Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some of Our Favorite Characters Return... Ready for Christmas!

Book series seem to be a favorite among children - I think mostly due to the nature of returning characters that you are already familiar with and story content that is very similar from book-to-book! Today, I have two returning characters, Fancy Nancy and Mouse (from If You Give a Mouse...). I think you'll find that your child(ren) would be more than content to have these read as a bedtime story sometime between now and Christmas!

Numeroff, Laura.
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies: A Special Christmas Edition.
September 2009.
Review Copy Provided Courtesy of: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Guided Reading Level: K

The original If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was published back in 1985. I was two at the time, but it was several years later before I was introduced to it. Ever since, I've been a huge fan of the series, and they're still hugely popular today! Earlier this year (in September), If You Take a Mouse to the Movies was reprinted as a special Christmas edition... and understandably so, as it his a certain Christmas-y ring to it!

For those of you unfamiliar with this particular topic, a little boy takes "his" mouse to the movies. Who ever knew seeing a movie could set off such a string of events that leads to mess involved in decorating a Christmas tree before needing to return to the movies! This book is perfect for beginning readers, with the simple text, and a likely familiar story line. Not only will this make a wonderful Christmas story, it'd also be great to read all winter long, as much of it is also winter-y and not entirely Christmas-y!

Learning/Reading Activities:
  • Build Your Own Snowman (use any miscellaneous items from your craft cupboard)
  • Christmas Tree Decorating (have your child use bingo daubers to create a pattern colored dots as garland on the tree)
  • String your own popcorn chain to decorate your tree!
  • Work together as a family to create your own unique version of the series... For example, If You Give a Mouse Hot Chocolate, If You Take a Mouse Christmas Caroling, or If You Take a Mouse to See Santa Claus!
O'Connor, Jane.
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas.
November 2009.
Review Copy Provided Courtesy of: HarperCollins

Readers embark on yet another journey with Fancy Nancy, who's quickly becoming a staple of almost every little girl's bookshelf! In Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas, Nancy sets out to share with readers some magically fancy language related to the Christmas season! I love that heirlooms are introduced to children in this book, as (at least in my own family) heirlooms make up a huge portion of our own Christmas decorations and allow my family the opportunity to remember the loved ones who are no longer with us this holiday season.
On Christmas Eve, we get out the
ornaments. Some were Grandpa's when he was a little boy.
"These are heirlooms," my mom says.
"That's fancy for things that are old and valuable."
Nancy's own excitement about decorating the tree with heirlooms ultimately results in a mishap that breaks the family's new treetopper. However, this only leaves room for the family to create an heirloom all their own, an important aspect of making the holidays unique to your own family!

Learning/Reading Activity:

The idea of heirlooms came into play several times throughout the reading of Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas. Christmastime is a time when heirlooms are typically broken out of their safe holdings as a way to connect with family and loved ones. Take the time this holiday season to share your family heirlooms or create heirlooms unique to your family with the help of your child(ren). Below, are a few idea if you need some help to get started!
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.


style='clear: both;' Brimful Curiosities said...

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas has a corresponding activity guide pdf printable with a few activities for making an ornament and garland: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/kids/gamesandcontests/features/fancynancybooks/pdf/SplendiferousChristmas.pdf