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A Christmas Wish



Last updated Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Illustrator: Simon Bartram
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0525471952
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2006

Synopsis: From Booklist British novelist Marcus Sedgwick (The Dark Horse, Floodland) makes his picture-book debut with A Christmas Wish. In his lakeside home one warmish Christmas eve, a boy wishes it would snow outside like it does inside his snow globe. Magically, his wish comes true--his house is soon aswirl in an extraordinary snowstorm teeming with bears, dancers, gingerbread men, and skiers as the lake outside freezes into a festive ice rink. Translucent, frosted paper overlays, scattered with snow, convey a sense of increasing snowfall, while the scene beneath reveals wintery gusts led by a spike-headed snow wizard. In the morning, "The dancing stops, / the snow subsides / and the magic? The magic has just begun!" Bartram's illustrations contrast serene, old-fashioned neo-Rockwellian scenes with the more cartoonish star-spangled, snowy swirl of magic.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you celebrate Christmas? Does everyone? What do people do who don?t celebrate Christmas?
•  What is your Christmas wish?
•  What is Christmas weather like in Los Angeles? What is it like in other places?
•  Have you ever seen/played in the snow? What can you do in the snow?
•  Have you ever seen a snow globe? What is a snow globe?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does the boy wish for snow?
•  Is the story real or a dream?
•  What do you think will happen next?
•  Look at the snowstorm pictures together and have the children identify some of the figures in the snow.

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a winter picture on a piece of construction paper or a paper plate. Tear tiny pieces of white paper to make snow. Put the ?snow? on the picture, and then cover with plastic wrap or cellophane to make a snow globe. (Bring-ahead item: plastic wrap or cellophane)
•  Draw your own Christmas wish.
•  Make a paper snowflake. Fold the paper many times and cut out small shapes, then unfold it.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!