My last Family Storytime of 2013. It was a cozy one with just two families, so I sat on the floor and shared some longer books than I usual would have, and it was wonderful. These were the ones I read:
Little Porcupine’s Christmas by Joseph Slate; illustrated by Felicia Bond (Amazon.com link)
I actually just happened to see this one on display right before storytime, and fell in love with it. Little Porcupine wants to have a part in the Baby in a Manger play, but the other animals make fun of him, calling him a “Spiky Stick Ball.” His mother comforts him, telling him he is “the light of her life,” and, although he is sad not to be in the play, he runs the lights and manages the stage. In the middle of the play, everyone suddenly realizes they don’t have a Christmas star, and Little Porcupine saves the day. Such a sweet story, and it was eagerly snatched up at the end.
Dragon’s Merry Christmas by Dav Pilkey (Amazon.com link)
My daughter and I love all of the Dragon books. In four short chapters, Dragon: decorates a Christmas tree (outside his house because he can’t bear to chop it done); makes and devours a candy wreath (only eating the pieces that “fall” off); loses his mittens (and his coat); and buys some Christmas presents for himself. In the last story, he gives away all of his presents to animals who need them more, and goes to sleep thinking he hears angels singing (they are really the grateful animals singing outside his house). Lovely collection of stories that are both funny and sweet. One of the girls checked this one out, and every other Dragon book we had on the shelf. Storytime win!
Merry Un-Christmas by Mike Reiss; illustrated by David Catrow (Amazon.com link).
For anyone who ever wished it could be Christmas every day, this book shows that you can really have too much of a good thing. Noelle lives in Christmas City, where everyday is Christmas, except one: Un-Christmas Day. Noelle loves Un-Christmas Day, when she doesn’t have to open any presents or eat five kinds of pie. Best of all, she gets to go to school. I’ve read this to several different age groups, and they all loved it, especially the second graders.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry (Amazon.com link)
I learned about this one from my friend Kerri’s blog, What Is ML Reading? Mr. Willowby has a perfect Christmas tree, except that it’s a little too tall. His butler cuts a bit off the top and gives it to the maid, who uses it as her own Christmas tree, but it’s a bit too tall for her mantel. So she cuts off the top… Fun, rhyming story with a treetop that just never seems to run out. The kids enjoyed this one too.
INSTRUMENT PLAYALONG WITH A CD: Linus and Lucy from A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi (Amazon.com link). This was so much fun! Even my coworkers were humming the tune after story time.
CRAFT: Paper Plate Angels
Once again, my wonderful coworker, Gail Benjamin, handed down her leftover craft supplies from a holiday program she did the previous weekend. You can find printable instructions from Enchanted Learning.
Basically, you cut the plate along the lines, and tape or staple it together. Then the kids draw a face, and decorate it with glitter. (I put another paper plate underneath to catch the extra glitter). Gail says her daughter made one years ago in preschool, and they still use it to top their Christmas tree.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Amazon.com link)I read this to a second grade class the other day. I was worried that they would be bored because I know they have all seen the cartoon and the movie a million times, but they were mesmerized. It’s so much fun to read too.
Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood (Amazon.com link)
By the creators of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. In this story, the little mouse is guarding his Christmas presents from the big hungry bear, until he learns the bear has never gotten a present. Bravely he sets out on his sled in the snow to bring the bear a gift. The illustrations are adorable.
What are your favorite Christmas books?