You walk into a bookstore in December and before you is a display of Christmas-themed books. Why should you buy a book about the holidays that is already taking up a large amount of time before December 25 rolls around? You love to read great books and on the table are books of real value. Children also learn from books read to them when an influential person takes the time to have a conversation about the book. For those who value the celebration of Christmas, consider an excellent book as your most valuable resource.
This is a review of the book A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe. The ISBN is 1-58536-002-3. To get the most out of reading this book, here are some simple steps.
- Read the book silently first and only for your own enjoyment.
- Then choose a time and place where you will have your child’s attention.
- Be prepared to engage your child in a conversation about your values regarding Christmas.
The summary of this book: An old tree laments that it will never be cut down for a Christmas tree. Forest animals help you discover that you have been a gift to them in another way, that you had an equally important different purpose.
When reading a book to children, there are three opportunities to learn about your child’s understanding of the book. I have suggested a pattern for discussion before reading the book, during reading, and after reading. Asking your child a question before reading helps establish expectation for the book’s message. Asking your child a question while reading helps him focus on the ideas presented to him. After reading, the child can connect the story with himself more directly.
- Before you read: What are some of the ways a pine is used?
- During the reading: What are some of the gifts that forest animals receive from pine?
- After reading: Why is it important for us to give gifts to others?
Parent Challenge: Help your child identify how others give to them. And let your child be creative in giving something of himself to others. Extend the thinking beyond things recently done during the holiday season.
During the holidays many messages are sent to their children. What do you want the most important message to be? To influence our children’s values and beliefs, conscious steps must be taken to guide our children. Why not use a beautifully written and illustrated book?