In one of our classes, we’re currently reading Chris Riddell’s excellent and award-winning book Ottoline and the Yellow Cat. Ottoline is a very independent young person with distant, but very loving, globe-trotting parents. She has boatloads of self-initiative and creativity and she employs a bit of both to bring down a cat burglar, the Yellow Cat of the book’s title, who operates a lapdog adoption agency as a front for casing her victims’ homes. Ottoline doesn’t do it all by herself, of course. She has the assistance of her loyal companion, Mr. Munroe, a hair-covered Cousin It lookalike discovered by Ottoline’s parents in a bog in Norway on one of their many trips abroad.
Near the beginning of the story, Ottoline orders in some grilled cheese and cinnamon toast for dinner. When we read that section of the book in class, we were surprised to learn that none of our students had ever experienced cinnamon in any form.
Naturally, we brought a bottle of cinnamon sticks to class the following week. See HarrisY inhaling the aroma of one in the photo at the top of this post?
The cinnamon sticks were a no-brainer but it was a toss up as to which well-known cinnamon-flavored treat to provide so that HarrisY and his classmates could enjoy the full cinnamon experience. In the end, we opted for cinnamon rolls over cinnamon toast — yummier and without the buttery mess of cinnamon toast.