Monday, July 1, 2013

Thunder Cake

It was SC's last day. I asked her if she'd like to pick out a book for group time. Without answering, she raced off to the bookshelf. After a minute of searching, she returned, carrying Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake

Thunder Cake takes place on a hot, stormy day in Michigan. A child is visiting her grandmother's farm. The clouds grow dark, lightening flashes, and the sound of thunder sends the child into a panic. Her grandmother discovers her hiding under a bed. "Grandma looked at the horizon, drew a deep breath and said, ‘This is Thunder Cake weather, all right.’"    

On this sweltering day at Tumbleweed, the children imagined a storm on the horizon. It was time to gather the ingredients to make their own Thunder Cake.  

The chalk distributors.

Fingernails work well to scrape the chalk. TB is the one who places all scrapings on the cake.  "It's looking fantabulous," she says.

Chalk grating.

J asks, "Can I help?"  W replies, "Yes!  We need more chalk grating!"  J watches to see how it's done.

TS also offers to help with the grating.

W discovers another way to get chalk scrapings.

The jewels on this artwork are deemed necessary for cake decor.

MR, TSch, and JH find tubs and buckets that help friends reach more jewels.


At one point, JK knocks the cake over.  TSch says, "J!  We are decorating this like a cake!"  TB adds, "We can do it again.  Here, help me put this back on."  JH looks at JK, "It's ok J.  Sometimes that happens.  We still love you."  Everyone works to scoop up the dirt, chalk, and jewels back onto the cake.
"It looks so yummy!" says WK.  "Yeah, but we can't really eat it," says MR.


Their Thunder Cake was finished. TB escorted SC up the ladder and declared that SC was the birthday girl. The other children packed themselves into the play structure, singing and "eating," laughing and playing, until it was time to clean up. 
This is our work. This is our play. This is how we process. The story of Thunder Cake explores the fine line between fear and excitement - the same fear and excitement that we feel as a community as we celebrate those who are embarking on new adventures. We look at these amazing individuals, brimming with energy, confidence, and compassion, and we see that they are ready to move on. As they step away from us, we are overwhelmed by how deeply they impacted our lives, and how much we love them.


Perfect,” Grandma cooed, “Just perfect.” She beamed as she added the last strawberry to the glistening chocolate frosting on top of our Thunder Cake."

Written by Carrie and Amy

1 comment:

  1. Nancy Grube - Sara's GrandmotherJuly 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Sara has shared many stories with her GG (Grandma Grube)about her adventures at Tumbleweed. Thank each of you for providing an awesome experience for our granddaughter. Danielle and Ryan are always proclaiming their praises for a creative and safe place for their girls.

    Grandma Grube (GG)

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