Thursday, December 15, 2016

Welcome to the Season of Light!

As the coldest winds begin to blow and the days become shorter, the celebration of light begins with the Winter Solstice on December 21. Cultures worldwide have recognized this day for centuries as it receives the least sun and is the beginning of longer days to come.  

Many winter holidays celebrate with candles and light, beginning with Hanukkah this year starting on December 24, Christmas on December 25, and Kwanzaa beginning on December 26 and lasting until New Year's Day.  
Light celebrations continue in many Asian communities around the world with Chinese New Year beginning on the second new moon of the new year. This year the celebration begins on January 28 and traditionally lasts for two weeks until the full moon. This welcome to spring comes with longer days and dreams of warmer temperatures.

Pick up some books to pass the short, cold days and long nights of winter.  

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket
This "Christmas tale" by the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events combines humor and facts about Hanukkah to tell the story of the latke who ran away from hot oil only to find out "there's no place like home."  Unfortunately, at home there will be someone who wants to eat him!

Lively illustrations and simple haiku fill Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Ziefert with celebration and color. After reading this try writing holiday haiku of your own.

Do you have a tablet? Download a copy of The Miracle Jar by Audrey Penn and discover the Hanukkah miracle. You will need to install Overdrive to explore the many eBooks that Richmond Public Library has to offer.

Read together Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse by Caralyn Buehner. The mouse family learns about the meaning of Christmas while staying cozy under the stove. Find the hidden pictures on each page.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry has been adapted as a picture book in Boris and Stella and the Perfect Gift by Dara Goldman, who adds a touch of Hanukkah to this story.

Patricia Polacco is a master of autobiographical storytelling in pictures. Her holiday book The Trees of the Dancing Goats remembers a Hanukkah in Michigan with her grandparents where many of their rural neighbors have scarlet fever and are unable to prepare for and celebrate Christmas. Discover how her Jewish grandparents develop a generous solution and bring healing and joy to their neighbors.

For older readers the new, graphic novel Snow White by Matt Phelan is a noir gem. Set in the late 20s and early 30s in New York City this adaptation includes all of the classic characters with a dark twist. In Phelan's characteristic muted tones the images, full of just enough detail, pull the reader into the world of Samantha White, her Wall Street father, her stepmother "the Queen of the Follies" and the seven street urchins who protect her. 
Christmas? Look for the classic, holiday department store windows.

Popular illustrator Shane Evans partnered with author Donna Washington on Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa. Gramma is sick and Li'l Rabbit surprises her with the best gift of all.  Includes the The Nguzo Saba - The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz introduces younger children to the celebration of this contemporary holiday.

However you celebrate, make sure to include some time for reading during the holidays ahead.

No comments: