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Picture Book Thursday: Winter Gifts

Red_sled Red Sled
Written by Patricia Thomas
Illustrated by Chris L. Demarest
Boyds Mills Press
Age Range 2-6 years

Fanny Fanny
Written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie
Little, Brown
Age Range 4-8 years

Underwear Underwear: What We Wear Under There
Written by Ruth Freeman Swain
Illustrated by John O’Brien
Holiday House
Age Range 5-10 years

Welcome back folks!  In the spirit of giving I thought I’d highlight some books featuring popular gifts.  Anastasia beat me to the punch with Red Sled but it’s a title worth repeating.  Throw in a doll and some underwear and our list is complete. 

Red Sled
As if this simple tale of a dad and son sledding isn’t endearing enough, it’s inspired by chiasmus. Author Patricia Thomas describes this ancient writing form: “This format creates a kind of mirror image, with thoughts, words, or even word sounds flowing toward a center point, then reversing to reflect that order as it reaches the end.” Students are bound to enjoy the rhymes in this title as much as you will enjoy reading them aloud.

Holly Hobbie is back with her first post Toot & Puddle title. Fanny tells the story of a girl who yearns for a glamour doll but ends up making her own simpler and more wholesome doll. It’s wonderful to see Holly stand up for toys that are simply toys. This is a great story to help children understand that imagination and homemade toys are worth cherishing. Want a sneak peak of the book? (Don't you love the Internet?)

Underwear: What We Wear Under There
This playful and informative romp through the history of underwear is sure to leave students smiling. They’ll hear all sorts of interesting facts like, “One seventeenth-century Belgian doctor, Jean Baptiste van Helmont, claimed he could grow mice in a jar from nothing but a few grains of wheat and a piece of stinky underwear!” and “1895 Montgomery Ward catalog advertises red woolen union suits for one dollar. Also called “long johns” after the boxer John L. Sullivan, who wore his long underwear in the ring.” Author Ruth Freeman Swain has done her research and it’s worth sharing with students. Also, check out Swain's Web site for printable bookmarks and lesson ideas to use with her books.

Make oak tag copies of the paper doll in the back of Franny.  Have students color and assemble the dolls before retelling the story.


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