I came across this wonderful little scroll, Children’s Divorce Bill of Rights, on Pinterest the other day. (I think someone created it based on an blog at Psychology Today, though I didn’t seem to see the graphic there) I was reminded about how many divorces seem to happen just after the holidays. We’ve had so much fun playing with our Zany Wacky Santa, but for many kids fun time is over now.
I thought the Children’s Divorce Bill of Rights should go into every divorcing parent’s tool box! It goes so much with what I am trying to tell people all of the time. Divorce is tough. It is tough on the parents because they are going through changes emotionally, and likely financially. Stress is at probably an all time high! But I think so often we forget that though we are going through the trauma, our kids are going through it even more. They are often being put in the middle. And though you may think your ex is (insert whatever you want here!), your child still loves them and wants them as their parent. There is absolutely no reason to bad mouth the other parent in front of your child, no matter WHAT you perceive they are doing. If it is a dangerous situation, then involve professional help, but even then it is probably best to keep your mouth shut. They didn’t like it when you argued in front of them when you were married, and they certainly aren’t going to like it now. They just want to be kids. They want to be able to live their life as close to the life they just involuntarily gave up as possible. They should be allowed to be kids………..therefore they are not your sounding board, they can’t solve your problems. And…..whatever you do, do NOT put them in the middle and at any point make them choose. As much as you might think it is giving them the right, having to choose one parent over another is a heart wrenching experience no child should have to endure. I love this scroll. And I think this scroll, along with the picture book We’re Having A Tuesday, and the parenting book, Mom’s House, Dad’s House, you should be armed to be off to a good start.
We’re Having A Tuesday will help parents and children of divorce. It begins a conversation, by opening up pathways to talk with children about the effects of living in a shared custody situation. Kids who are living the all too familiar experience of living in two houses easily relate to the story where the little girl is acting out and having to remind herself of the good things about both houses. Parents or other bystanders (teachers, counselors, grandparents, caregivers) can relate to this wonderful story about a little girl bouncing between her parents, as she struggles with living between two homes. She misses simple things like her dogs, her bike and even sometimes her clothes. She misses things about Mommy. She misses things about Daddy. Some of her behaviors reflect it. She eventually discovers that her parents’ love is with her no matter where she is living. The story refers to her carrying their love in a very special kind of backpack wherever she goes. (Her heart.) It is a great reminder that the love between parent and child doesn t change because of divorce. This book beautifully illustrates a touching story and includes an interactive element at the end to facilitate conversation about how kids are feeling about their shared custody living arrangements. It’s perfect for kids 2-10 years of age. And it will help start a conversation to help your kids deal with their new arrangements. Remember your child didn’t ask for these changes. They just were just going along happy being a kid!
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!