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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Classic slow downs

December 15, 2011

Have you been around a school or even a group of children in the past few days? They seem to be having a tough time sitting still, concentrating. Lots of adults are, too. December is a busy month: presents to buy or make, wrap, give or receive; parties to prepare for; friends and family to see. And more, lots more.

Maybe it's time to slow down and celebrate the season with a good book.

You may want to start with a couple of holiday classics, like Chris Van Allsburg's Polar Express (Houghton) or How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Random) by Dr. Seuss. Though they couldn't be more different in style and presentation, both books deal with believing and faith.

Readers can visit familiar friends like in Karma Wilson's Bear Stays up for Christmas (McElderry) or share Clement Moore's The Night Before Christmas (Little Simon) again with Robert Sabuda's amazing pop-ups.

If you tired of all of the holiday brouhaha, then how about taking a look at the season? There are lots of snow-filled classics that share well again (and again and again).

Share Peter's fun on The Snowy Day (Viking) or join a girl and her father as they search for a nocturnal bird when there's an Owl Moon (Philomel). Take a close look at snowflakes with Snowflake Bentley (Sandpiper) or see how a dull town is transformed by Snow (Farrar).

And if you do slow down with a book, then maybe — just maybe — the busy season won't feel quite as frenzied.


Positive reinforcement for actively participating in the classroom behavior which is necessary for success works very well!

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"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." — Frederick Douglass