‘Green is the Word’ – Part 2 of Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

For Part 1 of “Green is the Word”, click here!

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Though the little legs of the leprechaun kept as fast a pace as they could, he was no match for the young girl and her gaggle of books. They had already marched themselves nearly to the edge of the ancient forest and were about to arrive at the girl’s cottage when the leprechaun finally caught sight of the little group.

He bellowed a low and deep whistle that wound its way through the old growth trees ahead of him and brought the books to a sudden standstill. This was the whistle that all leprechauns learned as children; it was a simple melody that accompanied their learning to read and was useful in taming the sometimes wild and unread books of the Ridge. And in this day, the books had indeed been wild and happily unread…for now.

The girl was intrigued as she watched the books turn toward the mysterious sound that was now coming from somewhere in the woods. She strained to see its source, but there were only trees.

The leprechaun continued the tune until the books seemed to awake from their frozen state. They turned toward the sound and suddenly sprang forward and disappeared into the forest.

The young girl giggled at the sight and watched them return to the wood and that wonderful sound. As they slipped away into the darkness of the ancient forest, the girl was pleased that they had been compelled to return to their rightful home. Yet she knew that somehow she would see them again one day.

The little leprechaun, however, was not happy at all. He knew he would have to answer for the day’s misadventure. He would have to find a way to never allow such a mess to happen again…”

Baby Frederico’s Papa then cupped his hands around his mouth as though he were finally telling a great and mysterious secret, “And that is why, Baby Frederico, that to this very day leprechauns worry most about runaway treasure and will pinch anyone they can see just to keep them away from those wonderful treasures…especially books.  However, if anyone wears green, it makes them invisible from the eyes of a leprechaun and they cannot be seen to be pinched!”

Baby Frederico’s Papa sat back in his chair and sighed. It was a sound that Baby Frederico had come to recognize as the official end to so many of Papa’s favorite storytelling sessions.

Baby Frederico sighed, too. For it is a well-known fact that all Baby Fredericos are indeed green. And a little thing like that can make all the difference on St. Patrick’s Day.

‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning’ – A Special MONDAY Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, but since today is St. Patrick’s Day we wanted to share our favorite book on a Monday rather than a Tuesday this week!  Here it is:

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Today’s great book: St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jan Brett (1980, Clarion Books)

Teacher Website:  http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/readers_guides/bunting/

The Illustrator’s Website:  http://www.janbrett.com/index.html

Time to Read: short and sweet; March 17 was made for this book!

Summary:  from the back of the book…”Come and join Jamie Donovan as he creates his own St. Patrick’s Day parade and proves that he is big enough to climb Acorn Hill!”

Best Quote from the Book:  “The sun jumped up like a firecracker from behind the mountain.  ‘A happy St. Pat’s to you, sun,’ Jamie shouted.  The words made a great shimmer of sound in the emptiness.”

Our View:  This books has always seemed like an old classic to me.  It has that wonderful Jan Brett illustration to accompany the gracious, kindhearted text of Eve Bunting – and there is lots of green on every page to put you in that St. Patrick’s Day spirit.  The other aspect of the book that we like is how we watch the little boy figure out a way to become part of the grand celebration of the village.  There is just no way to consider a book like this as just a story for the holiday.  It is so much more and so beautifully told.


‘Green is the Word’ – Part 1 of Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico!


*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!


Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn and…piano sonatinas.  Here is his story:

St. Patrick’s Day was finally here and, this year, Baby Frederico was prepared.  He had heard this was a holiday that had some unusual traditions like drinking green milk and wearing shamrocks on your collar.  But there was one tradition that he was worried about….getting pinched.  That’s right, pinched.  This…on a holiday?  How could it be?

If there is one thing you need to know about Baby Frederico, it is that he did not like to be pinched.  He needed more information, and he needed it fast because St. Patrick’s Day was only four days away!

“Papa,” he said.  “Why do people pinch other people on St. Patrick’s Day?  I don’t like to be pinched so I need to know all the details.”

Papa told him this wonderful story:  “I’m glad you asked.  Many, many, many years ago families told fantastic stories of fairies and leprechauns and tales of hidden forest treasures and magical lands that could only be seen by a lucky few.  The very important job of a leprechaun was to guard treasure, and he was certain to do just that in any mischievous way possible!  Now the trouble with pinching began when one particular leprechaun decided to take a nap on the job.  It was only his first week to stand guard over the Treasures of Shepherd Ridge, which included diamonds and rubies and baseball cards and first editions of children’s books and gold coins from ancient pirate ships.  As the little leprechaun stood at his post, he began to remember the sleepy songs that he loved most and hummed them to himself.  There were songs like Sleeping Shamrocks by The Lazy Leprechauns, It’s Not Easy Being Green by The Blarney Stones, and his all-time favorite, Green Green Grass of Home by Boyo Bones.”

Papa Frita was now fully into the storytelling and kept Baby Frederico mesmerized as he continued, “The songs made this leprechaun’s eyes so heavy that he was soon fast asleep and snoring loudly,all while he was still standing up.  Little did he know, that only a few feet away stood a young girl who was interested in a particular part of that wonderful treasure – those children’s books.  She had stumbled upon the snoring leprechaun and noticed that right behind him, under the tangled roots of an old strawberry tree, lay a stack of books like none she had ever seen.  She loved books but had none and so they seemed to her to be the answer to her prayers, a treasure greater than anything she had ever seen.”

Baby Frederico stopped him, “Papa, surely she would not steal the books!”

“Oh, of course not,” said Papa Frita.  “She wanted to only look at the books and tried and tried to awaken the little sleeping leprechaun.  However, she did not know that leprechauns are very sound sleepers and they cannot be awakened until they want to be awakened.  Finally, she gave up on the leprechaun and decided to take a peek under the tree and she reached into that glorious pile of books.   Suddenly, the ground began to shake and the books began to jump all about – it was as though they were little marching soldiers – and they proceeded to stack themselves directly onto the young girl’s lap.  She tried to shush them and put them back under the little tree, but nothing could persuade them to leave her.  The more she spoke to these very excitable books and request that they return to their rightful place, the more they gleamed; their pages even seemed to hum with the happiest sounding tune the girl had ever heard.  Since it was getting late and her mother had asked to her be home in time for lunch, the young girl had no choice but to bring the books along with her.  She left a note for the leprechaun that told him all about her misadventure and how very sorry she was that the little books would not stay where they had been found.  With that, the girl followed the long path home with a dozen happy books trailing close behind her.”

Papa Frita took a quick drink of water before continuing, “Several days later the little leprechaun (they are quite well-known for taking very long naps while standing up) awoke from his deep and awfully noisy slumber.  As he yawned and cleared the sleep from his eyes, he noticed the letter that the young girl had left for him.  As he read it, his stomach began to hurt and his head began to ache.  He knew this meant trouble for he had lost one of the most important treasures that had ever been hidden under the old strawberry tree.  He also knew that there was only one thing to do….he must find the little girl and bring those books home.”

Join us again next Thursday for the conclusion of “Green is the Word!”  Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Baby Frederico…

‘My Great Nomie’ – Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!


Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn and…grandmas!  Here is his story:

Baby Frederico was very frustrated.  It was the day before his wonderful great-grandmother’s 83rd birthday and the special homemade double-chocolate-with-chocolate-icing cupcakes that he and his best buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper had hoped to surprise her with were ruined – the middle was squishy and the bottoms were burnt.  When Baby Frederico described them as “duds,”  he and Grenelda began to laugh.  The word, among so many others, was one of his great grandma’s favorite phrases…and she had many.  They included:

You’re gettin’ pretty salty (talented).

That’s a real dud (not good).

We cooked nearly 24/7 (all the time).

Don’t take your picture (put some clothes on).

Bayjird (naked).

Hurry ever chance you get.

Pull you up by your bootstraps (growing taller).

Let’s nar up here (make some room for more people).

Is it time for a sato (tickling)?

Let’s take a minute and count those ribs (tickling)?

It scared me flat to death.

You’re a real cracker jack (smart).

Let’s get a measurement (are you taller than me yet).

As Grenelda joined Baby Frederico in making the list of her favorite sayings, they thought of all the funny things that she had taught them to do.  She showed them:

how to play tennis

how to ride a scooter

how to bake cookies using cake mix

how to catch a ball

how to hula-hoop

how to sew

how to make coconut cake

how to play the piano

how to sing harmony

how to bake fried pies

how to make chocolate/peanut butter buckeyes

how to play hide and seek

how to jump rope double-dutch style

how to play a prank on great-grandpa

The list was so long and funny that Baby Frederico and Grenelda could not stop laughing.  When they arrived for the party that night, Nomie had prepared a wonderful meal for all of the family.  They gathered around the large dining room table and laughed and told stories and enjoyed the time.  As they were leaving, Baby Frederico kissed his great-grandmother and she whispered in his ear, “You’re the best birthday present yet and I love you dearly.”

Baby Frederico smiled all the way home.