Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Picture Books: Beloved Literary Characters (Early Childhood)

Corduroy, Max & Ruby, Spot, and Little Miss Spider are beloved storybook characters celebrating Christmas.  The text, illustrations, and storylines are ideal for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.  Two of them are flap books which allow children to practice small motor skills and predicting as well as experiencing the joy of discovery.   I am confident these books will please the young children in your life!

Spot’s First Christmas (ages 0-3) by Eric Hill 
On Christmas Eve, Spot and his mom have lots to do.  They bring in the Christmas tree and trim it.  They wrap the presents.  Carolers come to their door to sing for them.  Spot is so eager for Santa’s arrival that he gets a little too excited looking through the wrapped gifts for presents of his own.  Spot falls asleep at last, but he hears and sees Santa outside his window.  The next morning Spot finds lots of gifts in his stocking:  a ball, a bone, a brush, and a new collar.  This book allows for discoveries on every page as babies and toddlers interact, predict, and turn the flaps. 

Max’s Christmas (ages 0-4) by Rosemary Wells  
It is Christmas Eve.  Ruby tells Max that Santa is coming.  Max has many typical preschool aged questions: What? Who? Where? How? Why?  Ruby just wants him to settle down for the night, so she eventually answers, “BECAUSE!”  Max does not believe Ruby, especially about no one being allowed to see Santa.  He sneaks downstairs to wait for him by the fire place.  Waking when Santa arrives, he is full of questions for the jolly bunny dressed in red.  To end the incessant questions, Santa declares, “BECAUSE!”  When Ruby comes down, she finds Max sleeping on the couch with a Santa hat.  She asks him why his blanket is bulgy?  As she removes the blanket, Max says, “BECAUSE!”  Ruby finds that he is hiding all the presents from Santa! 

Corduroy’s Christmas (ages 1-4) by Don Freeman 
Corduroy loves Christmas.  Children can help him get ready!   As he trims the tree, he needs to find the angel.  There are lots of presents to look inside to find it.   While he is wrapping the presents, he gets “lost” in all the wrapping paper.  He writes his letter to Santa which children can open to find out what he is hoping for this year.  During caroling, everyone is bundled up, but by lifting the flaps, children can discover which one is him.  Finally, on Christmas morning, open the flaps to see what Santa brought!  This interactive flap book is entertaining and endearing. 

Little Miss Spider: A Christmas Wish (ages 3-5) by David Kirk 
It is Little Miss Spider first Christmas, but she is lonely.  She wishes on her Christmas star for one thing she has longed for all year.  When she goes outside, she finds all the insects are sleeping, not a friend to be found.  Then, Asparagus Beetle reveals himself.  The two of them dash through snow tunnels, make snow butterflies, and build a grand snow castle.   After her friend drops her off at home, Little Miss Spider is lonely again.  She feels something isn’t right.  Together with her mother, they find Asparagus Beetle all alone in the snow.  They invite him to spend Christmas with them…which fulfills two Christmas wishes! 

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