Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates picture books during the month of November. You can print out your own picture book calendar from the Picture Book Month website and join in the fun!
Matthew Cordell was born in South Carolina, and is the author/illustrator of numerous books for children. My favorite is the beautiful (and I mean beautiful) story called Wish.
Wish is about an elephant couple that wishes and plans for a baby that never comes. If you've ever struggled with infertility or opted to adopt, you will understand the powerful message in this book. But even if you haven't, you'll certainly understand the power of that love!
|Book jacket summary from Matthew Cordell's 'Wish'|
|Excerpt from Matthew Cordell's 'Wish'|
I won't give away the ending, but I assure you it's a happy one! Another favorite Matthew Cordell book is Trouble Gum, about a naughty piggy who keeps chewing gum even after mama piggy tells him to be careful with it.
|Books written and/or illustrated by Matthew Cordell|
But If You Were a Chocolate Mustache is not to be missed! If you love Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein, you will appreciate these silly, off-beat poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Cordell's whimsical illustrations.
In honor of this adorable book (which is not all about chocolate, but does have a few poems featuring our favorite dessert), we decided to make some quick and easy marshmallow treats!
Easy Chocolate Marshmallow Bites
What You'll Need
-marshmallows (standard size or even jumbo will do)
-one container of chocolate frosting
-toppings of your choice (sprinkles, crushed cookies, etc)
First, place each marshmallow on a fork (however many you want to make). Push the marshmallow firmly onto the fork, till you feel the tips of the fork sticking out of the top of it. Set them aside until your frosting is ready.
Have your toppings ready on small plates or in shallow bowls for easy dipping/rolling.
Next, open your frosting and be sure to remove all foil (even remnants around the edges). Once this is done, microwave the frosting in small increments (10 seconds) and stir each time until you reach a consistency for dipping (somewhere between thick and watery).
|Keep microwaving your frosting until you get it to a good dipping consistency- not too thick, not too watery|
The edge of my frosting container is cut because I couldn't get all of the foil off of the container and I didn't want to microwave it with any foil left behind (you can't microwave foil, you know!). If microwaving a frosting container makes you nervous, you can also scoop out the frosting and microwave it in a bowl instead.
I learned this microwaving technique from Karen Tack, one of the authors of Hello, Cupcake! It's such a quick, easy way to make a dipping chocolate (although it is rather sweet). It doesn't harden to a solid form, but close to it.
Once your frosting is the right consistency, dip each marshmallow into the chocolate (it's already on a fork!).
Roll your marshmallow in whatever topping you desire, or leave it plain.
Set your marshmallows on wax paper to dry. Keep them on the forks! Well, you could take them off if you really want to, but part of the fun is that you get to eat them right off the fork.
They won't dry to a hardened shell, but they will solidify enough that they won't be dripping off the forks. You can also put them in the freezer to get them to solidify quicker. Your marshmallow will be a little hard when you take it out of the freezer, but it will quickly soften up again once it reaches room temperature.
These make great party treats or fun replacements for s'mores. Or just enjoy them while you read your picture books!
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Be sure to check out some of Matthew Cordell's books while you're enjoying your marshmallow bites!