Winter in San Diego
Connie Goldin, ©2012, Mom to Madre
Today is January 8, 2012 and I have snow on my mind. Not because we have snowy, cold weather in January in San Diego. In fact, we just finished a week with days in the high 70′s and even a few 80˚days. I am thinking about snow because I am bringing preschool books about winter to a group of young moms with toddlers in the coming week for a Reading Club. I have been thinking about ways to introduce this theme to moms who may never have touched or played in snow; and to toddlers who probably have never seen or even heard of the stuff.
I decided to find a book with beautiful photos. I thought of the series by Carl R. Samms II & Jean Stoick and found the perfect book to show to young children: Stranger in the Woods A Photographic Fantasy. It is exquisite. The forest animals are all atwitter and pass the warning, “Stranger in the woods!” They become brave enough to approach a strange looking creature-a snowman-who they discover has brought them food. At the end of this lovely story, we see that two small children have made the snowman for the purpose of feeding the wild animals throughout the winter. I think the toddlers will love looking at the pictures of deer, birds, a rabbit and a porcupine. I plan to use this book to introduce the words “snow” and “snowman” to the children.
The next book we’ll explore is Winter by Roger Priddy, MacMillan Books. It is a cardboard “touch and feel” book that has winter pictures and words as well as textures for the children to touch. It has a beautiful, raised snowflake for the kids to feel and the snowflake takes us to our next book.
No Two Alike by Keith Baker, Beach Lane Books, is fun and beautiful. Two frisky cardinals play throughout the pages of this picture book, and learn that no two things are exactly alike, “Almost, almost…but not quite.” This book has only a few words on each page, but introduces the concept that we are unique and special. It is perfect for young children. With “winter,” “snow,” “snowman,” and “snowflakes” in our growing lexicon, we will be ready for the idea of playing in the snow.
Biscuit’s Snowy Day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a board book about a darling little puppy, Biscuit, who gets to explore the snow for the first time. Biscuit is going to introduce lots of new words-”mittens,” “snow angels,” “sled,” and “hot cocoa”- in a short, fun way.
Finally, we will read, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Our version is a chunky board book, published by Viking. A young boy named Peter will show the kids that snow is fun in many ways. They will see a “snowsuit” and a “snowball” and perhaps we’ll let an ice cube melt, so the kids can see “melting” in action.
Our Reading Club will end with a cup of hot cocoa and whipped cream. I can’t bring them snow, but they can enjoy a dollop of cold, white, and sweet whipped cream to finish our winter book party.