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A Hat for Mrs. Goldman book
7.0
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A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
Written by Michelle Edwards & illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Thoughts from Children's Lit Love
So, you know I love a good themed bookshelf... But I love even more books that can be used for one theme, but might also be used for another theme or read throughout the year, regardless of season, holiday, or lesson. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is one of those books! Read on to see why this book is so wonderful and applicable for many themes and seasons. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So what is A Hat for Mrs. Goldman about? On the first page, we meet Sophia and her neighbor Mrs. Goldman, both of whom Karas has illustrated in soft pictures in muted tones, which run through most of the book (the tones of the illustrations change slightly when Sophia overcomes her obstacle and excitement abounds). We learn quickly that Sophia and Mrs. Goldman spend a lot of time together, and that this time seems largely focused on making hats to give to others (Mrs. Goldman knits, and Sophia makes yarn pom-poms for decorations). But then, when they go to walk Mrs. Goldman's dog, Sophia starts to fret that "Mrs. Goldman's keppie must be cold." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sophia worries and worries and worries some more about Mrs. Goldman's poor, cold head. And then she gets an idea! Mrs. Goldman spends so much time focusing on giving to others... Sophia can take some time and focus on giving to Mrs. Goldman! I'll stop there rather than give the story away, but trust me, this is one to read now all the way through the winter! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So what themes or seasons are applicable in A Hat for Mrs. Goldman? Let's start with the obvious -- winter! This is a delightful book about winter and cold! But it is so, so much more than just that. It's a book about generosity and selflessness. It hits on themes of gratitude, creativity, and perseverance. We get a small cultural introduction to Jewish tradition and Yiddish and Hebrew words. We're inspired to know our neighbors and grow our communities. And, if you feel so compelled after reading this book, you can follow Edwards's directions to knit and decorate your own hat! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you liked this, check out: * The Girl and the Bicycle * Chicken Sunday * What Is Given From the Heart * Thank You, Omu!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“[A] celebration of winter mitzvahs, or kind deeds. Karas’s adorable, radiant art adds to the heartwarming mood.” -The New York Times

Here’s a heartwarming winter picture book that’s sure to appeal to families who love knitting.

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

A knitting pattern is included in the back of the book.

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Bear Has a Story to Tell book
7.0
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Bear Has a Story to Tell
Written by Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Thoughts from Children's Lit Love
Oh, Philip and Erin Stead… A duo that can do no wrong, in my opinion. Now, I love anything Philip C. Stead writes; they tend to be very sweet friendship stories that you want to turn to again and again. And Erin Stead’s illustrations? They are pleasant and easy on the eyes, yet full of so much detail that you can find something new and delightful with each reading! Put the two together and magic happens, such as with their Caldecott Medal winner A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Bear Has a Story to Tell. Bear is the friend we all want to have, and the friend we all should aspire to be. He is kind, gentle, and patient. He puts his friends needs before his own desires. He cares about those around him, but takes care of himself too. And when his plans go awry, he stays calm and allows his friends to help him. What a wonderful role model for us all! In addition to being a wonderful conversation starter as we talk to children about what kind of community members they want to be, Bear Has a Story to Tell can also be used to introduce scientific concepts such as seasons, hibernation, and migration. Follow that with a lesson in storytelling and you’ve covered all your bases with just one book! Philip’s writing never fails to draw an audience in, and readers feel connected to the characters in Bear Has a Story to Tell on a personal level. From the very first sentence, you understand how weary Bear feels. You slow your voice down, and you speak quietly. You know how much he misses his friends as he helps them settle in for the winter, and you rejoice with him as he welcomes them back in the spring. Then, you feel his disappointment when, after such a long wait, he can’t remember his story! How his friends return his kind favors and help him is sure to bring a smile to even the most tired face. And Erin’s pencil and watercolor illustrations! Erin’s immaculate details lend a sense of realism to the animals, yet she gives them almost human facial expressions and emotions. As with A Sick Day for Amos McGee, you can always find something new to look at during subsequent reads, something so small you likely overlooked it the first few times.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell… Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

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Samson in the Snow book
6.0
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Samson in the Snow
Written & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
Thoughts from Children's Lit Love
My love for Philip Stead’s books runs deep. Samson, the bird, and the mouse in this story all rank right up with Amos McGee for being kind friends. All three of them show concern, love, and a desire to know their friends hearts, to understand what they enjoy and what makes them happy. And they go to great lengths to let their friends know their love. Ages 4-8.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One sunny day Samson, a large and friendly woolly mammoth, encounters a little red bird who is looking for yellow flowers for her mouse friend (whose favorite color is yellow). As she flies off with the flowers, Samson wonders what it must be like to have a friend. He wonders this for so long, in fact, that he falls asleep and wakes up to a world covered in snow. In the midst of a blizzard, Samson finds and shelters the little red bird and flower-loving mouse in a tender tale of kindness and unexpected friendship.

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Lion and the Bird book
6.0
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Lion and the Bird
Thoughts from Children's Lit Love
Another book about a typical predator helping a bird in need, Dubuc has beautifully illustrated this simply story of friendship and compassion. Dubuc’s story, however, shows the kindness that goes both ways after the lion nad the bird become friends. The lion fuels the friendship with his compassionate gestures, but the bird learn a thing or two about friendship and love as well. A friend gifted this to us this fall, and I’m so glad we own a copy! Ages 4 and up.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-

One autumn day, a lion finds a wounded bird in his garden. With the departure of the bird's flock, the lion decides that it's up to him to care for the bird. He does and the two become fast friends. Nevertheless, the bird departs with his flock the following autumn. What will become of Lion and what will become of their friendship?

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Extra Yarn book
5.7
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Extra Yarn
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From bestselling and award-winning author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen comes Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller.

A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Peter Brown will love this book.

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  • The Tea Party in the Woods - Kikko sets out after her father with a forgotten pie for Grandma. When she arrives at a strange house in the wintry woods, a peek in the window reveals that the footprints Kikko had been following did not belong to her father at all, but to a bear in a long coat and hat! Alice in Wonderland meets Little Red Riding Hood in this charmed tale.

  • Bunny Slopes - Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

  • The Snowy Day - Celebrate a major anniversary of a true classic! In 1962, a little boy named Peter put on his snowsuit and stepped out of his house and into the hearts of millions of readers. The Snowy Day transformed children’s literature with its pioneering portrayal of an African-American child and the charming story and artwork that won it the Caldecott Medal. Fifty years later, Viking proudly celebrates Peter’s adventure in this very special edition. Featuring eight pages of bonus material and a festive cover, this oversized edition of Keats’s beloved book is a must-have.

  • Over and Under the Snow - Over the snow, the world is hushed and white, but under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many others who live outside in the woods during the winter.

Owl Moon book
5.0
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Owl Moon
Written by Jane Yolen & illustrated by John Schoenherr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrating 30 years of the beloved classic Owl Moon from renowned children’s book author Jane Yolen and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator John Schoenherr!

Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

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Making A Friend book
4.8
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Making A Friend
Written by Tammi Sauer & illustrated by Alison Friend
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beaver is good at making just about everything…but not friends. One winter day, Beaver sees some snowflakes in the sky and gets a great idea: he’ll make a friend. Yes! A snowman will be a great friend!

Raccoon passes by as Beaver sets to work and offers a helping hand. The two work side by side to give their snowman everything a friend needs.

But when the snowman proves to be a little cold, Beaver discovers that he may have unknowingly “made” another buddy instead.

Perfect for snuggling together for a read-aloud, this sweet snowy friendship story from Tammi Sauer and Alison Friend will warm the hearts of young readers.

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Bear Can't Sleep book
4.8
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Bear Can't Sleep
Written by Karma Wilson & illustrated by Jane Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear’s many animal friends try to help him get to sleep in time for winter hibernation in this companion story to Bear Snores On. It’s winter, and deep in the forest, Bear should be fast asleep. But when his friends come by to check on him, they realize that Bear is still awake! They brew him hot tea and sing him lullabies, but nothing seems to work. Can Bear get to bed? Or will he be up all winter?

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Snowmen at Night book
4.5
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Snowmen at Night
Written by Caralyn Buehner & illustrated by Mark Buehner
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This delightful wintertime tale reveals all! Caralyn Buehner’s witty, imaginative verse offers many amusing details about the secret life of snowmen and where they go at night, while Mark Buehner’s roly-poly snowmen are bursting with personality and charm. From the highly successful team that created such winning titles as Fanny’s Dream, Snowmen at Nightis fabulous, frosty, and fun!

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The Shortest Day book
4.3
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The Shortest Day
Written by Susan Cooper & illustrated by Carson Ellis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this seasonal treasure, Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper’s beloved poem heralds the winter solstice, illuminated by Caldecott Honoree Carson Ellis’s strikingly resonant illustrations.

So the shortest day came, and the year died . . .

As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again. Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper’s poem “The Shortest Day” captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before — and the hope for peace that we carry into the future. Richly illustrated by Carson Ellis with a universality that spans the centuries, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth. Welcome Yule!

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  • Blizzard - Blizzard

  • Katy and the Big Snow - Katy, a brave and untiring tractor, who pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter, makes it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs. “Bright, vigorous pictures with plenty of action and endless detail portray Katy at work for the Highway Department of the city of Geoppolis.” – Horn Book