Friday, December 23, 2011

The Night Before Christmas Pop-Up

The Night Before Christmas Pop-Up, by Clement Clark Moore and Robert Sabuda, is our favorite version of this classic tale.  The beauty of the artwork and magic of the pop-ups contribute so much to this story.  We handle it carefully because of the intricacies of the pop-ups.  This is a great book to discuss author and illustrator and how they complement each other to bring a story to life.  We read this through the holidays and traditionally read it again on Christmas Eve.  Merry Christmas!

*Which pop-up do you like the best?
*How does this book compare to other books with the same story?
*Can you quote some of the lines from memory?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Mouse Before Christmas

The Mouse Before Christmas, by Michael Garland, is a fun variation of The Night Before Christmas.  We had fun reading this and enjoying the hilarious actions of Mouse.  Younger children also enjoyed finding the mouse on each page.  It was fun to compare this book to the other versions of the story we’ve read.  Enjoy Mouse!

*How is this book like the original story?
*How is this book different?
*Can you think of how other animals might appear in another version?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, but for children it can become overwhelming!  If you and your children are looking for a book that explores (in a funny, heartwarming way) the drama of Christmas, take some time to read Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney. 

The Llama, Llama books are favorites of ours.   We have referred to them in various life situations because it’s easy for kids (and parents) to identify with the Llama family.  Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama continues the series with lots of fun situations and pictures.  We hope that your family enjoys this book as much as we do!

*What’s your favorite holiday activity?
*Are there any activities that make you feel like Llama?
*How do you feel about the ending?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Queen of Christmas

The Queen of Christmas, by Mary Engelbreit, teaches an important lesson about Christmas through the antics of Ann Estelle.  Anyone who loves the Mary Engelbreit’s illustrations will enjoy the colorful details in this book.  Children can relate to Ann Estelle as her Christmas wish list grows and grows and grows!  By laughing at Ann Estelle we also learn much about ourselves.  This is a fun book to add to your collection of Christmas books.

*Does Ann Estelle remind you of anyone?  Who?
*What do you think of Ann Estelle’s list?
*Did you think the ending would be like this?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Where, Oh Where, Is Santa Claus?

Where, Oh Where, Is Santa Claus?, a fun book by Lisa Wheeler, uses rhyming words and a easily read rhythm to bring enjoyment to a comical story.   This is a great book to use your voice (and that of the listener) to further the cadence.  The animals’ sounds (example:  pit-pat, pit-pat) help lead the reader and listener to Santa. The illustrations by Ivan Bates add to the beauty of the scenery.  This book makes us laugh out loud!  We hope you enjoy it too!

*How many animals are in the story?
*Which animal sound is your favorite?
*Can you find some rhyming words?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Telling the Greatest Story--Christmas Nativity Set

One of our favorite ways to learn about the birth of Jesus is through our Nativity sets.  Some of them require more adult supervision because of their breakable, fragile nature, but this one by Fisher Price is great for children!  The story can be told and retold while playing with the figures.   It’s very meaningful to read the story from the Bible as the child acts out the story with the figures.

We’ve watched as children of all ages are drawn to this set we display in our playroom.  Like the Thanksgiving set we’ve used, this is a fun display to video as the child retells the story.  It’s become an important part of our family Christmas tradition.  We hope your family enjoys telling the story of Christmas as much as we do!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, by Gloria Houston, is a wonderful Appalachian story to be shared with children.  The timelessness of the story shines through in this wonderful family tale of true giving. Barbara Cooney's illustrations further enhance the story's beauty.  This book is a great conversation starter to connect generations with Christmas memories of growing up.   We recommend this book to start a yearly Christmas reading tradition with your family!

*Which illustration is your favorite in the book?
*What things in your house could you use to make gifts for others?
*Have you asked your grandparents about their Christmas traditions when they were a child?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Jolly Christmas Postman

The Jolly Christmas Postman, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, is a delightful Christmas story.   The Jolly Postman visits familiar nursery rhyme characters (Baby Bear, Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, The Gingerbread Boy, and Mister Wolf) to deliver Christmas greetings. The reader checks an envelope page creatively addressed to each recipient to read the greeting.  These messages become stories within the main story to further develop the plot. The rhyming verses of the story add to the overall fun.  The Jolly Postman receives a surprise at the end, which will delight young readers!  We love the Jolly Postman series and are so glad to have this one in our collection.  Happy Reading!

*Which greeting is your favorite?
*Which nursery rhyme character would you like to send a greeting to?
*What greeting would you send to that character?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Little Reindeer

The Little Reindeer, by Klaatje Van Der Pu, is a fun puppet book to read with toddlers.  They enjoy touching the reindeer as the rhymes are read on each page.  They can move the reindeer’s head as the story unfolds.  It’s a fun way to introduce the playful element in reading.   Enjoy!

*Can you make the reindeer move his head?
*What do you think the reindeer wants to say?
*What do you feed a reindeer?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the Snowman:  A Musical Book (by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Rebecca McKillip Thornburgh) is a fun way to start the Christmas season.  As you open the cover the Frosty the Snowman music plays.  Children enjoy opening and closing the cover as they learn about cause and effect.  The sturdy book has seen lots of reading and playing time in our home.  As the words become familiar it’s fun to “read” the story together.  We love reading and singing this book!

*What do you decorate your snowmen with?
*What words rhyme in this story?
*What games would you like to play with Frosty?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Book Countdown

Countdown to Christmas!  We’re wrapping  25 Christmas books---one to be opened each day for some quiet reading moments each day.  The handwritten numbered tags we’re using will be placed in our December Daily scrapbook to record our daily events.  Watch for some Christmas book reviews.  If you’d like a sneak peek at some of our favorite Christmas books, look at our Amazon store.

Merry Christmas!