Children Corner

One children book you must read….

The next book was also a Manitoba Book Awards hopeful and though it wasn’t chosen for any awards, one flip through this charming children’s story was enough to hook me and I bought it immediately.
I love children’s books and one of my favourite things about working in childcare other than the children themselves is reading to them. I love seeing their little faces light up at the beautiful
illustrations and gasp when something surprising happens. I love when they compare themselves to the characters and make comments such as “I have a pair of mittens that got lost to or my brother
or sister does this to” etc. and if we can do a craft that goes along with the book, even better.
For my children’s book review, I chose Mr. Jacobson’s Window written and illustrated by Deborah Froese.
Mr. Jacobson’s window is a lovely children’s book, which much like David Alexander Robertson’s book combines elements not often seen in the same book, making the book quite a unique piece of literature.
In Mr. Jacobson’s Window, Deborah Froese combines Christmas and Chanukah. Also like Robertson’s book, it’s character’s do a wonderful job of making do with what they have. The story begins with
little Emily-Ann taking a walk with her cat Kooky to the end of the block and enjoying the scenery as she often does.
When she looks up at her apartment building to admire the way the lights in
the suites look all lit up on a winter’s night, she is startled by the frightening image of her new neighbour in the shadows.
That is Emily-Ann’s first encounter with Mr. Jacobson. She runs home to tell her mother that their new neighbour is “mean” when her mom suggests that maybe he’s just sad or
lonely Emily-Ann begins to feel bad for Mr. Jacobson and asks her mom if they can invite him to Christmas dinner. Though her mom is worried that they don’t have enough to
share, Emily-Ann insists that they will have plenty when their Christmas Hamper comes. The Chanukah element comes into play as Emily-Ann watches Mr. Jacobson light candles on his Menorah each evening.
This again, is a wonderful story about a single parent family making do with what they have. Emily-Ann and her mother don’t live in a fancy house with tons
of presents under their tree, there is no chimney for Santa and this Christmas book for children doesn’t mention Santa once! Now, I’ve got nothing against the Jolly man
in red but his absence in this particular book was quite refreshing. Mr. Jacobson’s window is more about giving from the heart and that may not mean extravagant gifts but
something thoughtfully handmade. This book warmed my heart and though I have not read it to the children yet as I got it in the spring, the Christmas/Chanukah season is
now upon us and I’m taking it to work tomorrow! I know the children will love it  and hoping they’ll love the craft I’ve planed to go along with it as well.
Because Mr. Jacobson’s a knitter and knits some warm mittens for Emily-Ann I’ve prepared some red and green mittens pre-cut out of construction paper and provided glue, gold and silver sparkles,
cotton balls and Christmas themed stickers for the children to decorate their mittens with. Once their done, I’m going to punch holes in each mitten and string some yarn through to make a garlandIf you’re doing this at home with your
kids or your nieces and nephews or your friends kids, you could make an afternoon of it with some hot chocolate and baking!

Since we’re on the subject of handmade gifts, each year I make a handful of gifts to give out to friends and co-workers. I often choose a variation of the same gift for each person.
This year, I’ve chosen to scour the thrift stores and ArtsJunktion (which is an amazing place on William Avenue where you can go and get all kinds of donated crafts supplies and magazines for free!
They also have classes and fun events throughout the year. Do yourself a favour and visit http://artsjunktion.mb.ca for glass vases and old magazines and wrapping paper and then I went to Michele’s to
buy some mod podge. Now I’m in the process decorating the vases with images cut out from books, magazines and wrapping paper to give as Christmas presents.
I learned a great trick last year for applying images with mod podge: Pull off a sheet of saran wrap and apply images face down then, paint the mod podge over them and carefully apply to
surface and peel off, apply another coat about fifteen minutes later for best results.
Well, I have much more to share with you but I feel like I should probably save something for next time! Much love and well wishes God bless!

Miranda