Christmas, Special Days/Weeks/Months

Christmas in the Library, and HHCS Student Newspaper

Thank you to all students who brought in an ornament for the Christmas tree in the library!  A name will be drawn for a prize this week and students may come to collect their ornaments back on Wednesday or Thursday.  Here are some pictures I thought I’d share of Christmas in the Library.

I am also excited to announce the first issue of HHCS Moose News- a student newspaper written by a small group of students that I work with!  I have set up its own blog site to keep all the issues together digitally, but we will also print a few copies for each classroom at school.  Please read and enjoy with your children.  If any of your kids would like to contribute a guest article for our next issue, please let me know!  Here is the link to the newspaper blog and the first issue.

Issue #1- December 2022

I can’t believe it is so close to Christmas.  Merry Christmas and have a wonderful break, everyone!

happy Christmas

Christmas, Events, Special Days/Weeks/Months

Classic Christmas Books

How many of these classic Christmas books have you read with your kids?  Give some of them a try this season! I’ve included some here with original type of covers and some as updated versions.

A Christmas Carol

Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition (9780544580145)



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These next 2 are not technically Christmas books but they definitely feel like they should be read during the Christmas season!

Little Women

Don’t forget the last day to bring in a Christmas ornament for the library tree is Friday Dec. 16!

Christmas, Events, Special Days/Weeks/Months

Christmas Book Crafts and Activities

Try out some of these book-related Christmas activities before and during the holidays!  And of course, don’t forget students can make something for our library Christmas tree! Due date for those who would like to participate is December 16.

Christmas Book List with Crafts and Activities


25 Christmas Books With Crafts To Match

10 Christmas Book Activities to Help Your Kids Focus on Christ

Ways to Use Books as Christmas Decorations


Christmas, Events, Special Days/Weeks/Months

Christmas Chapter Books, Short Stories, and Picture Books, and Christian Christmas Books

30 Best Christmas Chapter Books for Tweens (Ages 8 to 12 Years)

Enjoy this week’s roundup of amazing Christmas books to read with your child- of any age!

Biggest, Best List of Children’s Christmas Books

Best Christmas Books For Tweens And Teens

A Mighty Girl- The Christmas Owl

A Mighty Girl- The Christmas Book Flood

Don’t forget about the Christmas ornament contest!

Christmas, Events

Themed Christmas Books- Nature, Trees, and The Nutcracker

Barley and Birch has a great list of Christmas books that are about trees!  I have been reading Red and Lulu to the primary classes and using it to also have the students learn a little bit about the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and about cardinals.

Read: 16 Timeless Picture Books about Christmas Trees

A collection of our favorite picture books about Christmas Trees | via barley & birch

Run Wild My Child also has a great selection of nature-related Christmas books.

Nature-Themed Holiday Books for Kids

As I am teaching a primary music class this year, I have also been finding ways to use picture books in music class. We have been using music from The Nutcracker lately for class activities.  Enjoy these Nutcracker-related Christmas books!

Nutcracker Books for Kids

Beautiful Children’s Book Editions of The Nutcracker!


I’d love to see some more book/reading-related Christmas ornaments come in for our library Christmas tree!  Let’s see your creativity, HHCS!


Authors, Christmas, Events

Author Focus on Arnold Ytreeide, Book-ish Christmas Activities, and Keep Working on the Book-Related Christmas Ornaments!

This week I am featuring an author focus on Arnold Ytreeide!  HHCS students in grades 4 and up are very familiar with Mr. Ytreeide’s books.  In grades 4,5, and 6, the classes rotate reading a different Christmas-themed book of Mr. Ytreeide’s for each year that they are in the junior division.  This year all of grades 4,5, and 6 are reading Bartholomew’s Passage!  I am teaching grade 6A Bible this year and we are really enjoying this book, set in the time that Jesus was born.  Mr. Ytreeide’s 4 Christmas-themed books can be read during the Advent season and have short devotional reflections at the end of each chapter.  These stories are adventurous, funny, and thoughtful.  The students love being surprised by the recurring characters’ appearances and by the many dramatic twists and turns in Mr. Ytreeide’s writing.

In spring of 2020, as we moved into our first lockdown of the pandemic with online learning, I wrote to Mr. Ytreeide, who was so kind as to send us a personalized video to say hello to the students.  I then had the students come up with some questions to ask Mr. Ytreeide about being an author and about his books and he sent a video message back again to us answering those questions. He also sent us some of his Mike Danford books (see below) for our library. It was so great for our students to be in contact with an author whose writing they really appreciated!

Amon’s Adventure is going to have a sequel, published in 2022!  Apparently there have also been some conversations about having one of Mr. Ytreeide’s books made into a movie one day!  Which book do you think should be the first to be a movie??

RAR #123: A Family Story for Easter, with Special Guest: Arnold Ytreeide

Check out this interview with Mr. Ytreeide on one of my favourite reading websites- The Read Aloud Revival!

Mr. Ytreeide also writes other types of books besides his Advent series and the Amon books.  We have the first 3 books of the Mike Danford series in our school library, and the number 5 book just came out!

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Here are some articles from Read Brightly about some book-ish Christmas activities!  Some great ideas here for making book-themed Christmas ornaments!  Don’t forget to start working on your ornaments for our library Christmas tree, HHCS!  Have a great week!

How to Create Your Own Book Advent Calendar

8 Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books


Authors, Building Belonging- diversity, Christmas, Events, Vintage

Vintage Author/Illustrator Spotlight- Gyo Fujikawa

Something a little different for you this week!  Last year around this time I posted some pictures of vintage children’s Christmas books that I have at home. I love children’s literature and feel that is so important- and I also love vintage children’s literature!  I have a collection at home of my favourites.  My number one favourite author-illustrator from my childhood is Gyo Fujikawa.  I had forgotten all about her books until one day I saw “Oh What a Busy Day” and I was immediately transported back to childhood.


Gyo captured childhood so well in her writing and illustrations and lovingly depicted children from all cultures playing together, at a time when that was not commonly featured.  You can read about her amazing life in this article from The New Yorker.  It includes anecdotes about when her family was in an internment camp and when she worked for Disney.

There is even a fairly new book about Fujikawa’s life, titled “It Began with a Page-How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way.”  You will love reading these books with your children, they are really special!




The awesome thing about these vintage books is you don’t have to hunt them down- they are easy to find as the re-prints are available at Amazon or your local bookstore!




I think it is important to show our own kids the books that we loved when we were young! Such treasures!

Don’t forget our upcoming Book Character Christmas Ornament challenge!  I can’t wait to see what the students come up with!

Apps and websites, Building Belonging- diversity, Christmas, Events, Social-Emotional, Special Days/Weeks/Months

World Kindness Day, and Upcoming Book-Themed Christmas Ornament Challenge

Saturday was World Kindness Day!  As Jesus-followers, let’s intentionally teach our kids to find ways to be kind.  You will love all the practical ideas and resources on this site:

Quotation: A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. Amelia Earhart

Take a look here:

A Mighty Girl – 25 Picture Books about Kindness and Empathy

Cool to Be Kind: Children’s Books That Champion Kindness

Here We Are


Our fall Book Character Potato Contest was so fun, that I’d like to do something similar yet different for Christmas!  I am planning to put up a Christmas tree in the library in a few weeks.  I would love for students to create (at home) some book-themed ornaments to put on the tree!  Any materials or format are fine as long as they will work well with being up on a tree!  Let your creativity flow!  I will draw a couple of names again to win an Indigo gift card to say thanks for participating.  You may send the students’ creations in at any time – the tree will go up sometime late November.  Need ideas?  Try a keyword search for “DIY Book Character Ornaments.”

Building Belonging- diversity, Christmas, Uncategorized

Christmas and Other Holidays Around the World, and The Gingerbread Man series

Want to learn about Christmas from each area of the world? Table Life Blog has it covered! Here is a sneak peek!

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books - Christmas in North America

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books - Christmas in Latin America

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books - Christmas in Africa

Click on over to National Geographic to learn a little bit about other winter celebrations other than Christmas!


In my lessons with one of the kindergarten classes we’ve been reading The Gingerbread Man Loose in…” series by Laura Murray.  Enjoy this book trailer – your primary age children will especially like the adventures of Gingerbread Man!

Wishing all of the Halton Hills Christian School community a blessed Christmas!  It might look different this year from our usual traditions with family and friends, but it is still just as meaningful.  I hope that you will feel near to God and that you will be safe.  Looking forward to 2021!