Children’s Book Corner is a column suggesting children’s books from a mother of 11 children, who has also explored writing for children. Today’s column highlights fun children’s book reads for December that will hopefully keep your young reader reading!
By Pamela Tuck
So after stuffing ourselves sufficiently last month, we’re about ready to hibernate . . . right? WRONG! The fun is just beginning. December is the official month for winter! And I have a very good reason why winter is wonderful.
SNOW! Well at least it’s a good reason for some of us. I particularly like to observe snow from inside a nice warm house, with a nice hot fireplace, and a good book. But for those who love the soft white blanket that covers everything from sidewalks to cars, here are some ideas of how you can enjoy snow.
You can: Build snowmen, Make snow angels, Have snowball fights, Hide in snow forts, Go snowboard, sledding, tubing or even ice skating.
NO! you can’t skate on snow, but you can best believe that if there’s snow there’s going to be ice SOMEWHERE. And I’m sure you can enjoy it much better off the roads and well-contained in a huge circle where you can spend time
slipping, sliding, and falling skating.
One thing my children love, love, love to do when it snows (or should I say, love, love, love for ME to do) is to make SNOW CREAM!
It’s like having a winter water ice. The good thing is that you never have to buy it and you have an abundant supply (as long as there’s a lot of snow).
For those of you who have never heard of Snow Cream, I’ll give you a recipe that my mom used when I was a little girl growing up in North Carolina. YES! We had snow in North Carolina at times.
My mama always said wait for the second snow. Interpretation: When it snows for the first time, the snow collects all the dirt in the air, so don’t use it for snow cream. That’s the stuff you want to play in and build stuff with. BUT if it snows again the next day, get bowls and bowls of the fresh snow that hasn’t been touched.
However, you’re free to use the first snow if you desire . . . just don’t tell my mama I told you that!
Once you have your snow, add milk, sugar and whatever flavoring you desire. (I generally use vanilla). Add to your taste, but it should have the consistency of water ice. Sorry, I can’t give you measurements because it all depends on how much snow you collect. One thing about it, though, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.
So after you and your children have enjoyed a nice fun day of playing in the snow (whenever it comes) and you’re back inside eating your delicious snow cream or drinking your hot cocoa, I have an adorable book that just happens to be a classic and may inspire the whole process all over again.
Drumroll, please . . .
A Snowy Day
Written and Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
This book is recommended for ages 2 to 5
This simple story is about a little boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. He celebrates the snow-draped city with a day of humble adventures—experimenting with footprints, knocking snow from a tree, creating snow angels, and trying to save a snowball for the next day. It’s sure to awaken the joys of snow in every child.
If you prefer to stay nice and dry and cozy, possibly around a hot crackling fire, I have another winter book recommendation for older children that will keep them on the edge of their seats. And it just happens to be a classic as well.
Drumroll two, please . . .
The Call of the Wild
Written by Jack London
This book is recommended for ages 12 and up
Buck, a powerful dog, half St. Bernard and half sheepdog, lives on Judge Miller’s estate in California’s Santa Clara Valley. He leads a comfortable life there but is stolen and sold to men who are following the gold rush in the Klondike region of Canada, and a great demand arises for strong dogs to pull sleds. Buck’s life is changed forever as he suffers hunger and abuse from his every-changing lifestyle and owners. He also faces new challenges when he becomes a part of a dog-sled team and has to prove himself with the lead dog, Spitz. Eventually, Buck meets a kind owner, John Thornton, but Buck’s new learned nature has an instinct of its own . . . a call of the wild.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you and your child enjoy the wintery days of December . . . and as always . . . keep you and your child reading!