Author: Robert Barry
Manufacturer: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Amazon Price: $15.95
Offers - Buy New From: $10.57 Used From: $0.01
Mr. Willoby’s a very wealthy man and lives in a mansion. A humongous tree is delivered and is too tall for it bends as it touches the ceiling. The butler snips off the top and gives it to the upstairs maid. She puts it in her home where once again the tree is too tall, so she snips off the top and tosses it. Along comes Mr. Bear who finds the little “tree”. He brings it home to mama bear only to find it is too tall for their den. Once again the tippy top is snipped and tossed into the snow. This time a fox finds it. The story continues with various woodland creatures finding the tree top and snipping it ‘til it finally ends with a little mouse, who just happens to live in Mr. Willoby’s mansion! The mouse family uses the last snippit which is of course just perfect for their tiny home.
Why I Love It:
The ending is darling with the story coming full circle back to the mansion. My students enjoy the snipping aspect of the tree and how it’s just “perfect” for the next animal. The very first line: “Mr. Willoby’s Christmas tree, came by special delivery; full and fresh and glistening green, the biggest tree he’d ever seen.” had me hooked! I love the rhyme and cadence of the poem-story. The alliteration like full and fresh made the story come alive. The illustrations are adorable and very “English” looking to me. I shared the story with my adult daughter and she enjoyed it so much I bought her a copy. It’s that kind of “must have” book.
- I put a green construction paper Christmas tree into my dove pan and pull out a small 6 inch evergreen Christmas tree.
- I put a green construction paper Christmas tree with the number 20 on it, and pull out a 20 piece paper garland of Christmas trees with numbers 1-20 on them that my students count as I pull them out.
- 3-D Triangle Tree
Skill Sheets: Click here for skill sheets and art project
Story Telling Tips:
- Xerox off a picture of each of the animals that find the tree.
- Laminate them and put either a magnet or Velcro dot on the back.
- Pass them out to your students.
- When you get to that animal’s picture page in the story, have the child holding that animal pix put it on your flannel/white board.
- After the story, pass the animals out to different children and see if you can sequence the story from memory.
- I read the story in an English accent and cross off any H’s that are in the book so I remember not to pronounce them.
- I have a different voice that I use for each of the animal characters. I use a different colored highlighter to highlight the various animal voices so I know when to use them.
- I make a large construction paper Christmas tree so that whenever the book’s tree gets snipped, I also snip my tree.
- We do a math extension at the end and count how many snips we had and how many animals got trees.
Check out the FREE book of the month below.
Author: Lisa Trumbauer
Amazon Price: $14.95
Offers - Buy New From: $2.95 Used From: $0.15
”Twas the week before Christmas, and somewhere up north, dear Santa was frantic-he paced back and forth. He had just heard some news that he sure didn’t like: it seemed that the reindeer were going on strike!” From the 1st cute rhyming line you learn that the reindeer won’t be pulling Santa’s sleigh, leaving him in an awful fix. He decides to try everything from dogs and cats to kangaroos and elephants but each type of animal runs into problems. Nobody’s as good as his reindeer. In the end Santa finds out that: “A whirlpool and sauna would make [them] quite able, [especially if Santa throws in] real beds, not grass, and a heater-and cable!”
Why I Love It:
The pages are doubled and have a popped out feel. The pictures are bright and shiny; children will find them attractive. I absolutely LOVE the short rhyming text. It grabs your attention and is easy to read. Lisa breaks the sentences up into 4 bold black lines and curves them across the page. The animals she chooses are very appealing to young children and the idea of elephants and kangaroos pulling Santa’s sleigh along with flamingos giving it a whirl is very funny to a child and amusing to an adult. When the dogs start sniffing and smelling and the cats start chasing mice one can only imagine the hilarious hassles Santa encountered.
- Put a stuffed reindeer in the change bag, pull out an “On Strike” sign.
- Put a dog in the change bag pull out a cat. Put a cat in pull out a mouse.
- Put a flamingo in pull out a kangaroo, put in a kangaroo, pull out an elephant. Any Beanie Baby™ animals will do nicely, especially the mini ones.
- You can pick and choose the ones you can find. If you find them all, like I did, put a paper reindeer in the dove pan and produce all the animals that are trying out for the position of pulling Santa’s sleigh.
- Toss them to the children and have them help you sequence the story.
Story Telling Tips:
- I made a color copy of each one of the animals, + Santa in his sleigh, then laminated and cut them out.
- I put Velcro dots on mine and use a flannel board, but you could also use magnets and your white board.
- Pass the pieces out to quiet students. When you read about those animals pulling the sleigh they can come up and put that animal behind the sleigh.
- When you’re done reading the story go over the order once more, then pass the animals out to different children and sequence them again.