| Feb 08, 2007

February 2007 - Early Literacy

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Early Literacy - February 2007 Snow & Tellby Susan Ramsay, Early Literacy Specialist, HFL&A

“The airplane descended through the clouds. Nose pressed against the airplane window, the little boy strained to see his first glimpse of Canada. But what he saw astounded him. The entire country was covered with salt! The boy, who was emigrating from a warm island with sandy beaches, had never before seen snow.”

Snow is amazing stuff. The first snow of the season usually turns children into snowmen sculptors. Or engineers who play with slope, friction and gravity on toboggans; or mathematicians who discover sequencing when they put on mittens before fastening their coat.

A myriad of books about snow lets children reflect on their experiences with snow, and pushes them to discover new things.

For the child who likes nature:

Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft explores what animals and insects do in the winter (4-8 years)

Big Tracks Little Tracks by Millicent Selsam teaches about animals by identifying animal tracks in the snow. (4-8 years)

For the child who likes music:


There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro can be sung to “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”. This old lady, however, swallows the ingredients of a snowman. (preschool to grade 2)

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming is a fun twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. (preschool - grade 2)

For the child who likes beautiful pictures and rhyme:

Winter Lullaby by Barbara Seuling explains in rhyming question and answer format how nature prepares for winter. (toddlers - grade 2)

For the child who likes folk and fairy tales:

The Mitten by Jan Brett retells a Ukrainian folktale about a boy who loses a white mitten only to be found by some grateful animals. (preschool - grade 2)

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, written in 1844, has been reprinted in versions as currently as 2006 (6-10 years)

For the child who likes to build snowmen:

All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle starts with a single snowflake and ends with a snowman so huge that the book must be turned sideways to see it. (baby - preschool)

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats celebrates a child’s day of play in the snow. (4-8 years)

Snow Day by Daniel Peddle is a wordless book about a child who builds a snowman from dawn until dusk. Adults who interpret the sequence of pictures philosophically may liken its effect to The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery (baby - adult)

For the child who likes to chew books:

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is a board book with simple pictures and text that appeals to babies and toddlers, but it also has seek-and-find features and some information about snow that make it interesting for preschoolers.

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a wordless picture book that is now available with textured, scratch and sniff pages.

Snow may not taste salty, but books about snow can help children savour it.

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