I know Christmas has passed by now, but I just couldn’t resist posting this. It’s not so much about Christmas as year round compassion and sacrifice, love and understanding, we need to teach children all year round. This is gorgeous!
Pashmina – The Little Christmas Goat.
Illustrations by: Angela Kehlenbeck
Published by: Penguing Young Readers Group
Ages: 4 – 8 years
Theme: sacrifice, compassion,gratitude
Opening Lines: It was winter, Snow blanketed the land, ad in Simon’s little house up on the mountain, a fire was burning continually in the stove. The big celebration was getting closer. Tomorrow was Christmas and the children were excited but Manja, their mother, was worried.
Synopsis: With Christmas the next day Simon takes off to hunt for food for the table so his family can have a special Christmas dinner. In the woods he find a small goat which he takes home intending to have it cooked for their Chistmas meal. His children beg to keep it as a pet and are happy to eat just the beans and potatoes instead. Their kindness pays off when the little goat they named Pasmina has babies of her own and their beautiful fluffy white coats grow so fast the family are able to make clothes and sell them from the wool.
Why I like this: A beautiful story of compassion, and tell me, your not a push-over for that lovely cover. Angela only stumbled upon illustrating books for children after she had made a funny little book of pictures for a friend in hospital. The friend insisted she try it as a career and after being spotted at a Frankfurt fair by a publisher in 1996 her first book was published. Here is a website of her illustrations… http://www.other-q.com/angela-kehlenbeck-malereiI.html
The story, not really a Christmas story, is beautifully told by Geraldine, and children will relate easily with a tiny animal and wanting to keep it as a pet. There are many levels here in which conversations can be raised with children on compassion for others and sacrificing something in order to help others. This is a tender story inspired by Geraldine when her daughter’s rabbit lost its fur.
Resources/Findings: I couldn’t find any resources related to the book. I did however find this great little website about how children can learn about caring for their first pet. Or how parents/teachers can show how to care for small animals. http://www.masterpet.co.nz/Small-Pets/ – lots of good information there.
Also another great idea for children especially at school is donating a toy they no longer use or play with for orphan children, or for charities in their area that may benefit from this. There is always donations or fun activities for children to raise money for those less fortunate than them. Ask them why they pick a particular charity. How would a child benefit from what they are doing ie.. raising money or donating a toy. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to start thinking of others, any time of the year is the good time.
Pop over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.