A Smudge of Gray: A Novel

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Transfer to a serving plate. Using a serrated knife, trim cake and marzipan to make ends even. Let cake stand, covered, for several hours or overnight before serving. Heat the oven to Cream the butter and the sugar together. Beat in the eggs. Sift over the flour and fold in using a large metal spoon.

The mixture should be of a dropping consistency - if it isn't, add a little milk. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread with a spatula. Bake for minutes until an toothpick comes out clean. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool. Sandwich the cakes together with jam, lemon curd or whipped cream and berries. These books give us a wonderful opportunity to discover various hats with interesting names worn during a time in history when most everyone wore a hat when out in public.

Here is a listing of the kinds of hats named throughout the Herriot books. Look for hat pictures on-line and make a minit-book with your student. You may also want to see if you can find some examples of these hats in your closets, grandparent's closets, or at antique stores. Only One Woof Flat Cap -- a rounded soft men's cap with a small brim in front and bit of a stiff peak in the back. It is usually made out of wool or tweed, although some have been made out of leather. This style can be traced to 14th century England and is often associated with newsboys.

Deer-stalker -- typically worn in rural areas, usually for hunting. This hat has been associated with Sherlock Holmes and has become a stereotypical hat of a detective. It has dual brims which protect the face and neck from the sun; it also has two side flaps that can be worn down or tied under the chin to protect the ears in windy or winter weather.

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Bonny's Big Day Pork Pie hat -- type of felt hat have also been made of straw. It has a short crown and a flat top. It gets its name because it resembles a pork pie. Bowler also known as the Derby Hat -- a hard hat to protect the head from low tree branches for gamekeepers while they rode on horseback. In the United States, this is known as the derby hat.

Oscar, Cat About Town. Cap-- see information for Flat Cap above Have a hat making contest! Challenge for an older childCan you find any hat names not mentioned in the lessons? Library List Ho for a Hat! The Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Source for hat information: www.

Discuss each one with your student. NFWI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

Stopped Reading REVIEW: A Smudge of Gray – Jonathan Sturak

Members enjoy opportunities to explore cooking and recipes, craft projects, and adult education in many diverse courses. Another place Oscar enjoyed visiting was a rummage sale which was being held in the town hall. Has your child ever seen what we call a yard sale or garage sale here in America? A rummage is a sale of assorted secondhand objects contributed by donors to raise money for a charity.

Another place Oscar enjoyed visiting was a soccer field. The last place mentioned that Oscar liked to visit was to listen to the Brass Band playing at the Village Hall. Here is information on what a Brass Band is and how it differs from other kinds of bands. After learning the names of the instruments, have the child name the instruments seen in the illustrations. If you have the opportunity during the course of this unit study, visit your local veterinarian.

Here's some help for British Words not used in the United States. Wight is best known for his enormously popular semi-autobiographical stories, often referred to collectively as All Creatures Great and Small. Read about James Herriot at wikipedia. Vocabulary byre, cleats of an animal , draughty, rime-covered rushes, opacity, morsel, engulfed, sow, cosseted, incongruous, connoisseurs, siesta, placidly, porcine, congenial, colleagues.

Reread the first page aloud to the child. Have the child close his eyes while you read. How to the words make you feel? Now look closely at the words and phrases the author chose to make you feel that way. He used words like heaterless, draughty drafty , uncharitable, woolen-gloved, wind tore, managed to crash the door shut, stumbling, frozen, muffled, icy gusts biting, hammering painfully, streaming-eyed, dead opacity. Was this a good description?

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Authors choose their words very carefully in order to not just tell us, but to show us-- to make us feel and know. Hyphenated words are compound words which are separated by a hyphen when the new word is an adjective just before its modified noun well-known actor. We use hyphenated words when we write fractions two-thirds and compound numbers twenty-seven , for certain prefixes un-American and suffixes president-elect for clearer meaning, and for coined contemporary compound words gave me that come-and-get-me look.

Make a list of all the hyphenated words that you find in this story: Lop-sided, tail-wagging, harvest-time, bright-eyed, deer-stalker, open-necked, open-mouthed. Adjectives words that help describe a noun, pronoun or another adjective. They make the sentence more interesting and gives the reader a clearer picture.

Color words and numbers are always adjectives. Can you find adjectives in the story? Encourage your student to use good adjectives when he writes remember, though, too many adjectives are burdensome for the reader. The Christmas Day Kitten. Action Verbs and Descriptive Adverbs. This story is filled with wonderfully imaginative action verbs and descriptive adverbs! Verbs are words that you can DO! Some of the verbs and adverbs found in this story include: moving quietly, creep in, slip away, sitting very upright, sniffed, flopping, pops through, gaze quietly, leaned away, nibbling daintily, flitting away, winked, huddled close, staggered, streaking away, boxing, bounded, etc.

Activity- Make a list of them, cut them apart, and take turns acting out a verb and adverb. Activity- Write a paragraph about the best Christmas present you ever received. Decorate your margins with Christmas items, stickers, or rubber stamps, or cut around it with fancy craft scissors and glue it onto red or green cardstock or construction paper. The preposition plus the noun or pronoun called the object of the preposition and any modifying adjectives is called the prepositional phrase. There are 56 prepositions which we use quite often in our speech: about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, as, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, concerning, despite, down, during, except, excepting, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, out, outside, over, past, regarding, round, since, through, throughout, till, to, toward, under, underneath, unlike, until, up, upon, with, without, within.

Verbs are what the subject of the sentence is or is doing. Action verbs tell us what the subject is doing and therefore shows action. Activity -Have the child act them out and make it into a game by reading the list of words faster and faster as long as the child enjoys this exercise. TRADE turns for even more fun! List from the story--Threw, sitting, begging, trotted, nudged, stopped, stretched, pointing, nodded, munching, squatting, turned, standing.

Writing: Linking Verbs vs. Action Verbs With your older student you may want to discuss the importance of using action verbs in writing. Linking verbs describe no action -- they merely state an existing condition or relationship am, is, are, were, was, be, being, been, etc.

As a writer, you can make your writing more varied and interesting if you try to use action verbs as much as possible. Verb Tense You could also take this opportunity to explain the differences between past and present verbs and that we add —ed to make past tense and —ing to make present tense verbs. Change the above listed past tense verbs to present tense and visa versa. You may need to make up sentences so the child can clearly see past and present use of the verb. There are 4 kinds of sentences and three kinds of punctuation for those sentences.

Sarah played tennis today. Put your shoes in your closet. A spider is on your back! Activity- take a large piece of paper or poster board and divide it into 4 equal parts either 4 squares or 4 rectangles. Use a marker to mark your divisions and label each section with one of each of the names of the 4 kinds of sentences. Now go through the story and find examples of each kind of sentence, writing them on the paper or poster board. Declarative—there are TONS —pick any number of them. Interrogative- You mean you want to keep him? What do you mean?

Did you see that funny cat in there? And several others. Please come and see him whenever you like. Come in, and have a cup of tea. I think I see Oscar in there! Exactly, a high-stepper! A swinger! A cat-about-town! Oh Tiger, Tiger! Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb. Foreshadowing a writing technique in which the writer gives hints and clues to the reader of what is to happen later in the story.

What do you think will happen? Will it be good or bad?

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Alliteration A reiteration of the same initial consonant sounds, which can be done for effect. From the story l ittle l ost l amb repetition of L sound. Encourage your student to make up some examples of alliteration. Try using the words beautiful, wonderful, silly, great, joyful, happy, small , etc.

Did Smudge find that freedom was all he thought it would be? Is there anything you are wishing for that could have a negative effect? You may also want to discuss the quote, "the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Comparing and Contrasting Illustrators Some of the books were illustrated by Brown and others were illustrated by Barret.

Sort the stories into two different piles. Which illustrator does your student like the best? What things does your student like about each illustrator? At the end of the war the family moved to Germany but returned to England in and they settled in Bournemouth. Ruth always had a natural talent for drawing and at 16 she attended Art College, first in Bournemouth then Birmingham at the age of She then went to the Royal College of Art in London in She married a fellow student, Ken Brown that year.

During her working life Ruth has always been a freelance illustrator. Initially she worked mainly for BBC television, specializing in programs for children including Playschool and Jackanory, but also illustrated a few of James Herriot's books. He is best known for illustrating the James Herriot stories as well as for his detailed watercolor paintings of English countryside and wildlife. Peter Barrett's career as an illustrator took off after writing and illustrating a three book series for very young children, along with his wife Susan Barrett.

Barrett subsequently concentrated on animal art and illustrations, illustrating numerous children's non-fiction books, specializing in dogs, horses and dinosaurs. His illustrations for Birdwatcher's Diary , by Roger Lovegrove , in drew critical acclaim. He also illustrated a number of Little Golden Books for children. Backgrounds Contrast the backgrounds on the opening page with Moses with the sow on the 2 nd to last page.

What is different? Study details of pages 1 and 2—the gates and doors—where do they go and why do you think they are where they are? Christmas Day Kitten Color Palette. Look at the page with the three dogs and Debbie in front of the fireplace. Activity - List the colors that you see. Reds, oranges, yellows, golds, and browns-- all warm colors.

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Discuss how that illustration makes you feel. Contrast it with the illustration two pages later. Note how lonely Debbie looks out in that big field by herself. Get out some paints and mix warm colors to get more warm colors. Paint a scene with a fire in a fireplace. If your student wants, add a Bassett Hound or two or three! Painting Sheer Curtains. Cut out a landscape scene and glue down on a paper that is not white.

Draw a window around it in black ink or marker. Take white tempera paint, water it down, and use a sponge to create sheer curtains on the window. Humor in Illustrations. Why are these illustrations humorous what about them makes a person laugh? The Market Square Dog. Painting Discuss high-walled gardens. Encourage your student to paint one with flowers, trees, etc. How do they each make you feel? Discuss the three arched stoned bridges. Adoption The mother pig sow adopted Moses, nursed him, and cared for him. God adopts us into His family. Read and discuss Romans and Galatians Read the account of Moses being found in Exodus 2.

Loneliness Gyp seems to be lonely when his brother is sold to another sheep farmer. Sometimes we too can feel lonely. Old Age Bonny is getting old, however she is not too old to dazzle and impress others. Old age is not a time to totally quit and do nothing. It is also a time in which honor is due.

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Proverbs , I Peter , Proverbs , Ps , Getting along with gruff people Sometimes in life we will encounter people who seem or are gruff. We must not take it as an insult to ourselves. We do not know what or understand what has happened to that person to make him so. Here are a few verses which may help us in getting along with gruff people. Christmas Day Kitten. Read the Christmas story found in Luke 2. Animal Instinct Just how did Blossom find her way back home? God gave each animal some instincts so it can survive.

Activity -Read other stories of animals who found their way home after being lost, moving, etc.

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Library List. Dealing with Disappointment Dr. Herriot and his wife had to deal with the disappointment of their picnic plans being changed with a good attitude. We would do well to train ourselves to deal with disappointment in the same way—with maturity, kindness, creativity, and the ability to be cheerful despite the change in plans or disappointment felt. We should not react with pouting, angry words, or misbehavior. Proverbs In what ways do Dr. Herriot and young policeman exemplify Proverbs ? However, he is soon found. Synopsis: Detective Brian Boise is about to embark on the biggest case of his career.

After being thrust into law enforcement on the footsteps of his father, Detective Boise finds himself on the trail of a murder suspect he could never have imagined, the mysterious businessman, Trevor Malloy. Trevor is an irresistible hitman with everything going for him, while Detective Boise is a cutthroat detective going against the grain. These two men, both breadwinners and keystones of their families, play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

They are a contrast of each other and as their game progresses, their worlds contort and the line between black and white blurs. Read the exciting new novel of today! Praise for A Smudge of Gray : "A twist ending no one will see coming. Night Shyamalan take note! Good book.

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Read more Read less. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. April 23, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase. News flash: guess who was on TV? Trevor next contract is for April Benko. Only an honest one. A very well written psychological thriller book. This could also make another great psychological thriller movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.

November 12, - Published on Amazon. It has been a very long time since I picked up a book and was mesmerized by the author's use of words to paint a vivid image in a beautiful and eloquent way. The descriptions are so vivid and really allow you to feel as if you've stepped into the story.

Here's one of my favorite examples: "Red digits from clocks stabbed the stuffy, sweat-soaked air.

Sturak has a way with words that I don't see often, but always hooks me when I find it. Aside from the amazing imagery that is woven, the story itself is really enjoyable. The ending blew my mind. I can only say that because I don't want to give away anything, but holy heck, I was shocked. The characters are quite believable and very well written. Even the more minor characters like some of the other police officers or the children make sense and are completely plausible. I only found one error. The editing is fantastic.

I would definitely recommend picking this up. I am going to see what else Mr.

A Smudge of Gray: A Novel A Smudge of Gray: A Novel
A Smudge of Gray: A Novel A Smudge of Gray: A Novel
A Smudge of Gray: A Novel A Smudge of Gray: A Novel
A Smudge of Gray: A Novel A Smudge of Gray: A Novel
A Smudge of Gray: A Novel A Smudge of Gray: A Novel

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