With less than two months to go until Christmas, it’s the perfect time to order new Christmas books for reading during the season. Some fun ideas include creating a bookish Advent stack where you wrap up 24 Christmas books and read one each night leading up to Christmas, having a Christmas book basket under the tree to encourage reading during the season, or purchasing Christmas books for all the kids on your gift list. Some of these are the perfect size for a stocking! Click HERE to see all the Christmas-themed books.
MISS MARY’S CHRISTMAS MITTENS
By: Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated by: Renée Andriani
Published: September 13, 2022
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
As a substitute teacher, I’ve seen kids that come to school without hats or mittens and then are miserable at recess because they are cold. When the first snowfall comes, Miss Mary, an elementary teacher, is excited to celebrate with an extra-long recess on the day before Christmas break. She envisions the kids making snowmen, snow forts, and snow angels. But, instead, the kids didn’t play in the snow because they didn’t have warm mittens on their hands. Miss Mary was sad that they were missing out on all the outdoor fun.
After school, Miss Mary had an idea. She went to the yarn shop, but all the shelves were empty. How was she going to make mittens for all of the children in her classroom by Christmas? Miss Mary returned home and then had a bright idea. She worked hard for the next two days and delivered the best gift to each of her students on Christmas morning.
I love this story of a teacher going over the top to make sure her students are happy and cared for. Miss Mary is a beloved teacher and makes learning fun and her students adore her. When she surprises them with a Christmas gift, her gift in return is the joy in her students’ laughter and the sound of them playing outside. It made her feel as warm as a mitten inside.
The illustrations are delightful. The expressions are clear and show worry, determination, joy, and cold children. The students in her classroom are diverse and I loved that Miss Mary has red hair. There is so much joy in this story and it warms my heart to read it. I can’t wait to share it with a classroom this season.
The end of the book features a pattern to make your own knitted ornaments. This would make a great holiday project to do with your child or maybe even to give as a gift to their teacher!
Check out the downloadable activity pages, HERE.
Trinka Hakes Noble is the award-winning author of numerous picture books including The Orange Shoes (2007 National Parenting Publications Awards Honors Winner), The Scarlet Stockings Spy (2005 IRA Teachers’ Choice), The Last Brother, and The Legend of the Cape May Diamond. Ms. Noble also wrote the ever-popular Jimmy’s Boa series and Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, both featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow. Her many awards include ALA Notable Children’s Book, Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice, IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, Learning: The Year’s Ten Best, and several Junior Literary Guild Selections.
Ms. Noble has studied children’s book writing and illustrating in New York City at Parsons School of Design, the New School University, Caldecott medalist Uri Shulevitz’s Greenwich Village Workshop, and New York University. A member of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, she was awarded Outstanding Woman 2002 in Arts and Letters in the state of New Jersey for her lifetime work in children’s books. Ms. Noble currently lives in the historic Jockey Hollow area of Bernardsville, New Jersey. Check out her website, HERE.
Renée Andriani has illustrated dozens of picture books, most recently Teddy Spaghetti by Dorothea Benton Frank and Victoria Benton Frank, and Girl Versus Squirrel by Hayley Barrett. When she isn’t doodling, she likes hanging out with her kids and dogs, hiking, sitting around campfires, and eating chocolate. She also plans to work on getting really good at knitting someday.