Tag Archives: Christmas

My Library This Christmas

Books are Snow Wonderful Bulletin Board

It’s “Share the Gift of Story” this week, with readers from the community coming in to read to K-Gr. 9 library classes. It’s so great for the kids to see that it’s not just school staff and parents who enjoy reading stories. Our local RCMP really get in on the act with several constables joining in the fun this year. Perfect way for the kids to meet the local police officers too!

Easy Street decorated for Christmas with New Fireplace

A long-time participant, whose grandchildren are now in school noticed a couple of years ago that the YouTube fireplace video that I put on the Smart Board behind the readers was a little pathetic. It couldn’t be seen well, it distracted the kids as the tender rustled logs and it often froze. This year, this kind gentleman brought in our very own electric fireplace to lend ambiance to our seasonal program and story time throughout the year. What a wonderful gift!

The Circulation Desk with Christmas Tree

Our Grade 6 class decorated the library. Doesn’t it look great?

The big project on the go is a wonderful collaboration cooked up between our local public librarian, Nancy Keough and me. It all started, more or less, with my not being able to work out how to offer e-books to our students. I get my own, personally through the public library system along with a plethora of other resources that aren’t available to us otherwise. Some of our students do have memberships but the majority do not. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had access to all the wonderful things they offer?

Nancy took the idea to the library board, who generously offered us a great deal on public library memberships for the entire school! All staff and students. Our administration gave the go-ahead and four local business have helped to fund it. We’re just collecting forms now and are hoping to have everything in place now.

For more about the membership project, the sponsors and a few other things around the library, see my December newsletter.

Other than that I’m finding myself with a little time to clear up my desk and check off some of those stickier tasks on my to-do list. Next week will be our last week before the break and I’ll read to library classes from my selection of Christmas favourites.


After that, it’s focus on family (and shopping and cooking and wrapping and crafting) for 2 whole weeks! I wish you all a great holiday, if that’s what you’re in for as well and if not, enjoy December wherever you are.


Filed under Education, eReaders in the School Library, Library Class, Library Programs

December’s Elementary & Junior High Library Class and ‘Share the Gift of Story’ Reads

Constable Helder reads Red Parka Mary to the Grade 4 class

December is a short month with one week of library classes happily taken up with a community read-in called “Share the Gift of Story“.

Students really enjoy the program with parents and other community members coming in to read either a selection of their own or a seasonal book from the library collection in front of the fireplace (projected video) to the class.

Hey! Guess What! Reading is Fun! 🙂


Continuing the snow theme, we read Norman’s Snowball by Hazel Hutchins, which the kids and I love despite such bad decisions throughout. We also enjoyed the delightfully imaginative Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn and Mark Buehner.

Parent, Mrs. Stenberg brought her own favourites to read to the morning class for the read-in. They were Charlie & the Christmas Kitty by Ree Drummond and The Christmas Surprise.  The afternoon class again enjoyed Snowmen at Christmas (they never mind a repeat of a favourite) read by RCMP Sergeant Dunn.

Grade 1

Grade 1 students enjoyed following woodland animals as they prepared for winter in First Snow in the Woods by Carl Sams & Jean Stoick, introduced with the author’s video below. The following week we read Stranger in the Woods another ‘Photographic Fantasy’ by Sams and Stoik, in woodlands that could almost be out our back door.

Just before the break, we read Elton the Elf by Lisa Mallen. This book is particularly appropriate for Grade 1 as poor Elton tours the year from New Year’s Day through Valentines and Halloween to find his way home to Christmas. RCMP Constable Helder choose It’s Christmas David by David Shannon.

Grade 2

We’re still in the arctic in Grade 2 with Jan Brett’s The Three Snow Bears and the demonstration of drawing a snow bear from the video below.

We also read another of Michael Kusugak’s books (we read Hide and Sneak in October). Baseball Bats for Christmas was a perfect combination of the seasonal theme and Social Studies as the book reinforces the isolation of arctic communities and how it was possible that arctic children truly may not have recognized trees a half a century ago – before ubiquitous media.

Former town mayor Mrs. Marriot always brings in a new book to leave with us after she has read it to a class for the Christmas read-in. This year she brought Santa Claus and the Three Bears by Maria Modugno, which Grade 2 thoroughly enjoyed.

Grade 3

At the beginning of the month we mutually agreed that Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark, while an excellent book, was not holding the students’ attention with weekly readings. My hope, of course, is that one or two of the students will pick it up to read in the future. Instead we looked at Spotlight on Peru by Robin Johnson and You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Inca Mummy by Colin Hynson before saying goodbye to Peru in the library class. (That is until I find a perfectly Grade 3-appropriate book to share with them.)

Mrs. Fenez is former program assistant and the parent of a graduate, who still loves to come in and read to a class for the read-in. This year she brought her own childrens’ favourite, The Very Best Christmas Present by Jim Razzi to read to Grade 3.

We finished off the month with The Christmas Day Kitten, a sweet story by James Herriot. I showed them the other Herriott picture books we have in the library and they were all checked out by the end of the class.

Grade 4

Short weekly readings from a novel are a great test of it’s power to engage and Sigmund Brouwer’s Tyrant of the Badlands is succeeding with Grade 4. The mystery is building as Ricky (aka Rocky) gets himself deeper and deeper into his adopted criminal persona to try to help his aunt discover what’s going on with her trailer park.

After perusing several choices, RCMP Constable Helder selected Peter Eyvindson’s Red Parka Mary to read to this class because he liked the message of how first impressions can be wrong; how not to judge a book by it’s cover, so to speak. A good discussion followed with children thinking about how people they were originally unsure of turned out to be good folk.

Grade 5

Happily, the Dear Canada series has been flying off the shelf again since we started reading A Prairie as Wide as the Sea by Sarah Ellis. Although a few of the students are not as ‘into it’ as others, they all listen and participate well in our weekly readings. What with Christmas Concert practice and other interruptions, we didn’t quite get to the entries on Christmas but will this month.

Mr. Goebel, a grandfather who has been coming in to read since the project’s inception when his children were in school, always gives the class a choice of which books they would like to hear. Grade 5 chose the ‘old’ favourites: It’s Christmas, David by David Shannon & Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini.

Grade 6

We finished The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis this month and, supported by activities that their classroom teacher has devised, it was such a winner,  that the class begged to continue the series. That wasn’t my plan, but not one to pass up an opportunity to nurture literary enthusiasm I asked them to decide whether to read on with this character in Parvana’s Journey or to see what happened to Parvana’s best friend, Shauzia in Mud City. They want to read them both but opted for Parvana’s Journey first. They are shocked, enlightened and intrigued. What more could I ask?

Unfortunately their program reader, an RCMP officer, was called away at the last minute and couldn’t make it to the scheduled reading. The class was looking forward to it so rather than follow the usual routine, I gave them a choice from about 20 assembled books and was delighted that they chose my favourite The Gift of the Magi by O’Henry in a beautiful edition illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger.

Junior High

We don’t usually read aloud in Junior High as the teachers prefer the class to be dedicated to book exchange and silent reading, but they are always included in the read-in. Sometimes I have to recruit teachers and support staff to read as ‘the public’ often can’t imagine this age group enjoying picture books. Far from it, I think they look forward to it just as much as the younger students and are no less receptive (although albeit a little less responsive) when community members read picture books to them.

I had sent several books home for volunteer parent, Mrs. Robertson to choose from. The Grade 7 class was quite touched by her selection:  The Christmas Miracle of Johnathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. The illustrations by P.J. Lynch are just gorgeous in this book – atmospheric and evocative.

Mrs. Acorn, a former staff member and parent, who happened to be visiting town and volunteered for the read-in, chose Red Parka Mary for the same reasons as Constable Helder did above. The Grade 8’s were very receptive and it was interesting how much more maturely their 4-years-older minds processed the message.

Mr. Goebel had his second reading with the Grade 9’s and again let them have their choices. Their selections show how much this age enjoys revisiting their younger years: David Shannon’s It’s Christmas David & How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. (I think Mr. Goebel may have read the latter book at least once every year and still reads it happily and patiently when the students ask for it.)

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Greetings and a Free Image

From My Place to Yours

From My Place to Yours

This is my library – warm on the inside, and sometimes very cold on the outside. These are some of the Christmas books I have in my collection. Feel free to take a copy if you like, to use as you like.

Where ever you are, whatever you may or may not be celebrating, I hope you too are about to enjoy a rejuvenating break from your ‘day job’. Thursday will be our last day at school until the 6th of January. I will be spending a traditional Christmas with family and friends, eating lots, laughing lots, hugging lots and hopefully…reading lots!

Until January…


Filed under Art & Design

Baum’s Contribution to the Santa Legend

According to The Public Domain Review, Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum’s 1902 The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, “with its elaborations and much added detail went a long way to popularising the legend of Santa”. You can read the entire book online and in various other formats including ePUB and Kindle at Project Gutenberg.

First Edition 1902

Multiple editions on Goodreads.

The Public Domain Review: A Pictorial History of Santa Claus.

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Seasonal Slogans for Bulletin Boards and Displays

‘Tis the Season to Be Reading

Hibernate With a Good Book

Chill With a Good Book

Reading is Cool

Seasons Readings

Reading is a Gift

Reading Lights Up the Mind

Books Yule Love to Read

Books Make You Bright

Click each image to go to the original poster’s page.

See also: Great Site For Library Ideas and Printables

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Scrooge or Marley’s Ghost 1901 Film Adaptation

“Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost, directed by Walter R. Booth, is the oldest known film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol – featuring the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge confronted by Marley’s ghost and given by visions of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The film, “although somewhat flat and stage-bound to modern eyes,” according to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, “was an ambitious undertaking at the time,” as, “not only did it attempt to tell an 80 page story in five minutes, but it featured impressive trick effects, superimposing Marley’s face over the door knocker and the scenes from his youth over a black curtain in Scrooge’s bedroom.” It was presented in ‘Twelve Tableaux’ or scenes and is thought to contain the first ever use of intertitles in a film. (Wikipedia)”

Public Domain Review


December 5, 2013 · 7:47 am

1901 Nursery Rhyme Parody Showing the Fate of Toys

Nursery Rhymes of Toyland

From Go Comics (Click)

The 1842 rhyme ~

Solomon Grundy
Born on Monday
Christened on Tuesday
Married on Wednesday
Ill on Thursday
Worse on Friday
Died on Saturday
Buried on Sunday
That is the end of Solomon Grundy.

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Filed under Art & Design, Humour, Poetry

Seasonal Printable Reading Promotion Bookmarks, Generously Shared

These are all free documents from Teachers pay Teachers. Join the site for free, then click the images for the download page. Some contain coupons and other seasonal goodies.

Christmas Bookmarks


Christmas BookmarksChristmas Bookmarks

Christmas BookmarksChristmas Bookmarks

Christmas Bookmarks

More seasonal bookmarks to colour here.

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Share the Gift of a Story Community Read-In

One of the many important things adults can do to help instill a love of reading in children is to…READ! Show them the fun! Read to them, with them and let them see you reading for pleasure.

Every year around this time, I invite members of the community to come into the library and “Share the Gift of Story” with library classes from Kindergarten to Grade 9. Some bring a seasonal favourite of their own and some browse the public library for a book, some choose from the books in the library, and only one, so far, brought a story from her own experience and told it with aplomb.

Here are some of the favourites in my library. Click the screen shot to go to my Pinterest board, where most books are linked to the Goodreads page for descriptions and reviews.

SHS_Library Holiday Books

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Christmas Cards for Book Lovers

Yardia (Click)

Savvy Sisters (Click)

Allport (Click)

Aautio (Click)

The Reader’s Catalog (Click)

Shakespeare’s Globe (Click)

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