On this Saint Nick's Day, in the unparalleled year of 2020, I'm sharing with you the gift of two wonderful new holiday stories for the season. You don't need me to tell you that this year's celebrations will be far from typical. That provides a perfect chance to expand your classroom or library or home collection of holiday picture books with these two titles. Both explore the disconnect kids (and the kid in all of us) feel when patterns established year after year, are suddenly disrupted.
SHADOW MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING, 2020
MING'S CHRISTMAS WISHES is written by Susan L. Gong and illustrated by Masahiro Tateishi. A rich and dense history forms the foundation of this seemingly simple story of a girl who is trying to find her place within generations, traditions, and the lure of a sensory-rich Christmas season in the 1930s.
I expected to enjoy this story, but was surprised at how much it overwhelmed me with detail and heart and significance. It truly deserves a place in every library, classroom, and family collection of holiday stories.
Both books remind me of times when personal gatherings and social interactions were the hallmarks and bright lights of this dark winter month. Celebrating gatherings and shared traditions within these stories make them timeless and timely, reminders that virtual experiences of spending time with family, friends, and even strangers may hold happy surprises in this unusual holiday season.
On a side note, both books incorporate easily interpreted language/terms that will attract attention from kids who love learning about new words, cultures, and countries.