By Ally Cooper
For me (and by extension my family, whether they like it or not), Christmastime means bringing out the carol CDs, switching as early as possible to the radio station with holiday music, and randomly belting out favourite tunes at any time of day.
When A Porcupine in a Pine Tree came into our house last year, my 6-year-old and I sang it cover to cover. In fact, it's the only version of the 12 days of Christmas that he thinks exists!
So imagine his (and my) thrill when we were sent the newest story from Scholastic Canada by the author and illustrator team of Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmermann – Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells.
The first thing my son (now 7) exclaimed when he saw the cover was "Porcupine is back!" and indeed he is. The beloved little guy from the 12 Days of Christmas is back with his friends to celebrate and sing (I mean read) a Canadian Jingle Bells. Since my son has inherited my love of singing, we dove into the book together right away and learned about all of the friends that joined Porcupine on his adventure!
My son remembered some of Porcupine's animal friends, like Beaver, Bear and Raccoon. He loved figuring out the "mixed up" presents that all of the characters had to sort out, and he surprised me by predicting Porcupine's special gift from Santa (I won't ruin the surprise).
Jingle Bells is the perfect song to base a children's story on, as it's one the first winter songs they learn and know by heart. (Ideally, get them on this before they learn "Jingle Bells, Batman smells . . ." version!)
Click here to read an excerpt from our friends at Scholastic Canada.
Bonus Literacy Activity
Children enjoy and rediscover special holiday books at this time of year. To make it extra special, create your own Advent calendar by wrapping up favourites and opening one to enjoy each day with your kids (you don't have to buy 24 new books – include the old favourites). Click here to find out how you can enjoy this great way to bring literacy into the holidays.