It’s getting to look a lot like Christmas…and Hanukkah…and Kwanzaa. And since today is Friday, I knew I had to find an appropriate picture book to spotlight and review. But first I have a little gift for you.
A few weeks ago I connected with Kay Duguay from Consumer Safety. She provided me with an infographic that gives great tips on how to save money during this holiday shopping season while making sure you buy items that are safe for your family.
It’s really interesting that all three major winter holidays are about celebrating family and community, but everywhere you turn, vendors are selling their wares…electronic gadgets, kitchen implements, and of course, TOYS.
Here are six tips to keep in mind as you help your children unwrap their presents. Many of these tips come from the American Academy of Ophthalmology www.eyenet.org
- Select only toys and gifts that are appropriate for the child’s age and maturity level. Check the packaging for age recommendations.
- Avoid toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
- Check labels for the American Society for Testing and Materials(ASTM) approval to be sure toys meet national safety standards.
- BB, paint or pellet guns and airpower rifles are classified as firearms and make dangerous gifts in homes where there are children. Similarly, darts and bows and arrows are also dangerous when they fall into the hands of kids.
- Younger children are now participating in sports such as baseball, football, hockey and soccer. If you are giving sports equipment, make sure to include the appropriate protective headgear such as helmets and facemasks or goggles with polycarbonate lenses.
- A picture book, whether an older classic or one of the newer additions to bookstore shelves, is always a safe and welcome gift. Reading the story to the child will add so much value to the gift…it costs you nothing, but means the world to the listener.
A picture book you say? Now, aren’t you impressed? Isn’t this a great lead-in to our Perfect Picture Book Friday selection?
SEVEN CANDLES FOR KWANZAA
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (1993)
Ages: 5 and up
Family life, community, Kwanzaa
From Amazon reviewer Gail Hudson:
Although Kwanzaa commemorates an ancient African harvest ritual, it is a relatively new holiday in North America. Seven Candles for Kwanzaa explains the origins, language, and daily themes of this warm and festive seven-day holiday. Ideas for daily Kwanzaa rituals abound. For example, on the fourth day, in honor of ujamaa (cooperative family economics), families can use the coins that they’ve saved over the year to buy a gift for the family “like a clock that chimes or a hallway mirror.” Illustrator Brian Pinkney takes on the role of storyteller with his scratchboard drawings of a family in the midst of daily Kwanzaa activities and celebrations. Each domestic scene is framed in an earth-toned border of traditional African patterns–bridging the two continents page by page. The thoughtful details and human interactions in each drawing speak to the core meaning of the holiday, that of honoring one’s family, community, and heritage.
“Kwanzaa is like a family day in the park and Thanksgiving and a birthday, all rolled into one.”
Why I like this book:
- It’s important for young children to see themselves in the books they read…and equally important for young children to see people and cultures different from their own.
- The author presents a clear and simple explanation of what each day of Kwanzaa represents.
- Wonderful activities that every family can adapt to their own situation.
- Powerful illustrations show how this holiday is all about family and community.
The book is chock full of hands on activities for parents and children.
For more Kwanzaa activities: http://www.preschoolexpress.com/holiday-station08/kwanzaa-dec08.shtml
This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.
I’m sending you all my very best wishes for the happiest of holidays.
And next week I’ll reveal some BIG plans I have for my blog in 2017…I can hardly wait to tell you!