Friday, November 4, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide Day 4: Christmas Countdown with The Littlest Christmas Kitte

About The Book:

On this Holy Night, the animals are restless and excited as two strangers enter the stable. It will be a night remembered by all the animals, especially the cat family. 

This tender Christmas read-aloud story about the night Jesus was born will become a favorite for all children. In The Littlest Christmas Kitten, a little lost kitten falls asleep in the same manger the Christ Child will use for His bed. It is a rare child who can resist the animals, their sounds, and the straw-filled manger that were part of the first Christmas.

In this re-telling of the birth of Christ, a mother cat searches frantically for her little lost kitten. Before the night is over there is the crying of a baby and angels singing His praises. Animal witnesses to the nativity are in awe as they pay homage to this special baby. The night's events leave a lasting effect on all the animals, especially the cats.

Cats have been part of the celebration of Christmas for centuries. Many stories, poems and songs are written about them. They are featured on Christmas cards and on decorations and ornaments. Here is the legend of why the cats remember this day.

  The story speaks to everyone, especially
  • children, as they gain a close-up, richer understanding of what may have happened on that Holy Night more than two thousand years ago.
  • parents, grandparents, and teachers who want to make the Christmas story more alive and meaningful to children.
  • anyone who has lost the wonder and anticipation of  the real Christmas.
  • all cat lovers and those who enjoy animals.
A listing of Christmas symbols at the end of the book gives the origin of the Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, Advent Wreath, Christmas Cats, and many others. It also offers an explanation of why it is not a good idea to give a kitten as a Christmas gift and, if cats are already a part of the family, how to make sure they have a safe Christmas.
Lessons children learn from this book include:                                 
  •  Never give up searching for that which is important to you.
  •  No matter what happens, Mothers show love, care, and concern for their young.
  •  Special events such as the First Christmas are to be remembered, celebrated, and cherished.
  • Stories handed down through generations link us to the past.
  • Christmas customs, which enrich holiday traditions, have historic and symbolic meanings.
About The Author:

Lee (Leona) Novy Jackson taught family and consumer sciences in Missouri and Wisconsin schools for many years.  She is the author of the children's Christmas book,The Littlest Christmas Kitten and two apple cookbooks, From the Apple Orchard — Recipes for Apple Lovers, and Apples, Apples Everywhere — Favorite Recipes from America's Orchards. All three books have received outstanding awards.

Lee has also written a textbook,  
Careers in Focus—Family and Consumer Sciences and many magazine and newspaper articles. The textbook emphasizes skills necessary for success in the workplace. It covers areas on how to choose a career, develop skills for job success, and how to find and keep a job. Personal stories of professionals in the field of family and consumer sciences are highlighted.

This book received the Missouri Writers' Guild Major Work Award. It is used in high schools, community colleges, and work-based learning programs throughout the country. 

Jackson received a B.S. degree in home economics education from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin and an M.S. degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri. After having taught family and consumer sciences (home economics) for over 25 years, she now enjoys writing and publishing about subjects pertaining to home and family.

Christmas Book Countdown:

Last year I started a new tradition for my family to do during the Advent Season, a Christmas book countdown. Last November I started to collect Christmas themed books, trying to keep most of them about the birth of Jesus, but also fun, whimsical ones, wrapping each in Christmas paper, until I had 25 books. This was not too hard, since I already had a bunch, and then my daughter's class Scholastic Book Order had a ton for inexpensive. I also found a few at my local thrift store. I will change up the books yearly to match the girls' interests and reading levels. Currently we are focusing on board books and picture books, and hopefully next year we can add a few short chapter books. 

During the month of December each child took a turn daily unwrapping a book, then my husband and I would read it during our bedtime routine. Not only was this a fantastic addition to our bedtime routine, and gave us a fantastic activity to do as a family but it was a great way to teach the story of Jesus' birth in a fun manner.

If you are looking for a fun way to incorporate early literacy and advent countdowns, I highly recommend this activity. I found out about it online last year, although I cannot totally remember where (if you know which blog, can you please help me out so I can give proper credit where it is due!)

This year I have found a few new books to rotate in the Christmas Countdown book collection including The Littlest Christmas Kitten!

My Review:

The Littlest Christmas Kitten is an incredibly cute book, whimsically illustrated to share the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, to children ages 3 and up. The book would be perfect for an older sibling (especially one just learning to read) to read to a younger one, as there is not a lot of words on each page. I will for sure be adding this one to our Christmas book collection for sure! I also really enjoyed the illustrated glossary of Christmas symbols included in the book, as it was a great tool to teach my girls about why we use different symbols at Christmas time.

With an easy to read format that will keep the attention of all children with its colorful illustrations by Kelly Dupre, this is a book that needs to be a part of all Christmas book collections!

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase The Little Christmas Kitten online through Images Unlimited.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of the author, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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