What We’re Reading: A Wish To Be a Christmas Tree (plus online literature resources)

Did you know that the idea for featuring weekly book reviews came from SK reader Emily (The Pilot’s Wife)?  I had the pleasure of meeting Emily at a blogging event last spring (that’s us pictured below!), and I have so enjoyed getting to know her.  She has a true passion for great children’s literature, and today she is featuring a Christmas book as well as some helpful online children’s literature resources for the SK community:

This week I want to share with you a new-to-me Christmas story, and I also want to pass along some of my favorite online resources for children’s literature.

I found A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe this week and found it to be a completely charming book.   It is the story of a old, tall tree on a Christmas tree farm that has never been chosen to be someone’s special tree.

He has watched his children and grandchildren be chosen, and he knows that he is too large now to be a suitable Christmas tree.  As the old tree weeps, he woodland friends make a plan to boost their friend’s feelings and make his Christmas special.

This is a beautifully illustrated book that combines a message of Christmas and friendship in a rhyming text.  I think you’ll really enjoy this one!

Something I discovered while researching this book is that YouTube has children’s stories! Am I the last person to figure this out?

You can watch (and listen) to A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree here:

A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree on YouTube

I also found ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas read by Perry Como:

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on YouTube

And a few more (non-Christmasy, yet still great): The Very Hungry Caterpiller and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me

I already knew YouTube was great; now I have a reason to love it even more!  I found these stories by searching “children’s books read aloud”.  There are many more available.

While I’m sharing my finds, I want to pass along a few of my other go to spots for children’s literature.

1) Speakaboos – This is a website that allows children to read along with celebrity readers and even record themselves reading.  This site requires you to register, but it’s free.

2) Another celebrity reading site is Storyline Online. This site is supported by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, and unlike Speakaboos, you actually watch a video of the actor reading the book, but you can still read along with the words.  There are only about 20 books on this site, but they’re all high quality books.

3) The last thing I want to share is not a site that has stories, but a site that provides wonderful support for children’s literature.  Making Learning Fun is a site that is geared towards Pre-K to 2nd grade, and it has so many wonderful, printable activities that go beautifully with such classics as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpiller, Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom, and many more.

Alright Simple Kids readers, what are your favorite websites to encourage reading and literacy?

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  1. Sounds like a good read. Always trying to find a good kid’s Christmas book!
    .-= Aaron shaw phd´s last blog ..Fun for Kids Activities – Thanksgiving Crafts! =-.

  2. I love http://www.readingeggs.com.au It’s an Australian based website and it is FANTASTIC!!
    My 4yo is learning to read because of it – it’s extremely well designed for kids…lots of fun and they don’t even realise they’re learning because it’s all a game!!

  3. So fun!! I had no idea about these fun resources, I can’t wait to spend some time checking them out along with Kristie’s suggestion : )
    .-= pink and green mama MaryLea´s last blog ..Home Made Christmas: Family Advent Calendar =-.

  4. Thanks for the great links.

    I can’t share a website off hand but I do want to share my little story about learning to read. My 4 yr old is an avid “reader”. He has always loved text and has taken to reading with ease. At the moment, he also has an obsession with a certain train called Thomas, and his little friends. So my 4 yr old has a toy catalogue for said train in the bathroom which he studies every time he sits on the toilet. Through attempting to read the captions and labels in the catalogue, he is giving himself a reading lesson every day.

    And so I remind myself that any text that motivates a child to read is worth while. Think outside the box (beyond the couch and beyond the great literary finds!).

  5. Thanks Ladies!

    @Kristie Thanks for the link. I’ll have to check that out! I’m always on the hunt.

    @Bonnie Too funny! Magazines and other environmental print are great ways for preschoolers to start recognizing words!
    .-= Emily @ The Pilot’s Wife´s last blog ..A Painted House Hangar =-.

  6. Thank you for these links. You always share such great resources.