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Bah! Humbug?

Last updated Monday, December 3, 2007

Author: Lorna and Lecia Balian
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 1595720367
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2007

Synopsis: From BarnesandNoble.com: Margie is sure that Santa exists—she sends him a letter that says so—but her brother, Arthur, is intent on doing his best to turn her into a non-believer. Forcibly enlisting his little sister to help him—he threatens her with worms in her bed, ice cubes in her pajamas, and her favorite stuffed animal, Herold, flushed down the toilet—Arthur conceives of a plan that will trap the "humbug" Santa Claus. Arthur ties wind chimes to the Christmas tree, spreads balloons all over the floor, and strategically stretches string all over the room, then tells Margie to keep her eyes open. A short time later, Arthur is asleep and Santa—not the humbug—is headed down the chimney. Margie and Santa put presents in the family's stockings and eat cookies together. After Santa leaves and Arthur wakes up to find the living room full of presents, he grudgingly accepts Santa's existence, allowing Margie to bookend the final pages of the book with another letter to Santa, thanking him for her gifts.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have any brothers or sisters?
•  What does your family do for Christmas?
•  Do you eat candy canes? What are your Christmas treats?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What will you ask Santa to bring you?
•  Do your brothers/sisters tease you? Are they ever wrong?
•  Do you do anything special for Santa?
•  Do you have stockings? What do they look like?
•  Do you have any special toys like Herold, the teddy bear?
•  Why did Arthur put up strings and bells?
•  What happened while Arthur was sleeping?
•  What do you put on your Christmas tree?
•  Was Arthur wrong?

Craft ideas:
•  Make their own ornaments
•  Make stockings out of construction paper with cotton
•  Draw what you want for Christmas

*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!