December 3, 2009
by Mia Geiger
It’s December, and that can mean just one thing. Any day now, my family room will be filled with tiny pieces of white paper, in shapes ranging from circles to triangles to free-form angles.
You guessed it: It’s time for paper snowflakes! By far, this is my favorite holiday decoration, and not just because the creations look so pretty. It’s because I love plopping down on the rug, craft supplies in hand, alongside my daughter to make something unique and fun. The best part is seeing her expression when she unfolds the paper to see the surprise design.
Next time you’re making snowflakes with your little ones, it could be the perfect opportunity to talk about the upcoming holidays. While most kids know all about the gift-giving aspects, not everyone knows the meaning behind all the hoopla. To help teach about different traditions, read from books that inspire a sense of wonder about the holidays. Books also make festive gifts, especially when tied up with a pretty ribbon!
Christmas is Coming! by By A. J. Wood, illustrated by Stephen Lambert
Ages: 4 – 8. Abrams
Mrs. Mouse is busy getting ready for Christmas in this rhyming story. Five beautifully designed, fanciful pop-ups illustrate the tale, from a snow-covered house to a box filled with surprises. As your child turns each page, revealing the next elaborate pop-up, she’ll say one word: Wow!
Jingle Bells: A Pop-up Holiday Song, illustrated by Eren Blanquet Unten
Ages: 3 and up. Price Stern Sloan
Kids will sing along with the words to this cute and cheerful pop-up book featuring a sleigh, a ride over the hills and children laughing. Readers will want to see the large, colorful pop-ups again and again.
Light the Menorah, by Jannie Ho
Ages: 3 and up. Penguin
A child explains how his family celebrates Chanukah in this brightly-colored board book. Readers can pull a tab at the top of each page to light the candles on the menorah.
A Chanukah Present For: ME! by Lily Karr; illustrated by Jill McDonald
Ages: 0 – 3. Cartwheel
Shaped like a present and covered with sparkly ribbon, this board book explores the joys of Chanukah, from latkes to dreidels. Questions on each festive, brightly-covered page make it interactive: “Chocolate Gelt: How many do you see?”
The Sound of Kwanzaa, by Dimitrea Tokunbo; illustrated by Lisa Cohen
Ages: 4 – 8 Scholastic
Each lushly illustrated page begins “Come close, gather ‘round. Listen to the sound of Kwanzaa.” Next is an explanation of the significance of each of the candles lit during the holiday, as well as the definition of various words: “Sharing dreams and setting goals, we plan our future for NIA. NIA means ‘purpose.’ Another green candle gently glows to illuminate our fifth Kwanzaa night.”
Mia Geiger is a freelance writer in the Philadelphia area. Visit her at miageiger.com.