Thursday, December 16, 2010

Small Medium & Large by Jane Monroe Donovan- Book Review + Letters to Santa

Our local newspaper this week was filled with letters to Santa from area kids. While most are the usual, "How are your reindeer" and "I would like this" variety, I came across one VERY hopeful request from a little girl. She doesn't want much:

Dear Santa:
I really want a real horse. I have been a very good girl this year. I also would like a dog, bear, kitten and a bunch of toys. I love Santa. I want a big bedroom with a big toy box to put all my toys in. I would like some new clothes also. Thanks. Also a present for Santa.

She has big dreams! I love how she doesn't hold back with her wishes and how she asks Santa to bring a gift for himself, too! I wish I knew who this little girl was because I would send her a copy of the book below. The little girl in the book asks Santa for a very similar gift.

Small, Medium and Large by Jane Monroe Donovan; Sleeping Bear Press (September 2010); ISBN 9781585364473; 32 pages
Book Source: Review Copy from Publisher

In this nearly wordless picture book, a little girl named Sammy writes Santa a letter. Christmas morning arrives and she finds three wrapped gifts (one small, one medium and one large) under the tree. The gifts contain three living animals ... a cat, a dog and a miniature horse! Lonely no more, Sammy and her new animal friends spend their winter days making snow angels, throwing snowballs, building snow creatures, sledding, and baking cookies.

Donovan's book is a fun-filled, imaginative read about a very special Christmas wish that comes true. The adorable scenarios depicted in the painted illustrations are pure fun and kids will delight in the whimsy. For instance, all the animals sleep nestled together under the covers in the little girl's bed. And, my kids loved the cookie baking scene where the horse makes horseshoe-shaped cookies while the cat cuts out fish shapes. For toddlers, the book provides an opportunity to discuss sizes and because it is wordless, they can make up their own story to accompany the pictures. The author based the animals in the book on her own pets, a Siamese cat named Maylee, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Grizzly and a miniature horse named Fern.


We still haven't made it to see Santa yet this year! Taking into consideration last year's tear-filled visit, I'm not so sure we'll make an attempt this year. Here's photographic evidence of the traumatic experience. My daughter looks as if she's hoping with all her heart that Santa won't hold her accountable for her brother's actions.

When you can't see Santa in person, writing a letter is the next best thing. Both kids took the time to write Santa a letter last week. My daughter spent a lot of time designing her letter and added several decorative touches. Here's her wishes (she gets right to the point - we'll have to work on the niceties of please and thank you next year):

Dear Santa,
I would like Peek-A-Boo Puppies, Zhu Zhu Pets, Glass Ornament, Horses and Stamps.
Love, (Little Brimful)

My son only wants one thing from Santa. He told me to write this:

Dear Santa,
I would like a Christmas Choo-Choo. I love my Choo-Choo.
Love, (Another Little Brimful)

❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖ stArt Craft - Plastic Lid Snowman ❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖

To reinforce the concept of small, medium and large and as a tie-in with the cover of the book we read above, I helped my toddler son build a snowman out of plastic lids. We added a felt scarf and hat, buttons, and pipe cleaner arms to complete the craft.

abc button

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell.

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)


maggy, red ted art said...

Ah how cute. I have to confess, my son is very wary of Santa too. He eyed him up for ages before deciding to venture over, briefly shake his hand and take off with a present.... He then scribbled on a piece of paper and "Hand his letter" to Santa.

I love your lid snowman. So cute. Great idea to reinforce the sizes, but also nice and colourful!

Thank you for linking up!


Anonymous said...

The lid snowman was a great idea, cute! My kids still just want to look at Santa, but won't go near him.

Christy Killoran said...

Awww, that picture is heartbreaking!

We haven't made it to see Santa yet either; we have just been too busy!

That letter to Santa from the newspaper is funny!

Cute snowman craft.

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

Santa pictures are classics, but I have yet to get up the motivation to take my kids. Hope this year you actually get smiles out of them! That book looks great!

Ticia said...

love the lid snowman

I have to admit we havent done the Santa thing yet because I've been afraid the kids would freak out

Anonymous said...

The little girl's Christmas letter to Santa was cute. Nothing wrong with dreaming big!

I've heard of kids who are writing to Santa, not to ask for toys, but for their parents to get a job, and for everyday neccesities. It's so sad that young kids have to worry about stuff like that.

Thanks for sharing the picture of your children with Santa. Brings back memories of my son, when he was a little tyke.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This book sounds wonderful. Love the way you reused the lids to make a special snowman.