Monday, December 5, 2016

December Holiday Books 3 & 4

Picture Book: Christmas Cookies:                                                                     Bite Size Holiday Lessons
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Jane Dyer
Summary: This second book in Rosenthal and Dyer’s series of picture books about cookie baking celebrations is not a book just about baking Christmas cookies. Each double-page spread teaches a key vocabulary word within the fun context. Many have resonance this time of year. Here’s a sample of the text on one page:
                            TRADITION means
     that each year at the same time we make the same
     cookies and wear our special matching aprons.
Other key words include ANTICIPATION, CELEBRATE, CHARITABLE, BELIEVE, JOY, PEACE, and HOPE.
Hanna’s Comments: Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a favorite author. She has a couple of TEDx talks and likes to encourage quirky artistic adventures for everyone. She has written 2 nonfiction books for adults that I have enjoyed. Here at PBT, I’ve featured 2 of her many clever picture books. More will be featured later. Check out Spoon [here] and Yes Day! [here]. I like this book and the others in this series, because they are not just offering the communal and scrumptious delights of baking cookies together. They also offer some instructions on how to live better. The recipe is in the back for each kind of cookie baked in each book in the series. This book offers a yummy recipe for Christmas cookies (sugar cookies).
Original Publisher & Date: Harper Collins, 2008
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4); eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. (Proverbs 24:13); God gives good things to those who ask for them (Matthew 7:11)
Idea(s) for Application: Use this book to inspire a homeschool, private school, or church school lesson and cookie party on ways to delight in God’s gifts and each other particularly during the holidays of December.

Picture Book: The Donkey’s Christmas Song
Author & Illustrator: Nancy Tafuri
Summary: When a special baby is born in a stable, under a bright star, the donkey of the title is among the animals to desires to welcome him. “How to approach and welcome Baby Jesus?” is the question the donkey considers. The shy donkey fears his bray is too loud. He sees the doves, cows, goats, chicks, and mice offer gentle welcoming songs. Then the baby looks at the shy donkey and smiles. In joyful response, the donkey sings his noisy bray and the baby laughs. Then the donkey snuggles in to keep the babe warm.
Hanna’s Comments: This book is a great tool for introducing the concept of worship and humility to young children. In simple terms, humility is knowing that you are not the center of the room, the family, the classroom, church, the world. In this book, humility is about a desire to worship God. Even little children can learn the importance of being worshipful before God. They can also learn that all loving and humble responses can bring God (and Jesus) joy. Distinguish humility from the characteristic of shyness which is how the donkey is described. Explaining humility's opposite, pride, might be helpful too. Use other stories of Jesus’ humility and other’s humble responses to God to help your children begin to build concepts of worship and humility which will hopefully be life-long lessons.
Original Publisher & Date: Scholastic, 2002
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Scriptures about Jesus birth; scriptures about humble worship
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of young children when studying the Nativity story. As described above, emphasize concepts of worship and humility.