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Christmas holiday resources

photo via Flickr -- Kimbrough Library

Want some online Christmas fun? (e.g., Elf-Yourself videos, games for kids to play, etc.)

Here’s a Diigo list thanks to Colin Gallagher:  Christmas-Related Online Fun

And I saw Louise (LPh) having great fun with the Portable North Pole website today.  Go create a personalized video message from Santa for your loved ones.

For more literary humor, read James Thurber’s version of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” — in the manner of Ernest Hemingway.

We have a beautiful pop-up book of that poem by Clement Moore — “Twas the Night Before Christmas” — created by Robert Sabuda — available for teachers to borrow.  (In fact, we have a good small collection of pop-up books for classes to explore.  Ask Kalimah if you want to check them out….)

For more holiday books in the library, see the “Christmas” Resource List here.   There’s a basket in front of Kalimah’s desk in the library for you to choose from.

Next week I’ll also bring in some Christmas picture books from my home collection — just for teachers to borrow on a one-period basis.

How about an environmental Santa tale?  Try “When Santa Turned Green” (see accompanying website with green ideas)

Want a funny read-aloud?

Anne Fine (the former UK Children’s Laureate and author of such classics as “Madame Doubtfire”) delivers up a first-person account of an extended family Christmas that you’ll be glad you only have to laugh about from a distance  — and not experience.  “The More the Merrier” is very funny and very British.

In another first-person chapter book  — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” — by Barbara Park, an American author — the humor depends upon some children in the book knowing the plot of the nativity story, while others are completely ignorant.  So not so great for a cultural group that isn’t familiar with the basics of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  But it has some of the best opening lines in children’s literature (in the Roald Dahl vein):

“The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.  They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse.  The toolhouse burned right down to the ground, and I think that surprised the Herdmans.  They set fire to things all the time, but that was the first time they managed to burn down a whole building.”

The picture book “Wombat Divine” by Mem Fox also gets its humor from some knowledge of the Biblical narrative of baby Jesus.  If you want, I have a cheap plastic nativity set at home, which I could bring in,  for kids to set up and play with.

As for picture books, my favorite has to be John Burningham’s “Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present”.

Other Christmas books available in the library
Image of book art Xmas tree: Kimbrough Library via Flickr
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