Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Funny Holiday Stories

Week 15

Our winter vacation is coming up quickly! I'll only see classes twice between now and then.'s time to start reading holiday books!

This week it's all about Santa for PreK 3 through Grade 1 (and what's with the poultry theme, too?!) These are quick funny read-alouds perfect for little ones.

PreK 3 - Grade 1

Have You Been Naughty or Nice? by Ethan Long

Duck is in a panic. He's worried about how Santa will view him this year: naughty or nice? he lays out cookies for Santa (so he can get good presents) but then gobbles them all up himself. How can he make amends (to get good presents)? His "apology" note to Santa is a lift-the-flap which keeps the interactive feel of this story going strong.

I'm Not Santa, by Jonathan Allen

Poor Baby Owl is mistaken for Santa by Baby Hare. Baby Hare sees his red hat, sled, and chubby exterior and assumes he's Santa. No matter how Baby Owl tries to convince him, Baby Hare is stuck on the idea and a bout of crying ensues. When Baby Owl tries to make him feel better, it just gets worse. Who will be able to stop all these tears?

In the category of so silly it's ridiculous, this gets a good laugh. Plus the Baby Owl is so cute!

Santa Duck and His Merry Helpers, by David Milgrim

Nicholas, the duck, considers himself a most important helper to Santa. He gathers up wish lists from all of the animals to help Santa choose the right gifts. But when his annoying brothers and sisters decide they want to be helpers, too, their enthusiasm becomes a problem. Nicholas has trouble sharing the job...and isn't sharing (and caring) what Christmas is all about?

This is a funny idea made funnier through speech bubbles best read in various voices!

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood

Little Mouse is planning to keep his presents all to himself, but when he hears that big, hungry bear doesn't get any gifts, he decides to bring him some. We are both surprised to discover that bear has been thinking of him, too!

Told as a conversation with mouse, we are fully engaged and answering for the mouse along the way. ("Mouse, what are you doing?" and we think..."locking up my presents!")

This is a great story for modeling "prediction", just like its prequel, The Big Hungry Bear, The Little Mouse, and the Red Ripe Strawberry.

Grade 2

Think of the Money We'll Save, by Brock Cole

A father buys a young turkey with plans to fatten it up for Christmas and save some money in the process - BUT, of course the turkey makes a huge mess, eats more than planned, and doesn't end up providing much of a feast on Christmas day. 

This is a fun story that feels like an old classic.

Grade 3: Rights and Responsibility (and Christmas!)

Silver Packages, by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Chris K Soentpiet

Continuing with picture books on the theme of "responsibility", we read about a man who repays an emotional debt to a small town in the Appalachian mountains. He was nursed back to health after a car accident there, but the villagers refused his offer of money as repayment. To thank them, he returns every year to deliver presents at Christmas time from the back of a train. 

One boy, our narrator, remembers waiting for the train each year, hoping for a toy doctor's kit. But each year, the silver package tossed from the train is something else; some other toy along with some practical item, like socks. As an adult, the boy looks back and realizes the man and his silver packages has taught him something - something about giving back to others.

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