I know you love Story Time. And I appreciate it. I put a lot of time and effort into each post so you can have fun reading picture books with your littles with almost no effort at all.
One of the funnest parts of Story Time for me is coming up with the snacks that go with each book. I love getting an idea from the plot or the illustrations and making it for you and showing you how to make it. Food is a good thing.
Have you ever? I mean, Come On. The Snowy Day has been wildly popular for over 50 years for a reason. It’s such a simple and beautiful celebration of snow. And I love snow. Don’t you?
If it’s going to be frigid outside, it may as well be beautiful to look at. I love the way the meadows turn to diamond fields when sunlight hits the snow. I love the very first snowfall of the year, when you step out your door and magic is happening and it feels like even more magic is on its way. I crush hardest on the way snow not only makes no sound as it falls, but it quietens all the other sounds of the world.
Did you know it really does that? It acts like a sound insulator, just like the stuff you might put in your walls to keep traffic noise out. Nature’s sound reducer. I like that. Quiet is so hard to come by. I always take a walk by myself in the very first snowfall of the year. Oh, I come back and get my boys to romp in the snow later. But that very first hush of snowfall is mine alone. I like the peace it gives me. So I can recharge and be ready for snowball fights and snow angels and snowmen. Forts and snow ice cream. All the things.
You know I love the Bunting. And this book… Oh my, I have always loved it. Because of course bears should get to celebrate Valentine’s Day, too. They love each other, don’t they?
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Bear do, very much, and this fun book with its beautiful illustrations by Jan Brett (Are you kidding me? Both of them together?!) is sure to get your littles in the mood for a little V Day action. The kind that involves glue, glitter, and sugar cookies. Yeah yeah.
You may not know this about me, but I am envious of Hanukkah. I think it is such a beautiful holiday, and I wish I could celebrate it. Think about the history. The story goes that in 168 B.C., the Syrians invaded Jerusalem and desecrated the Jewish holy Temple, renaming it for the Greek god Zeus and insisting the Jews convert or die. A resistance led by the Maccabees took on the Syrians and, though they were seriously outnumbered, won the day. The Temple had to be purified and re-dedicated (Hanukkah means dedication). The first thing the Maccabees did when they re-took the Temple was light the ner tamid, or eternal light. This light was supposed to burn constantly in the Temple, but the Maccabees found only enough oil for one day. They sent a messenger to retrieve more oil, but his mission would take 8 days. They prayed for divine intervention, and somehow, that single jar of oil lasted until the messenger returned.
Whew. That’s good stuff. So Hanukkah celebrates all that story encompasses: the 8 days of miraculous oil, the struggle against the assimilation into Greek culture and the loss of Jewish heritage, the dedication of the Jewish people to stand against forces that would destroy their culture and force them to be something new.
If you’re Jewish, and I got any of this wrong, please tell me. Because I love this story. I love the idea of a people standing up, Hard, for what they believe in and not allowing themselves to be swayed by violence or tyranny. We should all be so brave.
Having said all that, I might not be Jewish, and therefore I can’t really celebrate Hanukkah, but I can sure give you ways to celebrate it yourself or to teach your littles about this truly amazing holiday.