Monday, January 2, 2012

Books to Love: "Snow Family" by Daniel Kirk

Each year, when the weather turns chilly, I can't wait to pull out "Snow Family" by Daniel Kirk and revisit it with whatever age children I am working with! I have found it to be a book that spans the early childhood age groups and begs to be read again and again!

Daniel Kirk's engaging illustrations pull the readers in and delight children with all the little details - they love to search the pictures for missing hats and carrot noses of the little snow children! As the story unfolds, the readers discover that the snow children are on their own, bringing up discussion themes about family, home, and safety ... such as whether Jacob, the boy in the story, should have left the safety of his home to follow the snow children!

When Jacob and the snow friends come upon a sleeping bear, it's a scary situation until he is rescued by his parents. The drama drives home the points of paying attention to safety rules and listening to the grown-ups. Finally, the story ends sweetly - all the children I have read this book to have delighted in the resolution.

Plan on previewing the pictures to generate interest, checking out all the details in each illustration. Notice the poetry of the story, complete with rhymes and repeating lines, and invite your readers to join in when they hear a familiar line. Leave lots of time for discussion of the various themes - so many great directions to take!

Tie it all up with a snowman craft - have on hand a variety of colored paper to cut for carrot noses and black boots, along with some mittens and scarves cut from leftover wrapping paper scraps! Children can trace different sized circles, cut them out and put it all together! Make sure YOUR snow family has all their gear! (Or not!)

Have fun!

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