Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Story of Christmas by Vivian French

The Story of Christmas
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)

The Story of Christmas by Vivian French

The Story of Christmas was written by Vivian French and illustrated by Jane Chapman. It is a Scholastic book first published in 1999.

The story opens with an illustration of the angel, Gabriel. God tells Gabriel to go to a place called Nazareth to deliver a special message to a woman named Mary. The angel tells Mary that God has chosen her to be the mother of His baby, Jesus.

Mary is supposed to marry a man named Joseph. Joseph doesn’t know what to do because Mary is already going to have a baby. God tells Joseph not to worry.

When it is almost time for the baby to be born, an emperor tells everyone to go to the place where their families live and pay him money. Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. When they arrive, Bethlehem is very crowded. Mary and Joseph cannot find a place to stay. Finally, they find a stable. The baby is born that night in the stable.

Shepherds are not far away. An angel tells them about the baby. The shepherds go to see the baby. They find Baby Jesus just like the angel told them.

Wise men follow a star to the stable to see Jesus. They give Jesus gifts fit for a king. Angels in Heaven rejoice.

The Story of Christmas by Vivian French is well written. It closely follows the story found in the Bible. It includes important elements such as:

the angel Gabriel’s message to Mary.

the message that the baby is God’s Son and that God chose His name to be Jesus.

Joseph’s thoughts about Mary's pregnancy but without details that children would not understand.

the angel’s message to Joseph that he should not worry about Mary.

the reason for the trip to Bethlehem and the crowded city.

Jesus’ birth in the stable.

the angel’s message to the shepherds.

the visits from the shepherds and the wise men.

the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus.

the angels in Heaven rejoiced that the Son of God is born.

Even with so many important key elements in this story, Vivian French is able to condense the story to a length suitable for children. She also manages to make the story easy for children to understand.
The illustrations are simple, yet bright and colorful.  This book is highly recommended!

Here are several other Christmas books your child will enjoy.

Creepy Crawlies: Questions and Answers About Bugs

Creepy Crawlies:  Questions and Answers About Bugs
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)

Creepy Crawlies

Little Minds Want to Know

Adults may not be the biggest fans of bugs, but children love them. One of the most popular books in my preschool class is Creepy Crawlies by John Stidworthy. Creepy Crawlies answers many questions kids have about all sorts of . . . well, creepy crawlies. The book holds the interest of very young toddlers who are just learning to love books to school age children. The pages are informative and the illustrations are pretty realistic, almost like looking at photographs. Creepy Crawlies is illustrated by Michael Posen. It is a Dempsey Parr Book first published in 2000.

Creepy Crawlies:  Questions and Answers About Bugs
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
 Children learn the answers to questions such as:

Which spiders make the biggest webs?
How many eyes does a spider have?
Which spiders are human killers?
Can spiders fly?
Where do the biggest scorpions live?
Why do ticks drink blood?
How can you tell a millipede from a centipede?
Why are some termites magnetic?
How do ants know each other?
Why are bees hairy?
How many kinds of wasps are there?
What is the biggest dragonfly?
How do cicadas sing?
Which bugs stink?
Do grasshoppers have ears?
Which flies are helpful to police?
Which beetles shoot their enemies?
How are the colors of butterflies made?
Which worm sucks blood?
How do snails make shells?

Creepy Crawlies chapters include:

Scorpions, Ticks, Mites, and Millipedes
Bees and Wasps
Dragonflies, Mantids, and Stick Insects
Locusts and Grasshoppers
Fleas and Lice
Butterflies and Moths
Slugs and Snails

Creepy Crawlies is also great for young children because you don’t necessarily need to read the book from cover to cover. Many children will want to read it all because it is full of information and colorful pictures, but if time is limited or a child is interested in a particular bug, you can choose to read only certain pages or chapters.

Who knows? You might even develop a surprising interest in a bug or two . . . or maybe not.

Supplemental Activities and Resources

Make a Worm Hotel:   Mix alternating layers of sand and potting soil into a large glass jar, like a Mason canning jar. Put in 3 or 4 healthy earthworms. Add enough water for moisture but don’t flood the contents. Earthworms prefer the dark, so cover the jar with dark construction paper or tightly woven cloth. Secure the paper with a rubber band or yarn, but do not seal the jar with a lid. If you do, the worms will suffocate. After a few days, take a look. If the worms have been busy, as they should be, the layers of sand and soil will be all mixed up.

Plaster of Paris Beetles:  You can purchase Plaster of Paris here and at most craft stores. Mix it up according to the directions and pour the mixture into a plastic spoon. Rub petroleum jelly on the spoon first.  It will make it easier to remove the hardened plaster later.  Allow the mixture to dry for 24 hours. Then, slide the plaster from the spoon. It should resemble a beetle when turned with the rounded side up. Show the children photographs of beetles and supply them with paints and brushes. Instruct the children to paint their own beetle.

Create a Bug:  Supply the children with paper plates, toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes, construction paper, beads, beans, pom-poms, glue, and anything else you want to add. Instruct the children to create their own bug.   Let them create!

Creepy Crawlies:  Questions and Answers About Bugs
Volcanoes by Stephanie Turnbull

Creepy Crawlies: Questions and Answers About Bugs
Creepy Crawlies: Questions and Answers About Bugs

Have you ordered my book yet?

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Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway