Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

Deck the Halls with a Christmas Book Buffet!

by Laura Sassi

One of the things I love most about doing signings at bookstores is chatting with customers. Often, as I am inscribing a book, customers will explain why they are buying the book and who they plan to give it to. Well, a few years ago, one lovely customer got extra excited when she saw Goodnight Manger. For the inscription, she asked that I inscribe it with a simple “Merry Christmas 2016”. Then she explained that my book would be part of her family’s most wonderful tradition – decorating the house for Christmas with picture books!

This tradition, she explained, began the year her first child was born. That Christmas she and her husband purchased their first Christmas picture book and displayed it as part of their holiday decor. The next year they bought a second book, the third year a third book and so on. For over thirty years now, she has been decorating her house for Christmas with these picture books. Each year she nestles the new book somewhere among the special collection. And every year her children dash through the house looking for the new book. Her children are in their 30’s now, but they still look forward to coming home for the holidays each December and searching for the newest book. I’m honored and delighted Goodnight, Manger is in that collection.

When my kids were little, I would pull out the special box that holds our Christmas picture book collection and place it by our fireplace. All month we’d re-read our favorites and savor some new picks as well. But, I think that having the books out on display, as this woman and her family do — makes their presence even more special and engaging. Don’t you?

That’s why I like to set up what I’ve come to call our Christmas Book Buffet. And each night that our family eats dinner together (which unfortunately is no longer every night due to after school and evening activities) one of us chooses a favorite to re-read for the family after dinner.

For extra fun, I’ve decked this post with pictures of several spots in my house that are now decorated – picture book buffet style – for the holidays. I think they warmly capture the spirit and charm of this delectable Christmas picture book tradition. Happy reading, all!


Rebecca Gomez said…
I love all these ideas, and now I am looking around my house for all the spots that can fit a buffet of books!