper, Glossy Photo Paper, Watercolor Paint, Straw, Brown Construction Paper (for tree trunk). Drip watercolor paint onto the top half of the paper using the medicine dropper. Use autumnal colors like yellow, orange, green and […]
October 1st, 2013
My friend Maria Hayda shared this wonderful picture of a wooly caterpillar that she took, along with some fascinating weather lore: "Judging by this wooly caterpillar’s markings, it will not be a mild winter. According to my Ukrainian Grandma, very black ends that travel inwards and not just on the tips of these caterpillars signal […]
July 29th, 2013
Etegami is a Japanese style of drawing with a written message on it. Etegami artist Debbie created the drawing here which contains the Japanese phrase "otenki uranai". That basically means "a trick for prophesying the weather." Here’s what Debbie wrote about the weather trick: "When I was little, the neighborhood kids and I followed an […]
February 8th, 2013
If it’s snowing near you, put a container outside to collect some clean snow to make ice cream! Once you’ve gotten enough snow, add vanilla and either sweetened condensed milk or a little milk with sugar. Stir and adjust to taste. Eat right away! Results of My Snow Ice Cream Experiment: In the photo at […]
January 2nd, 2013
This is the best cranberry bread I’ve ever had! My family loves it too. It just happens to be gluten-free. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, please read the labels of your ingredients to make sure they’re all gluten-free. Recipe for Gluten-free Cranberry Bread Ingredients 1 cup White Rice Flour 1 cup Oat Flour 1 […]
December 21st, 2012
Fatima wrote yesterday from Iran, "It’s Yalda night ceremony (the longest night of the year). Iranian people eat nuts, walnuts, pomegranate, and watermelon for Yalda." Yaldā is an ancient Persian Winter Solstice celebration. People used to stay up for most of the night to ward off misfortune. Nowadays, families mainly gather together for a nice […]
May 7th, 2012
It’s fascinating to learn about old superstitions. Here are some that were practiced in England during the month of May… My favorite is bathing your face in the morning dew in the grass on May 1st to make you more beautiful. The text is from a book called “The Illustrated London Magazine” from 1855… “The […]
April 25th, 2012
Today, April 25th, is Saint Mark’s Day. The end of April and the beginning of May is thought to be colder than the time around it. Due to 4 Saints Days that take place at this time, including St. Mark’s, this period is called The Four Horsemen of the Cold in France… the four horsemen […]
April 4th, 2012
Emanuela wrote to me from Italy about how they eat chestnuts there in the fall. She’s a teacher and they cook them at the school. Here’s what she wrote: Hi Lisa, We eat chestnuts in November for autumn. Grandfathers and their friends come to cook the chestnuts. (1st they need to have an x cut […]
March 27th, 2012
The last three days of March are said to be "borrowed from April." March said to April. I see 3 sheep upon a hill; And if you’ll lend me three days I’ll find a way to make them die. The first of them was wind and wet, The second of them was snow and sleet, […]
March 22nd, 2012
Here’s the poem called Spring by Dante Gabriel Rossetti with an MP3 recording. MP3 Recording of Spring by Rossetti Spring Soft-littered is the new-year’s lambing fold, And in the hollowed haystack at its side The shepherd lies o’ night now, wakeful-eyed At the ewes’ travailing call through the dark cold. The young rooks cheep ‘mid […]
March 21st, 2012
Here’s the poem Early Spring by Fay Inchfawn with an mp3 recording… MP3 Recording of Early Spring Early Spring Quick through the gates of Fairyland The South Wind forced his way. ‘Twas his to make the Earth forget Her grief of yesterday. "’Tis mine," cried he, "to bring her joy!" And on his lightsome feet […]
March 20th, 2012
Jeremy Shatan wrote from New York: "It’s the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. Around this time of the year, my mom would always say: ‘Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, the boid is on the wing.’ Yes, just like that." This saying is all in "New Yorkese", a New York accent. It […]
January 6th, 2012
Here’s a Chinese poem about early winter by Meng Haoran 孟浩然, a Chinese poet who lived from 689 or 691 to 740. First you’ll find the simplified Chinese text, followed by an English translation. Then you can listen to a recording of the poem in Mandarin and follow along with the Pinyin (pronunciation). After that […]
January 3rd, 2012
Here’s a pretty little poem called January’s Garden by A.E.A., with a recording by me. MP3 Recording of January’s Garden January’s Garden All silver-white and silver-clear Are January’s bowers, And there bloom sparkling sprays of ice, And snowflake flowers.
October 19th, 2011
The French poem Matin d’Octobre by François Coppée (1842-1908) is about an early October morning. You’ll find the original French version with an mp3 here and an English translation below it. MP3 Recording of Matin d’Octobre Matin d’Octobre C’est l’heure exquise et matinale Que rougit un soleil soudain. À travers la brume automnale Tombent les […]
October 6th, 2011
Pioggia is an Italian poem about rain by Giovanni Pascoli (1855 – 1912). Below you can listen to a recording, follow along in the original Italian and then read an English translation of the poem. First a note about the illustration, in English we say “It’s raining cats and dogs” when it’s raining very hard. […]
April 17th, 2011
Yay! The Spring is here! Check out Lila and Sarina’s chalk art… Girl and Puppy Cats Puppies Dogs Rule!
January 7th, 2011
This poem will turn your mind inside-out! Maybe I felt that way because I was listening to this poem amid a bunch of Wallace Stevens’ other poems. They’re very unique. Older kids and adults will enjoy The Snow Man more than younger kids. You might have to read the poem a couple of times to […]
January 1st, 2011
Wow! That’s the biggest Snowman I’ve ever seen! Thanks to Kelley for sharing her fantastic photo! Mama Lisa
December 27th, 2010
Can you figure out this old riddle? Highty-tighty, Paradighty, Clothed all in green. The King could not read it No more could the Queen. They sent for a Wise Man out of the East, Who said it had horns but was not a beast. Note: Highty-tighty is a variation of Hoity-toity. In the US, at […]
Here’s a part of a poem about the snow by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. SNOWFLAKES Out of the Bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow, Descends the snow. I feel the first verse […]
December 21st, 2010
Yuzu Fruit Ayako Egawa wrote from Japan: December 22nd is the Winter Solstice in Japan. [It’s on the 21st in the U.S.*] We Japanese enjoy “yuzu” around this time. You can enjoy “yuzu tea” and a “yuzu bath” easily. Wash the yuzu and cut it thin. Then soak it in a little honey and sugar. […]
December 17th, 2010
My daughter made these thumbprint guys in art class today. They’re made with paint and Sharpie permanent markers. All you do is dip your thumb in paint and make thumbprints in different places on thick paper. Let the thumbprints dry. Then add details with a black Sharpie marker. At top you can see a guy […]
December 9th, 2010
My husband thinks it’s reverting to the teenage years using OMG! Yet, sometimes it’s perfectly fitting. Take this whole wheat cranberry bread I made this evening, OMG! It’s still cranberry season here in New York so I had to get some while they’re still looking so plump and deep red! I used a little cornmeal […]
October 26th, 2010
Chalk Drawing of a Pumpkin by Lila
September 22nd, 2010
Dragonflies are a sign of the seasons in Japan. The red dragonfly is specifically a sign of Autumn. There are Japanese poems in the haiku style about this theme. Haiku is an unrhymed Japanese verse form in three lines only. The 3 lines have five, seven, and five syllables respectively. Below are some haiku poems […]
April 9th, 2010
It’s cherry blossom season. Here’s a poem called "Loveliest of Trees" by A. E. Housman (1859 – 1936). The poem is about cherry blossoms, the quickness of life, and how now is the time to appreciate what’s around you. "Loveliest of Trees" LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, […]
April 2nd, 2010
Monique Palomares, who works with me on the French version of Mama Lisa’s World, wrote the following post about Carnival in Occitania, a region of southern France. Monique speaks Occitan, the language of the troubadours, and has shared many songs in Occitan on Mama Lisa’s World. Carnival in Southern France Carnival in Southern France Carnival […]
Angela Sterling from Lingotot wrote: Found a really cute little French song, perfect for springtime! Les oiseaux tiroulirouli Les oiseaux tiroulirouli Les oiseaux font leurs nids dans les branches Les poissons (pop, pop, pop) Les poissons (pop, pop, pop) Les poissons nagent au fond de l’eau oh, oh oh Here’s an English translation I came […]
March 15th, 2010
We don’t have many buds on our trees here in New York yet. It’s just rain, rain, rain. So I found these photos from Japan by Ayako Egawa particularly uplifting this week. Japanese apricot flowers, Ume. Crocuses Ayako wrote, “Mimosa is in full bloom around here.” Ayako wrote, “I totally agree that these little flowers […]
March 6th, 2010
Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World. She sent me some proverbs about March from different European countries in response to a post I did about Italian Proverbs about March. Here’s what Monique wrote… Here are some proverbs in Occitan, Catalan, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German about […]
March 4th, 2010
Joanne L. Ladd shared her feelings about Daylight Savings Time: On Sunday March 14 we will go into Daylight Saving Time… the second Sunday of March we will set our clocks ahead 1 hour (spring forward) we will go from EST (Eastern Standard Time) to EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) to me…that will be the real […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
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Travel to far away places with our new E-Books Kid Songs Around The World and Lullabies Around The World
Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself (in your heart) - Mama Lisa's E-books are wonderful ways to help them experience other languages and cultures.
In Kid Songs Around The World we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe.
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music. All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance. Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they meant in their lives.
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Over 50 lullabies and recordings from all over the world. Each Lullaby includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation.
Kid Songs Around The World and Lullabies Around The World are downloadable e-books, which you will gain access to immediately. (They are not physical books.)
We hope these books will help foster a love of international children's songs!
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A Mama Lisa Book
Over 50 songs and rhymes, in French with translations into English. You'll find well-known songs like Frère Jacques, Alouette, and Au claire de la lune, alongside many you may never have heard of. At the end of each item in this book, there's a web address to an online version of the song or rhyme. There we are often able to include sheet music, recordings and videos of performances. We hope this book will help foster a love of French songs and culture all over the world! Order Here!