Friday, February 20, 2009

Who's Ever Heard of Hoodie Hoo Day?!

Today, residents of the Northern Hemisphere are encouraged to celebrate the Hoodie Hoo Day! Hoodie Hoo Day is a little-known quirky holiday that acts as a way to chase away Winter and bring in Spring. If you're like me and many other people in the Northern Hemisphere (sick and tired of winter, going crazy being cooped up inside and facing a severe lack of sunshine), get outside at high noon, wave your hands over your head and chant "Hoodie Hoo!"

Today's reviews are books that will inspire kids to participate in Hoodie Hoo Day - books where the main characters are sick of winter or who are trying to bring on the Spring season!

Bailey, Carolyn Sherwin.
Miss Hickory.
Viking Press.

Ages: 8-12
Genre: Fiction
Guided Reading Level: L

Miss Hickory is a doll made of typical New England origins... the body of an applewood twig with a hickory nut head. During the warm seasons, Miss Hickory resides in a corncob hut. However, the residence where she usually spends winters is going to be leaving the countryside. Miss Hickory's friend Crow sets her up to live inside a warm nest of a shelter where she will ride out the long months of winter. However, come springtime, Miss Hickory is more than ready the change of weather and all that it will mean for her life!

This is a wonderful book that will surely fire up children's imaginations and have them laughing throughout. Vivid pictures can easily be created in the mind to supplement the illustrations that are provided sporadically throughout!

Wallner, Alexandra.
Strawberry Shortcake and the Winter That Would Not End.
Random House.

Ages: 4-8
Genre: Fiction,
Guided Reading Level: N/A

The children of Strawberry land are worried. The winter has gone on for entirely too long. And when this happens, it usually results in a bad berry crop, meaning that there will be a food supply shortage come the following winter. While the children gather for breakfast and to discuss the impending problems, Elderberry Owl shows up to inform the children of his discovery as to the reason why winter won't end - someone has stolen Snow King's magic Snow Crystal and he now has no power to stop the snowfall. The Strawberry Kids decide to take matters into their own hands and set out in search of the magic Snow Crystal thief.

Their findings may surprise you, just as they did me! But the story ends well, as the thief explains his reasoning and agrees to return the Snow Crystal. This was a cute story that all Strawberry Shortcake fans are sure to love. And it might even make a neat activity to do some snowy day with the kids - create a magic Snow Crystal of your own and send the kids on a treasure hunt. Sure, spring might still be several weeks away, but you can certainly find some way to show the kids that it's on its way even as we endure the last few weeks of winter!

Zolotow, Charlotte.
When the Wind Stops.
Harper Collins.

Age: 4-7
Genre: Fiction

Guided Reading Level: J

This is an incredible story! Reinforcing the idea that nothing ever really ends, Zolotow tells the story from the perspective of a little boy who is full of questions as his mother puts him to bed. Where do the clouds go as they move across the sky and disappear from sight? Where does the rain go as the storm ends? Surely he thinks that fall really ends... but his mother reminds him that the end of fall just means the beginning of winter.

Even though winter seems to go on and on, it too, will one day break and spring will appear!