I wanted to share some of my favorite reads for this month. There are so many beautiful stories around the holidays.
TOPS on my list is Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant. This is the story of Frankie, a little boy who waits every year for the Christmas train to arrive. He asks for a particular gift, but every year he gets something like socks or mittens. Frankie receives a very special package and eventually it brings him back to Appalachia. I can not let the holidays go by without reading this one. I have my students create their own silver packages for someone special. Click HERE to read my guest post from last year about this special story and activity.
An Orange for Frankie is another story I can not live without. It is an absolute must-read! Like most of Patricia Polacco's books, it is a true story. Frankie was her grandmother's brother who learned an important lesson about giving. It always brings a tear and makes for some meaningful discussions.
I know Hanukkah has passed, but this is a fun read! The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel is about a bear who visits Bubba who can't see so well. She thinks the bear is the rabbi. The kids love this one and it always makes us giggle!
A few years back I saw the author of this next book at a reading conference. I feel in love with her character, Stella! Stella, Queen of the Snow (Stella and Sam) by Marie-Louise Gay is about a little girl and her very inquisitive brother, Sam. Sam asks a TON of questions about snow. They explore together and Stella is always so patient in answering. Sam is cautious while Stella is much more adventurous. If you like this book check out the other Stella stories. Great for a character study!
Another Rylant book that I love is When Winter Comes. (I mean, can she write a bad book??!!)
If you are looking for an informational text about winter take a look at The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer. Not only do you learn about what the solstice is, but you also learn about traditions and beliefs surrounding it.