Help Your Child Make
Volume 1 Number 4 December, 2006
Reading Calendar is a
monthly feature of the Department of Childhood Education,
University of North Florida, 4567 Saint Johns Bluff Road,
South, Jacksonville, FL 3224,
by Nile Stanley, Ph.D.
Chair, Childhood Education
Imagine baking cookies in the oven.
The fragrant aroma of pinion, chocolate and peppermint mingle.
A spruce is trimmed with gold garland, bold, blue, red, and
The smoldering fire cracks as Jack
Frost nip at your feet. Children huddle together yearning for
yuletide tales while "visions of sugar plums dance in their
The wealth of Christmas stories read
as well as tales told is so great that it only remains to find
the suitable one for the particular occasion, or age group.
Enduring holiday classics your family might enjoy include the
- The Night Before Christmas, by
Clement Moore. Originally titled in (1823), "A Visit from
St. Nicholas", delights children, and stirs the imagination
to the point of them hearing the pawing of Santa's reindeer
on the roof.
- A Christmas Carol, by Charles
Dickens, first published in (1843), contains wonderful
illustrations that detail the marvelous specters who haunt
- The Velveteen Rabbit (1922), by
Margery Williams, is her fond remembrance of toys and what
it means to be real.
- The First Christmas: A Festive
Pop-Up Book, (1984), by Tomi de Paola, depicts six nativity
scenes which fold down into a three-dimensional stage
- The Polar Express, by Chris
Allsburg, is a haunting story about a mysterious train
filled with children, bound for the North Pole.
- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, by
Dr. Seuss, is always a favorite, stock full of lovable
illustrations of the characters that inhabit "Whoville".
The month of December is also a month
when the act of "Peace" is most exercised. Dr. Aline
Stomfay-Stitz, peace educator, recommends teachers view the
Association for Childhood Education International's website
regarding the rights of the child and peace position statement
http://www.acei.org/ Here's a list of titles she
recommends that ignite peaceful gestures:
- The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro
Leaf (1936) is about a bull that much preferred smelling
flowers than being in a bullfight. This book has delighted
generations of children for over 70 years.
- Christmas in the Trenches by John
McCutcheon, (2006), is a true story from World War I when
two enemies stopped fighting and together sang Silent Night,
- Old Turtle by Douglas Wood, (1992),
is a message of peace wrapped up in a fable that helps us
understand to care for the earth and all living beings. Old
Turtle brings his message of care for the environment to all
- The Big Book for Peace (1990) was
created by thirty best loved authors and illustrators to
show us many kinds of peace, like people living together in
different lands. They all wish a peaceful world for every
See this month's associated
Reading Calendar (pdf)
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