Friday, January 8, 2010

For Fun Friday! Fun Snowy Books to Share!

I have to put out a great big "Thank You" to the wonderful publishers who so graciously provided me with review copies of the following titles, all of which were perfect for my snow themed week! Hopefully you'll find one of these books worthy of sharing with your child(ren).

Carlstrom, Nancy White.
Mama, Will It Snow Tonight?
October 2009.
Boyds Mills Press.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Despite the fact that autumn has already passed us by, it's definitely not too late to share this incredible book as a bedtime story with your little one! The excitement over snow days locally makes this a wonderful read aloud, as children are always curious about whether or not it will snow tonight, just as the little girl and other small animals in the story wondering night-after-night,
Mama, will it snow tonight?
The book would also be perfect for children who are just beginning to learn to read, as the text is repetitive and predictable. Despite the simplicity of the entire story, the book is more than worth sharing and will allow for tender moments between mothers and children!

Fun Reading Activity:
  • Read the story with your child(ren). Predict whether or not he/she thinks it will snow tonight!
  • On a (non-school) night when you know forecasters are calling for snow, bundle your child(ren) up in his/her warmest clothes and venture outside to observe the sky and the moon. Talk about how the sky looks. What does the moon look like? Is there a certain feel to the air? A certain smell? Then, (since you know its supposed to snow), make the prediction to your child(ren) that, "It will snow tonight."
Kuryla, Mary and Eugene Yelchin.
Heart of a Snowman.
September 2009.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Despite the Christmas Eve setting of which this story takes place, it's more than appropriate as a wintry/snowy read aloud!

It's tradition in Owen's family to build a snowman on each Christmas Eve... even though he knows the snowman will melt away by Christmas Day. Curious to find out exactly what happens to his snowman, Owen vows to stay awake and try to spy what happens. The adventure on which he embarks leads him to the magical place where snowmen. Once he arrives, Own discovers a bunch of animals, who in attempt to recreate his snowman, help him ultimately discover the reason for his snowman melting so quickly... his warm heart (the original small snowball), tenderly started by none other than Owen.

Fun Reading Activity:
  • Surely you have a winter birthday party to attend this year! Make a "Create Your Own Snowman" kit and give it as a gift, coupled with this book! The receiving child will enjoy being able to create a snowman with a "heart." Include inside the kit: a snowman, a carrot, a hat, a pipe, two dark rocks, and a scarf.
Burton, Virginia Lee.
Katy and the Big Snow.
September 2009.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Guided Reading Level: L
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

This classic has been around for years! I remember it being read to me as a child... and of course, I was thrilled! Who doesn't love reading a story when they share a name with the main character, albeit a different spelling?

Katy, the big red tractor was a familiar face in town... able to push dirt with her bulldozer, plow snow with her snowplow... you could even go as far as to call her an all*star citizen, as she worked for the Highway Department of Geoppolis, keeping the roads ready for citizens year round! However, in Geoppolis (unlike here central NY), there wasn't a huge need for a snowplow the size of Katy... until that fateful winter day when the rain, sleet, ice and snow just kept on coming. As Katy sets out in hopes of rescuing and aiding all those in need during the snowstorm, readers quickly realize how a seemingly insignificant piece of equipment can soon become a highly sought-after item!

I'm so glad to have received this 2009 reprint edition of Katy and the Big Snow. As I mentioned earlier, it's a classic that I had yet to add to my own collection... and now, to top it off, I have not only the book itself, but also the audio version that will enable me to use the book in more ways than one!

Fun Reading Activity:
  • Help your child create their own "Geoppolis" using the community cards found here and several pieces of posterboard. If you're really feeling creative, try creating the community building using Legos.
  • Once you have created "Geoppolis," use your paper shredder and destroy some of those old documents that have needed destroying... pour the shredded paper on the streets in the town of Geoppolis and allow your child(ren) to use "Katy" (their toy tractor with a plow) to be the hero and save the people of Geoppolis!
Collins, Peggy.
In the Snow.
October 2009.
Applesauce Press.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Throughout the country today, many children probably awoke themselves to find that a snowstorm visited during the night and may even have left them experiencing the joys of a snow day, much like the little boy in In the Snow. Rather than allowing a bit of snow to put a stop to this family's day, the little boy and his father set out to make the most of it - playing, chasing, and exploring the animal tracks found in the snow. They even build a snowman together! Of course, a snow day couldn't end without a proper cup of hot chocolate! This is a perfect story to share if you're looking to create some memories of your own in a simple, inexpensive and even cost-free way!

Fun Reading Activity:
  • As a family, sit down and brainstorm possible "Snow Day" activities that could be done as a family without involving any monetary expense. Make a schedule (a FUN one) to make the most of your entire snow day. Some activities might include: sledding, building a snow family, making snow angels, ice skating, hiking through the woods, snowshoeing, a snowball fight, building a snow fort, ending the day with homemade soup, hot chocolate and a movie in PJs.
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