FaceTime StoryTime

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If you attend the community Winterfest next week (Saturday, December 19), you’ll have a chance to explore an oversize version of Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser. It’s a delightful story about a squirrel who has never seen snow and is determined not to miss it this year.

You can use stories and a family story time to stay connected this winter, even if your family isn’t all in the same house! Use FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Live, or any of a bunch of similar apps. Just pick a story you love, call someone up, and share the joy of the story with them! Maybe you and Grandma can take turns each night reading chapters out of a book – tonight, she reads chapter one, and tomorrow you read chapter two to her! Or choose a series of short stories and call up a different friend, cousin, uncle, or aunt each day. Or just do FaceBook live and see how many people tune in!

Saara and Pat at the Creston Public Library kindly shared some of their favourite winter-themed titles with me. Here’s what they recommend:

If you’re looking for children’s picture books, Saara recommends these:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.  A classic that’s also been turned into several cartoons.

Red Sled by Lita Judge: In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child’s sled for a nighttime joy ride. 

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs: A winter classic.  A wordless tale about a young boy who makes a snowman that comes to life! Also turned into a short animated film. 

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner: Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow exists a secret kingdom of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals that live through the winter safe and warm, awake and busy, under the snow. 

Supertruck by Stephen Savage: When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done?

For teens, Pat suggests these ones:

Home for the Holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick: This Christmas season, join the girls of the mother-daughter book club for a variety of holiday-themed adventures! Becca, Megan, Emma, Cassidy and Jess have plenty of reading material to bring on their trips, too, because the book club is tackling the Betsy-Tacy series before their next meeting on New Year’s Eve. But unfortunately, nothing goes quite as planned for any of the girls.

Kiss Me in New York by Katherine Rider: It’s Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony’s about to be. Charlotte’s flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can’t bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they’ll focus on healing their broken hearts … together.

And, for older readers:

Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher: In the strange rippling effects of a tragedy, in a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan, on the shortest day of the year, the lives of five people will come together and be forever changed.

Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg: A new Yuletide classic about small-town America and larger-than-life wonders.

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah: Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, at a crossroads in her life, an unexpected detour leads her to make a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci: Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington D.C. to L.A in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures and holiday magic. 

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham: Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. 

For books with a Christian spin to them, Pat recommends the Richard Paul Evans series – The Noel Stranger; The Mistletoe Inn; A Winter Dream; The Christmas List; and The Christmas Box.

All of these books are available at the Creston Public Library, which, as of the time of this writing, is still open for browsing and borrowing. Even if it has to close to the public, the staff will be there throughout the holidays to help you – visit the Creston Public Library website to browse and order books online.

And don’t miss the ongoing Family StoryTime with Saara via Facebook Live, Thursday mornings at 10:30, or Ellie’s music program on Tuesdays. Just head on over to the Library’s Facebook page to join in!