Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Classics Bookclub - My Goals for 2010


5 Minutes for Books hosts a Classics Bookclub that I've been meaning to join but just didn't find time in 2009. They are changing the way the bookclub works in 2010. Participants pick their own books and post quarterly. This next year I'm determined to squeeze in a few classics and participating in this club should provide the extra push needed for me to pick up those classics I've been meaning to read. Here are five I'm planning to read in 2010:

Little House in the Big Woods
by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I've already read this but want to revisit it and perhaps attend a performance of the new musical based on the books.)

Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (Elizabeth from Strange and Random Happenstance kindly sent me a copy earlier this year and it has been on my TBR shelf for far too long.)

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

I also found this wonderful booklist of Children's classics [pdf] published by The Horn Book Magazine. Hopefully, in 2010, the kids and I will make it through the entire list of picture books, but I doubt I'll find the time to blog about it.

Hello, Snow! / The Snowman's Song - Book Reviews & stART

"I want to sing!" The little snowman sent this thought to his mother. "I want to go 'a caroling' like a happy child with a silvery voice. It's Christmastime, I want to rejoice!" - The Snowman's Song
The Snowman's Song: A Christmas Story by Marilee Joy Mayfield, illustrated by Tracy La Rue Hohn. Leaping Antelope Productions (October 2005); ISBN 9780976205913; 44 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

The Snowman's Song is the kind of sweet story that warms you right down to the tips of your toes. A little boy snowman stands silent, listening to the happy songs of Christmas. Full of hope and faith, he desperately wishes he could sing a joyful song, a bright hymn to the Savior's birth. As he begins to despair, a tiny bird and a little girl help him discover his voice one wonderful and miraculous Christmas Eve night.

The heartwarming, bluish hued illustrations of the little snowman set the perfect tone for this sugary inspirational story. I read the book to my preschool daughter and for the most part she listened intently, wanting to hear if the snowman gets a chance to sing. The text is rather lengthy and lyrical (probably more suited to early grade school readers) and she briefly lost interest in the first part of the book, but when the little girl dressed in pink entered the story and started playing with the snowman, she quickly regained interest. The book comes with an audio CD of the story set over an angelic children's choir song but the sound quality is slightly tinny sounding. This is probably not a story we will read over and over, but is one we'll revisit once each Christmas season and discover the snowman's unique melody anew.

"Goodbye, Mommy ... Here we go! Through the door And ... HELLO, SNOW!" - Hello, Snow!
Hello, Snow! by Hope Vestergaard, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (October 2004); ISBN 9780374329495; 32 pages
Review copy from library

Just as exciting as a romp in the snow, this book was, by far, the favorite read-a-loud in our home this snow-filled week! A little girl bounces out of bed early in the morning, excitedly gets dressed and persuades her daddy to join her outside in the SNOW! Accompanied by an comical cat and dog, the kids build a snowman and speed down a hill on a sled, crashing at the bottom in a humorous heap. Luckily, mom is ready with some yummy hot cocoa with marshmallows.

The short, rollicking, rhyming text in this fun book is perfect for young listeners and both my toddler and preschooler laugh every single time we read it. While the text is pretty funny in itself, the humorous, action filled illustrations garner the giggles. The kids also love looking for the cute, yellow tabby cat. (Plus, I can't help but love an author that uses the expression, "you guys," one phrase that we hear often in these parts.)



We've enjoyed watching the snow fall outside this past week, and indoors we've had quite a bit of snowman fun with some snowman crafts. Here's our story + art creations this week:

My daughter made several gorgeous, small snowman paintings to give as gifts to close family members. She loved painting with acrylic paint on canvas and felt like a real professional painter.



We also made our own felt board snowman and gingerbread man (many thanks to A Mommy's Adventures for the great idea.) The dresses, shoes, mittens, hats and other accessories are all interchangeable and the kids really enjoy dressing their holiday felt characters in fashionable outfits, many that even Frosty himself would love to wear.



Post what you've been reading each week with your kids at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas Morning






Thomas the Tank Engine and Melissa & Doug toys make for a happy Christmas morning.

Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom or Seven Clown Circus.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Princess, Prince and Frog Books - A Children's Booklist

Earlier this month, my daughter and I saw the new Disney princess movie, The Princess and the Frog. Though I wish the film would have centered less on voodoo magic, we both enjoyed the movie, especially the fantastic music and hand drawn animation. I posted earlier this month about the origins of The Princess and the Frog and discussed a couple of the books that inspired the movie.

We own an older copy of The Frog Prince, purchased from a garage sale. The book, a retelling of the original Brother's Grimm fairy tale, depicts a selfish princess who violently hurls the frog at the wall instead of kissing him. I decided to search for less violent versions at the library, and we've now read several variants of the famous fairy tale. While it's impossible to list all the published titles, I thought I'd summarize some of the versions and adaptions available. The titles with short reviews are the ones we've read. I'll update the post as we read more stories. (illustration from "The Frog Prince" by Walter Crane)

Movie Tie-In Books:
Disney Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House published several movie tie-in books to correspond with the new The Princess and the Frog release. A complete list of the books can be found at: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/disney/princessfrog/ along with downloadable printable pdf activities.


Frog Princess Books:
The Frog Princess by Rosalind Allchin. Kids Can Press (2001, paperback 2003); 32 pages
A female frog wonders what life would be like as a princess and gets her chance (living as an untransformed frog in princess clothes) after she retrieves a prince's ball. Unfortunately, life as a princess isn't what the frog expected. Humorous situations and bright illustrations give an interesting twist to the typical story. (5+)

The Frog Princess adapted by Laura Cecil, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Greenwillow Books (1995); ISBN 9780688135065; 32 pages
In this frog bride adaption, a queen encourages her three sons to find brides by shooting arrows. Marco, the youngest son, finds his arrow near a green frog. The frog miraculously performs the queen's tasks earning the prince the title of king. Bright watercolor illustrations accompany the interesting, dialog filled text. (4+)

The Frog Princess by Elizabeth Isele, illustrated by Michael Hague. Thomas Y. Crowell (1984); ISBN 9780690042177; 32 pages
The story is adapted from a Russian folktale and tells the story of Visilisa the Wise, a princess turned into a frog. A Czar's son, in need of a bride, shoots an arrow into the sky. He finds the princess frog in the middle of the swamp holding his arrow. Classically illustrated, Hague's detailed but subdued color illustrations typically appear opposite the lengthy text. (early elementary)

The Frog Princess: A Tlingit Legend from Alaska by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger
The Frog Princess by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Gennady Spirin


Frog Prince Books:
The Frog Prince, illustrated by Walter Crane. George Routledge and Sons (1874?)
An original Brother's Grimm version with superb illustrations by Crane.

The Frog Prince retold by Fiona Black, illustrated by Wayne Parmenter. Andrews McMeel Publishing (1991); ISBN 9780836249200; 32 pages
A modern retelling of the Brother's Grimm story featuring a nicer princess. No kiss in this one - the frog transforms after sleeping three nights on a pillow. Beautiful, traditional illustrations are found in this smaller-sized book. The book is part of the Andrews McMeel series, Childrens Classics. (5+)

The Frog Prince by Paul Galdone. Mcgraw-Hill (1975); ISBN 9780590757973;
Classic version of the Brother's Grimm story with detailed, color illustrations. The cruel princess throws the frog at the wall to transform him, and the ending features Iron Henry. Galdone illustrated several other fairy tales as well. (5+)

Frog Prince (Flip-Up Fairy Tales) illustrated by Jess Stockham. Child's Play Intl Ltd (2007); ISBN 9781846430770; 24 pages
Appropriate for younger children, this retelling features lift-up flaps. A child-aged princess doesn't get along well with other children and typically plays by herself. She loses her gold ball in a pond and a friendly frog rescues it. The princess eventually learns what it means to be a true friend. (preschool)

The Frog Prince retold by Susanna Davidson, illustrated by Mike Gordon. Usborne Books (2005); ISBN 9780794509699; 48 pages
This chapter book with cartoonish illustrations features Princess Poppy in a softer version of the Brother's Grimm story. The princess throws the frog out the window but feels bad and eventually kisses him. (early-middle grade)

The Frog Prince by Kathy-Jo Wargin, illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert
The Prog Frince: A Mixed-up Tale by C. Drew Lamm, illustrated by Barbara Mc Clintock
The Frog Prince by Jan Ormerod
The Princess and the Frog by Will Eisner
The Frog Prince (We Both Read) by Sindy McKay, illustrated by George Ulrich.
The Frog Prince illustrated by Binette Schroeder.

Two Frogs - books with both female and male frogs:
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (November 2002); ISBN 9781582347998; 200 pages
A twist on the well-known fairy tale but in this case the princess kisses the frog and she turns into a FROG, too. My review here. (middle grade)

The Frog Prince, Continued by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Steve Johnson. Viking Penguin (1991); ISBN 9780670834211; 32 pages
Humorous, creative story about what happens after the princess kisses the frog. Neither the prince or princess seem content with their married life. The prince runs off searching for a witch to turn him back into a frog. The book features dark, dramatic illustrations and an unusual ending. (5+)

The Prince of the Pond: Otherwise Known as De Fawg Pin by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner (middle grade)
A Frog Prince by Alix Berenzy (picture book)


Other related books:
Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs?
by Carmela LaVigna Coyle, illustrated by Mike Gordon. Rising Moon (2005); ISBN 9780873588805; 32 pages
A father and daughter go on a hike and experience nature. Only one page spread discusses kissing frogs. Highly recommended for all little princesses by nature. Search for the hidden dragon and other images! Adorable, clever illustrations with short rhyming text. (preschool +)

Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole. Putnam Juvenile (2005); ISBN 9780399243981; 32 pages
A comically illustrated book about a princess that absolutely refuses to marry and sets up impossible tasks for her suitors. Watch out for her kiss! The modern day, rather unpleasant princess shines in this humorous picture book. Princess Smartypants shows that a princess does not need a prince to live happily ever after. (4+)

Previously by Allen Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman. Candlewick Press (2007); ISBN 9780763635428; 32 pages
Linking several fairy tales together, Ahlberg creates a new story about what previously occurred in the famous characters' lives before the fairy tales. The frog prince appears in the center of the book and according to the story, previously he ate his dinner from golden plates, traveled in a milk-white Mercedes and fell in love with a girl named Cinderella. Children with prior knowledge of the fairy tales will enjoy the creative story and unique acrylic illustrations. (4+)

Don't Kiss the Frog!: Princess Stories with Attitude by Fiona Waters and Ella Burfoot
The Frog and the Princess: and the Prince and the Mole, and the Frog and the Mole, and the Prince and the Princess... by John Bear and Charlie Powell


Other Book Lists / Bibliography:
SurLaLune Fairy Tales: The Annotated Frog King
The Frog Prince or The Frog King - Amazon Listmania List
Fountaindale Library Children's Services Blog - Of Princes and Frogs
BGSU Folktale and Fairy Tale Resources in the CRC - Frog Prince
Boise Public Library Fairytale Variants [pdf]

Do you have a favorite version of The Frog Prince or Princess? Please share. I'd love to include it.

(I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hope you had a Splendiferous Christmas! - Recycled Paper Ornaments


Fancy Nancy starred in a new book this holiday season called Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas. The book is currently #1 on The New York Times Children's Bestseller List. According to Fancy Nancy, "Only one word describes how magnificent, joyous, and sparkly Christmas morning is -- splendiferous!" While we haven't had a chance to read the book yet, our Christmas was all of the above and more. We attended a candlelight Christmas Eve church service, sang several carols and listened to the Bible account of Jesus' birth. Christmas morning the kids excitedly opened their gifts from Santa, oohing and aahing over each present. We merrily ate our Christmas lunch of turkey and ham at my brother's home and enjoyed the time with family (but all felt sad Great-grandpa and Great-grandma couldn't make it due to illness.) After opening more gifts we frosted and decorated sugar cookies and added plenty of sprinkles. Fancy Nancy would certainly approve!

We still have one more celebration to go, but already the wrapping paper and trash has started to pile up. Time to recycle some of it into pretty ornaments for our tree!

Paper Cranes
I made paper cranes out of Fancy Nancy wrapping paper and other used scraps of paper. Each person saved a scrap of their favorite gift paper, and I cut squares and folded them into paper cranes. Paper cranes make beautiful ornaments appropriate for gift giving. You can find step by step directions at wikiHow "How to Fold a Paper Crane." After you master the first one, they don't take long to fold! The paper crane is an international symbol of peace.



Paper Ornaments

The Fancy Nancy website at HarperCollins Children's includes several printable activity guides that correspond with the books (Click Parents - Party Central - Party Kit). A Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas kit link can be found there or use the direct link to view the downloadable pdf file: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/kids/gamesandcontests/features/fancynancybooks/pdf/SplendiferousChristmas.pdf. Page nine, "It's Ornamental" provides directions for an easy, homemade paper ornament craft. We recycled old Christmas cards and gift bags to make our ornaments, and they are splendiferous indeed!



(Disclosure: We received a gift of free wrapping paper from HarperCollins this holiday season (but not a copy of the book). I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!




Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men! - Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Puzzle on Christmas Eve

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."
- "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore

Click to Mix and Solve

Click on the image to work on this fun holiday jigsaw puzzle from Jigzone.com.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Prima Princessa presents The Nutcracker - DVD Review

This past week several Nutcracker performances took place in our area. On Christmas Eve our local PBS station is airing Dance in America: San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. The Nutcracker ballet was first performed in its entirety in the United States on December 24th, 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet. This famous ballet is now an annual Christmas season tradition and productions can be seen all over the nation, in large and small venues.

As I've said before, my preschool age daughter takes beginner ballet lessons. She wears her hair in a bun, has a pink leotard and tutu and, of course, has her own special pink ballet slippers. If she continues to show an interest in ballet, someday she may be able to perform in the local Nutcracker production. However, right now she enjoys pretending to be a prima ballerina and likes to dance along with the performers on television while watching her newest favorite DVD, Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker.

The Prima Princessa Presents series is perfect for children ages 3 to 7. The DVDs bring ballet performances right into your home. Children can watch and dance along with the performers and they even get the chance to learn real ballet steps.

Prima Princessa's The Nutcracker DVD features actual performance segments by the San Francisco Ballet and the students at the School of American Ballet show kids a few dance steps. Best of all it provides a wonderful introduction to Tchaikovsky's famous ballet. An animated, sparkly fairy ballerina named Prima Princessa describes and provides a summary of the plot, the dances and the music in terms that young children can easily understand. She covers both Act I and Act II and children alternately watch segments of the actual ballet and instructional dance clips. Positions and steps covered include Passé, Glissade and Sauté (échappé sauté and sauté arabesque). The 40 minute movie also includes two bonus segments:
Arm Positions and Port de Bras shows the four basic arm position in classical ballet, along with visual images of flowers blooming. In the other segment, a Holiday Party set to the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" music depicts children decorating cookies, eating other yummy Christmas treats and handing out gifts.

Young children that love princesses, ballerinas, ballet or the story of the Nutcracker will especially enjoy watching the DVD. The divided segments are short enough for small attention spans. Even my toddler son enjoys watching parts of the film and trys to follow along with the dances. (Yes, there are a couple of parts in the film where boys are featured dancing, fighting with swords and pretending along with the girls!) My daughter's favorite scenes include the leaping Russian dancers, the rolling bear, and the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers. The video is a perfect way to introduce young children to The Nutcracker ballet and it encourages participation by getting kids off the couch to dance along. Now the only question I have is where can I find one of those large lollipops?

Related Links:
Prima Princessa Website
YouTube - Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker Video Introduction
Prima Princessa Coloring Book Pages
Printables4Kids Printable Nutcracker Puppets

This post was written for Family Review Network as part of a program for Prima Princessa, who supplied the DVD for review. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary product. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Wordless Wednesday - On the Brimful Tree




Vintage angel ornament from my mother-in-law.




One of the first ornaments my daughter made for us as a gift.


Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom or Seven Clown Circus.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Creative Family Christmas Letters



I'll admit it. I like sending and receiving family Christmas letters. It's a way to stay in touch, especially with those you don't see very often. But, I also like to spice things up a little when preparing our letters to send out. We don't just send out the typical, long boring narrative. Each year we add a little twist.

This year we folded our square letter into origami Christmas trees. (Before folding it into a tree, we folded the 8-1/2" square in half and then into half again to make it a smaller square.) After the letters were folded, my preschool daughter and toddler son colored the trees with crayons and markers. In the text of our letter, we each listed a few of our favorite ornaments. These touches personalized our letter and made it a little more interesting. Plus we involved the whole family in the card preparations. Hopefully those that receive our letters enjoy opening and reading them this year!



Do you send out holiday letters? If so, do you make them unique in any way?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Munchkin Math: Counting Money - DVD Review

Many of my reviews concentrate on early reading skills and books. I spend a lot of time with my children working on language and reading skills. But other basic concepts such as mathematics and science are equally important to teach children at a young age. It's easy to turn every day activities into learning moments.

Just this last week, I took both my children to the bank with me. We had collected two large bags worth of change. They watched in awe as the special, automated coin machine at the bank counted and sorted all the coins we brought. This fun activity helped increase my daughter's interest in money. She wanted to know more about all the coins and their worth and was surprised at the final total amount of the change we brought to the bank to deposit.

After we visited the bank we went home and watched a Munchkin Math DVD called Counting Money. The DVD helps preschool and early elementary age kids identify the names of the U.S. coins, talks about the different values and teaches basic math concepts by showing kids how to count their money.

The format of the DVD reminds me of the lesson type programs we have watch on our public television station. The video production is more educational based than entertainment based and features Wendy Miller (the creator of Munchkin Math) along with two children talking about coins and teaching corresponding rhymes, chants and hand movements. My preschool aged daughter did not lose interest while watching the DVD and even participated along with several segments. The 22 minute DVD is divided into four segments:
♦ Lesson 1: Coins; The New Coin Game
♦ Lesson 2: Dollars; Dollar Chant
♦ Lesson 3: The Dollar & Cent Signs
♦ Lesson 4: Trading and Sorts; Making a Money Worm; Money Worm Song
After watching the video, I quizzed my preschool daughter on how much she retained. She was able to identify the penny, but still had difficulty with the other coins. With practice and repetition and the use of some of the rhymes, I'm sure she'll easily pick up the names and values. However, I think she is still a little too young to understand how to count money, besides adding up her pennies. She did enjoy assembling her own money worm on the mat I downloaded from the website. Within the next few years, those skills will develop and she will be able to understand the counting concepts a little better. The DVD does not include information about the half dollar or golden dollar.

I've read that by the end of kindergarten, kids should be able to identify all the basic coins and the dollar. This DVD works well when used as a supplemental resource in teaching money basics at home. The DVD would also be appropriate for teachers to show in the classroom. However, I would recommend that parents and teachers use other fun activities such as role playing with cash registers and coin collecting in conjunction with the video. I wish the Munchkin Math website included more corresponding printable pages, games and worksheets. The Counting Money Worm Mat was the only downloadable I could find. View a YouTube video of the Money Worm segment below:




The Munchkin Math series also includes two other DVDs: Shapes! and Telling Time! Bolster early math skills by sharing the practical, everyday concepts taught in the Munchkin Math series.

Related Links:
Munchkin Math Website
Math Worksheet Wizard Kindergarten Money Worksheets and Activities
H.I.P. Pocket Change (USmint.gov kids - includes lesson plans)
About.com Teaching Kids with Money Games
Kai-lan Coins & Counting Pack Printable
Moms Inspire Learning - When Coins and Picture Books Collide (5 parts)


“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Munchkin Math and received a sample DVD to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

Discover Bestselling Children's Books

Having a hard time keeping up with the trends in the children's book world? One way to discover new books is to take a look at the bestselling lists. I've found several lists available online. Publication frequency varies and some of the links go directly to children's books lists while several others link to the main list and have a separate category for kid's books. My favorite resources are the Indie (Independent Bookstore weekly list) and the New York Times Children's Book List.

With Christmas approaching quickly, several holiday themed books appear on the lists: Fancy Nancy's Splendiferous Christmas, The Christmas Magic, The Christmas Sweater, The Night Before Christmas, The Spirit of Christmas, The Polar Express and more.

Remember, books make great last minute gifts! Are you giving books for the holidays? Is your favorite bestseller list missing? Please let me know and I'll make sure to add it.


Independent stores:

National Indie Bestsellers (published weekly)

The Heartland Indie Bestseller List (Midwest Region - other regions available for viewing)

Publications:

The New York Times Bestseller List (published weekly)

USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list

Publisher's Weekly Latest BestSellers of Children's Fiction Books

Online Retailers:

Powell's Bestseller List

Barnes and Noble Top 100

Borders Kids Bestsellers

Amazon Bestsellers in Children's Books


Christian Bestsellers:

Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Christian Kids Bestsellers


CBA Children's and Young Adult Best-Seller List
[pdf]

Christianbook.com Bestsellers

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A few more winners to announce...

The last of the December winners have been chosen! As always, all winners have or will be contacted by email. After the initial email they have 72 hours to get back to me before another winner is chosen. (Click on the image to enlarge the Random.org numbers.) Thanks so much for visiting Brimful Curiosities. Look for more giveaways in the new year. Happy Holidays!

Kohl's $50 Gift Card

The winner is Kristie (comment #53).


Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance by Annie Barrows.

The winner is AStarrA (comment #34).

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner - stArt

"One Christmas Eve I made a snowman, Very fat and jolly. I dressed him up in red and green And trimmed his hat with holly. I saw his arms were trembling As if he couldn't wait; It made me start to wonder -- How do snowmen celebrate?" -
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner. Dial (September 2005); 32 pages; ISBN 9780803729957; Book from our home library
One of my daughter's favorite books this week is Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by her husband, Mark Buehner. A boy builds a snowman on Christmas Eve and wonders how snowmen celebrate Christmas. He decides that they must slip away at night and celebrate while he is sleeping. In rhyming verse the book tells all about the jolly snowmen that gather together on Christmas Eve in the center of the town. They trim trees, serve cold treats, dance and wait for the arrival of Kris Kringle.

The spectacular, blueish hued illustrations show the snowmen taking part in all the magical festivities. The illustrator has also added a really neat touch to each page spread. My daughter loves searching for a cat, a rabbit, a Santa face, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a little brown mouse hidden in each painting. They aren't easy to find! In the last page we found even more hidden images, like a star, stocking and deer. One of the pages reminds me of the Whos of Whoville and depicts the snowmen holding hands and singing songs about "snow, and the birth of a King."



We didn't make many crafts indoors this week, but instead went outside and built our own snowman. Hopefully he won't melt and will still be around next week on Christmas Eve to celebrate with his friends in the center of our town.



As far as crafts go, I'm also including a picture of one of my daughter's preschool projects from last year, a cute melted snowman with the accompanying verse, "I made a little snowman with a little hat. The sun came out and melted him, and now my snowman's flat!"



For more winter themed picture books, check out this wonderful Wintry Tales list at Scholastic. Kansas City, Kansas Public Library also has a nice Snowman Booklist. A Mommy's Adventures has posted a neat picture of her Snowman Felt Board. Looks like a ton of fun for kids to play with, especially if they can't get outdoors to build their own.

Post what you've been reading each week with your kids at The Well-Read Child or Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.