Thursday, December 17, 2009

What We're Reading Dec. 17

Today I am hosting “What We are Reading This Week” for the Well Read Child; so please comment or include a link in the comments to your blog post about what you are reading this week.

At the beginning of 2009, I decided to help the Elf to keep a record of all the books she would read this year. This was due largely to the fact that she had received twenty-plus books for Christmas and had read most of them by the end of January!

We started recording the details of what she was reading in an Excel doc.; the title, author, illustrator, whether it was fiction, non-fiction, picture book, and the month in which she read it.

Now, looking over that Excel doc. as we close in on the end of 2009, I see that she has read 121 books. Most of them have been fiction chapter books, from the Rainbow Fairies and Puppy Place to the Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series. Picture books were down in consumption from last year, numbering only 13. She has read some of her favourite books twice; Kenneth Oppel’s Silverwing series, for instance. Those books were the first three on her list in January 2009 and now, they are being revisited this month, this week.

This week, we did look at a picture book together; Nutcracker Noel by Kate McMullen and illustrated by Jim McMullen. A charming story of a young girl who dreams of dancing in the Nutcracker ballet and how she deals with disappointment by becoming the best tree ever!

At work this week, the theme is Red. To the children in my care, I read, Red Is Best. It has long been one of my best loved books for toddlers and preschoolers. Below is a short review I had previously written for it.

Red Is Best
by Kathy Stinson
Art by Robin Baird Lewis
Annick Press Ltd. Copywrite 1982
ISBN 0-920236-24-3 (bound)
ISBN 0-920236-26-X 9pbk)

Kelly’s mom just “doesn’t understand about red”.

Stinson gets it though. She thoroughly captures a young child’s affinity for all things “favourite”, and in this case, obviously, red! Any one who has ever known a preschooler will definitely relate.

And Kelly, well, she possesses the wisdom that all small children do… she instinctively knows that “juice tastes better in the red cup” and that she can “jump higher in (her) red stockings”. We could all learn from following these types of instincts. Some things just make us feel better and it is good to acknowledge this and surround ourselves in these comforts, whatever they may be.

I’m off now to slip into my deep purple chenille bath robe.
I relax best in my deep purple chenille bathrobe.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What We're Reading Dec 10

Books about Snow.

That’s what we’re reading.

At least that’s what the preschoolers have been having me read to them.
I have a few favourite snow books. I can hardly wait for the first snowflake to fall before bringing them out each year, however the magic of the books is so deeply enhanced when reading them against a backdrop of softly falling snow. Lucky for me we had our first real substantial snowfall on Monday, my teaching day. So, I was able to bring out the books in order to celebrate.

My little Elf is still on her exploration of mythology and is now reading How to Speak Dragonese by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III translated from the Old Norse by Cressida Cowell. I’m not sure what I think about this book as I have not yet read it but there appears to be a “Captain Underpants” appeal to the story ie: references to bums, farts and poo.

Together,the Elf and I? Well we are reading Wind in the Willows, of course.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 9…. Snow Day!!!

You just had to know it was coming! I think we had already had about 5 or 6 snow days by this time last year, so I’m not complaining. I’m just glad that it happened on a day when I was not scheduled to work so that I am able to stay home with my little Elf and enjoy the snow day too. This day of tri-county bus cancellations gives us a great opportunity to pull out all the Christmas decorations and start decorating our home for the holidays! (We are NOT pull the decorations out the day after Halloween people)

We are playfully making our way through the advent calendar which we started a bit late after I found the idea for the 25 days of Christmas challenge over at a peek inside the fishbowl. We have made some small cards using old holiday cards, added numbers 1-25 and I added the strips of paper with the activity for that day inside (along with an individually wrapped Riesen candy!).

Here are some of the activities we have enjoyed thus far (I just haven't got around to blogging about them yet):

  • Looking at and reading last year’s Christmas Cards
  • Santa Claus Parade
  • Writing Our Christmas Cards
  • Drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • Listening to Christmas music

Stay tuned for 16 more days of twinkling-crinkling-glittery-sugar-plums-dancing-round-our-heads, holiday fun!!