Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Delightful Christmas Story from Favorite Children's Author Jan Brett
Is There a Santa for the Forest Animals?
Jan Brett's The Animals' Santa is a delightful Christmas picture book and story with illustrations that never disappoint in Brett's picture books. Her illustrations are ones that engage young readers with so many details and the illustrations for The Animals' Santa are ones that add Christmas magic to this book.
Is there a Santa for the forest animals? No one have ever seen Santa, but presents always arrive without any sighting of Santa. Little Snow believes that Big Snowshoe is fooling him about the existence of a Santa for the forest animals. Big Snowshoe devises a plan on Christmas Eve to have all of the little forest animals catch a sighting of Santa when the presents are delivered. All of the forest animals have a huge surprise when they actually catch a glimpse of Santa when the presents finally arrive. Young readers will find this surprise to be a fun ending to The Animals' Santa.
Each page is filled with the ever delightful illustrations that are always a big part of Jan Brett's picture books. The forest is filled with all kinds of little animals that are anxiously awaiting Christmas. The forest is snow-covered and all of the little animals have warm coats and scarves. They decorate the tree and homes for the coming Christmas.
Brett includes a description in her book jacket of her technique for creating the illustrations for this book. She used a technique called quillwork for the borders of each page. This technique comes from the Native Americans' use of porcupine quills in their artwork. She writes that she does not have any thoughts about how she got the idea for an animals' Santa, but she is happy about the success of the book.
The Animals' Santa was published by G.P Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. and is recommended for ages 4-8. It has an ISBN of 978-0-399-25784-1.
Illustrations Add Charm to Brett's Christmas Picture Book and Story
Bring The Animals' Santa Into the Classroom for Holiday Fun
Jan Brett has always been a personal favorite of mine in children's literature and this Christmas picture book and story does not disappoint. I used all of her books in my classroom when I taught early elementary and kindergarten students. Teachers will want to add this delightful read to their holiday reading for their students. The illustrations offer opportunities for several learning activities. Children are always interested in animals, and forest animals might be unfamilar to students.
*Read The Animals' Santa in a story time session.
*Call attention to the excitement that Little Snow and Big Snowshoe feel for the coming of Christmas Eve.
*What are some of the gifts that the forest animals received last year?
*What are some of the guesses that the animals pose as to the identity of Santa?
*Take a class poll of the ideas that children have about the identity of the animals' Santa.
*What was the plan that Big Snowshoe devised to try to catch Santa? Do the children think that it might work?
*What was the animals' Santa?
Enhanced Activities for Learning About the Animals in Brett's The Animals' Santa
Brett wrote in her comments for the inside of the book jacket that her wild animals that she chose for this Christmas story live in the forests in northern Canada. teachers have the opportunity to add enhanced learning activities after reading to learn about these animals from the Canadian forests.
*Have a globe available for students to locate Canada on the map.
*Snow rabbits, porcupines, ravens, badgers, and moose are all animals from the Canadian forests. Choose one at a time for students to learn more about with research projects. Teachers can provide materials for younger students to learn about each animal.
*The snowy owl is a special bird from the Canadian forests. Provide materials for children to learn more about this special owl.
© 2021 Cindy Hewitt