About the Holiday
No, no, no…we’re not going there. Today is a culinary holiday. Today we celebrate cashews, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and all the others. Nuts are nutritious, providing a good source of vitamins, protein, fiber, and important minerals. Eating nuts on a regular basis can also help keep your heart healthy. So crack open some nuts today and have a feast!
The Nuts: Keep Rolling!
Written by Eric Litwin | Illustrated by Scott Magoon
The nut family was enjoying a picnic in the beautiful, hilly outdoors. Everything was great, except Hazel really wished she was bigger and taller so she could reach the apples on a nearby tree. Wally also felt pretty small, but he had a plan. So while Hazel leaped from a rock to try and nab an apple, Wally was busy covering himself with mud. Hazel caught on and pat-patted mud on herself until she was encased in a nice, thick layer.
Then down the hill “they rolled through sticky / mud and goo. / The more they rolled, / the bigger they grew.” And while they bounced along, “they sang this song: “Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling.” As they rolled down the muddy lane they picked up layer upon layer of dirt, sticks, and leaves until “they were the size of cats.”
Being this big was fantastic “until…a pack of dogs came over the hill.” Hazel and Wally rolled faster to escape, while all the time singing their song: “Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling.” Soon, they were as big as the dogs chasing them. They bounded along “until…the dogcatcher came over the hill. Oh, No!” What could they do? You know: “Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling.”
They hurtled along over gardens and wood piles, growing bigger and bigger until they became as large as elephants. Their little giggles became big laughs “until…the zookeeper came over the hill. Oh, No!” But they were much too fast for him, and as they flew down the road they sang their song: “Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling.”
But suddenly “It started to rain. / The sky turned gray. / The mud and the goo / were all washed away.” Hazel and Wally kept rolling, becoming “smaller and smaller and smaller.” They were back to their original size and discovered they were far from home. But Wally and Hazel knew the way back and knew how to get there quickly too. And all the way they sang their song: “Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling. Keep Rolling.”
Their mama and papa were so happy to see them, and Hazel and Wally were glad to be back in their home so “cozy and bright.” Then Mama and Papa Nut / hugged them so tight.” Their adventure had taught them a thing about happiness, and now they knew “even though they were small…when you have each other, then you have it all.”
Little ones will giggle, laugh and love to roll with Hazel and Wally and this charming nut family. There’s even a free song and dance download provided. The Nuts: Keep Rolling! would make a much-appreciated gift and a fun addition to home bookshelves for read- aloud story times.
With his talent for writing catchy story/song mashups, Eric Litwin has created another rollicking picture book that little ones will want to hear again and again. Kids will love joining Hazel and Wally in the “growth spurts” that allow them to become as big as their imaginations. Litwin’s funny repartee and gentle suspense will excite kids as they read and sing along. The sweet message that even though they may be little, they play a big part in the family will delight children.
Scott Magoon’s dazzling blue sky and green hills set this story in motion as Wally and Hazel find a way to make their wish to be bigger come true. Readers get an inside view as Hazel and Wally keep rolling and pick up layer upon layer of mud, leaves, and sticks. Magoon uses these natural accents to ingeniously define the eyes, ears, and noses of the cats, dogs, and elephants the little nuts become on their jaunt. Adorable Hazel and Wally smile, giggle, and laugh their way through the amusing-not-menacing “dangers,” letting little ones fully enjoy the fun of this boisterous story. The tender final spread is full of warmth and love as this diverse family reunites.
Ages 3 – 6
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017 | ISBN 978-0316322515
Check out all of the books, music, and fun stuff for kids by Eric Litwin on his website.
There’s a whole gallery of books and illustration work by Scott Magoon on his website.
You’ll go nuts for this The Nuts: Keep Rolling! book trailer!
National Nut Day Activity
Nutty Pumpkins and Jack O’Lanterns
With acorns falling tap, tap, tap in bushels on the ground and other delicious nuts readily available in grocery stores and farmers markets, autumn is the perfect time for this craft that turns nuts into pumpkins!
- Acorns or walnuts
- Orange multi-surface acrylic craft paint or spray paint
- Paint brush
- Black, fine tip marker
- Remove the caps
- If using acorns for crafts that will be kept long-term, follow these Directions for Drying Acorns
- Hold the acorn with the flat side down. The little tip will serve as the pumpkin’s stem.
- Paint the acorn, leaving the just the tip brown, let dry
- With the flat side down, draw a face on your “pumpkin.” Let dry
- Use your little pumpkin in decorations around your house or make a tiny pumpkin patch in a box or jar lid with paper, sticks, leaves or other material
- If you live in an area where there are no oak trees, you can use walnuts or other nuts available in grocery stores. These do not need to be baked before using.
- Paint and decorate according to the directions For Acorns
Picture Book Review