Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmastime Reading with my Toddler (1)

When I was growing up I loved Madeline books. I get excited to introduce my beloved childhood books to my daughter. It's wonderful to rediscover children's books as an adult: I see why they found a place in my heart, but sometimes the classics seem a lot weirder than I remember (What's up with Curious George's rendezvous with ether?!). 

For the past 3 weeks Madeline's Christmas has become a household favorite. My 2 year old asks for it at bedtime saying, "Madeline". She has several favorite parts of the story--

Ludwig incorporates this tiger page (see right) into several (if not all?!) of his Madeline books.  This repetitive motif is great for young readers to become attached to the character of Madeline.  The book reads, "[Madeline] was not afraid of mice, She love winter, snow and ice, And to the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just said....'POOH, POOH!'" What a great line! My daughter love saying pooh, pooh! to the tiger.

My daughter also loves the rhyme throughout the book. A rug merchant, also a magician, stops by Madeline's French boarding school. It's a big hit when he says, "'To sell my rugs was silly! Without them I am very chilly." I love when we get to the page and my daughter starts saying, "chilly, chilly."

Of course, there are many aspects of the Madeline series for parents (and teachers) to like. The author, Ludwig Bemelmans, consistently refers to Madeline (the smallest girl of all the girls at the boarding school) as being very brave. The rug merchant also has to be brave when he takes his medicine. I appreciate this message of encouraging our kids to be brave in the face of challenge, especially when my daughter is going through a (very normal) developmental phase of being scared of all things new-to-her.

I also love how Bemelmans creates rhyme using subject/verb inversion. It makes for some interesting read out loud writing:

"Why, these," said Madeline, "Would be so neat
For our ice-cold in the morning feet." 


Said she, "I've cooked a dinner nutritious,
Will you please help me with these dishes?"

The plot of this book is a bit odd, and not quite straightforward...but I still love it!

Hope you've found some holiday books to share with your loved ones this year! We do celebrate Christmas in our house, and I hope to share a couple more of our favorite Christmas reads over the next couple of weeks.

If you have a holiday/Christmas book you love to read every year, I'd love you to share it in the comments section below.

I'm linking up at Hope is the Word.

Happy Holidays! Be well! Read on!


  1. My girls have always loved the "pooh, pooh" line, too. I love reading books to then with unusual sentence constructions, even if they do make for challenging reading! Thanks for linking up to RAT!

  2. Thanks for hosting, Amy! I love linking up, but the fall has been super busy! I think I'll have more time this spring to join you more consistently!


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