March 7 – National Cereal Day

There's a Lion in My Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson and Jim Field picture book review

About the Holiday

While grabbing a quick bowl of cereal before heading out to school or work is the way most of us eat breakfast, heartier fare like eggs, bacon, or sausage was the choice of our grandparents and great-grandparents. Breakfast in a bowl actually began with an experiment that went wrong…or was it right?

John Harvey Kellogg and his brother Will Keith were experimenting with boiled wheat in 1877 when they left some out overnight. In the morning the wheat was stale. The brothers decided to roll it out instead of throwing it away, and they found that each wheat berry created a flake. Boiled corn worked the same way, and from this process the Kellogg brothers invented Corn Flakes, the first dry cereal!

Today we celebrate all the varieties of your favorite cereal—whether it’s made of corn, wheat, bran, rice, or a mixture of flakes, fruit, and nuts. So pour yourself a big bowlful and enjoy!

There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes

Written by Michelle Robinson | Illustrated by Jim Field

 

Who could resist clipping cereal box coupons to receive a free lion? Nobody, that’s who! I mean, it would be so cool, right? A lion to take on walks, ride to school, and open tin cans—awesome! So a boy and his brother, Dan, take a year’s worth of their allowance, make “a million” trips to the grocery store, and start cutting.

But all those boxes of cereal squeeze out the other food on the pantry shelves, so Mom says the boys have to eat cornflakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it’s gone—and, oh yeah, they don’t get an allowance until then either. It’s all worth it, though, because they’re going to get a real live lion.

There’s just one hitch—every other kid in town has the same idea, and while the brothers wait for their lion to arrive, everyone else is out playing with their new pet. Finally, the delivery truck pulls up in front of the house, and out walks…a grizzly bear?! That’s not right, and it’s even delivered to the wrong house. Well, the bear’s not too crazy about the situation either, and shows it. The kids and the bear have to clean up the neighbor’s yard and apologize.

A letter of complaint to the cereal company brings resolution in the form of…a crocodile?! The crocodile spends all its time in the bathroom, and the grizzly bear is still causing havoc. Dad calls the cereal company and to make up their mistake they send…a gorilla?! The gorilla stomps on Dad’s car and rips the door off. Well Dad’s had enough!  The whole crew piles into the car so Dad can “give those cereal people a piece of my mind.”

The cereal people sure are sorry for the mix-up. They make amends by letting the family keep the grizzly bear, the crocodile, and the gorilla, AND the company gives them…a lifetime’s supply of cornflakes! But really, what good are all those boxes? The boys can’t walk them or ride them or even open cans with them.

You know what, though? Mom’s discovered the crocodile has some pretty sharp, can-opening chompers. The grizzly bear can walk forever and even wear a fanny pack. And the gorilla makes a very cool chauffeur. Why bother having a lion when everyone else has one?

Besides, what are the cereal people offering now—a free tiger?! Hmmm….

Michelle Robinson has taken the lure of free stuff to its ridiculous best. There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes serves up the benefits of individuality and drawbacks of consumerism in a silly, over-the-top scenario that will have kids laughing at every page and escalation of the brother’s problem.

Jim Field’s bold, vibrant illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this boisterous tale. As the boxes of cornflakes and clipped coupons pile higher and higher and the free animals cause more mayhem, the boys’ expressions go from excited to nonplussed to shocked and finally  to acceptance as day after day brings new and unexpected results of their actions. Kids will love the funny details on every page that highlight the story.

Ages 3 – 7

Bloomsbury Children’s, 2015 | ISBN 978-0802738363

National Cereal Day Activity

CPB - Spoon Lion

Spoon Lion Puppet

 

Spoons are just the thing for eating cereal! But with this craft you can make a ROARingly cute lion puppet!

Supplies

  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Yellow Fleece
  • Brown felt
  • Colorful Fleece or felt
  • Fabric glue
  • Light brown marker
  • Dark brown marker
  • Hot glue gun or super glue
  • Scissors

CPB - Spoon Lion with stuff

Directions

To make the lion’s face

  1. Draw a nose, mouth, and eyes on the front/bowl of the spoon

To make the mane

  1. Measure the rim of the spoon from one side of the handle to the other
  2. Cut a strip of yellow fleece as long as rim measurement and 4 inches wide
  3. Fold the piece of fleece in half long-ways
  4. Glue the open edges of the fleece together
  5. Along the folded side cut a fringe, leaving the loops intact

To make the ears

  1. Cut round ears from the brown felt

To make the bow

  1. Cut a 3-inch x 1 ½-inch piece of colorful fleece or felt
  2. Cut a long thin strip of fleece or felt
  3. Pinch the bow in the middle and tie with the longer piece of cloth. Trim as necessary

To make the tail

  1. Cut three thin 4-inch-long strips of yellow fleece
  2. With fabric glue, glue the tops of the strips together
  3. Braid the strips
  4. At the bottom, glue the strips together, leaving the ends free

To assemble the lion

  1. Glue the ears to the back of the spoon
  2. Glue the mane to the back of the spoon
  3. Glue the bow to the handle
  4. Fold the top of the tail and push it into the hole in the handle of the spoon

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