December: The Gift of Giving
To the Little Readers (Read this part out loud to them):
What is your favorite part about Christmas? Getting presents? Going to Grandma’s? Those little special cookies? Now, here is another question: do those things make you happy? They do? Oh great! Well, sometimes people get soo focused on making sure they get presents, we do the cookies, and do and do and do that they forget to think about, “Does this make me happy? Does this make anyone else happy?” In our book, The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, there is a king who is just like that. He’s so focused on getting! Gettinggettinggetting! that he’s forgotten about that – happiness. His and others’ happiness. But in the story, there is a woman, a quiltmaker who helps him find what is really important. And she’s so brave! She’s not afraid to stand up to a king! How do you think she helps him? It’s really unbelievable how she does it. Let’s read the story and find out!
To the Parents (Why I recommend this book):
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever had the joy to read. While the theme of giving, specifically to those less fortunate, is very appropriate for the Holiday season, the story doesn’t take place specifically during the Holidays, which makes it a wonderful book to re-read all year long. This makes me like the story all the more because the joy that comes from giving to others, making others happy, is not just a seasonal activity -it really is something that should happen year round! I also like the added elements that the quiltmaker is brave enough to stand up for what she believes, so much so that she change’s the king’s heart. I like how the character of the king evolves, but is written in such a way that the reader can sympathize with him, even while he is still fulfilling the role of the “bad guy.” The book has so many nuances and depth, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there – you’ll see what I mean when you read it yourself! There are many ways to encourage your little to interact with this story – you can act out the bear and the sparrows, or do a special motion every time a gift is given. You can also make your own quilt after reading the story, with glue and construction paper if your little reader is too young to safely sew, or design your own quilt square. And, of course, this story easily helps start discussions about giving, joy, and what really matters. The Quiltmaker’s Gift is truly an enchanting treasure, and I hope you get to share it with your little reader soon.