Did I just hear a Christmas song on the radio? It’s only November 16th!
I suppose I’ll join in the madness and review a holiday-themed book that both my boys love: Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin and James Dean (HarperCollins, 2012).
Opening: ’Twas the day before Christmas and Santa was ill.
In the cold winter wind he had caught a bad chill.
Will Christmas be canceled? Will it come to that?
“Never!” cried Santa.
“Let’s call Pete the Cat!”
Synopsis (from jacketflap): In this rockin’ new spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.
Theme/Genre: Holiday, Giving; Fiction
Suitable for: ages 3+
Why we like it: My boys ages 4 and 2 love Pete the Cat and this book is no exception…my oldest is already singing the catchy song! Last year, he also got to see “Mr. Eric” at a live performance here in Vancouver and loved it…his first ever live show.
I like how the central theme of this book is giving. “I’ll do it,” said Pete, “and although I am small, at Christmas we give, so I’ll give it my all.” As we read this book, my son asked, “What is giving your all?” I realize it’s a bit of an an abstract concept for preschoolers, but it led to a ‘teachable moment’ as they say, in which we talked about giving to others, doing our best, etc.
Resources: HarperCollins website has a downloadable activity kit which you could print out for students. The story and song are also free to download or stream here. Other ideas that come to my mind can be drawing a picture around the theme of “Though I am small, I can give it my all”. Also I think learning the song as a class would be oh.so.cute. You could record students’ voices reading the story on an iPad, and then grab a guitar and teach them the song! The kids at T.E. Scott where my husband teaches did just that! Check out their awesome video:
And here’s a little preview of the book from HarperCollins:
Have you been hearing Christmas carols where you live?!