The Book - B Is for Bethlehem by Isabel Wilner
I was pleasantly surprised by this library find. The book moves through the Christmas story via the alphabet, beginning with "A's for Augustus, emperor of Rome, who decreed, 'to be counted, let each man go home.'" Each letter moves the reader through the holy couple's journey, the star, the birth of the baby Jesus, the shepherds, the wise men, and finally the celebration of Christ's birth through the ages. The couplets are surprisingly good, with very few forced rhymes, and the use of the letters is creative and thoughtful.
While not suitable for teaching the Christmas story (check back later in the week!), B is for Bethlehem is a wonderful pick for the advent season. The pictures are lavish mixed media artwork, depicting sophisticated, yet still childlike illustrations. I think you'll find it a welcome change from your traditional Christmas picture book!
The Craft - Alphabet Ornaments
I made these years ago, but they are still some of our favorite ornaments. Little Page was 20 months old and beginning to learn the alphabet when I had the brilliant idea to add letters to our Christmas tree. Hey, they were already on our fridge and in our tub... why not the tree? They turned out to be so simple, so cute, and SO educational! What more could you ask for in an ornament?
What you'll need:
- small wooden letters
- hot glue gun
I used a red checked ribbon on the letters and then added a wide red checked ribbon as a garland around the tree. The whole thing came together nicely... and Little Page had the alphabet mastered by the time she was 2. Coincidence? I think not.