August 27, 2009

A Little Birdie (Part 3) - A tale of friendship and a fruity feeder!

The Book - The Strange Egg by Mary Newell DePalma

I am totally taken with this understated and utterly charming little book. In the story a little birdie finds a strange egg on the ground. Not knowing what else to do, she sits on it, waiting for it to hatch. Up in the trees a monkey sees the bird and laughs at her, asking her to give him the "egg". When she complies she is horrified as he peels it apart. She soon discovers (as we knew all along) that it's not an egg at all, but an orange. Together, they share the orange and spit out the seeds. Sad that their snack is gone, the little bird shows the monkey how to plant and water the seeds. The final page shows the new friends feasting on an entire orange tree.

The language is lyrical and precise, the illustrations simple but sophisticated. DePalma mixes media to create her illustrations; for example, torn pieces of a world map make up part of the tree and sky in her paintings. But the true draw of The Strange Egg is that it's a tale of friendship.

The Craft - Orange Peel Bird Feeder

So simple and so cute! What little birdie could resist pausing for a snack at this orange-peel feeder? And what little monkey (i.e. your child!) could resist helping you make it?

What you'll need:
  1. one orange (old tough ones are best)
  2. ribbon, twine, or string
  3. peanut butter
  4. birdseed
Finding an old, tough orange in the back of our fridge is generally not a problem. I'm notorious for buying fruit and then not eating (or serving) it. But if, like me, all you have is a fresh orange, you can dry it out by setting it outside on a hot day for several hours or putting it in a baking dish and baking on low for several hours.

First, however, you need to cut the orange in half. I cut off slightly less than half to make the feeder a little larger. Then scoop out the flesh, leaving the peel and white rind intact. If you wish to dry out your peel, do that now. Next, spread peanut butter inside the orange and fill with bird seed.

Poke two holes into the side of the orange and thread your ribbon/twine/whatever through, knotting to hold it in place. Hang outside at least six feet off the ground and wait for the birdies to come to the feast!

We're joining in the party at A Soft Place to Land! Go check out the other fabulously talented ladies in the blogosphere!


  1. This is so sweet and cute. Love the pop of colr hanging from the tree. :)

  2. That is so cute! I think I might do that with my kids today! We've had a lot of birds in our yard lately!!! Off to buy an orange!

  3. This is just precious!! I think I'll make one this weekend! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea!

  4. I love this little birdfeeder idea, and I don't even have kids! :)
    Also, you have a really cute blog title design. Did you make it yourself?


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