Friday, 18 December 2015

High Rotation Reads: Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells by Iza Trapani was one of those flip the pages library finds I had last year around this time.  I originally picked it up because the teacher for the Music Class Little Tree is involved with had focused on Jingle Bells for the season and I thought the illustration style was beautiful. 

It was with surprise and delight that I realised this book is a whole lot more than a recounting of the classical song.  Using the classical melody of Jingle bells it touches through the cultural traditions of Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Italy and Kenya for the "Christmas season".

For the last two years the main attraction of this book, to Little Tree, has been the fact that I sing the text and he plays along with a Christmas bell on a ribbon.  That said this year it prompted the question of "Why do Italian Children get presents in their shoes? Leading to the research that La Befana, who got lost following the Three Wise Men, leaves presents in the shoes of Italian children one the eve of Epiphany, January 6th.  Needless to say I am delighted at this first, and I expect not the last, exploration into differing cultural practices prompted by this book. 

I was more than a little distressed when it seemed that someone had decided to prune it out of the local library's Christmas collection.  For us I see this book as being one of those books we will read as a tradition so in the end rather than race around the catalog trying to find a copy at another library this year I just went out and bought it.  That way I know that we can share it whenever we for as many years as it piques Little Tree's interest and captures his imagination.

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