8 by Eight
This month's 8 by Eight list focuses on books to help your family have a stress-free holiday.
We're starting off this month's list with Saturday, because it is an absolutely adorable book by Caldecott Honor Winner Oge Mora that contains a great reminder for all busy parents. Ava and her mother have a special Saturday planned. Just the two of them. But everything goes wrong! They get their hair done and then get splashed. They go to a concert, but forget the tickets. Mom is upset and worries that she's ruined the day. Ava reminds her that it has been the best Saturday ever because . . . they get to spend the day together. Parents! It's ok to relax and spend time together. Enjoy the season and each other!
May We Have Enough to Share is a board book filled with gorgeous photographs of parents and kids. The text -- one line on each page -- reads as a blessing, starting with "May we have enough to share to know the sweetness of every day" and ending with "May we know love." Young children will appreciate looking at the faces. Parents and older children might adopt some of the lines as reminders in their own homes.
I love Dusk. It is a slow, sweet story about a boy and his grandfather going on a walk. As the day turns to dusk, and then to night, the two walk around the city and appreciate the lights. Look for Hanukkah lights, Kwanza lights, Christmas lights: "Lights, lights, lights everywhere." Dusk will inspire walks or drives around town as you look for lights together.
In A Hat For Mrs. Goldman, Mrs. Goldman knits hats for babies. It is her mitzvah. Sophia wants to return the good deed, especially when she notices that Mrs. Goldman doesn't have a hat of her own! Sophia tries to knit a hat, but it doesn't quite turn out the way she'd like. What she is good at is making knitted pom-poms. Suddenly Sophia knows what she can create as a way to honor and thank Mrs. Goldman. Check out the stunning endpapers in this book.
Seven Spools of Thread it a strikingly illustrated book for Kwanza. In a village in Ghana, an old man lives with his seven sons, who unfortunately quarrel constantly. When he dies, the man leaves each son a spool of thread with the instructions that the only way for them to earn their inheritance is to turn the spools of thread into gold before the moon rises. The brothers agree to end their quarrels. They consult with each other, work together, and create a beautiful piece of fabric, which they are then able to sell for gold pieces. The book contains front matter about Kwanza and back matter on weaving.
'Twas Nochebuena is an English/Spanish retelling of the "Night Before Christmas." The story begins, "'Twas Noche buena and all through our casa every creature was knwading tamal masa." Together the family makes and shares dinner, attends a service, enjoys fireworks, and goes home to open presents and have a fiesta. Feliz Navidad!
Giving Thanks is another personal favorite, especially during this time of year when we all need reminders to be thankful. In May We Have Enough to Share, the text reads as a blessing; in Giving Thanks, the text is a gratitude poem. Thank you Mother Earth, deep blue waters, green grasses, animals, the winds, and to the Great Spirit who provides these wonderful gifts.
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, by Kenard Pak, is part of a series of picture books about seasonal transitions. Despite the title, the text emphasizes greeting the new and moves from "Hello, late autumn afternoon" to "Hello snowflakes." Follow two siblings as they walk through their neighborhood, exploring nature and their town during the slow transition from autumn to winter.
Happy winter! May this season bring you lights, walks, love, gratitude, and togetherness.