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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 2nd, 2010
Yesterday, I was talking with a lady, whose parents are from Italy, about how happy I am that it’s finally March. She said, “Why?” I said because February is finally over. She said, “Marzo è pazzo”. It’s an Italian saying meaning “March is crazy”… you can never depend on March weather. This same saying can […]
May 20th, 2009
Rebeca Garcia Mendoza wrote Hi! I’m a Spanish girl who is preparing resources to teach English to Spanish children. I’m looking for rhymes about seasons and I have a problem. I cannot find a short one of Spring. If anybody knows one, please, tell me! Thanks. If anyone can help out Rebeca, please let us […]
January 28th, 2009
Or in this case… dry! It’s wet and slushy here in New York. But my daughter got off the school bus today and jumped right into the puddle at the bottom of our driveway!
December 28th, 2008
Here’s a nice, white and wintry video of the Winter Wonderland song, sung by alto singer, David Solomons…
December 13th, 2008
Elle Fitzgerald sings in this wonderful winter animation!
August 20th, 2008
People often write me looking for songs about the four seasons, from around the world. Here are some! The links below take you to the different pages on Mama Lisa’s World of International Childrens Songs. There, you’ll find the lyrics in the original languages, with English translations. Songs about Winter Yuki (Snow) – Japanese A, […]
March 21st, 2007
Now that Spring is here – we can all smile – and start bad-mouthing Winter! Here’s a poem about banishing Winter, called Winter, You’re Just a Brute! Well, that’s my translation of it. It’s originally French. The title in French is Hiver, vous n’êtes qu’un vilain ! It was written by Charles d’Orléans (1394-1465). Below […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
100 Favorites (300+ Pages), Many with Sheet Music and Links to Recordings!
More about Winter...
100+ Favorites (230+ Pages), Many with Sheet Music and Links to Recordings!
Frère Jacques is one of the most popular songs in the world. It exists in more countries and versions than any other we've found, and kids everywhere know the tune. That makes it ideal to introduce children to languages and international culture.
In Frère Jacques Around The World we've gathered over 100 of these versions, from many countries.
This book includes:
• Over 100 versions of Frère Jacques
• Full text of each in the original language
• English translations
• Many with sheet music
• Links to web pages with recordings and videos
• Commentary from our correspondents about what the songs and rhymes have meant to their lives
We've included versions from countries all over the world, including Mexico, Japan, Thailand and, of course, France.
You'll also find an article by Mama Lisa about Teaching Kids To Love Language with Frère Jacques.
THIS IS A DOWNLOADABLE EBOOK AVAILABLE INSTANTLY.