I'm getting ready for our next nature preschool time. This week we'll have a holiday party, so I thought I'd pull out nature related Christmas books for our story time. I just posted a couple of books we used for natural gifts. These both were perfect for the topic.
I also found a few others for this next week. I love that Counting to Christmas focuses on animals that we might find in our area. It is not religious and doesn't focus on the commercial side of the holiday, though Santa is briefly mentioned in a letter. The girl spends the days counting to Christmas through a homemade holiday, with an animal advent calendar, making ornaments and cards, baking, wrapping presents, stringing popcorn garlands, singing and play, and making treats for the animals. She decorates a tree inside with animals and decorates a tree outside with food for the animals. At the end, the animals come to enjoy the tree together.
Bear Stays Up for Christmas is another book with animals that might be found around here. The animals wake up Bear so he can enjoy the Christmas festivities. He helps bring in the tree. They make food and enjoy each others company. Santa makes an appearance and the friends share presents until Bear receives a quilt and finally falls asleep. The story line is very unrealistic but it might be used to talk about hibernation, habitats, and fact versus fiction. It would combine well with a non-fiction book on one or some of the animals.
In One Snowy Night, Hedgehog receives a present of a hat. It is too big and he shares the hat with another animal. In this circular story, the Hedgehog finally uses the hat to stay warm. This book uses animals in our area and also could be used to talk about hibernation and what animals do in the winter, though the story line itself is not typical of animals.
My 3-year-old son really likes Ten Christmas Lights. The animals seem more like zoo animals and they are doing very unrealistic things; however, it's great for counting and he likes how the tree actually lights up.
Here are a few Jan Brett books I like for this time of the year, too. While they are not focused on nature in our area necessarily, I love how she puts so many realistic details in her illustrations. I really like how she portrays winter and has "side" stories in many of her books. Gingerbread Friends even has a recipe running through the book. Of course, the boys are asking to make cookies now! Merry Christmas