Posts Tagged ‘winter books’

Write a Review Wednesday: Christmas Delicious

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. This week, with Christmas just days away, we’re reading Blue Apple Books Christmas Delicious, written by Lyn Loates and illustrated by Mark Jones. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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Raisin and Rice are two mice who were once hungry and poor. But now living in the storeroom of the Zanzibar’s Deli they never want for food, enjoying lamb and ham and cheese and more. With Christmas approaching they decide to celebrate with a feast and set out gathering and brewing and baking. Christmas day arrives and Raisin and Rice dress in their finest ready to enjoy what they had prepared but something is missing. It’s not the goodies or decorations, it was their friends. They went out and invited all their old friends to join them and had the merriest Christmas ever.

Christmas and food go so well together; that’s what appealed to me first about this book, Christmas Delicious. Although I’m not a fan of mice living and eating in a deli my kids didn’t seem to mind. But then they think of mice as humanized characters and Raisin and Rice do share their wealth with their less fortunate friends. Written in rhyme, Christmas Delicious is a very lyrical read, almost coming out as a song. Mice aside, I do love the message of sharing with friends, that no matter how much you have you don’t get the same joy out of it unless you can share that joy with someone else. It’s a wonderful message for Christmas and all year-long.

The illustrations fill the pages with warm Christmas colours. My 3 kids loved the story of the animals enjoying Christmas together, especially Christmas that involves food.

You can add a copy of Christmas Delicious to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore or Raincoast Books. For other great book recommendations for kids, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: A Porcupine in a Pine Tree

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Ten on the Sled. This week we’re looking at another Christmas counting book of sorts, Scholastic‘s A Porcupine in a Pine Tree (age 3-7) written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Wener Zimmermann. I have to thank Nikole at Scholastic Canada for my review copy.

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On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

You’re probably familiar with the song, even reading the first few words has me singing, but how about reading or singing it with a Canadian twist. That’s what you’ll find when you read A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. You’ll find the likes of beavers, puffins, Mounties and even the Stanley Cup worked into this festive counting story.

As the porcupine sits atop of the Charlie Brown Christmas like pine tree, the pages get fuller and busier as the song continues. Helaine does a great job working the Canadian symbols into the story without making it a mouthful to read; the flow is beautiful. My 8-year old chimed right in, singing the whole story to everyone. The second time we read A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, my daughter had assigned everyone parts to read; it was a great way to read the story. At the end the porcupine steps down from his perch in the pine tree to unveil a surprise for everyone.

As the story repeats elements on each page, kids will be able to read along easily. It’s a fun, festive way to reinforce the numbers 1 to twelve also, by counting up in the song. Kids can also try counting the actual elements in the story though near the end the page gets a little crowded and some things may be hard to find but that didn’t stop my 3, especially my 4-year old. Everyone enjoyed reading A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and put us all in a Christmasy frame of mind right before bed.

You can add a copy of A Porcupine in a Pine Tree to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore. For other great book ideas for kids, take a read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: Counting on Snow

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane. This week we looked at Tundra Books Counting on Snow (age 2-5), by Maxwell Newhouse. I have to thank Sylvia at Tundra Books for my review copy.

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From 10 Caribou Crunching in a wide open plain to 1 Moose, barely visible through the thick falling snow, Counting on Snow adds an Arctic twist to the classic counting book; perfect for the impending winter weather. Each page features an Arctic animal in the quiet, vast landscape they live in. As you turn the page, the animals you just counted, can be seen leaving the scene and a new set of animals appear. As you count down from 10 to 1, the snowfall increases, making it harder to see animals, like the white hares or polar bears, as they naturally blend into the white landscape.

Counting on Snow reinforces the numbers 1 to 10 as they are written numerically on the page as well as being represented visually in the form of the various Arctic animal groups. My 6 and 3-year old enjoyed counting the animals, especially as they got harder to see in the heavier snow images. Although the text is limited, focusing on counting the animals, the visuals have a way of telling a story about the Arctic winter too.

You can add a copy of Counting on Snow to your personal library by visiting your local book store or Tundra Books. For other great children’s books, checkout the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.