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Enjoy the season with your family

January 21, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

Here are some wonderful winter reads:

“Red Fox Running,” by Eve Bunting, Clarion, 1993. This book is about a fox searching for food in the winter wonderland.

“The Mitten Tree,” by Candace Christiansen, Fulcrum Kids, 1997. A lonely elderly woman, who lives near the bus stop, realizes that one boy has no mittens, and one mitten of giving leads to another.

“Kipper’s Snowy Day,” by Mick Inkpen, Harcourt, 1996.

“Henrietta’s First Winter,” by Rob Lewis, Farrar, 1990. This story is about hibernation and a woodchuck’s preparation for winter on the advice of various animal neighbors.

“Owl Moon,” by Jane Yolen, Philomel, 1987, illustrated by John Schoenherr, who won the Caldecott Award for illustrations. A young child is taken a rite of passage search in the winter night to identify an owl.

“Winter Room,” by Gary Paulsen, Orchard, 1998, a novel for grades five and up. This story is about an extended family in northern Minnesota who utilizes the winter time as a time to listen to stories told by an uncle.

“Winter Across America,” by Seymour Simon, Hyperion, 1994. This is a nonfiction book with color photographs to tell the story of winter across America.

– www.carolhurst.com

Enjoy the winter wonderland outside and inside. Reading some books with hot cocoa in hand is a wonderful way to spend some time with your children during this winter season.

Here is an excerpt of the book “What We ‘Tell’ Our Children When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking” by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan:

“When you thought I wasn’t looking, you hung my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking, you fed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking, you baked a birthday cake just for me, and I knew that little things were special things.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking, you said a prayer, and I believed there was a God I could talk to.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking you kissed me good night, and I felt loved.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt but that it’s all right to cry.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking you smiled, and it made me want to look that pretty, too.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking you cared, and I wanted to be everything I could be.

“When you thought I wasn’t looking – I looked . . . and wanted to say thanks for all those things you did when you thought I wasn’t looking.”

We, as parents and caregivers, have awesome responsibilities. We are our children’s first teachers and most prominent teachers.

What we say to our children matters, but what we do matters even more. We teach by example and by how we live our lives. This poem so eloquently reminds us of this.

May children grow up in households that when they thought we weren’t looking, they learned the most wonderful lessons of all.