It has been snowing a lot around here since Christmas. And with the Christmas books put away for now, it seemed time to start looking at our other winter friends…..snowmen. So I’ve grabbed a couple of books and see how they might work out for reading out loud.
The first is what has become considered a classic. The Snowman – by Raymond Briggs. I was not expecting a “wordless” book, and yet apparently that is what has made it so well known over the years….. The cover is so magical, even sparkling that I was disappointed with the washed out illustrations. That aside, I can see where the idea of a book where we can tell our own story has it’s appeal, and could be used easily to launch classroom projects. It certainly has a very complete story, even without words. And the pictures and story are enjoyable. It just isn’t what maybe I had in mind when I was ready to read about snowmen.
The second one I chose is The Heart of a Snowman – by Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin. I’m not sure how well kids will stay tuned to this one. It seemed to wander around a bit in it’s tale, with an odd message about snowmen always have to melt because of their hearts we put inside when we make them. -It did have very gorgeous illustrations, and if your kids like stories a bit out of the ordinary this might be just for them!
The third one I read was Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner. I am a big fan of the original, Snowmen at Night, and though I don’t think this is quite as good, it is still a lot of fun. I love the idea of anything that we don’t know about having a secret life. I’ve often wondered what groundhogs are doing under ground while we are busy living our own lives. So though some of this is of course a bit of a stretch, it is fun to get our imaginations rolling with what it is exactly snowmen might be doing at night, even if they have jobs. I always love books with hidden things in the pictures. (aahemmm…like Matches the Mouse in our Christmas book). See the book! So they certainly get some bonus points from me for making it not only fun to read out loud, but then an activity book that keeps kids entertained for awhile.
If you are looking for a great Christmas Eve Read Aloud to read to your family while you try to settle everyone down for bed, this is it. Santa’s Night Before Christmas (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) It is a beautifully illustrated tale that has kids and adult laughing out loud. If you have it on your December Bucket List to find a new book to add to your holiday book collection, you may have found one worthy of consideration! If you haven’t got it already, this is a great chance. We are still offering FREE Priority shipping today and tomorrow, in hopes that you will receive just in time for your holiday traditions. I love reading our favorites year after year, and this is sure to become a favorite for many this year! Order your book here!
And if you miss out on getting the hardback book delivered in time, you can always check out our interactive version which is really great fun for your iphone, or ipad! Check it out here! You will have the chance to break ornaments on the upside down tree, turn snowmen upside down, change Santa’s suit color, hear funny carolers, and listen to jets and bells ring. It will even read the story out loud to you. Not to be missed! Even the app makes a really great Christmas Eve read aloud!
Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas!
100 Purple Santas need a home this holiday season! We are in the home stretch of the holiday season. Many of us are in the hustle and bustle of it all. So we have lots of last minute goodies to share to help you finish up your holiday shopping. And we have at least 100 purple Santas that need a home!
First– We are issuing a challenge. We would like to find 100 purple Santas a home this holiday season. We have set a goal to sell 100 Santa books in 100 hours directly from our website here. We are still including FREE priority shipping, and books are just $16.95 each. The first 100 people in this 100 hours will get their Santa book, AND in addition a free copy of DK Simoneau’s first book, We’re Having A Tuesday. Countdown starts NOW! (Expires at 9 p.m. MST, December 14, 2014) 100 purple Santas need a home! Books must be ordered from this site to qualify for free bonus book! Order towards the bottom of the page HERE.
Second– The holiday season can be a tough time for divorced families, a subject many of us can relate to. So in honor of that, and bringing “We’re Having A Tuesday” up to date with its own Kindle version, it will be available for FREE December 11-15 through Amazon Kindle. Get it for your own Kindle HERE.
Third-Limited Opportunity: Post a new review of either the hardback or Kindle version of Santa’s Night Before Christmas (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) on Amazon or Goodreads, send the link to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will gift you a copy of the interactive Santa’s Night Before Christmas app through Interactive Touch Books for free.
Reading Santa’s Night Before Christmas for classroom enrichment activities is so much fun! We have lots of ways to spark the imagination with this book by encouraging creativity in art, writing, and oral expression! –At home, or in a read aloud classroom or library setting! Please see our classroom page here for a growing list of ideas of how to enrich your classrooms with our book.
Meanwhile here are a few thoughts:
- After reading the book and finding out that there is no longer Milk and Cookies, but instead Tea and Honey, introduce a Tea and Honey Party. It can be as formal or as informal as you like. Bring a variety of teas, maybe some more traditional and a couple of holiday blends, along with some honey. Then expose kids to traditions and tastes of other cultures of which they may be unfamiliar.
- Initiate a Christmas Caroling activity. After reading the book and talking about funny sounding carolers, discuss the practice of Christmas Caroling. Choose some songs. Make them funny if you wish. Go around to other classrooms and sing carols.
- In a group setting following a read aloud there are many topics of discussion that could be focused upon in verbal format and then flowed into a writing assignment if desired. (Most of these could also be presented in front of the class as well.)
- What details are in the drawings that that aren’t mentioned in the story? (Hint- hunt for Matches the Mouse!!)
What other zany and wacky things that could go wrong with Christmas if Santa’s suit were purple?
What other things could have happened instead? Like could the milk and cookies be turned into carrots and celery? Why or why not? Could the candy canes be chocolate or sour instead of burnt? Would it have been a problem to change the story because of the rhyming?
Launch for a theme of show and tell – bringing in their favorite holiday book, other books with Santa, or anything else related.
Talk about cause and effect – consequences; how things relate, how this one change morphed Christmas, and how doing one thing differently day to day might have different effects in our own lives.
Read the original The Night Before Christmas story (or any other version) and have a compare and contrast discussion
- Art Projects galore! Have them do an art project of any kind to illustrate any idea of a zany, wacky Christmas. Use your own zany imagination-this book can spark all kinds of artistic expression and creativty.
- Santas with suits of a different color. Almost any normal Santa project you do can be converted into a purple Or better yet, you could let the kids express themselves and let them choose what color they want their Santa to be.
- Similarly, blueberry blue reindeer might be fun! Or let them choose their own fun color.
- Upside down snowmen and trees of all kinds. Any project you might normally do with snowmen or trees could be done upside down. One I like is the Name Snowmen. Just put the face and hat one on the bottom upside down.
- Art and Writing worksheets, like “If I were a Zany Wacky Reindeer, I would…” Download: Zany wacky reindeer worksheet. Please see the classroom page for more ideas; as well as that is where we will be posting new ones.
Original Article on Books for Kids from Parade: Read Now
Video Review on Christmas Gift Ideas: Watch Now
We are very proud to be listed in Parade Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide -Books for Kids this year. There are always so many wonderful titles to look over. It is such a passion of mine that we keep reading out loud to kids, so to be included in an article in which the author is looking forward to reading our book snuggled up with her niece this holiday season makes me proud! I certainly think that Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas is a book worthy of an annual holiday tradition.
And the video gift guide by Velvet Giggles is a delight. Again, we are very proud to be included. If you’ve never seen a review by Renae, you are in for a treat. She has some great ideas and has a way of making me want all of them! Enjoy!
Oh- and in case you missed it, we are now available in Kindle format as well as a great interactive app. For more on the interactive version go to Interactive Touch Books. You can click on Santa turn his suit from purple to red, hear jets roar, sleighbells ring, snowmen turn upside down and so much more!
Starting today……through cyber Monday, December 1, 2014, you can get $5.00 off every copy ordered plus FREE shipping, while quantities last! That is just $13.95 per copy.
Kindle version also available through Amazon at $3.99.
Or……try our new interactive app by downloading the Interactive Touch Books app through iTunes, and then downloading the Santa’s Zany Wacky app for just $1.99. There you can find Matches the mouse on every page, listen to carolers sing funny, turn Santa’s suit from purple to red to purple, make trees and snowmen turn upside down and much more!
We are starting early and have 3 different ways you can enjoy our purple Santa!
So you think you’re moving along and adapting to your new split-family living situation, but then wham, how will you handle the children and the holidays after divorce. You take your children to their Dad (Mom) on Tuesday and you’ll see them again on Saturday. It is a bumpy cycle and much to be learned, but you’re getting the hang of it.
Then what do you spy on your calendar as you turn the page? The next major holiday doesn’t fall on Tuesday? It doesn’t fall on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday either. You realize you are going to have to go dig out those divorce papers and see what year it is and if it’s odd or even and if you get to see your children or if you’ll be attending that holiday function without kids in tow. So what can you do to make split-family living better during the holidays?
- Have Fun! Remember that even though this is a transition time in your lives it is still the holiday season and it should be FUN! Read silly books together with your kids, like Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas. Watch old movies and Christmas specials. Bake cut out cookies. Go look at Christmas lights. Sing Christmas Carols. Play in the snow if you have it. Make snowflakes if you don’t. Do anything to lighten the mood. It is still supposed to be FUN!
- Communicate. Communication is key to everything, and the holidays are no exception. Talk to your kids and ex-spouse. Maybe the every other year thing is too confusing. Maybe your kids are feeling left out. They might even feel guilty that Mom or Dad is alone. See if you can work on a schedule that works better. Some families opt to split the holidays by time, so that a child is with one parent until 2:00 and the other for the remainder of the day. Some opt to split the holidays so that the kids know that every Thanksgiving they will be with Mom and her family for the entire day, but that every Easter or some other holiday they spend it with Dad and his family. That allows traditions to build and nobody has to stop right in the middle of the fun. A book like We’re Having A Tuesday will also help your kids communicate any feelings they may be having about missing out on one thing or another.
- Put your differences aside. Maybe for a day, an hour, but do whatever you can. If you can manage to go to a pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins great. If you can only handle opening gifts all together, so be it. If it means sharing a piece of holiday pie and some eggnog, great! Any amount of time you can spend all together will be the biggest gift you can possibly give to your kids. Remember you are doing it for them.
- Plan Ahead. Don’t be agreeing to the schedule the night before. Inevitably there will be a child eating back to back turkey if there is no plan.
- Be flexible and reasonable, and keep your word. If you plan to have your child home at 2:00 and it’s 2:15, don’t make a big fuss to your ex-spouse. Things have a way of taking a little longer than expected during the holidays. But don’t purposely ignore the agreed upon schedule. That only sets your child up to be caught in the middle of your frustrations.
- Agree on gift giving methods. Will you each be buying gifts separately or together? Will you coordinate so you don’t both give the same thing? Who will take the children shopping to purchase gifts for each of their parents? How will they be paid for? It is perfectly acceptable to teach your children the art of giving, even if it means you are buying a robe for your ex-wife.
- Establish new traditions. You can incorporate old ones if you wish, but it might be time to start some new ones. Maybe every holiday morning you will serve homemade cinnamon rolls. Maybe birthdays will now always be celebrated by waking up with balloons. It is good to incorporate new so that whatever might be missing from the old might not be as missed.
- Let the love shine. Allow your child to communicate with the missing parent. Maybe it will be a quick telephone call, maybe it will be a quick pick up to walk around the block. In any case, your child is possibly celebrating a holiday without one of the most important people in their life. It’s okay for them to want to share part of it with them.