Wasn’t sure if Cookie Angel (written by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Vladimir Vagin) would be a hit so I tried it on my second graders. They love twitching their noses and being my guinea pigs for new titles. This Henry Holt book involving Christmas toys coming alive on Christmas Eve with it’s unusual approach to storytelling was voted a keeper. The students refused to allow me to read the lyrics on a page, but insisted I sing each time a song was mentioned.
The Aileen Fisher poetry book Do Rabbits Have Christmas? was popular with the group of students sitting closest to the story. They chose this as their favorite in their words "because the words make you remember seeing the snow" and "because the words were like songs without notes."
We grouped these together with several other Christmas carol type books – Silent Night, On Christmas Day in the Morning, and Good King Wenceslas. Teaching standards for listening and information skills can be integrated so easily. Relax and sing a good tale.
Who said you only need to read one title during a lesson? I average three titles by December with first graders and they still demand more. Raise your expectations and let them know there are so many great books still out there that you haven’t found time to show them yet.