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It’s Important Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story Holiday Reading GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket Inspired by a real life rescue dog, this story follows Mo, who uses his heightened sense of smell to explore the wonders of Christmas. Your kids can sniff along with Mo by using the book’s press-2-smell feature, which uses pure aromatherapy oils. Ages 2-4. Mo Smells Christmas: A Scentsational Journey by Margaret Hyde Adapted into a popular movie, this is a sweet, playful story about a town’s annual Christmas pageant that gets overtaken by the Herdman’s the worst kids in town. The Herdman’s, who have never heard of the Christmas story before, set to reimagining it in their own way, to great comedic effect. It is told in a way that’s easy for younger kids to read, but also has a touching and fresh perspective to the Christmas story for adults. Ages 8-12. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson d o Ki s, I G Fa NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 Article Brought To You By: Titus, Kelvin, Why Reading Is So Important For Children, Lifehack.org Told with Lemony Snicket’s classic satirical wit, the story follows a freshly cooked and very irate latke as it tries to explain the significance of Hanukkah to the Christmas items it encounters. This book is great for kids and adults alike. Little kids enjoy the latke’s screaming and older kids and adults enjoy the wry humor, all while learning a bit about Jewish traditions and acceptance of other people’s winter season celebra- tions. Ages 4 and up. Sources: This story is set in an African village and centers around seven brothers who are constantly fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will, stating that the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be cast out as beggars. While the story teaches about the seven principles of Kwanzaa, it does so in a very loose manner. Rather than explicitly connect- ing the dots, it allows the readers to form their own conclusions, which makes for a great family discussion. Ages 4-8. n the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, reading books often falls by the wayside. While this might not seem like a big deal, reading is one of those activities that comes with a plethora of benefi ts, regardless of your child’s age and stage. It is perhaps the most important thing your kids should stay engaged in over the holidays. In its most practical sense, reading is essential for learning. Whether it’s math, science, history, or the arts, most subjects require reading to understand their concepts. The more your child reads, the better he becomes at it and the more he is able to understand all aspects of his school and life. Reading to toddlers allows them to observe the interactions between the characters and learn useful communication skills, such as grammar, phrasing, and how to express themselves. In older children, reading challenges them to think outside the box and make abstract connections. It gives them the opportunity to hone critical thinking skills like problem solving, concepts of cause and effect, confl ict resolution, and accepting responsibility for one’s actions. But reading isn’t just great for its practical reasons. It opens doors to creativity and imagination. Kids can immerse them- selves in different worlds, journeying with characters from different time periods or countries. They learn about different customs and modes of thought, and the more they identify with the characters and their plights, the more they gain a deeper understanding of different people and cultures. This helps them develop a sense of empathy and humanity towards others. Although your holiday schedule might be jam-packed, there are ways to include reading without making it feel like a chore. If you’re travelling a lot for the holidays, try incorporating games like “I Spy”. For example, “I spy with my little eye, something that begins with the letter G.” You can also play word games where you name as many things you see on the road that start with one letter, starting off with a few examples such as “tree” and “track” and asking them to fi nd more. Another great way to make reading enjoyable is to create a special reading break time. Cozy up someplace warm with some hot cocoa, snacks, and your favorite stories. Not only does this show your kids that reading can be relaxing, it’s a great time to bond with them and create lasting memories. If things are too hectic during the day, try creating a bedtime story ritual instead. Every family has their own classic books, but here are some holiday themed stories that would make great additions: I by Angela Medearis e m il y S gmhtoday.com 855 Moro Drive Gilroy gokids.org 51